Positive Disintegration
The Active Mind
The Creative Life
Intensity & Well-Being
Careers & Contributions
Relationships & Belonging
Memoir & Biography
Politics & Society
The Digital Life
Sorting Out Our Values

Creative Disintegration

What drives us to create? Reflecting on her carefree creative expression as a child, struggles with self-consciousness, and industry pressures, Laura Stavinoha confronts the role her desire for validation had on her music and comes to understand why, ultimately, she creates.

Resilience: From the Roots to the Branches

What stops a bright, intense, gifted person from blossoming? The Daimon Institute’s Sue Jackson sits down with us to talk about the hurdles her clients often face—and how they can begin to put out the roots they need to bloom.

Calling Down the Lightning

Why is Thoreau’s “little world” the image of restorative solitude, and Van Gogh’s “blazing hearth” that of genius misunderstood? In diving into these two men’s stories, David Wakeham demonstrates the pressing need for mentorship and community in those with great potential—and the consequences if this is nowhere to be found.

More From This Issue

So What is the Third Factor, Anyway?

You asked. We answered. What is this thing we named our magazine after, and what are the first and second factors? And why is this concept from Kazimierz Dabrowski’s theory of positive disintegration so much more important than his more well-known construct of overexcitability?

Why I’m Optimistic About Our New Forum

We’re trying to cultivate a high-quality space for Third Factor’s intellectually engaged readers to develop meaningful connections and have robust discussions. So why is this so hard on Facebook? Our editor in chief ponders why our new forum, at least so far, seems to suit us better than Facebook.

Book Club, April 2021: The Righteous Mind

Want to connect with other Third Factor readers over some in-depth content? Join our book discussion group!

from the editor

Issue 15: Resilience & Creativity

Welcome to the newly rebooted Third Factor Magazine! In this issue, we're switching from our old written letter from the editor to a video format. In this video, our editor in chief Jessie Mannisto talks about what you can find on our new site, what's coming up soon, and the articles in our March 2021 issue.

Issue 14: A Hodgepodge of Color

The Depths of Dabrowski’s Levels: An Interview with Michael Piechowski, Part II

Michael Piechowski shares why he’s updated the way he thinks about Dabrowski’s levels of development.

The Mind Palace

Sherlock Holmes is known for his remarkable mind. But as Boris Glebov sees it, one of Holmes’ most powerful mind tricks is accessible to anyone—and can be especially helpful to creative writers.

The Heroes of Our Own Political Stories

Jessie just can’t help trying to understand why people think about politics the way they do. She’s betting plenty of others with high intellectual and emotional excitability might feel the same.

Transcending Tribalism

Both Democrats and Republicans are spiraling into echo chambers and out of control. Now Dan Greco’s primary allegiance is to a plurality of voices.

Between Scylla and Charybdis: A Radical Centrism

Frank ran for office as a Republican. But instead of left vs. right, he looks at politics as open vs. closed—and that’s guiding his search for a new political home.

A Place for Orchids

If you think of yourself as “overexcitable,” you’ll surely see yourself in W. Thomas Boyce’s book, THE ORCHID AND THE DANDELION.

Issue 13: When the World Seems to Disintegrate

In Search of Exemplars: An Interview with Michael Piechowski, Part I

We chat with Michael Piechowski about his work on the theory of positive disintegration and finding people whose lives show the theory in action.

Positive Disintegration and the Pandemic

We’re used to talking about theory of positive disintegration at an individual level, but what about at the level of a country? Laura Stavinoha looks at the pandemic as an instance of disintegration and explores what it will take to reintegrate an entire society at a higher level.

The Canary in the Coal Mine

Sensitive people are like the canaries back in the days of coal mining. We’re the first ones to notice when things are off, whether within ourselves, our family, or our world.

The Positive Disintegration of Maria Sklodowska Curie, Part II: Autonomous Growth

In this deep dive into the dynamisms of Dabrowski’s level IV in Marie Curie’s life, Krystyna Laycraft shows us just what the third factor is all about.

Friendships of the Good

It’s hard for men to forge emotionally fulfilling friendships in our culture, argues Ian Simm, but a look back in time shows it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Anti-Creative Funk of Isolation

Creativity has always had a solitary component, but the pandemic drove home to author Jessie Mannisto how much creation is fueled by human connection.

Issue 12: Upward

To the Far Side of the Earth and Back: An Expat’s Disintegration, Part II

After China sent Max into a spiral of positive disintegration, his return to the United States—and to crisis—ensured his moral transformation.

The Bumpy Journey to Better

Do you ever find yourself frustrated with other people’s lack of striving? Of caring? Selena Ng reflects on that feeling—and how she’s tried to transcend it through a delicate balance of acceptance and change.

The Positive Disintegration of Maria Sklodowska Curie, Part I: Developmental Potential

You surely know all about the scientific accomplishments of Madame Curie. But did you know that her childhood was teeming with the intensity a fellow Polish scientist would dub “overexcitability?”

Challenging the Culture of Competition

We’ve been led to believe competition helps us excel. But if we look at its evolutionary function, says Dr. Roland Persson, we see a much more complex picture.

Is the Sky Blue Because It’s Gifted?

Benita thought she had found the secret to belonging. But was “giftedness” really the answer to the questions she sought to ask at the Gifted Adults Meetup?

When the G-Word Gets in the Way

For some, the word “gifted” can be a life preserver. Once they’re back on dry land, however, it will surely serve them best to hang it up.

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