Moreno’s concept of tele

A series of quotes follow

The social atom is the nucleus of all individuals toward whom a person is emotionally related or who are related to him at the same time. It is the smallest nucleus of an emotionally toned inter-personal pattern in the social universe. The social atom reaches as far as one’s tele reaches other persons. It is therefore also called the tele range of an individual. It has an important operational function in the formation of a society.
(Psychodrama v. 1 p. 184 – footnote)

The tele-empathy-transference complex undergoes a third realignment of forces; it moves from the stage to the audience, initiating among the audio-egos intensive relations.
(Who Shall Survive? p. 86)

This one has particular importance for locating the couple as the place for healing:

Throughout all this we cherished the notion that the psychiatrist alone is the healer, that all the therapeutic tele derives from him and nowhere else is so concentrated and effective. However, sociometric studies revealed to me that a great deal of the therapeutic tele is distributed all over the community and that the question was only to make it effective and to guide it into the proper channels. … The chief psychiatrist had to be put out of action to be removed from the scene; he became an auxiliary ego at a distance. His function reduced itself to deciding who might be the best therapeutic agent to whom, and aid in the picking of these agents. … He had lost all the insignia of all-mightiness, of personal magnetism, and status of counsel. The face-to-face physician had become a physician at a distance. He adjusted his function to the dynamics of a tele world.
(Psychodrama v. 1 pp. 242-243)

I find the words”interpersonal structures” useful here…

Sociometric investigators have pointed out that the organic isolation of the embryo is continued for a short period after birth until the emergence of the tele starts the first interpersonal structures. But some infants perpetuate the pattern of organic isolation by social isolation.
(Psychodrama v. 1 pp. 70-71)

This one shows how Moreno equated various psychodrama termms with psychotherapy terms

The psychoanalytic vehicle was the couch. The antiquated couch was transformed into a multi-dimensional stage, giving space and freedom for spontaneity, freedom for the body and for bodily contact, freedom of movement, action and interaction. Free association was replaced by psychodramatic production and audience participation, by action dynamics and dynamics of the groups and masses. With these changes in the research and therapeutic operation the framework of psychoanalytic concepts, sexuality, unconscious, transference, resistance and sublimation was replaced by a new, psychodramatic and sociodynamic set of concepts, the spontaneity, the warming up process, the tele, the interaction dynamics and the creativity. These three transformations in vehicle, form and concept, however, transcended but did not eliminate the useful part of the psychoanalytic contribution. The couch is still in the stage “is like a multiple of couches of many dimensions, vertical, horizontal and depth “sexuality is still in spontaneity, the unconscious is still the warming up process, transference is still in the tele; there is one phenomenon, productivity-creativity, for which psychoanalysis has given us no counterpart.
(Who Shall Survive? pp. 119-120)

This quote is useful to grasp tele and projection:

On the social plane we have isolated the factor tele which is
able to give the direction which the expansion of the self takes. In order to understand the operations of the tele, it is useful to differentiate between projection and what can be called “retrojection”. Projection is usually defined as “throwing upon others persons one’s ideas and assuming that they are objective, although they have a subjective origin.” Retrojection is drawing and receiving from other persons (it can be extended to all the dimensions and subsidiaries) their ideas and feelings, either to find identity with one’s own (confirmation) or to add strength to the self (expansion).
The organization of the self within the individual organism begins early in life. It is universal phenomenon and observable in every individual. In certain individuals the power of retrojection is enormously developed. We call them geniuses and heroes. If a man of genius knows what the people or the time needs and wants he is able to do this by the retrojective power of the self, that is, by a tele process, not by projection. They assimilate with enormous ease the experience others have, not only by drawing it from the people but because others are eager to communicate their feelings to them. They recognize these experiences as similar or identical with their own and integrate them into their self; that is how they are able to swell it to enormous expansion. When they lose their mandate, the calling of the self vanishes and the self shrinks.
(Theatre of Spontaneity pp. 8-9)

as is this one:

Transference is the development of fantasies (unconscious)
which the patient projects upon the therapist, surrounding him with a certain glamour. But there is another process which takes place in the patient, in the part of his ego which is not carried away by autosuggestion. It sizes up the therapist and estimates intuitively what kind of a man he is. These feelings into the immediate behavior of the therapist “physical, mental, or otherwise are tele relations.
(Psychodrama v. 1 p. xi Introduction to 3rd edition)

On the social plane we have isolated the factor tele which is able to give the direction which the expansion of the self takes. In order to understand the operations of the tele, it is useful to differentiate between projection and what can be called ‘retrojection’. Projection is usually defined as “throwing upon others persons one’s ideas and assuming that they are objective, although they have a subjective origin.” Retrojection is drawing and receiving from other persons (it can be extended to all the dimensions and subsidiaries) their ideas and feelings, either to find identity with one’s own (confirmation) or to add strength to the self (expansion).

The organization of the self within the individual organism begins early in life. It is universal phenomenon and observable in every individual. In certain individuals the power of retrojection is enormously developed. We call them geniuses and heroes. If a man of genius knows what the people or the time needs and wants he is able to do this by the retrojective power of the self, that is, by a tele process, not by projection. They assimilate with enormous ease the experience others have, not only by drawing it from the people but because others are eager to communicate their feelings to them. They recognize these experiences as similar or identical with their own and integrate them into their self; that is how they are able to swell it to enormous expansion. When they lose their mandate, the calling of the self vanishes and the self shrinks.
(Theatre of Spontaneity pp. 8-9)

The following helps me to consider the tele structure more like a landscape, not good or bad but just the way it is.

38. Students are warned not to think that being isolated or unchosen is a ‘bad’ situation, or being much chosen is in itself a ‘good’ situation. Such thinking might lead to a “sociometric astrology”. Sociometric findings are clues and guides for further investigation, they are not like the fixed position of a peck order. There are voluntary isolates whose air of determined withdrawal may instantly kill the tele towards them in the mind of their partners. They do not choose and they tell you by their manner or even overtly: “Do not choose me, I prefer to be alone”. Furthermore, do not assume that the total structure of a group is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ because its cohesion is high of low. It often depends upon the criterion around which the group is formed.
… The study of involuntary isolates or unchosen ones who make choices but whose choices persistently remain unreciprocated suggests that they suffer from states of anxiety and insecurity. They frequently do not have the spontaneity to respond adequately to a situation in which they find themselves unwanted. Their anxiety rises and when they try again and again unsuccessfully, their anxiety rises further; their tele perception is often not sensitive to differentiate clearly the individuals who choose them from those who do not.
(Who Shall Survive? p. 712)

Marriage and family therapy for instance, has to be so conducted that the … of the entire group is re-enacted so that all their tele-relations, their co-conscious and co-unconscious states are brought to life.
Psychodrama v. 1 p. vii Introduction to 3rd edition

(personality) can be defined as a function of g (genes), s (spontaneity), t (tele), and e (environment).
(Psychodrama v. 1 p. 52 – footnote)

The following point to how roles are not positive or negative but the tele between them is.

In the course of this triangle study it was observed that a role
required by one person may be absent in his or her partner in a close relationship and that the absence of a role can have serious consequences for a relationship. As a general rule, a role can be (1) rudimentarily developed, normally developed, or over- developed (positive tele); a role can be (2) almost or totally absent in a person (indifference); and a role can be (3) perverted into a hostile function (negative tele). A role in any of the above categories can also be classified from the point of view of its development in time: (a) it was never present; (b) it is present towards one person but not present towards another; (c) it was once present towards a person bur is now extinguished.
(Psychodrama v. 1 pp. 333-334)

The socio-gravitational factor which operates between individuals, drawing them to form more positive or negative pair-relations, triangles, quadrangles, polygons, etc., than on chance, I have called ‘tele’ derived from the Greek, the meaning is ‘far’ or ‘distant’.
(Psychodrama v. 1 p. 84)

Even if one day the feeling complex, tele, should yield to
physical measurement, from a sociometric point of view this feeling complex is separated only artificially from a larger whole: it is a part of the smallest living unit of social matter we can comprehend, the social atom.
(Who Shall Survive? p. 317)

The following shows how tele relates to cyberspace

Tele is two-way empathy, like a telephone it has two ends.* We are used to the notion that feelings emerge within the individual organism and that they become attached more strongly or more weakly to persons or things in the immediate environment.
… The hypothesis that feelings, emotions or ideas can ‘leave’ or ‘enter’ the organism appeared inconsistent with this concept. … If these feelings, emotions and ideas ‘leave’ the organism, where then can they reside?
(Who Shall Survive? p. 53)

Tele does not operate equally throughout the totality of an individual’s social atom, but consists of an horizon in which awareness is great, level of choice expenditure high, and perception of inter-relationships accurate; and an unstructured region, marked by tentative and token choices to which reciprocation is hit-or-miss.
(Who Shall Survive? p. 326)

The tele factor must, in its earliest form, be undifferentiated, a matrix or identity tele; gradually, a tele for objects separates itself from a tele for persons. A positive tele separates itself from a negative tele, and a tele for real objects from a tele of imagined objects.
(Psychodrama v. 1 p. 68)

A social atom is thus composed of numerous tele structures; social atoms are again parts of still a larger pattern, the sociometric networks which bind or separate large groups of individuals due to their tele relationships. Sociometric networks are parts of a still larger unit, the sociometric geography of a community. A community is again part of the largest configuration, the sociometric totality of human society itself.

(Who Shall Survive? p. 54)

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