Only in him who in some way has taken care of things and peopleand has adapted himself to the triumphs and disappointmentsadherent to being, the originator of others or the generator ofproducts and ideas - only in him may grad,lally ripen the fruit" of these seven stages. I know no better word for it than egointegrity. Lacking a clear definition, I shall point to a fewconstituents of this state of mind. It is the ego's accrued assuranceof its proclivity for order and meaning. It is a postnarcissisticlove uf the human ego - not of the self - as anexperience which conveys some world order and spiritual sense,. no matter how dearly paid for. It is the acceptance of one's oneand only life cycle as something that had to be and that, bynecessity, permitted of no substitutions: it thus means a new, adifferent love of one's parents. It is a comradeship with theordering ways of distant times and different pursuits, as expressedin the simple products and sayings of such times andpursuits. Although aware of the relativity of all the various lifestyles which have given meaning to human striving, the possessorofintegrity is ready to defend the dignity of his own style againstall physical and economic threats. For he knows that an individuallife is the accidental coincidence of but one life cycle withbut one segment of history; and that for him all human integritystands or falls with the one style of integrity of which he partakes. The style of integrity developed by his culture or civilizationthus becomes the 'patrimony of his soul', the seal of hismoral paternity of himself (' ... pero el honor Es patrimonto delalma': Calderon). In such final consolidation, death loses itssting.
The lack or loss of this accrued ego integration is signifiedby fear of death: the one and only life cycle is not accepted asthe ultimate of life. Despair expresses the feeling that the timeis now short, too short for the attempt to start another life andto try out alternate roads to integrity. Disgust hides despair, ifoften only in the form of 'a thousand little disgusts' which donot add up to one big remorse: ' ... mille petits degouts de soi,dont Ie total ne fait pas un remords, mais un gene obscur': Rostand.
Each individual, to become a mature adult, must to a sufficientdegree develop all the ego qualities mentioned, so that a wiseIndian, a true gentleman, and a mature peasant share andrecognize in one another the final stage of integrity. But eachcultural entity, to develop the particular style of integritysuggested by its historical place, utilizes a particular combinationof these conflicts, along with specific provocations andprohibitions of infantile sexuality. Infantile conflicts becomecreative only if sustained by the firm support of cultural institutionsand of the special leader-classes representing them. Inorder to approach or experience integrity, the individual mustknow how to be a follower of image bearers in religion and inpolitics, in the economic order and in technology, in aristocraticliving and in the arts and sciences. Ego integrity, therefore,implies an emotional integration which permits participation byfollowership as well as acceptance of the responsibility of leadership.
Webster's Dictionary is kind enough to help us complete thisoutline in a circular fashion. Trust (the first of our ego values)is here defined as 'the assured reliance on another's integrity',the last of our values. I suspect that Webster had business inmind rather than babies, credit rather than faith. But theformulation stands. And it seems possible to further paraphrasethe relation of adult integrity and infantile trust by saying thathealthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrityenough not to fear death.