Originally Posted by juantoo3
I'm not quite sure what you are after. I see it pretty well the way Brian mentioned...a given person has the competing demands of self and community...and these influences mold the person's thoughts and groom the behaviour across the spectrum; mental, physical and spiritual.
But is this all an individual is or can be? Consider this question of individuality in the light of Prof. Jacob Needleman's description of "acornology" from his book "Lost Christianity."
I began my lecture that morning from just this point. There is an innate element in human nature, I argued that can grow and develop only through impressions of truth received in the organism like a special nourishing energy. To this innate element I gave a name - perhaps not a very good name - the "higher unconscious." My aim was to draw an extremely sharp distinction between the unconscious that Freud had identified and the unconscious referred to (though not by that name) in the Christian tradition.
Imagine, I said, that you are a scientist and you have before you the object known as the acorn. Let us further imagine that you have never before seen such an object and that you certainly do not know that it can grow into an oak. You carefully observe these acorns day after day and soon you notice that after a while they crack open and die. Pity! How to improve the acorn? So that it will live longer. You make careful, exquisitely precise chemical analyses of the material inside the acorn and, after much effort, you succeed in isolating the substance that controls the condition of the shell. Lo and behold, you are now in the position to produce acorns which will last far longer than the others, acorns whose shells will perhaps never crack. Beautiful!
The question before us, therefore, is whether or not modern psychology is only a version of acornology.
Most define individuality from the perspective of the shell and how it is created by society . Dr. Needleman is referring to the living kernel of life within that has the potential to evolve.
It is "normal" for secularism to define individuality by the personality or the shell. It is normal for Christianity for example, to define individuality as a potential in the context of the living kernel of life the shell surrounds. Since we are a secular society, few ever consider the distinction described by Dr. Needleman as "Acornology."
How do you define individuality?