We are born human, but it is our great work (or destiny) to become a Person.
A sense of what it means to be a Person is innate in every individual.
As a Person I understand myself as an individual intertwined in a field of connections so thoroughly that I both create and co-create myself
Consequently, each era in the development of being human will interpret this sense of Person according to the degree of consciousness the society of the era has been able to achieve
Both our individuality, (or awareness of being separate), and our connection to other people, places, nature, and events, are so thoroughly intertwined they are of equal significance and impact in our development.
We are as much ourselves in our bodies and brains, as we are in our ideas, our actions, and our interactions with others.
This intertwining is experienced primarily in our sensory experience of life, and reflected in our constant making of narratives of Self. We consequently experience growth both as a physical act and a psychological deepening in awareness.
This intertwining of “I/We” in our natures is also expressed in our capacity to extend our being into creations beyond ourselves- tools and technologies for example as well as all the arts.
These extensions of ourselves, our fictions of Self, technologies and art, can trap us and limit our growth if we do not continue to develop our Sense of Person. To do this it is important to explore three areas of life experience:
- The continual process of action/reaction we are born into, and which is mediated by reflection
- Our ability to influence our development through our narratives and extensions.
- The brain/mind dichotomy- and the process of sensory data being converted and stored through filters into internal narratives in words, images, feelings, sounds, movement etc
If we are going to learn to live together in diverse communities it will be necessary to develop and extend our Sense of Person
Because diversity will always exist, the pursuit of an object based or objectified idea of commonality will always marginalize someone or something
So only when we understand and accept how profoundly we as individuals are intertwined with our ‘worlds’ ie each other, our objects and ideas, etc will we be able to live creatively in diversity designing life enhancing outcomes for everyone in community and compassion.
Without a developed Sense of Person we are trapped in our individuality, or awareness of being separate from one another, and can then only experience our own versions of reality, and not the actuality of life itself as it exists in our diversity.