The "Natural Laws" of Personality
I am always amazed at how personality theorists and natural scientists treat people and everything else in the world as if they live by different laws. Of course, this cannot be. People are "physical" and as such, are part of the natural world. This means, like it or not, we and the world are one. Thus we both must follow the same rules.
Personality theorists might now object and say, but "personality" is not a physical object. Hell, it's not. Biologists have been making this point for years now. Why do you think medicines affect the mind? And yes, I do mean everything from our thoughts and emotions to our wishes and dreams. And our injuries. Our "psychopathology." All these things follow the laws of the natural world. We just like to think they don't I guess, perhaps because we like to feel "special."
We are special. And so is everything else in the world. We just aren't "better" than everything else in the world; meaning, we are not exempt from the natural laws of this world. Nor do we get to live by some special set of laws.
My point. Personality follows the same laws as physical science. Period. A relationship I call, psychophysical. And the point for telling you this is simply that the easiest way to explore personality is by seeing where we and the physical world connect. A sort of cosmic mind body connection.
What follows will be a brief visual article describing how personality forms. The natural formation of personality. What this will not be then is some mere description of the way personality forms functionally, morally, or biologically. And while all these things are parts of the natural formation of personality, none of them is the root core seminal part.
So what is? The natural laws of the physical world. The same laws by which planets circle and clouds drift. And the same laws which iron adheres to when it gets magnetized.
Iron? Why talk about iron?
Because it turns out that iron and people have one very important thing in common. Besides following all the rest of the natural laws, like that they both get affected by gravity and time, iron and people both get startled. And when they get startled, they get injured. How? We'll start by a quick review of how iron gets startled.
How Iron Gets "Startled"
Let's start with this. We all pretty much know that iron gets affected by electrical fields. Remember? In fifth grade? The iron filings on the glass test. You put some iron filings onto a piece of glass and put a magnet beneath them and what happens? The iron filings arrange themselves into lines on the glass, patterns which reveals the normally invisible lines of magnetic energy which emanate from the magnet. Remember?
Do you also remember learning how the magnet got to be a magnet? It got to be a magnet by first being placed into a strong electrical field and then having this field suddenly shut off.
This is what I've drawn in the diagram above.
Now if you first look at the iron in the upper part of the drawing, you'll see a coil, connected to an electrical source, with a piece of iron placed nearby. Near enough to be affected by the invisible electrical field. Just like the iron filings.
So why can't you see the iron change? Because the change happens at the molecular level. Translation. The molecules of iron get polarized. But because they stay packed tightly together, they can not move. Unlike the iron filings, which can and do move.
So what happens if you slowly decrease how much electrical power gets sent to the coil? Pretty much nothing. At least nothing permanent. You see, like how stress affects everything in the physical world, electrical stress on iron simply releases the molecules, meaning, the iron molecules simply get released from the electrical stress. No lasting affects.
Sound like us? Of course, it does. Thus whenever we are under some kind of stress, such as having to work longer hours or getting over a cold, our molecules get affected too. Literally. And when we recover from these stresses, what happens then? We return to our normal way of being, our normal personality patterns.
Iron, and people, react very similarly to being put under stress and then slowly released. How? Both simply return to their normal, somewhat free form lives.
What happens when iron gets shocked though, meaning, when the electrical field gets turned off suddenly?
This is how magnets get made, in fact. The iron gets so shocked by the change from being stressed into a pattern to being released from this pattern that it simply does not respond. In other words, the iron gets injured, in that it no longer able to freely respond to electrical fields.
Is this making sense? And yes, I am saying that the iron gets "injured." Same physical laws, remember. I'm simply using the same words to describe these laws, at least to the degree that I use them interchangeably. Where applicable. Which is in most cases.
So now, look at the lower drawing in the diagram above. There, you'll see I've drawn the suddenly disconnected coil and electrical source, and the iron, which has become permanently magnetized. Can you see how the patterns of the electrical field have been "written into" the iron?
This same thing happens to people as well. It is, in fact, one of the core principles in human personality. No surprise then that the Nineteenth Century physicists and the Nineteenth Century personality theorists both fell in love with the word, "magnetized." To this day, in fact, some people are said to have "magnetic" personalities.
What is my point? That the best way to begin to understand Human Personality is to understand how personality gets injured. This, in fact, is where I began, some ten years ago. And where did this search lead me? To a whole new theory of human personality, the first to be completely integrated, both internally and externally. What I'm saying is, for a theory of personality to be genuinely valid and useful, all the parts must integrate and explain all the other parts. And they must all integrate into the world at large, including into the complete lexicon of the physical sciences. Anything less is simply flawed and incomplete and as such, should be suspect and used with reservations.
Does the Layers of Aloneness meet this test? Yes. And what we are about to look at is the proof. What is it we are about to look at? The actual nature of personality injuries. The sine qua non of human wounding. Ready?