Have you ever wondered why you are your own singular person , or why another person can be so different from you? Undoubtedly, most people ask themselves and others that exact same question over and over again without even realizing it. How often we hear someone (anyone) say, ‘I just don’t understand why/how so and so thinks or does this or that’. I doubt any conversation could go on five minutes without similar statements being made. The answer to all those queries is a simple, personality development—and just what does that mean?
It would be nice if personality development could be explained in a few words—it can’t. It would take volumes and volumes to explore all the intricacies involved. However a brief intelligible overview is possible—hopefully that would help alleviate some of the misunderstanding, and bewilderment we experience on a minute to minute basis in our daily lives. Hopefully it would give insight into why we each are different, and, simultaneously, help us be more accepting (loving) of each other. So lets give it a try.
First off, each of us came ready equipped with our inherited genetic make-up. That includes our basic physique, our temperament, our basic IQ (rationality), and our sex—just to name a few. Those basic qualities equip us to experience stimuli and to react to stimuli. That process begins in-utero and ends at death—in between those two terminals, each of us is being changed on a moment to moment basis as we react to each stimulus. Early on, those changes are rapid and frequent—we’ve never had that experience before. So what do we do with each new stimulus—we react in some fashion—furthermore, we store that reaction information in our subconscious so we will automatically react to that similar stimulus in an identical way. Most of that ‘reaction information’ was generated and stored in a very immature mind (rationality) because it was generated before we were able to make rational decisions. Thereby, we are pre-programed with much reaction information which may be irrational. Reaction responses of all types are generated and stored. The quality of that information is directly related to the quality of the stimulus. In other words, our family attitudes, pre-school teachers, baby sitters, all of our contacts impart attitudinal stimuli to which we react.
No two of us are exposed to the same identical stimulus, but if we were, we would react somewhat differently because we started with different ‘tools’. So depending upon the nature and desirability of the stimulus, our subconscious is programed one way or another—all too frequently obtuse to societally accepted norms. As we reach the ‘age of reason’ we automatically and predictably react to a stimulus in a certain way but we don’t know why—our base operating system was installed before we were rational.
As we go through life experiencing millions of stimuli daily, we are reacting according to the dictates of our immature operating system—each reaction generates a tiny change in our personality. Our basic attitudes about literally everything are established and further entrenched as we go through life, and all of them grounded in attitudes established before we became rational—its a never ending process in this life.
Of course, after we reach the age of reason, every action we take is dictated by our rational conscious intellect which always has to choose what it considers the better of two choices—those considerations are grounded in our subconscious, and each of our subconscious is dramatically different from the next. Accordingly each of us sees things with different attitudes.
Nowhere that I have observed this attitudinal difference to be greater than in the area of religion and/or politics. Most every one of us have been pre-programmed in both arenas. It is possible to change the ideas we were programmed with, but it usually takes a lot of education, observation and soul-searching to do so.
Literally everyone has hang-ups, that is thing or circumstances we avoid, or are attracted to excessively. We all have fears, anxieties, or obsessions and we don’t know why. I can tell you from my medical experience, the only method I’m aware of permanently eliminating those hang-ups is through the process of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. That involves sessions of interacting verbally with the therapist. Typically those sessions are one hour each and on a weekly basis for about a year. During those sessions, the therapist skillfully guides the patient, through conversation, right back to the time when the irrational decision was made—the patient is now face to face with culprit—a rational decision is now made and, bingo, like turning on a light switch, that hang-up is eliminated forever.
Therein lies my disdain for our legal system which is based primarily on the old Jewish concept of ‘an eye foe an eye’. No one is born a criminal—they all develop that way through their basic personality programming. Most of them could be ‘reprogrammed’ through the process of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and made into useful, stable, functioning citizens. Rather than building more jails, we should be redirecting our resources to training and paying many more psychotherapists.
Ultimately before any meaningful change can be made, we have to change the subconscious of the entire world—we must become like-minded about the ‘nature of God ‘and ‘spirituality’. More than two years ago, I started my call for the World-wide Communion of Spirituality. Will it ever be heeded—not as long as the world is fragmented with irrational religion.
I am absolutely convinced that Jesus understood that underlying concept—he was a super-genius—he condemned no one—he said love (acceptance) was the only answer. He was a heretic—so they killed him—he accepted each of us unequivocally. So how should we react—by begging him to accept us more? I think our only legitimate action/reaction is a great big thank you Jesus.
I have elucidated these and many, many more concepts in my two books, Wilderness Cry and Peace in Spirituality. Please see the attached Press Release and video trailers created by Publisher Covenant Books.