SFG 1 Resources – Personality and Individuality

Personality and Individuality

(Posted on: March 12, 2014 by David McMillin)

[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of "A Search For God" study group and working on the "Know Thyself " lesson, a class member noted that under the section Self in Relation to Others in the ASFG book text, “paragraph 1 reads in part, ‘We should let neither flattery, criticism, nor opinions of others turn us aside… Let us turn within to see if we are being true to ourselves…’  Then paragraph 3 reads: ‘Let us dare to see ourselves as others see us…’ Again in paragraph 4: ‘It is well to know what the other fellow thinks of us…’” The class member’s question was whether there was a contradiction between paragraph 1 and paragraph 3 and 4.  Here is my reply.  – David McMillin]

I don’t think there is necessarily a contradiction in the quotes that you have cited. Being aware of how others view us can be part of the mirror of life – a source of information and feedback, which can be useful and positive if assessed objectively and filtered through an IDEAL.

The readings make the distinction between PERSONALITY and INDIVIDUALITY, wherein PERSONALITY is that aspect of ourselves that we choose to display to others – like a mask; whereas INDIVIDUALITY is the deeper soul self. The readings encouraged the integration of the two so that the INDIVIDUALITY shines through the PERSONALITY. If our interaction with others is unduly motivated or influenced by flattery, criticism, and others’ opinions of us, we can get stuck in PERSONALITY and not fully know ourselves at the soul level of INDIVIDUALITY through the use of an IDEAL that allows us to be true to ourselves from a spiritual perspective:

Here it would be well for a discussion or interpretation of personality and individuality. Sufficient for the moment: Individuality is the soul's relationship to that as its ideal in the measures of will and desire as is in accordance with what has been the ideal. Personality is that desire or purpose manifested that one desires others to see in self, rather than the development even having been in the material experience of the entity as a greater expression of the individuality. (294-185)

We will be focusing on IDEALS in the next lesson, so thanks for your thoughtful question that points us in that direction. Blessings, Dave

[subsequent post by David McMillin]

Here is another Cayce quote that elaborates a bit further on PERSONALITY, INDIVIDUALITY, and IDEALS as a means to KNOW THYSELF:

First analyze its own personality and its own individuality. See the difference. Don't just think on it. Write it upon a piece of paper, what you really think about another personality and what you say to that person. How near are they alike? In that you may see your personality, or that you would have others to see, and that which you really are within yourself. These may be measured, then, by what is the ideal manner should these arise from spiritual. Or are the activities of self first judged from the material needs or necessities? and then make those mental and spiritual aspirations conform to same, or shall it be the reverse? For all things (whether of mind or of matter) arise from the spiritual concept, and it depends upon the sincerity and with what spirit an entity uses these as to the abilities of the entity to control others! Should it be changed as the ideal way, should the change be for thine own good or for the good of all concerned? (5079-1)

This approach to self-knowledge provides a spirituality-based method for interpersonal relations as reflected in the mirror of life. Thus, working with IDEALS can be a valuable assessment tool for KNOW THYSELF and understanding the distinction between PERSONALITY and INDIVIDUALITY. The way these lessons blend and build upon each other really is quite interesting. Blessings, Dave

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