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The psalmist:"You are totally miraculously made!"


The Ego or Heart

The heart of human personality is inspired by the old nature, the old Adam. True believers have also the new nature that is inspired by Christ, crucified and risen. In John 3 the Lord said to Nicodemus (the foremost teacher of the Jews) that one must be born again (this was already then the case in the times of the O.T.). The old nature, because of original sin, is so corrupt that God does not fix it, but has crucified it in Christ on the cross. Also the world is so corrupt that it has been crucified to the believer. I have been crucified to the world and the world has been crucified to me. The apostle Paul speaks of being born out of God and through Christ. Our hearts are like a channel that permits the old and new natures to infuse us with sinfulness and its ensuing sins and with righteousness and its ensuing acts. Our hearts cherish thoughts and wishes that are conformed to these two natures. We are to mortify our members that are on earth, fornication, evil...and greed which is idolatry; and Let fornication and all uncleanness and coveting not even be mentioned among you as is right for holy people; and shamefulness and foolishness and off-color jokes, which are not fitting (allowed); but rather thankfulness (Eph. 5.3). Therefore, indeed, we are called upon to lay off the old man ... and put on the new man.

Augustine defined the human personality as consisting in memory, will and intellect. This no doubt under influence of earlier philosophers (cf. here). Personally I define the human personality as consisting in memory, language and consciousness. The will I rank amidst the conscience and the heart (the heart in turn consists in memory, language and consciousness; as explained hereafter). Obviously there are various ways of looking at the human personality and nobody has a definitive answer. Nobody but the Creator understands His own creation. As far as this is concerned man remains a mystery and we can only approach from afar. Humility, as ever, is in order here.

As with my anthropological charts (see here for my general anthropology), I restrict this study here mainly to the form of a structural overview. Some day I would like to explain the underlying coherence (which to some extent I have attempted in my short, again structural, overview of intra-aspectual links). But I am afraid that an in-depth study is something like losing oneself in (too) many details and therefore a waste of time. Studies like these are meant to give a (slight) impression and must not be taken too seriously, I think. Anything beyond this is probably vain and barren intellectualism.


memory

language

consciousness

'knowing'

'talk'

'walk'

'remembering'

'witness and example of one's life'

consciousness

cherished principles/rules

unique character

unique 'I-ness'

cherished habits

unique language

unique name

language

personal language

underlying language structure

proverbs/ wisdom

learning

grammar

communication

memory

long term memory

conceptualization: the forming of ideas

identification(s)

short term memory

expressiveness: the ability to express yourself

ideologies / idols



Of the prince of Tyre (who is taken as representing Satan in his fall) it is said that he set his own heart as the heart of (a) god. We all do so in ways great and small. It is therefore of the utmost importance to guard your heart more than anything that is to be kept safe, for from it are the sources of life (Solomon).

A wise person, who I do not know, once said that if one sows a thought, then one reaps an act and when one sows an act one reaps a habit and if one sows a habit one reaps a character and when one sows a character one will reap an eternal destiny!

ELABORATIONS

'Remembering'

The Bible, through Solomon, exhorts us not to forget. And indeed, what do you put into your memory the most!? The Lord said that the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart. What do we rehearse the most? With what do we occupy ourselves the most? What is the most important to us? Is it the Person of the Lord, our Creator, Savior, Benefactor, Sustainer?

'Talk' and 'Walk'

We are all witnesses and examples of life. How are we seen by people? How are we remembered?

'I-ness'

The awareness that I am I and not you, is part of what makes us unique. I was not Napoleon in a former life. The idea of reincarnation makes us impersonal and it does happen that demons infuse people with 'memories' of somebody else's life from the past. Buddhism and Hinduism teach that the human personality is ultimately nothing (but Maya, 'illusion') and that it will eventually be dissipated into the Nirvana and lose all consciousness, thus becoming one with the (impersonal) 'all', Brahman. Christianity teaches that we as creatures are nothing in ourselves. We were once created. However, the apostle Paul dared state I am what I am through grace thereby referring to God's Name as revealed to Moses in Exodus 2 (I will be what I will be)!

Unique Name

The Bible prophecies that all believers will one day receive each his unique name. Also of the Lord it says that He has a Name above every name and that He has a Name only known to Himself. The trite What's in a name? by Shakespeare should not detract us from the verity that the human being is unique. (See more below on this). Human uniqueness hails down from our Maker, Who is absolutely unique.

Proverbs/ Wisdom

I think that proverbs form an important category of their own. According to the last chapter of Ecclesiastes they are like 'nails' that goad a person on. If they fail to do that, then one is a fool that does not listen and thinks he knows better. In this category also belong biblical allegories and sayings by the prophets and apostles. Less important are sayings and one-liners developed over time and let us not forget the wisdom that has accumulated in a particular nation that gives it part of its character.

Communication

Communication is hindered by the 'noise' that mars the reception by the other person of what one intents to communicate. Churches, groups and societies have their own jargon (the language of 'Canaan', the promised land of their ideals). This way, even though one speaks technically the same language, it is hard to understand one another, as the individual phraseology fouls up communication. It is not easy, if not impossible, to speak something like a lingua franca of communication. When people meet, therefore, it is part of their contact to teach each other. But matters are gravely complicated as we are all autistic to a large extent and talk in and to ourselves instead of to the others. This because since the Fall of Adam we are not really interested in others and largely seek ourselves even when we think to the contrary. The child in us dies off and cannot be revived artificially. Only the Holy Spirit can do that in us.

Identification

As Christians we would do well to identify with out Lord (a follower cannot be greater than his master) and with the great people in the Bible and to follow the examples of important Christians that have gone before us. We are called upon by the apostle Paul to look upon their end.

Ideology/ idols

As sinners we entertain idols: things, wishes, thoughts and the acts of so-called great people and we fool ourselves into believing that only if we would attain to this or that, that then we will be happy, that then we will have 'arrived.' A true 'ideology' motivates one to continue on the eternal way to the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City, which is the mother of all true believers. With what will a young man guard his path, with keeping it in accordance with Your Word (Ps. 119) and Your Word is a lamp upon my path and a light for my foot (Ps. 119). Also the truth is as a light that shines increasingly brightly till the (new) day has been established (Solomon).

Unique Character

A unique name, unique character and a unique language all are headed up in a unique person. Everybody develops his own mannerisms and peculiarities of which, once we get to know them, we say that that is really something for him to do that or say that.

Unique Language

Even if I spoke with the languages of angels ... and knew all languages ... and all mysteries, but did not have Love; then I would be like a clanging piece of brass. Not only humans, then, but also angels have their own languages. Everybody in the course of time also develops his own language particulars.

Language Structure

All humans (and animals in their way, but they cannot speak like us) are born with an underlying language structure, fit to learn in principle the grammar of all languages. In one's teens one loses this capacity to a large extent and it becomes difficult to learn a foreign language fluently. I do not, therefore, believe that one is born as a tabula rasa, as a blank page. Like a glove, the human personality, fits over what one could call 'predestination.' (I do not believe, however, in double predestination. See Lapsarianism in another light.)

Grammar

I am only familiar with the grammar of Indo-European languages and with what is called, by Western grammarians, the 'perfect' and 'imperfect' tenses of Semitic languages (which according to them denote respectively completeness and incompleteness of an act, except after the waw-consecutive). Indo-European tongues have the so-called parts of speech and varying word orders (respectively analyzed through word and sentence parsing).

Conceptualization

I would like to use the term 'conceptualization' as indicating that people form all kinds of ideas, ranging from the religious to the literal and physical, more or less denoting thereby the 'facts' that are important to them. Unfortunately many thinkers conclude from the facts of their studies to ideas that go beyond their field and venture with that onto the field of belief. Thus, micro-evolution is a fact, but macro-evolution (the idea of endless speciation upon an original autobiogenesis) is a belief; just like creationism. (See The Birth Of Man.) It can be hard not to lapse into speculation for a thinker, particularly for philosophers. However, there is a difference between (wild) speculation and an extrapolation based on earlier established knowledge as in some forms of science-fiction and futurological studies. And in this way also the believer is allowed his flight of imagination, based on what he believes are biblical facts.

Expressiveness

The ability to express oneself through language (also sign language and perhaps non-verbal communication) belongs to the personality. (I am aware that animals can do that as well in their ways; but they are not aware of the divine. Humans are, however, aware of the concept of God, even when they deny the existence of (the) God (of the Bible).) As in my studies elsewhere, also here I argue that each aspect of the personality is a microcosm of all the other aspects. Thus one can express oneself in terms of proverbs, acquired idioms, vocabulary and even habits.

Cherished Principles/Rules

The apostle Paul warns us that Bad company spoil good morals. If one is faithful to one's partner, that is a good principle and a good moral. The idea that this rule is normative, is an ideal. Personal principles should be engrained into memory so they can lead us.

Cherished Habits

The custom to eat to satisfy your soul and not, say, to still your nerves, is an example of a personal habit that one should learn, 'memorize', in the way of self-control.

Personal Language

One's accent, personal vocabulary, idioms, phrases, styles, genres and other linguistic matters that one has internalized are an integral part of one's personality.

Learning

One has to learn to learn. One employs words, images, symbols (all forms of language), practice (habits) and other things to acquire learning. Knowledge is gathered by memorization. Comprehension is knowledge learned and the ability to recognize it. Applying it is its practice.

Long-term Memory

Brain surgeons have conclusively shown that we store everything we experience in our lives in the data bases of our mind, only most of it is buried under layers of existential 'dust'; as we subconsciously discard a lot of information as irrelevant or unimportant. Also it happens that we suppress consciousness of some things on purpose, because they are (very) unpleasant.

Short-term Memory

Students that cram a lot of info just before an exam, run the risk of forgetting it soon. The strength of memorization lies in repetition. The apostle Paul often reminded Christians of the matters of the Lord. It is not adverse to me to remind you and it is beneficial for you. Particularly the Lord stated: As often as you do this, you remember My death.


A person can lose consciousness for various reasons, ranging from extreme pain, via a loss of blood (pressure) to extreme psychological shock. There is also such a thing as the partial loss of consciousness, or memory, through a limited loss of awareness (also through pain, loss of blood ((pressure)) or shock). And then there are various forms of dementia, autism and other handicaps, which all limit our (psychological) awareness. As a theologian I argue that only God possesses absolute consciousness, absolute awareness of everything past, present and future and that quicker than in the blink of an eye (God dwells in eternity ((Is. 57.15; the absolute NOW, so to speak, transcending time and space)) ). In that sense angels, humans and animals, only have partial consciousness. The same holds for free-will. (As far as animals are concerned, they seem to be governed primarily ((but not only)) by instincts and therefore have no free-will in the human sense). Our free-will is limited by original sin (Every form of the thoughts of his heart are only evil all day long (Gen. 6.5)). This means that not only our will is set on evil (Augustine), but also our logical mind is corrupted. (This against ((Neo-))Thomism. That reason is not an independent agency should be understood ((except perhaps in pure mathematics as is; but even then the mathematician is not without (((sinful))) emotions)), because it is also intertwined with our emotions and beliefs. The mind cannot possibly analyze emotional and spiritual matters all by itself). We may be able to choose what we eat for dinner and where we want to go, but we are totally motivated by our god-game (See Everybody his own god?).

Computers will never be exactly human, but at the end of time there will be a 'thing' (the image of the beast) that will truly have artificial intelligence, i.e. consciousness. For the antichrist will impart an existing demonic spirit to a humanoid. This humanoid will be extremely advanced for this to be possible. But it will remain an android as it cannot possibly have a real from God given soul; nor can it have a nature born out of Christ by the Holy Spirit. Only God can create souls. Yet it will be so intricate that it will be able to determine who can be admitted to the economic system. Nobody (probably primarily in the then revived Roman empire and in Israel; for there will be quite a few countries that will enter the Millennium ((the separation of the sheep and the goats)) ) will be able to buy or sell who does not have the mark of the beast (v. Rev. 13).

When being born again (the moment of conversion) a believer receives the Holy Spirit in his or her heart as the Seal of that new union with the Lord and then he or she becomes a new creation. When he grows on in the Lord he will produce the fruit of wisdom and intelligence, counsel and strength, knowledge and the fear of the Lord (cf. Is. 11.2). In the book of Job the expression wisdom in the heart and understanding in the mind ('sechwi') occurs.

The Bible prophecies that we as believers one day will all receive a white stone with each a unique name on it, written in a language that only the individual for whom it is meant, can understand. We will all therefore each know his or her unique language with which only the individual can communicate with the Lord. Yet, we will also be able to express ourselves in the languages of angels and humans to make life possible among each other and to praise and worship our Lord together.

One day we will know as we have been known, but now we look as it were through a dim window at an enigma (v. 1 Cor. 13).


See also our chart on an anthropology of the personality. It deals shortly with the conscience, the will and the heart.



The apostle Paul: "Let nobody deceive himself, if somebody thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise (1 Cor. 3.18)!"


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