At every moment, all of us are moving further into life,

to forge,

fathom,

​​furrow,
and foster
 our experiencing into a personal way of going on.
  But what is this reality called a person?
​It is being and becoming molded into a self. Person can neither be given nor taken away; it can only be lived and died. Person and freedom always occur together. You are not born a person; you become one. You are not born free; you must win freedom. Do not expect this to be easy or to be met with applause. Those who applaud it do not clap for you so much as for what they would like to be able to do themselves. Thus, their applause is only a wish, which evaporates when things really count, when it is time to take a stand -- and so it counts for nothing. What does count are those who do not applaud, who do not need to wish because they already know, and who quietly stand with you. No, if you seek to become a person, then you must not only expect resistance, you must learn to thrive in the midst of it.



It is biology turning history into identity


Its roots are inevitably individual and unswervingly personal, and they emerge at the very source of one's ongoing vitality. You may not acknowledge this activity as your own, but it is nevertheless -- and it's been with you all along, doing what clearly lies within its nature to do. 



The Me I've Not Yet Been

 
 What used to be
                                                             is no longer.
                                                             The way I saw
                                                             I'll never see again.

                                                             Yet something there
                                                             grows ever stronger,
                                                             helping to make real
                                                             the me I've not yet been.







Nobody needed to "jump start" your cells to start your experiencing. ​You did that all by yourself. Nor did you have to be told to keep doing that outside the womb so you could thereby enter the world on your own -- and when you did that at your birth, by then you'd already been experiencing life non-stop and around the clock for many months on end. You accomplished this with no teacher, classes, or school and without ever being shown how to do it. And it's never once left you since. It's how you are made and it's still unfolding today. 

So, your experiencing is real, it is yours, and it's You!  It is your birthright -- this inherent sense-making that connects you to yourself, others, and all life everywhere -- making you a part of everything else that is, was, and ever will be. When it is there, you are there too; and when it isn't, you aren't either.


But this isn't quite all. For there's something else to mention that is commonly overlooked, discounted, or dismissed altogether. Because along with the specifically distinct whatever of your experiencing come an equally distinct whenever and wherever too, and all three of these exist in one place only: in your body. That is a given for everyone. It's the reason why human experiencing is and forever remains a finite, local, personal, and very physical matter that cannot validly be reduced to anything else. It is what all people have, do, and are; and whenever and wherever these are found, you will always find a person there too.

Every life has its form, and this unfolding form is both your identity and your person. But there's far more to it than meets the eye. The challenge is to see and take into account the person found there in any encountered other. When you interact with someone, this is what you're dealing with every moment. There is no experiencing without the person and no person without the experiencing.



On Seeing Anyone 
​What do we see when we look at someone? Do we see the "real person" or just a kind of husk or shell, the outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible "self"? Do we see all there is to see, the full human being -- or can we only see the human and not the being?

The different views on and answers to this question are so well established and traditional that by now they all have their own classic names in philosophy. Some say, "There is no difference between the two because, finally, everything is One." (mysticism); "There is essence and existence" (idealism or essentialism), or "essence in existence" (scientism or realism), or "essence as existence" (existentialism); while still others say, "It's all in how you look at it" (phenomenalism), "What is there is all that matters" (materialism), "What I don't know is not so" (solipsism), "I know the answer" (gnosticism), "I don't know the answer and no one else does either" (skepticism), "I am not sure what I know or don't know" (agnosticism), "All I know is what I know, and that's all anyone else can know either" (relativism), and "Who cares, anyway?" (cynicism).

It's possible to scrutinize every last particle of a human being with an electron microscope, and still not know who or what they are at all. You still would not know if they vote Democrat, Republican, Independent, or even bother to go to the polls; if they like classical music, jazz, country and western, hard rock, heavy metal, disco, new wave, hip hop, rap, or don't like music at all. You couldn't tell if they were political activists, religious mystics, health enthusiasts, financial wizards, or research scientists; whether they were artistically creative, mechanically inclined, good at building things, had a "green thumb," "a head for figures," "a place for everything and everything in its place," or were usually "a day late and a dollar short," or "one step ahead of the sheriff." Nor would you know whether they were neat, sloppy, warm or cold; whether they "fly off the handle," or whether they "had the patience of Job," "give it their all" or "just get by." Nor would you have a good reason to guess if they looked upon life as something romantic, tragic, ironic, or comic, or know what they have ever left or put behind them, when and where they ever experienced love, or personally came across death and dying, or how they did all of these things physically; nor would you know whether they sneeze loudly or stifle it, or breathe from their chest, belly, or diaphragm, dream in color or seldom dream at all, have a good memory or a bad one, are invigorated more by the beach or by the mountains, are a "day person" or a "night person," or sleep all curled up or all stretched out. Without knowing things such as these, and many others like them, we have no sense at all of who the person is that stands before us.

And yet . . . the elements and dimensions of any person are always right there in the experiencing of anyone and everyone -- which is what we turn our attention to next. But this will require more than reading words on a page. To see it, we must use a personal video, which makes it possible for people to react and even interact as well. For strange as it may seem, to see (or hear, or in any way register) the person of another, you must also always engage your own.


​(The Personal Dimension - ​Video 1 B​)

​​​Video # 1B 

​General Introduction

"Glimpsing experience from the inside out"