Consciousness Of Personality Produced By A Violent Change Of Occupation

This assertion is justified by an appeal to human experience. Men

become sure of their own or of other people's personality by

experiencing strong contrasts of natures in themselves or by observing

them in others. For instance, a sudden and violent change of

occupation establishes personality as a distinct entity. The civilian

turns soldier. Almost immediately all parts of his nature are

affected. He feels the dev
lopment, as it were, of a second nature

within him. His faculties are transformed. He enters a new universe

of thought. His range of knowledge narrows in one direction, widens in

another. His volitional nature is altered. His will narrows in scope,

but increases in intensity. Nor does his emotional nature escape the

change. Aesthetic values are reversed. He no longer feels pleasure

and pain at the old objects. Physical desires play a much larger part

in his life, and he loses taste for intellectual pleasures. The

soldier returns to civilian life and, as it were, with his civilian

attire he resumes his former nature, and all his old thoughts and

feelings and impulses come flooding back. Such an experience is of

considerable psychological interest. It exemplifies the

interpenetration of different states of thought and activity. The

contrasts bring home to a man the fact that his spirit is a synthesis

of heterogeneous elements. They force him back on himself. They rouse

in him the dormant sense of personal being. It is the apprehension of

strong contrast in his experience of himself, the apprehension of the

plurality of his being, that accentuates the deep-lying unity. The

more violent the change in the walks of life, the clearer becomes the

concept of the continuity. Civilian or soldier, the man, the person is

the same.

Personality is thrown into relief not only by change of occupation, but

also by moral contrasts. Conflicting passions, opposing motives and

internal debate serve to make a man realise himself. Strong

personalities are often those in whom the conflict between good and

evil is most acute. It is the very opposition of natures which brings

out the personal element into the full light of conscious recognition.

We must now examine human personality in greater detail; we must

indicate its functions and show how it differs from human nature. Only

by coming to grips with this psychological problem is it possible to

appreciate the points at issue in the Christological question and to

judge between catholic and monophysite.