In the beginning, God created the nest, or something…

Personality, like consciousness and everything else we don’t know about how we operate, is rapturously intangible. The fact that we there is still so much stuff that we (as a human populous) can’t comprehend or yet understand just proves that our brains are a great deal more intelligent than us. So, if I am to dichotomise the brain from the person (or identity), then… what qualities define us? The body? The shoes we wear? I guess this is where personality enters the arena, with Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto In G Minor playing dramatically and foreboding in the background.

In class, we prefaced the ordeal of personality with somewhat pseudoscientific approaches (what does your preferred colour of candy say about you, your star sign etc). In doing so, we discussed how feasible the notion is that we as people perpetuate the various traits that make up our personality simply by believing those traits to be part of us in the first place. I.e., I identify myself with Taurus traits because I project them onto myself in the first place, the rising to those expectations. So, what comes first: the chicken or the egg? The subjectively preconceived ideas about ourselves/identity or the chemical disruption in the brain, hereditary or environmentally conjured. But then, as we have also discussed in class regarding nature/nurture – can one really exist independently from the other? This is probably the time to high-five the Buddhists, with their doctrine of mutual interdependence.

We considered the Jim Twins in class, discussing some of their uncanny similarities and the bizarreness of their situation in its entirety. But, of course, of the 7 billion people on the planet, one is bound to find a series of partnerships with bizarre coincidences – if they are indeed that; coincidences. Just like someone with a bizarre disease like Porphyria, the rarity is immense, yet still a great number of people suffer from it. Our currently scientific paradigm and understanding only allows us to create concrete answers out of problems with few variables. Thus, when dealing with a persons individual life, the amount of variables to consider are simply too far beyond us to creative a definitive result. The average person living in *location* will live to the age of 75. The average? But we didn’t want to know the average. I want to know exactly when I’ll hit world-wide fame, when my mind will start deteriorating and the date and time of my inevitable death, thank you very much… what was I talking about again?

It would seem that finding a definitive source and/or process of personality development has a highly unlikely probability. Nevertheless, I am still intrigued to learn and discuss the various theories behind the phenomena of the ego. I think it would be fun to have a discussion, just for the sake of abstract fun, about the purpose of the ego/personality in our survival and our (now) extremely complex ways of interacting with each other (highlighting contentions, maybe?).

Thank you for reading this pile of chain reaction nonsense. Clearly, the topic of personality could be discussed endlessly… I’ll try to have more of a focus next post. Have a fantabulous weekend.

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5 thoughts on “In the beginning, God created the nest, or something…

  1. There’s a certain sensibility to your prose style, I commend you. My interest in this topic veers off from the nature versus nurture debate (*high five*) and focuses more on what we control about our personalities and how much we control in these factors. For example, I can often “choose” to think about “good” things to improve my morale, but I can’t seem to overcome more enduring traits like shyness. Any insights on our control, if any, of our personality?

    • Thanks for your feedback, it’s pretty funky that my psychology teacher wants us to do this, it means I can say things that sometimes would be ill-favoured in class with teenagers eyeballing you in every direction. I agree, I consider myself to be a reasonably confident person socially and when it comes down to the communication side of things. Yet, there are things about myself that I wish I had more power over (which I actually see in my mother a bit) such as a pathological fear of getting into trouble. Another troubling thing I find about myself is that I am super sensitive to opinions that differ from mine, and I should emphasise here that things I am usually bothered by are opinions that I feel to be ignorant, discriminating and un-empathetic. But of course, most people are like that, right? I wish I was better at detaching myself. I may get there one day, I should probably meditate or something. I think these seemingly uncontrollable qualities transcend to childhood and implicit memory. When you look at attachment theory in psychology, there is plenty of evidence that supports the idea that: adults who are insecure, fear abandonment and are untrusting (ironically meaning that they don’t tend to be trustworthy in themselves), also having a less satisfactory sex life – basically, attachment says that these people had inconsistent mothering as children, as young as 0-2 where memories don’t even start to really form yet. I think a person, if the will is strong enough, might be able to most past implicit/hereditary traits – but it would take a lot of effort.

      • “Another troubling thing I find about myself is that I am super sensitive to opinions that differ from mine, and I should emphasise here that things I am usually bothered by are opinions that I feel to be ignorant, discriminating and un-empathetic. But of course, most people are like that, right? I wish I was better at detaching myself.”
        With your level of introspection, I have no doubt you’ll reach an improved way of handling these situations. I remember when I joined my first debate forum, and every time someone posted something I thought was ignorant my heart rate would elevate and I would have to bang out some sort of response quickly. It took time for me to learn to let the emotion cool off, no matter how terrible someone’s idea seemed. Now, I think that a person’s background (both nature and nurture) heavily contribute to their opinions, so they are less to blame for their ignorance. It’s like defaulting to mercy so that I have a chance at reaching them without having an emotional breakdown in the process.

  2. I agree, it does seem like it’s impossible to get that definitive answer about the nature/nurture of personality…. but that’s part of the fun right? Seeing the different ways in which scientists/psychologists are trying to work out this mystery is like watching Inception (or the first five seasons of Lost), where your mind is constantly being blown, even when you know the ending doesn’t answer a lot of the questions.

  3. Pingback: Diving Straight Into The Blog End… | Project Betty

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