Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Essential Entelechy

"How do you make six halves out of one whole? Well?" And so, similar questions plague us.

Entelechy* keeps us at thinking about it. (Yes, it's a Greek complexity.) According to some, the degree of entelechy (an innate drive) determines a person's potential, or not. We are of a mind not to yield, not to give up, always to progress, or not. (And no, perseverance here is not 'obsessive-compulsiveness'; it is more about determination and endurance.) Most of us, it is deemed, simply accept the acculturation and habits of our forefathers (or mothers). We are not innately driven toward more insight. Rather, we give more energy to acquisition. Awards, trophies, products, and even Enlightenment is seen as an attainment. More is better! And the more readily we give our energy toward any given product the more readily we may be seen as one who 'makes the most' of himself. (Herself too). Thing is, entelechy has more to it than that. It is an integrative-force. (Some have called it a soul-force.) And controversial as it is, it enlivens our life, all our lives, known or not.

Metaphorically, we may be adjudged to be a Volkswagen, Porsche, Chevy, or perhaps a Pontiac. (Rolls Royces, we learn, may not be all they're cut up to be). Thing is, some say one can only hope to be the very best vehicle within which the stuff of ourselves is made. (And here the analogy falters, seriously: A real Volkswagen cannot wish itself into being a Jaguar.) Then too, vehicles eventually die. They go to scrap heaps and mayhap get amalgamated, refined, and may even reappear on the roads in altogether a different form. Some older vehicles are nourished and protected and safe-guarded and valued. But most have a predictable life-span. Yet most, even as old rust-heaps, remain recognizable. Humans too can alter shape, change engines, disregard traffic regulations, and are not confined to being one brand over the course of their lifetime. At least, certainly not all humans.

Outliers are defined as those who noticeably differ from the norm. Take Paul McCartney. At 73 he gave a concert that went seamlessly for over two and a half hours last night [April 19th]. The Vancouver Rogers Arena crowd of a staggering 16,000 people was thrilled. Tonight he does the same. He has what the New Yorker calls, 'resilience'. ** It is that quality that allows some individuals more easily to surmount their difficulties. And they do these things not so much with the help from friends and family, and even others, but with the inner fortitude of survival stamped so deeply within that it is as though they retain all the competitiveness of the atavistic sperm of their origins; they will make it! The best they can be! (**A link to the 'resilience' article is below.)

But here's where the 'kind of car we are' analogy really breaks down. It's not just survival, but familial bonding, egocentricity, socialisms, ambitions, and globalism that drives some of us toward higher and higher predominant proclivities. In other words, we tend toward operating generally from one of those hierarchical paradigms (let alone predominantly acting from a paradigm of Integrative Enlightenment). And so, if we keep with the concept that we're bicycles or scooters or motorbikes, let alone lorries, or taxis, or buses, we can easily be dismissive at seeing another in what we see as their 'active construct'. We may assert inherent limitations on their innate potential. Sadly, so may we also limit ourselves! We give up on our interests, waste our passions, or distract ourselves with the side-streets and window-shoppings of life. How to go from being "just a Mini" to becoming a Maserati? ("And why bother?" the bell-curve begs.)

We are divisible, top from bottom, left from right, front from back; that's six halves of one whole. (And so on.) But there's more. We're so multi-faceted as to be an amalgamation of very many experiences and insights and potentialities. Our inner resilience, our determination to do for ourselves yet more than that which has been done unto us, or for us, is the very stuff of a limitless entelechy.  It is the inner stuff that invigorates us when we're tested, rather than it enervating our sense of individuality; that's entelechy. (And if you've read this far, you're more than half interested! Ha!)

* Entelechy: Linda Silverman's Counseling The Gifted & Talented, pp. 44-46

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