A Basic Paradox

To be a person, to belong to a community, one must imitate and assimilate.  To be a person, and not to belong to the crowd, one must resist imitation and assimilation.  One must accept being the “minus one” in “unanimity minus one.”  Yet, as the behavior of the Apostles testifies, this is the hardest thing to do.

6 thoughts on “A Basic Paradox

  1. This is why I really love Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s personalism. Christianity is fascinating among world religions because while community is so important it’s radically individualistic compared to anything else. If the world including your father, mother, wife, and kids get between you and God, you choose God. Salvation is a straight individualistic decision. It involves entering a community, of course, but it is a community of choice.

    Even the saints are radically different personally and that is part of the mystery. Men who might instinctively dislike each other in a state of nature magically are united in the church. It’s like CS Lewis said the closer you are to God the more you are yourself.

  2. Pingback: A Fundamental Paradox | Reaction Times

  3. There are two dynamics at work. The first is the individual balancing assimilation versus being an individual. The second is the community balancing pressuring the individual to assimilate versus respecting his individuality.

  4. The babblers of Babel
    True to the squabble…
    Put a dull mass neck deep
    In strict material squalor.
    This means the dollar
    A redundant phenomenon
    Equal everywhere
    So says the scholar…
    It’s not singular
    You can’t see “one…”
    And nothing’s been altered.
    Is phyical reality
    Total redundancy?
    Or is life the game
    Of the individual baller?

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