What does it mean for something to be personal?

In our present world-view, the word “personal” is often taken to mean “idiosyncratic“. Something is personal if it reflects the peculiarities of a given individual. […]

To my mind, this is a very shallow interpretation of what “personal” really means. A thing is truly personal when it touches us in our humanity.

The trivialization of the word “personal” is part of our present popular culture, immersed in mechanistic cosmology. But from the point of view of the world-picture in this book, “personal” is a profound objective quality which inheres in something. It is not idiosyncratic but universal. It refers to something true and fundamental in a thing itself.

This almost contradicts the experientialism world-view.

The existence of a personal feeling in a thing or system is not a subjective quality of limited validity, but an objective quality whose existence is as fundamental to any given situation as the more mechanical facts to which we are accustomed.

The process of producing and responding to centers is one of the most fundamental of all human processes. It is completely natural in the most ordinary way. […]

Much of the concentration of feeling in a culture is placed into these vessels and others like them. It is the field of centers which reinforces the feeling in these things. It is the field of centers which thus helps give the most ordinary events their meaning.

#book/The Nature of Order/1 The Phenomenon of Life/7 The personal nature of order#

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