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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %ESSENCE PERSONAL BEING INTEGRITY COHERENCE WHOLE 900722 The essence of a person resides in the person's integrity, that which holds the person together and makes the person whole, coherent. The essence of a person does not reside in the molecules and tissues which make up the body of the person, for those change from month to month. The essence of a person does not reside in particular accomplishments; for accomplishments come, go, and are forgotten. The essence of a person does no reside in what other persons think of the person; for such thoughts and associated feelings may be poorly informed and more indicative of the nature of the other persons and their communities, than of the person about whom they are poorly informed and from whom they may be alienated. The essence of a real person resides in the integrity of the person; the internal relationships among the various aspects of the person's being, which lead to coherent thoughts, feelings, being, decisions, actions, and responses. When a person slips into dishonest patterns of thought, feeling and attitudes; the person's integrity decays and so the essence of the person decays. To the extent that dishonesty dominates within the internal relationships among the various aspects of the person's being which lead to thoughts, feelings, being, decisions, actions, and responses; to that extent the person decays and dies. A person may be morally and spiritually dead, while the physical body continues to metabolize and be active in community activities; just as a person may be unconscious and totally unresponsive for many years while intensively being cared for by sophisticated medical technocrats who are addicted to complex medical technology. In each instance the important issues pertain to the level of moral, spiritual, personal, and/or physiological integrity. People cannot control each other's integrity. Personal integrity is a mystery over which we do not and cannot have full control; although we can take steps in the way of love which can have great influence over our own and other people's integrity. The recovery of personal integrity is a miracle which often occurs as a rebirth which cannot be understood, predicted, controlled or explained. Such recovery occurs more often within fail- safe secure contexts where people are free to be vulnerable, than in contexts where people feel they must conform to external expectations to achieve acceptance and personal affirmation. There is no advantage or possession worth the sacrifice of one's own integrity; for upon gaining such an advantage or possession at the loss of one's integrity, there is then no soul to enjoy the advantage of the possession. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================