On a blackboard in Bulfinch Hall, at Phillips Academy Andover, the debate class teacher, “FAP” Peterson, had written BE SPECIFIC in big block letters on the blackboard. Though I wasn’t a debater I could see it whenever I mounted the stairs to my senior English class, with a twinge of awareness that learning to debate might be a good thing. Meanwhile, English was taught by “Black Mac” McCarthy who also taught philosophy, another course that would have been a good thing. “Philosophy” and “be specific” thus lodged in my subconscious like two pieces of unfinished business, and now, almost seven decades later, the connection has stirred back to life.
The idea of individuality permeates Reality because it’s rooted in Oneness, its center. And since our alternate “reality” is its reverse mirror-image reflection -- unreality -- getting right with individuality, as much as any consideration, will be the difference between getting back to work in Reality or spinning our wheels here. It’s a factor particularly in understanding our universe, A Course in Miracles, and personality type theory.
Our idiosyncratic world
The idiosyncrasy of the universe and the planet earth, of circumstances, and A Course in Miracles -- their uniqueness -- all trace back to the implications of Oneness. Of the Being-Self of Reality-Creation: This Being. Not any being but This Particular Being. “Oneness” implies specificity. There is no meaning without specificity. Gertrude Stein had no choice but to answer Alice Toklas’s “What’s the answer?” with “What’s the question?” Be specific.
Generality implies meaning and applicability across multiple expressions of a subject, object, or principle. Across the many, which in Reality is an impossibility: making unreality real. Meaning can only apply to One: This One. “That one” cannot exist. Only one One.
Generalizing is of Child-the-many. Sean Carroll’s A Series of Fortunate Events (Princeton 2020) describes earth’s idiosyncrasy without asking Why its story is idiosyncratic. It’s because the story of anything can’t encompass cookie-cutter sameness across multiple expressions of the same idea. Had earth’s been a replication, with a predictable formula or pattern, it would be something other than an expression of the uniqueness of Oneness in Reality, an impossibility. If the laws of cause and effect say that Oneness in Reality-Creation is unique, then it’s necessarily unique. And, being Oneness at the center of Everything, it sets the mold for everything that comes after. For everything that its Logic necessarily implies.
“Individual” is unique. An individual’s story is specific to that individual, otherwise it can have no meaning for that individual. The same principle applies to the story of the universe and the planet earth: each is unique. And what makes each unique is specific, idiosyncratic circumstances that apply only to each. The Oneness of Reality-Creation must be unique if there can be no “other” Oneness. The story of Oneness in Reality-Creation is idiosyncratic, unique.
One beats many
Oneness is individuality. Each individual on earth, our state of unreality, has their own personality. ”Personality” is an expression of the uniqueness of individuality and individuals’ stories. Personality “types” implies individual-the-many, e.g. ESFPs, INTJs. Myers-Briggs personality type theory expresses Carl Jung’s and its authors’ intuition that humans all appear to be different but the differences can be grouped into types. Types and their interactions are orchestrations of Child-the-many groups. Being an INTJ I am therefore a type which puts me into a group. Groups conflicting must be illusory, a part of the dream, since Reality-Creation is the fitting together of Logic-Love in harmony.
Child-the-One is unique. Each part of Reality-Creation is a unique oneness-Self. The INTJ personality type aligns with Child-the-One uniqueness because its components all align with individuality. The ESFP type is the opposite. It aligns with Child-the-many because its components all align with group.
When it self-identified with its shadow-Joker, Child-the-One misidentified with its opposite, Child-the-many. With group, an illusion that contradicts Oneness. “Group” contradicts Truth and laws of cause and effect because it conflicts with uniqueness of Oneness. Expressions of Reality-Creation, of Life-Being Oneness, must be individual, unique. Viral replications of the Child’s opposite shadow-self, the Joker-magician, are the opposite of uniqueness. They are an illusion.
The labor of Love that brought about the Course
By addressing individuals A Course in Miracles denies the illusion of Child-the-many replications, affirms the Worth of Creation, reciprocates the Logic-Love of Reality’s governance, and aligns with its laws of Necessity. If the Author of the Course were to address group it would perpetuate the illusion by making it real.
The Course can’t be “group” and therefore can’t be “religion,” “Christianity,” or any particular school of psychology. This is true even though concepts familiar to Gnostic Christianity and Freudian analytics help to construct its thought system. The manner in which it came about attests not to the dynamics of organization but to personal engagement. To individual minds and hearts opening to another perspective that values their individuality, their independent judgment and Free Will.
The Course’s Author, Jesus, established one-on-one relationships with his scribe, Helen Schucman, and her co-worker Bill Thetford over a period of years. He helped to apply the Course’s psychology to their intimate relationships at home and professional relationships at work. He related to Helen and Bill in a language that they could understand. It was through their help with the editing and publication of the Course that they accepted and reciprocated the gift, by sharing it. Though neither Helen nor Bill took an advocacy role in putting the book into circulation their interaction with Jesus throughout was marked by openness, honesty, and trust. It was, throughout, a remarkable labor of Love.
The universe in every particle
All aspects of our alternate “reality” imply its unreality, including and especially multiple copies of isolated-separated bodies. All unreal. Oneness implies the impossibility of replication. The viral replications of the Child’s shadow-opposite, the Joker-magician, are an impossibility in Reality. “Humanity” composed of multiple individuals, multiple copies of bodies, is an impossibility, an illusion. Oneness means the specificity of individuality with no possibility of replication or separation. Each “clone” can only be unique. The only possible story-meaning of every “separate” body is an idiosyncratic story specific to that body and the Story of the Child.
The same applies to every “separate” inanimate object including the planet earth and the universe. Spacetime-matter is all one “particle” with its own unique idiosyncratic story, the story of its individuality -- its sovereignty. Within the story of the whole each individual particle is but a manifestation of the whole with its own unique story. Its individuality. There is no getting around the Reality of Oneness. Of individuality.
Each particle, each object, body, blade of grass contains within it the contradiction of the unreality, the illusion that replication implies. It accomplishes this through the unique meaning, the idiosyncratic story, of the entire universe of spacetime-matter contained within it. Just as each individual person contains within its Psyche the Story of Child-the-One, each particle contains the idea of the whole universe: the thought of Oneness-uniqueness which contradicts Child-the-many group-herd sameness.
So much for “littleness”!
Consciousness is uniqueness. “Self-awareness” is the awareness of one’s uniqueness. The Joker’s perversion of Oneness-uniqueness is specialness, the apotheosis of separation: authoritarian supremacy seated on its throne of having and doing whatever it wants without limits or opposition. Uniqueness within the unreality of the Child’s own opposite: Child-the-many replications. The crowning achievement of the Joker -- an absurdity. A joke.
Our alternate “reality” that receives so much hand-wringing attention is an absurdity. An attempt to copy uniqueness which by definition can’t be copied. There can be no “alternate” reality if Oneness by definition can have no “alternates.”
The Course addressing individuals stands as the ultimate affirmation of individual Worth: The Child is unique. There is only one Child. “You” are not real. The only Reality is the Reality of “I.” “You” are I-Child. The individual bears the whole Child-the-One Psyche-Soul within because it can’t be fragmented, can’t be separated. It can be addressed by the Author of the Course only as an individual containing the whole Child-the-One within.
Which makes the Course the ultimate affirmation of Worth because it couldn’t address the individual at all if it weren’t the bearer of One Child-Self. To address an individual otherwise, that’s a separated fragment, would make unreality real. The Course’s relationship to each reader is unique to that reader. Each relationship is unique -- the empowerment of “individual.” The phenomenon of the Course, its meaning and impact, is its validation of the individual’s true Self: the Reality of the Oneness-Soul, the Logic-Love, that we are. Just to be addressed by the Author of the Course is to have the individual’s Real Self affirmed whether or not we share the awareness of its Author.
The dark side of humanity: “relationship” that isn’t
Worth derives from the sovereignty of individuality which derives from the uniqueness of Oneness. The source of the Energy-Force that enables and empowers the Child-Parents Relationship to extend and expand the Interconnections of Reality-Creation through the Creation of new Life-Worth is the Relationship between Child Free Choice and its Parents Logic-Love and between Parents Logic and Love. Creation is process that “adds value.”
The source of the energy-force that animates our alternate “reality” is a “relationship” that can’t be and isn’t: between an unconscious Child and its own shadow-opposite. A “relationship” that’s only “possible” in a state of impossibility -- unconsciousness that’s illusory by definition. Unconsciousness detached from Reality where only dying dreams detached from Reality are possible. Animated by the dying energy-force of entropy.
If the Relationship that powers Creation is doing right, then the non-relationship that animates a dying dream with dying energy is doing wrong. It’s wrongdoing. The dark side of humanity. Where our troubles come from.
The mistake that herd-loyalty replicates
The group identity of the ESFP personality type -- its copycat sameness -- contradicts the individual identity -- the uniqueness -- of the INTJ personality type. They are opposites. Individuality connects with and relates to individuality. It’s where passion between loved ones and friends comes from: like things attract one another.
ESFP’s identity with group denies and invalidates individuality. There is no point of contact between opposites, and without connection there can be no feeling. The Love that unites all individuals in the Soul of Oneness beneath the appearances of our alternate “reality” is blocked on the surface by incompatibility. By the preferences of personality type. The ESFP personality type can’t befriend individuals so long as it remains loyal to its “social” herd-tribal identity that opposes individual friendship. The mistake by our ancestral Mind that the ESFP type replicates.
Weakness in numbers
The ESFP type asserts the “reality” of the body through its preference for body-sensing over mind-Intuiting. Asserts the “reality” of the herd-tribe composed of replicated bodies in competition with individuality. It can express “strength” only in numbers, the source of its “power.”
The source of the ESFP former guy’s “power,” dependent on his group-“base” for existence. Deriving its “strength” from alignment not with Reality’s laws of cause and effect and their Force of Necessity. Not from Logic and Love their Source or from Child-the-One, but from alignment with our illusory world’s non-alignment. From alignment with unreality: the former guy’s obsession with sizes of audiences and crowds, with numbers of illusory replications.
The crybaby at the top
Authoritarian supremacy is the ultimate Boo! by the Joker-magician that the self-deluded Child has projected onto our alternate reality’s stage. It replaces the Child’s Parents Logic-Love with a smear, then crushes the Child by depriving it of its voice, by disablement and disempowerment. By denial of its Free Will and individuality-uniqueness. It tosses the Child into an illusory group of sameness, of nobodies.
One tipoff of authoritarian supremacy and self-delusion, its “author” the Joker-magician, is its refusal to come down off its imaginary throne. To acknowledge responsibility for the consequences-costs of its acts, to learn from its mistakes and grow. What is it but fear of accountability? What is it but fear of criticism?
So this is authoritarian supremacy, the armor-plated action-hero thundering dominance from the top: a crybaby who can’t take criticism.