A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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The Anatomy of Human Personality
Many attempts have been made to find a full and complete definition of the word ' personality ', but so far none of them has proved to be wholly satisfactory. One reason for the difficulty which has been experienced is that there has been a tendency to define the whole in terms of a component part; people speak of the ego, the character and personality as if they were interchangeable terms, whereas personality only has meaning when conceived of as the emergent synthesis of the psychophysical attributes of the individual in relation to the environment in the most comprehensive sense. Thus personality is a process but not a product, for it is never completely produced. It is a process that is creative on the one side and intuitional on the other30 (p. 238). The first essential to an understanding of the personality is its microscopic examination in the dissecting room: later it may become possible to consider the parts in their synthetic relationship to each other. It is as well to remind ourselves that, etymologically, the word persona had two meanings. In one context it referred to the actor's mask which indicated the role he was to play in the piece. Hence in sociology, and especially in law, its derivative, the word ' person ', indicates one aspect of the part that is played in the drama of life; it denotes a man in his capacity of landowner, for instance. Elsewhere the word denotes the true man or the whole man. In the interests of clarity it is perhaps better to use the word ' personality ' where