ZIGZAGZINE 16: Structure #5, Individuality
and the driving forces within the human process


Does a clone possess individuality?

For a number of years you and I have been familiar with the cloned computer, a low-budget edition of a brand name computer. We still have to get used to the idea of animal and human clones. It seems to create confusion. Not just because of the moral aspect of human intervention in life. It is probably in fact true that clones from a single sheep or from another being, apart from errors which can arise during manipulation, carry the same genetic information. These genes, however, contain information which goes with a certain system of co-ordinates whereas at the clones' birth they are being combined with a more recent system of co-ordinates. I cannot calculate the consequences of such a combination of two systems of co-ordinates. There appears to be some similarity with a person having a transplant. Generally speaking clones can never be identical. It is physically impossible that two events should take place at the same place and time [ note ]. With mass products like teacups it was never a success either. In other words: two beings or things can not possibly have the same environment. They belong each to the other's environment after all. We can be really assured that two clones can have much in common but can never have the same individuality! Both will be as unique as two stones or two products from the same machine and, if they are animals or people, they will develop their own individuality! On that basis they shall, after all, be able to claim their rights and have their duties accordingly.

What is individuality?

At a certain point we as humans can become aware of our uniqueness and of our need to develop just that personal nature. Exactly becoming conscious of our rich, complex and once-only singularity makes us realize that we must maintain and develop it in an environment. That environment is not there just to accommodate us, she even demands of us, is a unique datum for us and we can develop a feeling of solidarity with it. The environment plays an essential role in a human's pursuit of individuality. The word individuality usually is interpreted as: (literally) being indivisible or undivided, being a whole, that which makes somebody an individual, that by which somebody distinguishes himself from others. The definition as being indivisible or undivided does imply however the enclosure of more than one part. I therefore define individuality as the growth to undivided twofoldedness; a human is a being that on the one side has a given complex singularity and on the other side finds itself in an in space and time determined and determining environment; two given facts, a duality, with which it wants to and by necessity must develop itself. Luckily we are no longer tied to the interpretation of duality as, according to Descartes, the division of Mind and Matter [ source ]. In order to develop oneself in the environment the human being must join the given twofoldedness or duality of the relation between his unique self and his environment into an undivided whole. The development of this relation proceeds, like all growth, in the manner of a process.

The linkage of individuality with space and time

The basic form of the human process has been defined in the zines #3, in #6 and its appendix. In the zines #9 and #13 subsequently the relation of the human process with space and time has been described. We have then tracked down the co-ordinates of the space-time-continuum of an event in the space-time-continuum of our solar system. All the time the object of our quest has been the individuality of a human being. The statement of Albert Einstein that every measurement or observation is dependent on the standpoint of the measurement or the observation. The question was if and how we could determine such a standpoint, with which is meant an event in space and time like a birth, for every person.
We have designated even more than four co-ordinates and the question if such a standpoint can be found has been answered in the affirmative: the singularity of the individual is described in its own space-time-continuum. The environment's space-time-continuum in relation with which the individuality needs to develop itself will be discussed later.

Individuality and dynamics

I want to first occupy myself with the question concerning the driving force which stimulates a human to develop his individuality and other capacities. What stimulates us to maintain ourselves with our given singularity in an environment which emphatically has its demands and sets its rules? What keeps a person from maintaining his individuality and makes him follow the flock and adapt himself? Apparently either one has its advantages and disadvantages. And we see that at some points we can defend our own route by fire and sword, and at some other points can be nice and well adapted. Anyhow, the relation of a person to himself and to his environment can be perceived as contrasting, can be a source of tension and trouble or take a comfortable course. But it is exactly the tension between the inner self and the environment which is the motor that propels the process. Contrarieties form the natural dynamics of the process itself. The organic contrasts between the phases supply the driving power to go on. Before we can speak about the development of a person with all his unique capacities in an ever-changing environment, it is necessary to elaborate on those dynamics.


The natural forces within the process

To be exact, the experiencing of discrepancy in the relation to oneself and to ones environment is a source of energy. The contrast between the inner self and the vital environment is a continual challenge for the person. Of course not only for humans, but for all life. Life is a name for originality, not for being at rest. Life is reacting to external chances and impossibilities. Every point of view evokes a contrast that incites to continue, after which a new point of view is taken that evokes still another new contrast. Alfred North Whitehead lists twelve contrasts or opposites which in his opinion characterize the essence of life. [ source ].
The dynamic process with its twelve phases, as I described it earlier in ZZZine #6, holds as many contrasts and oppositions. If we put the twelve abstract notions which Whitehead mentions in the sequence of the active contrasts we find: (a) triviality, (a) greatness, flux, permanence, disjunction, conjunction, good, evil, joy, sorrow, necessity, freedom. The notions, possibly on account of their philosophical origin, may come across as strange and need some illustration. A more accessible description could be: a single impression, comparative material, difference, bonding, single ego, possibilities, experiences, choice, idealizing, limitation of fears, accepting, letting go. But let me rather describe these things and follow the process again.

You will find detailed lists of the application of contrasts / contrarieties and of the opposites / counterparts / complements / dualities in the appendix.


The dynamics of contrasts and oppositions, active in the process

Like I have done before, I'll give a description of the twelve phases of the process. This time the dynamics of the duality is elucidated with the help of the contrasting notions. fig.1. Dynamics: contrasts and oppositesIn the form of the circle the contrasts emphasize the propulsion in ever alternating directions. At the same time they form oppositional pairs which indicate possibilities of bridging the duality in that same circle. In the first half of the circle the 'Me' is put in order, in the second half the complementarity with the environment in the form of 'the Other' is (re)adjusted.
I need to mention two points which have not yet come up for discussion explicitly. First, the inner sense of purpose is in itself a source of unrest for a person. Secondly, the only opening in a process is at the beginning of the first phase. This point specifies where this process starts by gathering in an impression via the senses or otherwise and where it connects with the previous if the same process is being repeated.
The process subsequently describes, as you already know, the inner preparation, the experiencing in the environment, and the objectification of the experience in view with the inner sense of purpose.
  1. An actual impression is being admitted via a sense-organ. If there is no impression admitted nothing happens'.
    The impression is in itself trivial or without meaning and calls as a contrast for reference to a remembered image, therefore to a greatness already known;
  1. (a) triviality = action + making = a single impression, outwards, the space outside the singularity;
  1. 'The frame of reference contains images or maps of earlier impressions with the knowledge and the emotional reactions of that time. If an earlier experienced emotion is relevant to this it is remembered. Or nothing further happens at this stage'.
    The pair calls as a contrast for relating the remembered image and the new impression;
  1. (a) greatness = value + claiming = comparative material, inwards, taking time inside the singularity;
    phase 2 comprises also phase 1.
  1. 'One forms a relation between the actual impression and the image with added value of the earlier experience. Unless the comparison delivers a difference there is meaning and new knowledge, otherwise nothing happens at this stage'.
    The meaning of the relation evokes as a contrast a physical reaction in the body;
  1. flux = difference + comparing = meaning, outwards, time outside the singularity;
    phase 3 comprises phases 2 + 1.
  1. 'A reaction to the three related data causes an "emotion" or movement within the body and an image is being recordeded. The total perception includes the results of the preceding three phases together with the emotional reaction if there is one. Otherwise nothing further happens'.
    The subject thus ascertains in the inner space the concrete basis for his relation with the environment.
    This in essence solitary foundation evokes as a contrast the will to experience oneself and to distinguish oneself in the environment';
  1. permanence = emotion + making = bonding, inwards, making space inside the singularity;
    phase 4 comprises also phases 1 through 3.

    the subject  >  experiencing

  1. 'Resting on subjective certainty I want to distinguish and experience myself in the environment, and challenge it to react and to give me supervision'.
    The need for experiences in the environment calls as a contrast for inner analysis and working out the collected information.
  1. disjunction = action + claiming =
    show the once-only ego to experience possibilities in the environment space;
    phase 5 comprises 1 through 4.
  1. 'The information is analyzed and combined internally into detailed knowledge about one's own needs and capabilities: the junction of my possible product and desirabilities in the environment'.
    This work calls as a contrast for an invitation for good interaction with the environment.
  1. conjunction = value + comparing = analyze in inner time chances to realize the private product;
    phase 6 comprises also phases 1 through 5.
  1. 'I accept the expected supplemental experience and alternative possibility from interaction with the environment'.
    The multiplicity of possibilities from interaction evokes as a contrast the decrease of that number to only one. This happens by rejecting internally all unessential experiences and thus arriving at a choice.
  1. good (+ triviality) = difference (+ action) + making = experience alternative interaction in outer space-time;
    phase 7 comprises 1 through 6.
  1. 'In order to be able to aim myself at a single goal I am compelled to qualify everything unsuitable as evil and to reject that'.
    The subjective choice includes the preceding seven phases plus this one.
    The selection of one experience out of many alternatives evokes as a contrast the development of one's own story within the framework of one's objective.
  1. evil (+ greatness) = emotion (+ value) + claiming = take one choice in into the inner space-time;
    phase 8 comprises 1 through 7.

    subject + experience > objectifying

  1. 'The addition to my story is an ideal and the extension of my possibilities to reach my objective fits well with enthusiasm and joy'.
    Experience with the chosen ideal extension calls as a contrast for a test of the feasibility of the ideal to the perfecting of my objective.
  1. joy (+ flux) = action (+ difference) + comparing = idealizing the increase with one more chance in outer space-time;
    phase 9 comprises 1 through 8.
  1. 'In order to test whether the ideal is feasible I have to face my fear and my limitations alone and step by step, and - at least for the time being - be able to distance myself from not yet feasible or not perfect ideals and face my sorrow'.
    Planning the feasibility of one's own objective in a detached way, calls as a contrast for the necessary confrontation of the real product with the reaction from the social environment.
  1. sorrow (+ permanence) = value (+ emotion) + making = limiting anguish by testing the experience for feasibility in the space-time frame of the inner objective;
    phase 10 comprises also phases 1 through 9.
  1. 'If the confrontation at the presentation of the product presents differences then adaptation is demanded from one of the parties in the form of the admission of renewal or the maintenance of the familiar/ prevalent/ fashionable in order to arrive at a necessary form of mutual acceptance'.
    The necessary acceptation evokes as a contrast an inner working out in order to make it possible to conclude this process.
  1. necessity (+ disjunction) = difference (+ action) + claiming = acceptation in the environment's space-time of my objectified experience;
    phase 11 comprises also phases 1 through 10.
  1. 'Emotionally working out and accepting the outcome makes it possible to put the subjective experience away and let go of this process. The subject has worked out all the phases of the process and has placed it, as an emotional experience, objectified in the frame of the personal objective, put it away in memory and let go of this process'.
    The fullness of freedom and inner commitment to one's objective evokes as a contrast the need to open up, with a clean slate and unburdened, for a new process.
  1. freedom (+ conjunction) = emotion (+ value) + comparing = putting the experience away in the inner space-time and let go;
    phase 12 comprises also phases 1 through 11.

    subject + experience + objective


The driving force in practice

For the practical application of the process I refer to the examples of individual usage which you will find in the pattern-line and in the story-line.
In the meantime we have worked our way up, from the individual and his dynamic relation with his environment, through the contrasts in the human process, to the once-only individual as we meet it in everyday life.
The notions of individuality and individualism are rather new in the Western World. The revolutionary idea of equivalence in the eighteenth century, which led Beethoven to want to dedicate his third symphony to his then idol Napoleon, led in the nineteenth century to the organization of powerful trade unions. In the first half of the twentieth century with its two World Wars the struggle for equivalence turned out not to be over yet. The 'hordes', as Ortega y Gasset called the powerless in 1930, were shamelessly used as impersonal cannon-fodder. The idea of equivalence had arisen as a reaction to the misuse which the ruling classes made of their powers in the form of money, time, knowledge and rights. Since around 1945, however, there seems to have developed in the Western world a tendency to individualization. That tendency is said to be based on the idea that everything should be possible for everyone, that everybody should be able to profit from the 'makeable world'. 'I do as I wish, bad luck for the rest'. It strikes me that many people in the present Western society want to put their equivalence to good use. A number of them seem to be prepared to sacrifice a lot for a certain goal. Some even seem to be ready to, among other things, sacrifice their privacy for the sake of popularity and the power and money which come with it. Indeed, a person can perceive his unique singularity in his environment as loneliness and the fear of that can express itself in an excessive adaptation to the social environment! Thus the tendency as an individual to profit to a maximum from the chances of our present society could well be a form of adaptation [ note ].
In ideal form, individuality is based on self-esteem, on self-assuredness and a sense of responsibility for one's own history. In a more specific sense, individuality is one's own nature, with which a certain individual distinguishes itself from another. Anyway, all living organisms develop their own nature. That's a comfort; we are not alone in our solitude. Indeed, individualism can express itself as egotism, as a desire for forms of power like money or popularity, or as a tendency to comply and adapt oneself in which little or no self-assuredness or sense of responsibility need be involved. It is quite obvious that, in order to describe the notion of individuality, not only subjectivity and consciousness [ note ] but all qualities, motivations and needs of the individual have to be discussed. The point is that the 'Me' aims at becoming an inner unity, an undivided world and aims at being in interaction with his own surrounding world with all the capacities given to him.

The natural forces within the process have added to the clarity of the duality and the object has been replaced by objectification in the frame of the personal objective. Thereby the description of the process is completed and the problem of the once-only and essentially lonesome individual which needs his environment has been clarified. We shall continue with the heart of the matter: the individual and the development of his psychic and physical capacities in an environment. I will then enter into the interaction between the two systems: the 'Me' and 'My changing environment'. But first the relation between the various developmental processes within the person will have to be elaborated on. In this way a methodical framework could become available within which we can later position the relation with the environment. Perhaps somewhere in that framework there even turns out to be a place for the cloned genes and the transplants coming from foreign systems of co-ordinates! But wherever this process may lead us, we will now tackle the psyche!