What makes you You?

Philosophers have been debating the question of the Self for centuries, as have religions. There still are debates about self and ego. According to Jung, we cannot find our "true selves", because they contain unconscious parts, which by definition we will not become aware of.

Just as conscious as well as unconscious phenomena are to be met with in practice, the self as psychic totality also has a conscious as well as an unconscious aspect.

We are more than what we seem. We are complex.

So, who are you? Are you the sum of your experiences and choices? Can you be defined by a four-letter type? A job description? Gender?

I don't think so.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 8.35.18 AMGeert Hofstede differentiated 3 levels of human understanding in the early 80s in the form of this pyramid. I think it's a good start. Yes, all of us have DNA and a biological make-up that is comparable. We all have feelings (except sociopaths), we all bleed, need to eat, want to procreate - human nature. We all grow up in different circumstances (Culture/Nurture) and show different behaviors (Personality).

I think we have to be careful with the vocabulary, because there are so many different interpretations of the words. In the Jungian Type sense, personality would probably be seen as part of the human nature foundation, because all humans come into the world with certain predispositions for brain patters that will reflect in personality type preferences. So the Hofstede personality is probably meant more like a social style or behavior.

When I present on Type and Culture, Nature and Nurture, I try to make sure we honor everything that goes into our individual differences and unique experiences. As a start, at least in Type circles, I like to introduce myself as a German ENFJ to better reflect my preferences and how they might show up and be expressed.

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Which petals would you add to this flower?