Definition of a person

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"Because I is another.... This is evident to me: I attend the birth of my thought: I look at it, I listen to it". Arthur Rimbaud - Correspondance - Lettre du Voyant - To Paul Demeny, May 15, 1871.

The professional mediator identifies four distinct conceptions of the person that interfere with all kind of relationships that a person can have: with himself, with someone else, with things or with ideas. Each of these four conceptions has an impact on the manner to approach change, adaptation, conflict resolution and therefore mediation concept.

In fact, three of these conceptions are closely related by a consensus about the idea that a person is defined through an idiosyncratic unicity which would explain that a human being can not be globally defined.

The fourth approach lies on the observation of human functioning, and gets its laws from experimentations made on this functioning. This fourth conception proposes therefore a new paradigm applicable in coaching for individual and groups, whatever the context of reflection is.

[edit] Origin of the Word Person

The word Person finds its root in the Etruscan; persona that designated the actor's mask in the theatre. This mask shown an expression which represented the character played.

The Latin word Persona means the mask of tragedy: the mask to forget the face and the uniqueness of a particular sensitivity. The mask shows a specific frozen feeling, a grimace of passion as the suffering of being unable to change what is written in the book, the thread of life of the Fates that human action can not reach - mechanically unrolled as a necessity like the one of Oedipus which was devoted to murder and incest. The mask is fixed by fate, in which spectators are projected beyond the initial and instant reactions that interest no one. In the tragic of a human condition, it is already Humanity that moans through the tale of its passions: “Fool who thinks I am not you” (Victor Hugo).

The word person and the word individual are often considered identical. The difference seems to be that the word 'person' would be associated with the notion of presented identity, i.e. the self within the world; while the word 'individual' would be the indivisibility of the self, i.e. the world in the self.

[edit] Two conceptions of the Person

When the approach of a person is observed, two conceptions appear and can be divided according to various representations. A human being is linked with beliefs, legal treatment, and varied psychological approaches. These links make the conceptualization difficult, even obscure. In order to facilitate the approach of the person in context of accompaniment for decision making, and even to go out of the crisis, the concepts present in our society must be observed and identified.

  • 1. - The person is a subject that does not exist by itself and that depends on a will to which is due a kind of allegiance. An authority must be exerted on the person throughout his life:
  • The person is a creation of God, which implies a research of forgiveness leading to harmony, accompanied by a third party positioned as an intermediary (priest, pastor, rabbi, imam...); and for Christians more specifically, with Jesus as the "mediator" between God and Humanity.
  • The person is a subject of right and obligation. According to this viewpoint, the person must be submitted, referred to law, assigned or must write official acts. When the reminder of morality and the established rules do not seem to be efficient, the model which is set up is the punishment, the dressage or even as a last resort the life exclusion in society.
  • The person is defined by a psychotherapeutic model and, according to this viewpoint, must be healed since he might be living in a complexity of impulses, traumatisms and developing a kind of archaeology of potential neuroses and psychotic behaviours.
  • The person has a potential to be autonomy that responds to the same principles as anything else: a need for internal harmony.
  • The person is a subject able to learn, inclined to ignorance, and naturally awkward, with a potential of growth and progression. It is the approach combining rationalism and philosophy.

[edit] A Person, an Individual, a Paradox

Just indicate the egocentric perception: "Each individual feels unique” and the observation of the paradox is made.

Thus, from the paradox experienced during ordinary life to the absurdity experienced during the conflictual life, the path is not so tortuous... but while the individual experiences it that way inside himself, it pushes him out of himself!

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