Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to header Skip to footer


From the October 1912 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Gladstone once said that within the two simple mandatory words, "Unhand me!" is found the entire demand of mankind for progress along the highway of intelligent liberty. In a metaphysical sense these two words voice the cry of humanity in every line of endeavor —educational, professional, industrial, and religious. Aspiration for and faith in the possibility of securing freedom from all the burdens and bondage imposed by ignorance have indeed strengthened this demand for liberty to think and act rightly. "Unhand me!" simply means: Deliver me from ignorance! strike off the manacles of tradition and superstition! let me exercise my God-given powers to think and act intelligently without obedience to man-made laws of limitation or speculative theories built on the unstable sands of human belief!

But, prior to the coming of Christian Science to the world, with its correct idea of the true nature and potentiality of man as the reflection of God, few indeed have ever perceived that this liberating process is but the discovery and expression of man's true individuality. What other system of thought has ever pointed out the difference between mortal man's sense of personality and man's true spiritual individuality? Many have speculated on these two phases of character, and a majority of the philosophers who have commented on them have made the two terms nearly synonymous, as instanced by the popular dictionary definitions. One lexical authority defines "personality" as "that which constitutes a person; conscious separate existence as an intelligent and voluntary being." "The attributes, taken collectively, that make up the character and nature of an individual." "The personal exterior" (rare).

The same authority defines "individuality" as "the state or quality of being individual; separate or distinct existence; oneness." It draws more liberal conclusions in regard to individuality than it presents on "personality," because it defines "individual" as "existing continuously as an entity." The same dictionary defines "individualism" in its philosophical sense as "the logical doctrine that individual things are the only real existences," "the doctrine that only the individual ego with its changes and states exists; egoism." Thus, notwithstanding one modern dictionary presents human concepts of "personality" and "individuality" which are almost synonymous, it does offer definitions in connection with man's individual nature which are more metaphysical than the signification of mere personal terms.

Sign up for unlimited access

You've accessed 1 piece of free Journal content


Subscription aid available

 Try free

No card required

More in this issue / October 1912


Explore Concord—see where it takes you.

Search the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures