Human Wholeness: Its Loss and Recovery
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Man yearns for a sense of completeness, integrity, and well being; an awareness that he is fulfilling his human destiny. He sometimes experiences this "wholeness" in moments when life seems full of purpose, when he feels loved and accepted by significant others and so by himself. He seems to be in control of his own destiny. It would appear that within us is a standard or a voice calling us to perfection, i.e., to a state of wholeness. But this wholeness eludes us and this gives rise to anxiety, the terrible awareness that we are powerless to make or keep ourselves whole. I would like to propose, as have many others using various approaches, that the source of our being is also the source of our wholeness as humans; that the human predicament is that we have lost our wholeness and are powerless to restore it to ourselves; and finally that our source of being makes it possible for us once again to become fully human and whole. In this paper, I will make use of the works of two men, Paul Tillich, a theologian, and Paul Tournier, a psychiatrist, in order to develop a ground upon which we might better erect an understanding of the human predicament and its possible resolution.