S u i   G e n e r i s

"Sui Generis" is a Latin term, meaning "of its own kind", i.e. unique and individual, in its own class. This describes well the basis of Sui Generis, which aims to uphold and develop the originality, creativity, uniqueness, and sanctity of each person, and to empower them to grow into who they truly are. But Sui Generis goes further than this.

One would normally think that a creative person such as this would be an individualist, a person who would want to remain distinct from and keep his or her distance from the world at large. Paradoxically, it turns out, the more a person is in a class of his or her own, the more he or she appears to be like others who are in a class by themselves. Although this does not make logical sense, it is supported by personal experience. There are times when I feel to be most myself, when I am a unique individual, separate unto my own being. Here I reach a level where I am in touch with others who are also correspondingly true to themselves, even though on a superficial or external level the nature and qualities of those people may be radically different from my own.

Another paradox is that unless a person is in his or her own class, he or she is not able to be part of a larger community of people and cooperate with others. A person who is in a class of their own is secure enough not to be intimidated by another, and is able to contribute something the others do not have or cannot do. The others may be blind to its need, or even go so far as to denigrate it, but a person who is in a class of their own (and thus true to themselves) is aware of the value of others because of this hidden connection between them. A community of people such as this is not only more than the sum of its parts, i.e. develops a strength and consciousness more than the sum of the individual contributions. But in turn each individual is enabled to be themselves and function on a level to a degree beyond what can be achieved alone.

"Sui Generis" is a way of being that will 1) enable and encourage a community to respect, promote, and support the uniqueness and individuality of each person, and empower them to grow into who they truly are called to be. Rather than this happening at the expense of community, thereby undermining it, this will 2) strengthen the community in return. In this community the individual and the community itself mutually benefit each other. In this way it can be a model for society at large, encouraging it to embody the same understanding, principles, practices, and values.

Sui Generis is based on the application of Quantum Polarity, a comprehensive, objective new cognitive structure or framework that facilitates the integration of unity and diversity. An understanding of Quantum Polarity enables us to be far more accurate in our perceptions or grasp of reality or the external world. As a tool to discover a balance between the individuality and community – in such a way that the "self" is empowered to interact with "others" in ways that are mutually beneficial – is only one of its applications.

Throughout history there have been men and women who have embodied this paradox and lived it out in their lives. They have seized the mystery, the embedded paradox, the inherent logical impossibility, and have brought it down to earth and made it a reality. In so doing they have been a shining light to others, encouraging them to be true to who they are and embody their own uniqueness.

These people in their very being encourage others not to follow them but to follow their own inner light and truth, by which they can come to know the fullness of their own selves. These people embody a mysterious quality which corresponds to that elusive difference between the whole and the sum of its parts.

This quality activates and encourages others to enter that same level of being which can only be attained by being true to oneself. And this is what puts one into a class of one's own.

On the surface of things the individuals who have exemplified Sui Generis may seem to have had little in common. They may not even at first sight stand out from the crowd. But they all lived out their lives in accordance with their true inner light or voice. The following is my offering of a small sample from this class of people who were in a class by themselves. More to come, including Goethe, Mandela, Buber, Escher. Suggestions of others, especially women, is welcome. Meanwhile, many of the links below are in process of development.

Nikolai A. Berdyaev
Desiderius Erasmus
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
Amos Bronson Alcott
Peace Pilgrim
Hildegard of Bingen
Albert Schweitzer
Frederick Franck
Jan Amos Comenius


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This page is maintained by: Dirk H. Kelder ac230@chebucto.ns.ca
Last revised: February 25, 2013.

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