Rich Paxson

Matthew Crawford uses “individualism” and “individuality” in the quote above, which comes from the Preface. I think of Individual-ism in terms of a person’s rights, liberties and freedoms in relation to the power of the state. So, while this term is about human persons, it does not address the inner development of human individuality.

Crawford begins the book by describing a world where humans increasingly lack the desire or ability to become present to themselves and to others due to our distracting, overly commercialized world encouraging us to flit quickly from one new thing to the next. Crawford wrote an entire chapter on Individuality describing the “genuine article” as an achievement “… a point of triangulation with objects and other people who have a reality of their own.”

Triangulation is the process by which land surveyors use a third point’s relationship to two other known locations to determine the third point’s exact position on the earth’s surface. Perhaps we may best discover the place of our spiritual individuality upon the concavity of God’s presence through skillfully triangulating ‘with objects and other people who have a spiritual reality of their own.’