(originally posted April 16th, 2008)
1603, from Gk. entelekheia, from en- “in” + telei, dat. of telos “perfection” (see tele-) + ekhein “to have.” In Aristotle, “the condition in which a potentiality has become an actuality.”
This is a word that appeared as a new addition to my lexicon recently; I encountered it in Jean Houston’s book, “The Mythic Life.” In nature, we see this phenomenon all around us especially in this season of vernality; the seed building potency through the dark winter, pushing out its vulnerable green fingers, following its organic essence toward light and warmth to fulfill final morphology. As the platitude goes…within the acorn is the dream of the oak tree.
So it is too with us prefrontal neocortex cursed humans….even with the distinct burden of consciousness that enables choice. Entelechy is that quiet voice, the glimmer of our deepest selves speaking to us about our greatness of purpose. At times, the voice seems to speak in code and we have to shut down our programs and refresh in order to hear it. We hear most often “in the gap” that comes when we are “verbing our identity” or to put it another way, when we are present.