'Eccentricity' is in English considered as a deviation from usual methods, an oddity, and a whimsicality.1, 2. Being derived from the word 'eccentric' does 'eccentricity' stem through the Latin 'eccentricus' from the Greek word 'ekkentros'.3 This is a compound word, consisting of 'ek', meaning 'out', and 'kentron', meaning 'centre'. Eccentricity then can be understood as the setting of the outside as central. An eccentric puts the outside central.
This eccentricity should not be confused with extraversion. An extrovert too directs his interests exclusively or predominantly towards the outside.4 However the outside of the extrovert's attention is different from that of the eccentric. An extrovert is focussed on his outside surroundings while an eccentric is focussed on his outside appearance. Being focussed on the outside surroundings the extrovert attunes his behaviour, appearance and speech to fit the norms of these surroundings and thus perfectly blends in them. The eccentric however is focussed on his own appearance, which means that he is concerned with appearing to his environment. The eccentric desires to be noticed. And this desire then brings him to "odd, unusual, or bizarre behavio[u]r, appearance and / or speech", as academic psychology describes it.5
That eccentricity may lead to odd, unusual or bizarre behaviour, appearances and / or speech does not mean that such occurrences can always be traced back to eccentricity. They may for instance be caused by intrinsicity as well. 'Intrinsicity' is derived from 'intrinsic', which refers to a "belonging to the thing in itself, or by its very nature; inherent, essential, proper; 'of its own'".6 This word stems from the Latin word 'intrinsecus', referring to an inwardness.7 It can thus be said that in contrary to the eccentric and the extrovert an intrinsic is concerned with his inside. The intrinsic is concerned with the attuning of his behaviour, appearance and speech to his inside, and this too may lead to deviations of these from the norms of his surroundings.
Again such intrinsicity must not be confused with introversion. An introvert is also inwardly directed.8 However where the intrinsic is concerned with the attuning of his behaviour, appearance and speech to his inside the introvert is only concerned with that inside itself, leaving his behaviour, appearance and speech to attune themselves, be it to their environments or their inside.
We thus get an overview as in figure 1.
|Modes of being
|Outer beings (environment)
|Appearance to the environment
|Appearance from the soul
|Inner being (soul)
Here it should be noted that the above modes of being are not static and that despite certain inborn tendencies people in different phases of their lives may shift their focus from one to another. An introvert may turn into an intrinsic when a longing for expression of his inner discoveries arises. And an intrinsic may turn towards eccentricity when in his focus to attune his appearance to his soul he loses sight of the latter, leaving him with a blind focus on his appearance alone. And an eccentric may turn into an extrovert when his focus shifts from appearing to the environment towards the environment itself. Such shifts may also take place in the opposite direction. In one lifetime such shifts shall usually be between only two modes of being. The eventual goal is to become all at once or all at will, to become the one attuning his appearance to his inner being, making it noticed and blending it into the environment.