Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Notions of self

What is the self? And can that even be accurately answered by the self? Problematic. We have all heard the phrase, the "self-made man" (or woman). What does that really mean? Is the self made? Are we then indeed self-created? And if so, how? Circular questioning. We do all seem to spend most of our lives creating and maintaining ourselves, or more accurately, an idea of ourselves. And herein lies the crux of the issue: Idea. Notion. We all have definite "ides" about who we are or who we wish to be; thus whether truly or theoretically, we all have notions of self. And we spend the entirety of our lives fostering this notion and projecting it to the world. It's exhausting; is it not? This continual maintenance of self? Let's be honest. Or maybe it's just me? But I am inclined to doubt. Whenever I assume myself somehow unique in a certain sentiment or emotion, the reality is that I am in fact joined by a crowd of many others who like to call themselves humanity. We all struggle with identity, with notions of self, in some regard. And I challenge anyone to argue me on this point. We strive and invent. We augment and decrease. Whatever is required to maintain "the self." But, who is the self? This is an interesting question. Ponder of all the people you think you know best. What if truly, you only know the "notions" of that person--the person they desire you to know--as opposed to the the true self? Whatever that means. It's a thought provoking question. Or just perhaps maddeningly circular. Who is the self? And will we ever know? Goodness, I am beginning to sound like Hume or Locke, depending on your perspective. A priori or tabula rasa? That's another tangent, for another time. Notions of self to be revisited...

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