The Self

I don’t know if you have ever observed this strange thing, the self. Often the more you look the more it doesn’t seem to be like it, and the more you look the more it isn’t it.

If you concentrate on looking at yourself, you will find that your self will gradually separate into many startling forms. So if I have to make a summary of myself, it terrifies me. I don’t know which of the many faces represents me more and the more closely I look the clearer the transformations become, and finally only bewilderment remains.

—narrator, Soul Mountain

Out of the few things that I do well, it’s knowing myself that I take the most pride in.

Or believing that I know myself at least.

I often feel as if I know myself enough to understand the workings of my subconscious. I think it’s ludicrous when someone tells me that they have me “figured out” and this image they have of me isn’t the same as my own image of myself.

Yet how do I know which is correct? As a human, one is naturally biased when looking at anything, and when looking at oneself this bias becomes even worse. The most that one can do is recognize one’s bias, and present it so that others can understand the perspective of each opinion.

All that I can say for sure is that I will never be correct in what I think of myself. Everything that I speak about, when relating to my personality, my ideas, my thoughts, my mindset, might be totally wrong.

And knowing this has become more important than knowing myself.

3 comments

  1. I once read a quote that was fairly intriguing.. something in the lines of “One does not find thyself, but rather creates it.” So as your entry suggest, anyone saying they figured you out could in fact be partially correct — but only about that given snapshot of an ever evolving creation.

  2. Well said, but quite abrupt, just when you got me nodding and just when i saw my ‘self’ fragments too you seemed to have curled up into a shell – i would like to know more about your journey to self.

    I too am a wanderer / locator/ finder/ searcher of my self. I too found myself in fragments, and found aspects of myself which I never knew existed, some were smaller voices that grew with time and yet part of me which I knew myself to be (or made to believe by other’s judgments) no longer exist. it makes me wonder did it ever exist? have i changed as does a caterpillar blossoming into a butterfly or a moth? if my self changes so frequently, how will i truly know that i know myself?

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