1. What is the self, what does it mean to be a self?
2. Is there a difference between being yourself authentically versus inauthentically? If so, what is the difference?
Abraham Lincoln once said that, if he had six hours to cut down a tree, he would spend the first five hours sharpening his axe. Likewise, any investigation into the ‘self’ requires, first and foremost, a thorough and clear preparation due to the difficult nature of an investigation into a matter or idea that has somewhat remained clouded in vague conceptions. In order, then, to arrive at a acceptable definition of the self, I will employ three key observations that should give me ample preparation for the main part of my investigation.
Since any particular object can only be perceived if it has characteristics that sets it apart from other objects, I can use this observation as a starting point for my attempt to first to perceive and then to define what can be understood as the ‘self’. Since objects that can be defined are separate entities are, due to their very nature, limited, we must accordingly postulate that the ‘self’ is a limited entity as well, if we assume that it can be perceived and defined. Only once this has been done can a person go about and explore the deeper meanings and nature of the ‘self’.
The next observation I would like to mention before I further delve into this matter is that every person perceives to have has some sort of ‘self’. We must assume that this holds true to every human being, as history has shown us so far that every person has some kind of focal point, which is the basis for his or her perception of ‘self’. No person known to us in western history had said the word “I” without having anything to refer ...
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...ay exist a perceived ‘self’ and a true ‘self’. In addition to this, Frankl suggested that the true ‘self’ was where the deepest meaning of love could be found. And both Frankl and Pieper recommended that the contemplation of the inner life is crucial to perceiving the true nature of the ‘self’. And, last but not least, I have given an account of one healing experience and the profound realization that came with it. Taking all of these observations together, I would like to make a tentative definition of the ‘self’: I postulate, that the true ‘self’ is love, and nothing but love. Since, at a deeper level of reality, nothing but love exists, there must exist an infinite oneness, such as the one described by all sages and prophets throughout history.
Victor Frankl: "Man's Search for Meaning"
Joseph Pieper: "Leisure as a Basis for Culture"
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