I am beside myself, but that’s just me, I like watching over me, trying hard to make sure that I am not being sucked into whatever illusion is going around at this particular day, month, year or whatsoever.
It’s not easy, one can’t be blamed for not possessing all the facts, and slowly being engulfed into societies hype of the moment.
But who is ”I”, who stands beside? Is it just another illusion or a coping mechanism to make sense of it all?
Does explaining to oneself help solving the puzzle, or just creating a new one?
One thing I am sure about; I am not the same, as I was standing beside me a minute ago, or was it yesterday?
Does that mean, I am fluid? Is that where the saying is coming from; “go with the flow”, probably not.
Acknowledging the suspected fact, that “self” is changing constantly, creates another dilemma, particularly for people who believe that they can’t change. What about the other people, who claim that you have to change, or you become stagnant?
If “self” changes constantly, there would be no need to instigate further change, would there?
Unless of course, you want to become the dictator of the change you would like to see and be, creating your own self.
Now there is another conundrum, how can you determine what to change into if you have no idea what you, I, self, really is, and if it is truly not a permanent state, than who is “self”, who supposedly takes charge of your change, only to be confronted with the fact, that the “self” which wanted you to change, does not exist any longer.
Looks like this is getting nowhere, lets try something else, and assume the “self” is your accumulated wisdom.
No, that doesn't work either, it simply would mean, that you are what you have become because you have been dramatically influenced and sculptured by the society you have lived in. This obviously means, the “self” has been artificially constructed, and if you had been born into another family, into another country, another religion, you would be someone else.
One thing is crystal clear, you are sucked in, you have no idea who you are, unless you could free yourself from all influences, and what would you have left than?
You would be left with next to nothing, a blank canvas so to speak, but that doesn't work either. As a blank canvas, I am not sure what I would think, probably nothing, just being blank.
There is always a way out, which in this case, is simply your personal belief system.
With other words, we are making something up, just to please ourselves, or for the less positive people than myself, they make something up to punish themselves.
What is a personal belief system?
The distinction between a fact and an attitude or opinion towards that fact is what makes up your belief system.
In my personal case, I love my beliefs; everything becomes easier with a bit of a belief, which obviously, is a belief in itself.
Moving towards spiritual philosophy now, .... there is always the soul; maybe your soul is what is your true self. Your soul is watching over you, making sure, or trying to make sure, that you are not totally screwing up your life. It’s because your soul is your self that you actually can say, I am beside myself, even so, some people may be more comfortable with, I am hanging over you. Whatever the position may be, the soul could be, your true self, or maybe just an alter ego, but definitely a belief.
Beliefs are great, sometimes you don’t even have to come up with your own beliefs, and other people or groups make them up for you, in which case you may need to be aware, because you have been sucked in once again.
What about your character, that’s your self isn’t it?
Maybe, maybe not, depends on your belief system, if you are comfortable with that, why not, let your character be the deciding factor of the “self”. However, there is always the question of: which was first, your character or your upbringing?
Are you born with “self”, with a distinctive character, or is that simply just another feature, stamped onto your brain from your immediate society influences?
Now I know; self is the inert talent you have, surely talent is not learned, or otherwise it wouldn’t be called a talent. Or maybe not, who knows, that’s probably another subject.
For the time being, I must confess that I have my own personal beliefs, which keeps me sane, but which may mean absolute nothing to another.
My ego just reminded me, I forgot to talk about my ego, how could I?
I think ego is just another factor getting confused with “self”. Any part of you, which can be called “my”, is owned by the elusive “self”, including; “my ego”.
If my ego is too big, it takes on it’s own life, pretending to be the boss, but as the saying goes; “ego gets you up, and ego gets you down”.
If your ego gets out of hand, you may become aware of it, which helps you to take a stop to it, instead of making a fool out of yourself. Yes, that’s right, the ego can make the self look bad, as it may be seen as a character flaw.
That’s where awareness comes in; does the “self” bring these flaws to your awareness? That may be a bit of wishful thinking, but from time to time, somehow people may become aware of the “self”, and what the self really is, or rather they become aware of what “self” is not.
Once awareness has brought you to the level of understanding that most of what you have, has eventuated by conditioning and learning, you may be able to sort out what thinking and new creative knowledge may be your own, generated by “self”, ending up in the knowledge; “Cogito ergo sum”, I think, therefore I am.
Just watch it, it may be your ego talking.
All I can say, “I am still standing beside myself”, and maybe I can offer some of my favourite quotes;
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Rumi
…. And here we go again, who was “myself” again?
... back to the Holistic Philosophies Menu
Please contact me directly for more info or Research Participation: Dieter L. - Editor