Wonderings about the mysterious ‘Self’
I have so many interesting conversations these days. Having put out some of my thoughts about everyday presence out there, I get to talk about this subject with people even more.
In Norway, on a remote farm with a quite intellectual farmer the conversation also kind of naturally evolved around what it means to be human and present, how to learn to be that and why we reflect…
And one subject that has returned in many of the conversations (with him and other people) is ’the Self’. And I wanted to write about it, mainly because… I don’t care about the ‚Self‘, and I keep being asked, where I perceive the Self to be or who is talking when I’m talking – is it my self or something else.
Maybe, the first thing is, that I don’t know a lot about the concept and the exact theory around it. And I am considering if maybe I should read more about it… But. It doesn’t interest me, doesn’t pull my attention.
It is actually quite funny, because it happened a couple of times now, that at first I don’t understand the question. I’m talking with someone about being present and learning to widen the awareness or attention. And then somehow this concept of the Self appears… as if it is related.
And of course, I can see that historically it is related, because the discourse about attention, awareness, self-reflection etc. has included this term.
But to me, self, only makes sense in the sense of me. The individual. And that is me as a whole experience. Including my physical experiences, my history, things I have learned and things I dream of…
My interest lies in strengthening the experience of being one and being in connection with the world around me (people, music, movement, things).
When I even shortly try to follow this idea of *the Self*, it seems as if I would need to compartmentalize myself and thus do the opposite.
Maybe it is simply that I’m don’t see the relevance for my experience, to know what it is that makes me conscious or thinking or dreaming… ?
Maybe, I don’t know what ‚Self‘ is – but somehow because I talk about presence, attention and awareness people assume I do? And especially they seem to assume that we have the same definition of the term, thus the simplicity of the question ‚where is your Self‘?
I usually answer first with me being all of me. Including elements I’m aware of as well as those I’m not. I can, of course, focus on one element of this experience for a moment. The different physical experience of being connected to someone or feeling a distance. The kind of thoughts that are there in either moment. The kind of circumstances that make it easier for me to connect or the opposite.
But that focus, for me, is only interesting in order to create a space of exploration – what will happen to my whole experience, if I create (intentional) change in one of the elements?
In the end, I can know two things:
* what I tried to change ?
* what did change ?
But I don’t know, what it was, that actually created the difference (because – what happened in all the areas, that I didn’t focus my attention on at the same time?)
Even giving this subject some more time and writing now… I still don’t get an interest in defining or learning about the ‚general definition‘ of the Self. But I do get interested in asking more deeply my conversational partners – what they actually mean, when they use the term.
Maybe we can find an answer together. And maybe, we just have different conceptualizations of what awareness and attention mean, even though we use those terms?
Any thoughts on ‚the Self‘ and/or the sense of compartmentalization I get from it out there?
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