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  • Writer's pictureRawan

The idea of the self.

The concept of self has always intrigued me. I'm naturally a very curious person but the more you know about life the more fluid your concept of being will be; I'm aware of my existence and life and the living beings around me, I sense my being and I experience light, heat, and darkness as well. but how can I define myself?

Am I who I remember? a sum of memories and experiences that dictate all my future choices unconsciously? will my different recurring experiences will reshape who I become? what if I was born a year later or a year before; what if every variable in the equation will ultimately define your whole concept of self.

born in the summer or winter, tiny information upon your skin will print some personality traits. a loving parent who will build your ground, giving you comfort to growing up assured and filled with hope and laughter; most importantly protected and loved. it keeps adding up to the big massive painting of your own very self.

Dark horror colors of the wolves in the stories or the death of dogs, friends, or mothers. some yellow for the birthdays and your mothers hugs, your friend's promises, and the long summer days as a child where the world will be better only if we get ice cream. The colors adds up to the big painting, some will fade away and some will intensify with time; every encounter with otherselves, others and our experiences with the world will leave it mark curved up within every bit of who we are.

as we grow our consciousness of the world and ourselves because so vivid and observable, we have some choices of the colors we paint ourselves and how we paint others, we see it as is if we look close enough. We might decide early in life, with shame to hide this painting and close up the curtains so dim so god forbid any light may find its way through or we might choose to exhibit it as is as it comes as evil or as good; as is.

So who am I really?

are we what we love the most about ourselves or what we hate? are we just actors who are re-experiencing their traumas and selecting based on past long gone nonexistent pain or are we the light that we shed on others when we talk and laugh; are we our worst or best thoughts? are we the anger or the deliberately chosen calm? do we chose the good intentionally or we are guided to good by nature? what is normal and how to be that? to what extent are we capable of goodness? can we truly know who we are? and can we consciously select that? and if we do that is that a self? or a pretending? is it how others see us? define us? or is it only how we see ourselves? I think I can never answer that even if I am acutely aware of my own being I can never define who I am.

"Selves are not physically detectable. Instead, they are a kind of convenient fiction, like a center of gravity, which is convenient as a way of solving physics problems, although they need not correspond to anything tangible — the center of gravity of a hoop is a point in thin air. People constantly tell themselves stories to make sense of their world, and they feature in the stories as a character, and that convenient but fictional character is the self"

Daniel Dennett


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