the Self essay, Uncategorized 1 comment on The Self – Awareness – Building the scenario

The Self – Awareness – Building the scenario

This blog post will introduce a basic scenario around which I hope to build the story through which I’ll explain my thesis.


Two people are at a table sitting across from each other. A third person joins them sitting at the end of the table between the two. The newcomer challenges the two who have been at the table to individually write down ten things around them which they alone could have noticed. Is it possible to know what your opposite will write down so as not to have any duplicates?

I believe that in searching for the answer to this question we will arrive at a better understanding of what it means to be aware, and the relationship between awareness and Self .

To begin with, I claim that to guarantee that there can’t be duplicates, the third party must know that both list makers know not only about what they are aware of, but also about what their opposite are, and are not, aware of. The third party introduces the game knowing that it’s possible that the lists can be made without duplicates. Here I introduce a set of paradoxes.

From the perspective of the list makers I ask:

  • How can one know that something was not observed if in fact I have myself observed it?

and from the perspective of the third party I ask:

  • How can I know that these two individuals are aware of not only themselves, and the moment in which we found them, but also of their opposites, and the perception of the moment as their opposite sees it, as well?

I hypothesize that the list makers find themselves in a sanctuary. The list makers, assuming that they are in their most simple form, are most likely cognizant of the conversation they are having, and little else. There may be some understanding that there are a collection of other conversations and moments around them, but these are little more than unheralded distractions external to their own bubble. I’m not sure if this bubble has a name, and so I’ll refer to it as the sanctuary. The name is fitting as the intimacy of this level of awareness, and the naivety which come with it can be regarded as a sanctuary from being aware of the collection of greater moments of which the list makers are a part.

The first paradox is really framed as a question of asking where the boundaries of the sanctuary lie. While the initial reaction is to immediately draw the boundaries as they are most easily conceived, I think I’ll be able to show that perceived boundaries tend to limit where as discovered boundaries tend to liberate. The challenge however is understanding the difference between the two not only in the context of oneself, but of the moment and the opposite party as well. It is the lack of rigid boundaries which leaves the question unanswered.

So then given that the individuals who are within the bounds of the sanctuary are not aware of where these bounds lie, then how can any third individual know that they are capable of being aware of each other so as to play this game with the hope that two non-overlapping lists are possible? The second paradox is one which I’ve spent a lot of time thinking through, and have had very little success resolving. It’s something that will hopefully be discovered as I move forward through this process. I think the second paradox is actually the more relevant of the two as it challenges one to have faith that any two individuals are capable of understanding each other and the world around them so as to have benefitted from their interaction. This test is a daily occurrence, and one that I would argue people constantly fail. I want to understand why.

I think this basic scenario gives a framework around which to explore how the aware Self can resolve the paradoxes confronted by the actors.

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the Self essay, Uncategorized 0 comments on The Self – An Introduction

The Self – An Introduction

Personal growth is a constant reflection of the choices one has taken to aid the Self in making better decisions at forks in the path to come. Personal growth isn’t something one does by reading a book and executing against its vision. That isn’t personal growth, but instead a cheap form of outsourcing of the same. And yet the self-help sections of bookstores are filled with best sellers which promise everyone the opportunity to live the path which allowed {insert famous individual here} to succeed and potentially share, if one is a strict disciple of the process, a sliver of their success. It baffles me, and leaves me to wonder, and worry, about the nature of individuals, and the loss of Self.

Looking at society today I find myself convinced of the following: Our children are coddled and sheltered. Our youth is disillusioned and unmotivated. Our generation is lost, while our parents deliver entitlements to themselves for which we will someday have to answer to to our yet unborn grandchildren. Declaring war on apathy and indifference would just be another cheap parlor trick to join the War on Poverty and Drugs which has already left us with a farcical social safety net and a totalitarian incarceration rate. The mountain our generation must climb now isn’t one with a fancy name nor one which promises endless riches and glory, but instead one that must be taken upon by a society of lost individuals pushing for a renewed and improved collection of Selves who together at the top will have created through their journey a society in which the sum of the whole is greater than that of the parts.

This series of essays will be my contribution for this Lost generation’s quest to rediscover itself, with the hope that we can deliver a better tomorrow than the one that we inherited today. The preceding paragraphs of this post are a basic introduction of the problem that I hope to address, and the next few paragraphs are the framework upon which I plan to build.

My primary goal is to define the Self and show how awareness of the Self leads to a better understanding of one’s environment. This in turn lays down the foundation for a society of individuals who are both aware and invested in the whole exactly because it empowers the individual.

The Self is the collection of decisions which have been made during one’s journey and a loose understanding of the consequences which resulted and factors which preceded the said decisions.

The role of the Self is as the foundation upon which future unknown decisions will be made given that the anxiety over the uncertainty of the future is somewhat relieved by a faith that one’s past experiences will aid in one’s future conundrums.

The thesis is that only through an acute awareness of the Self are we able to rediscover a sense of belonging and togetherness of which the now defunct American dream has robbed us.

This won’t help others walk their paths. This is not a self-help essay. The only goal is to act as a sounding board for anyone who reads it and finds in it a nugget of interest for themselves.