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The True Self: One in the Union of Many Different Complexities

Updated on February 19, 2016

Who am I?

This question about man's true self has been the main quest of man's life since time immemorial. The answer to "Who am I?" is as much as important as living, because this answer can lead to one's purpose of existence.
This question about man's true self has been the main quest of man's life since time immemorial. The answer to "Who am I?" is as much as important as living, because this answer can lead to one's purpose of existence.

Who am I? - a philosophical inquiry on the self

Introduction

What is a human person’s true self? Is it a multiplicity of selves? Is the thing that the word “selfish” describes? Is it truly real? Or is it just an illusion of human idealism? Is there a self at all? There are many different theories of the self. Some like Rene Descartes say that the self is a separate identity from one’s body – the self-consciousness. Others like David Hume say that there is no self, because human beings are just used to looking at a general perspective, rather than the more important individual parts of the whole. However, as much I like to acknowledge the validity of both of the aforementioned definitions of the true self, I will try to explore the mystery of the self, never giving up in the discovery of what really answers the question, “Who am I?”

Who are you?

Every day, we are in constant search of our true self, of WHO we really are. The man in the mirror - who is he really?
Every day, we are in constant search of our true self, of WHO we really are. The man in the mirror - who is he really? | Source

The Two Selves: The Ego and the Person

There are two types of Self: the Ego and the Person. In philosophy, these two are the most specific denotations to the Self, unlike how Rene Descartes described the Self, or rather self-consciousness, simply as the sole foundation of human existence. The Ego is said to be permanent, hidden, and unyielding Self wherein it is characterized in this statement, “I am what I want”. On the other hand, the Person features the complexity of human experience from the historicity of human life to the relatedness of the human person to others up to self-images.

Knowing The Ego Self

Why the Ego cannot be the True Self

Some might say that the ego is the true self, because it is the part of us that will never change no matter what happens to us in our lives. But it keeps itself hidden, separate from the experiences the human person has, in the process of maintaining its unchanging state. The fact that the Ego is defined as “separate” makes me personally skeptical to consider it the True Self. Humanness is achieved by acknowledging the need for improvement and development to continue living. If there is something that should answer the question “Who are you?”, it should also be congruent in the answer of “What are you?”. In this sense, the Ego cannot be the true Self because it does not agree with the nature of the human person as a being in constant flux. Others might counter-argue this aforementioned argument of mine by saying that Truth should remain unchanged in the passing of time. But I retort back by saying that Truth is subjective, dependent on the context it works on. For example, the King of England was Henry VII during the 15th century, but that does not mean that he is still King of England right now. The truth of his kingship applies only in the past, but not in the present. What was true back then is no longer true right now. Hence, the True Self is a unity of possibilities, of a being in a flux of time.

What is Truth, according to philosophy?

What then, is the True Self?

The True Self, owing to the fact that human life is still much of a mystery, is a transcendent being that goes on living and continuing with the flow of the changes brought by time. The Self, is inch by inch, little by little, gradually, being built by our experiences in life. Who we are in this world is defined by the following things: what we did, what we are doing, and what we will do; who we are to others, and most importantly, who we believe we are ourselves.

The True Self - a continually growing transcendence

The True Self is a continually growing being, just as much as we humans live and develop.
The True Self is a continually growing being, just as much as we humans live and develop. | Source

The Self, according to Immanuel Kant

What about you? Which do you think is the True Self?

I have finished saying my piece here about the True Self. I acknowledge that each one of us has a different perspective and opinion about how to discover one's true self. Now, I ask you all readers to enrich our discussion of the True Self by sharing your own definition on what the True Self should be. Put your ideas into the comments down below and I'll engage you in further discussion, as much as possible.

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      PaigeLCooke4 2 years ago

      I am God's child

    working