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  1. #41
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I think that with all of the posts in this thread, most of what I have to say has already been covered.

    But, I'll post anyway.

    I think we're always being 'ourselves', even if we're hiding a portion, or putting any number of veneers, either partial or full, to navigate whatever environment we find ourselves in. I don't even think this is a negative thing all of the time; I think soon after we're born, we begin picking up on cues, and learning and reacting and assessing how different things we do will ilicit different reactions from others, saying certain things in certain environments could have negative consequences, etc. Also over time learning that for various reasons others may try to take advantage of any number of things, to *their* advantage - it's like a constant dynamic thing, everyone simultaneously learning to interact with one another, trying to figure out how they fit into the world around them, constant adjustment, give and take, learning to let go of certain aspects of our individual Egos so as to be able to interact with others and to be able to give to and love others.

    So I'm not even sure what the 'true self' is. Because ourselves minus others is... what? No reference point, really. Would it be our infant self the minute we're born, prior to learning we're not the only person in the world? 100% ego?

    So I guess my point is, is I think the shell around the 'seed' is very much our 'true self' too, as each of us develops our own unique 'shell', or way to interact with others - of knowing we're not the only people on the planet. And that level will vary from one person to the next, so everyone is still unique in that sense.

    I think we could all lock ourselves in relative isolation for a long while, in the attempt to 'know ourselves' and figure out who we are, and I think that will give us a certain amount of self-awareness, for sure. But the minute we're then placed in the company of others, all or much of that becomes irrelevant, because there's a whole other layer of Self that we then don't know - we don't know who we are in relation to others, and how we in fact want these relationships to be - so we're just as lost / unknowing of ourselves minus others, as wholly with others. It's definitely a balance - and I think both components are necessary to learning who we are and learning our 'true selves'.

    (myself, for the record... I have a pretty stunted understanding of 'who I am' in relation to others)
    This is a really interesting viewpoint my dear cascade. (Kind of makes me think it's an interesting dissertation on the differences between Fi and Fe, )

    I sort of desire to come at the idea of my true self from the POV of keeping myself intact and separate. But you point out an interesting dynamic with the selves that interact with others still being a layer.

    I like this new thought and angle. I will respond more later.

  2. #42
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I think we're always being 'ourselves', even if we're hiding a portion, or putting any number of veneers, either partial or full, to navigate whatever environment we find ourselves in. I don't even think this is a negative thing all of the time; I think soon after we're born, we begin picking up on cues, and learning and reacting and assessing how different things we do will ilicit different reactions from others, saying certain things in certain environments could have negative consequences, etc. Also over time learning that for various reasons others may try to take advantage of any number of things, to *their* advantage - it's like a constant dynamic thing, everyone simultaneously learning to interact with one another, trying to figure out how they fit into the world around them, constant adjustment, give and take, learning to let go of certain aspects of our individual Egos so as to be able to interact with others and to be able to give to and love others.

    So I'm not even sure what the 'true self' is. Because ourselves minus others is... what? No reference point, really. Would it be our infant self the minute we're born, prior to learning we're not the only person in the world? 100% ego?
    By "ourselves minus others" do you mean each of us when we are alone, or are you trying to strip away the formative influence of other people in our lives? The second is almost impossible, but the first is easily seen. Regarding the highlighted, it is in the nature of some people to be much more private and guarded than others. For them, to share openly and intimately with people at large is not being themselves. One helpful question might be: when you do reveal something of yourself to others, it it accurate, or a false impression? There is a difference between hiding what you are, and pretending to be what you are not.
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  3. #43
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned
    I sort of desire to come at the idea of my true self from the POV of keeping myself intact and separate. But you point out an interesting dynamic with the selves that interact with others still being a layer.
    I really like the concept of my true internal self... as I DO think there's a more 'pure' aspect of myself that's just ME, plain and simple. But it's more that I can't conceptualize ME without others - without others also building upon that ME - because I know it's the case, from infancy and beyond. I'm who I am in part because through recognition of other people, I know what qualities I have that they lack, and vice versa... so part of the definition of who I am - the very ability to define - is because I have external modes of comparison, if you will. iow, if I never came in contact with anyone in my entire life, I'd have no idea I had blonde hair - that sort of thing. Or, I might not know I like things to be clean (I might not define that as a relevant attribute of myself), if I never came across people who didn't clean their bathroom for 5 months. These are lame examples, but it's what I meant by also knowing oneself by the fact that we have reference points in others. I have to think this starts super early in life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    By "ourselves minus others" do you mean each of us when we are alone, or are you trying to strip away the formative influence of other people in our lives? The second is almost impossible, but the first is easily seen.
    Yes, this is what I mean, and I agree it's pretty much impossible to remove the formative influence of people in our lives, and how we become/are as a result of that. (And it starts in infancy)



    Regarding the highlighted, it is in the nature of some people to be much more private and guarded than others. For them, to share openly and intimately with people at large is not being themselves.
    Definitely agree.

    One helpful question might be: when you do reveal something of yourself to others, it it accurate, or a false impression? There is a difference between hiding what you are, and pretending to be what you are not.
    This is a good distinction. I think when interacting for long periods in environments which force one to 'be' someone they're not (to create a deliberately false impression or simply because they do not like 'who they really are', or other such things), that's when a fundamental dischord will develop - the person knows there's a breakdown and there's that deliberate act of hiding something, out of shame, or to create a false impression, as you say.

    I think striving to remove any of that dischord is moving towards a 'true self', and aligning the internal with the external; moving towards environments/people that allow for a flourishing of the internal, as well as recognizing that NOT disclosing all of the internal can be quite 'true' as well.

    *head scratch* - hard to articulate!
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  4. #44
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I really like the concept of my true internal self... as I DO think there's a more 'pure' aspect of myself that's just ME, plain and simple. But it's more that I can't conceptualize ME without others - without others also building upon that ME - because I know it's the case, from infancy and beyond. I'm who I am in part because through recognition of other people, I know what qualities I have that they lack, and vice versa... so part of the definition of who I am - the very ability to define - is because I have external modes of comparison, if you will. iow, if I never came in contact with anyone in my entire life, I'd have no idea I had blonde hair - that sort of thing. Or, I might not know I like things to be clean (I might not define that as a relevant attribute of myself), if I never came across people who didn't clean their bathroom for 5 months. These are lame examples, but it's what I meant by also knowing oneself by the fact that we have reference points in others. I have to think this starts super early in life.
    I get the heart of what you are talking about here, and that matters more than elegant examples. There is a definite truth in that ourselves are partially defined by others.

    I think the keyest part for me is that I always strive for trying to be mindful of how I come off to others, while still ultimately staying true to what my inner compass is telling me. In the end, that is what matters the most to me, and it's why I keep it locked away deep inside.

    There clearly has to be a mix of both because we are social creations and need the interactions of others. I struggle at times because I am naturally so dismissive of external feedback, and yet... much like how I cannot lick my own elbow, I occasionally do need others.

    Somewhere inside of all of us is some pure little tendril of spring curling its way through our soul. Which must be protected, but at the same time still needs some sun to grow.

    This is a good distinction. I think when interacting for long periods in environments which force one to 'be' someone they're not (to create a deliberately false impression or simply because they do not like 'who they really are', or other such things), that's when a fundamental dischord will develop - the person knows there's a breakdown and there's that deliberate act of hiding something, out of shame, or to create a false impression, as you say.

    I think striving to remove any of that dischord is moving towards a 'true self', and aligning the internal with the external; moving towards environments/people that allow for a flourishing of the internal, as well as recognizing that NOT disclosing all of the internal can be quite 'true' as well.

    *head scratch* - hard to articulate!
    You did well to articulate.

    I often wonder how aware people are of their own inner discord when it comes to these things. I find that a lot of people are blissfully unaware of how they come across and how false their projected self rings when compared to the self they show under the layers. It's like seeing someone in an ill fitting costume at Walmart.

  5. #45
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    I think a lot of social situations we are in have expectations of behavior, dress, speech, etc, so parts of ourselves will be hidden. We interact with our friends in ways different from what we'd interact with our co-workers, likewise with our significant others, family, etc. To show our true self would require a situation where we are in an environment that we can let our true self out. There's certain aspects about ourselves that we feel comfortable revealing to others. It depends on how private an individual is. Some people readily reveal aspects of themselves, others prefer to keep it hidden. Level of social ease and trust is involved along with social expectations.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    The world of the mind is on a separate plane from the physical world so it logically follows that the true self is not the same as the shown self though there may be some elegant connections.
    It's all one and it is all nothing. Separateness is an illusion.

    Some ask "what was your original face before you were born?"

    This also applies to "what was your original mind before you were born?"

  7. #47
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I really like the concept of my true internal self... as I DO think there's a more 'pure' aspect of myself that's just ME, plain and simple. But it's more that I can't conceptualize ME without others - without others also building upon that ME - because I know it's the case, from infancy and beyond. I'm who I am in part because through recognition of other people, I know what qualities I have that they lack, and vice versa... so part of the definition of who I am - the very ability to define - is because I have external modes of comparison, if you will. iow, if I never came in contact with anyone in my entire life, I'd have no idea I had blonde hair - that sort of thing. Or, I might not know I like things to be clean (I might not define that as a relevant attribute of myself), if I never came across people who didn't clean their bathroom for 5 months. These are lame examples, but it's what I meant by also knowing oneself by the fact that we have reference points in others. I have to think this starts super early in life.
    People are not the only reference points, or even the only external reference points. I can use myself as a reference point: when I am sick and don't feel like cleaning up, my house gets messy, and when I feel better I realize I don't like it. Absent other people, I can still tell my preferences, I might just assume they would hold for others as well. I can also see what I am able to accomplish - whether I meet my needs for the day, or am better at some skill or ability as a result of practice or conscious study. I can identify and pursue the questions or activities that interest me, all without reference to anyone else. (Te vs. Fe again?)

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    I think a lot of social situations we are in have expectations of behavior, dress, speech, etc, so parts of ourselves will be hidden. We interact with our friends in ways different from what we'd interact with our co-workers, likewise with our significant others, family, etc. To show our true self would require a situation where we are in an environment that we can let our true self out. There's certain aspects about ourselves that we feel comfortable revealing to others. It depends on how private an individual is. Some people readily reveal aspects of themselves, others prefer to keep it hidden. Level of social ease and trust is involved along with social expectations.
    Are you equating one's true self with one's complete self? Like others, I show a different part of myself with close friends or my SO than at work, but these are all part of the real me. Any masks serve to hide the parts I don't want to share, not to modify the parts I will share. Hardly anyone ever sees the complete me at one time - it is almost impossible, even if I wanted to do it.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #48
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    People are not the only reference points, or even the only external reference points. I can use myself as a reference point: when I am sick and don't feel like cleaning up, my house gets messy, and when I feel better I realize I don't like it. Absent other people, I can still tell my preferences, I might just assume they would hold for others as well. I can also see what I am able to accomplish - whether I meet my needs for the day, or am better at some skill or ability as a result of practice or conscious study. I can identify and pursue the questions or activities that interest me, all without reference to anyone else. (Te vs. Fe again?)
    I don't know, I can relate to all of that as well. I think I am trying to conceptualize of an extreme that does not exist - i.e. never interacting with anyone - to illustrate that our very interactions / knowledge of others can and does play into our conception of self. I'm definitely not saying it's the only thing, though. My love of nature is intrinsic to who I am. [but had my grandfather not seen me looking in his bird book when I was young, and then decided to give me a book for my b-day the following year, would I have then 'found it' / it have become a part of me in the same way? It's an interesting question. I have no idea.] I could list other things that I think I know of myself and define as who I am at my core, minus any need/comparison with others, but again I'm just musing.. would I know of this/have this identity if I had grown up in the non-existent extreme of never interacting with others?
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  9. #49
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post


    Are you equating one's true self with one's complete self? Like others, I show a different part of myself with close friends or my SO than at work, but these are all part of the real me. Any masks serve to hide the parts I don't want to share, not to modify the parts I will share. Hardly anyone ever sees the complete me at one time - it is almost impossible, even if I wanted to do it.

    Yes, essentially I'm equating true self along with complete self. Parts of the real person, yes, but not the complete picture. If what we're focusing on here in this thread is modifying ourselves with others, then it may also be connected to showing complete self, but it's more relevant to withholding our true selves.
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    People are not the only reference points, or even the only external reference points. I can use myself as a reference point: when I am sick and don't feel like cleaning up, my house gets messy, and when I feel better I realize I don't like it. Absent other people, I can still tell my preferences, I might just assume they would hold for others as well. I can also see what I am able to accomplish - whether I meet my needs for the day, or am better at some skill or ability as a result of practice or conscious study. I can identify and pursue the questions or activities that interest me, all without reference to anyone else. (Te vs. Fe again?)
    Everything references to the universe. @cascadeco was actually on the right track with this.
    People are not the only reference points but you still must reference to your environment. If you had no environment, you have no preferences - barring the fact that you wouldn't be alive in the first place.

    That which ensures that you are born and stay alive also reflects onto you and at the same time ensures these preferences.

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