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What is "The Self"


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#51 Jabadoodle

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:30 AM

If self only emerges in relation to other selves...

When you are not near me

I loose my self

When you are away for long

My self withers

When you are gone for good

Part of me dies

 

To be me

I need you.



#52 Jabadoodle

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 02:05 AM


Do animals have a self?

wj0w.jpg



#53 china cat

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 02:25 AM


 But since ."the distinguishing aspect of the self it the self's ability to be an object to itself." ... once we have/are a self -- we don't need social interaction for self to continue. 

 

Yes, interesting point. I tentatively agree. Once, symbolic capabilities emerge and ego boundaries develop that may be enough, but at what point self is relatively stable enough to no longer need others? not sure.

 

This is fascinating

 



#54 china cat

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 02:29 AM

If self only emerges in relation to other selves...

When you are not near me

I loose my self

When you are away for long

My self withers

When you are gone for good

Part of me dies

 

To be me

I need you.

 

 once enough interactions occur, we have memories, reflections of comments made to us and about us, social comparisons with others, enough thoughts about self that we don't have to physically interact/be present with others.. we're continually doing it in the mind



#55 china cat

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 02:39 AM

Do animals have a self?

wj0w.jpg

 

good question and I'd argue no. they seem to simply react to sensory stimuli.. smell, sound, hunger, pain, vibration (much like an infant - I'd argue infants don't have a self either).

 

I'm not sure I believe that animals think. thinking, to me, involves reflection/contemplation/meaning-making.

 

though, primates, whose brains are close to identical with ours, could very well have/be close to having self-awareness (and there seems to be evidence for this)

 

As far as other animals, I'm open to be proven incorrect in my beliefs. I'm not familiar with the research.



#56 china cat

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 02:53 AM

 

Anyway, good stuff. And there is still something else nagging -- a different type of "self" that isn't quite covered in this -- but not a universal/spiritual self. Something else I'm trying to pin down.

 

Yeah, me too

 

I have serious questions about spiritual notions of self

 

if one considers Christian dogma, we will go to heaven/hell (we are accountable) based on choices we make. Our choices are connected to our self (thoughts, knowing right and wrong, asking for forgiveness, etc) . If that's the case my soul is intricately linked to my self (which is, in large part, a product of environment). If my soul isn't connected to my SELF, it's just a random owner-less entity that shouldn't be held responsible for thoughts/actions/"sins."

 

Then, if we consider Eastern thought: we have ego but true self is something like "pure awareness." or some universal consciousness. "pure awareness" without anything attached seems to result in what looks like animal nature/feral outcomes.  Not sure how that is "self" - seems like no self, thus shouldn't use the term "self" because it doesn't even seem to apply here. And seems to fly in the face of the human condition. Just doesn't work for me.

 

(edit, that was not articulated well - tired and unclear in my thoughts)



#57 china cat

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 03:43 AM

This. Yep, this is my issue with Eastern ideas of self. and maybe I'm just not understanding the ideas.

 

I mean, maybe the thing we typically call self (identity) really is an illusion keeping us from some true nature? but what's the point of it all then.. why did we come here and develop identity/egos/a need to interact to survive, and, develop identities in the process???

 

I'm working up my thoughts on this, but I can give the highlights in bullet points

 

About definitions:

* It depends on the definition (duh.)

* It means nothing if the word "self" means everything. So "we are all one" or "we are everything" is not the answer



#58 Jabadoodle

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:28 PM

Kris, what are you trying to find out -- or why do you ask about -- or why do you (seemingly) keep thinking about "What is The Self"?  I'm asking because I think what the "answer" is to "What is The Self" depends a lot on what you mean by the question.

Edited to shorten it to:

 

Are you 

* Curious about The Self as a concept/thing -- how it works. What your paper was about. How this thread has been.
* Or...how to find out what Ones / Your true self is, as in like, " "Finding your Element is a quest to find yourself..."

 


 



#59 Jabadoodle

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:31 PM

If self only emerges in relation to other selves...

When you are not near me

I loose my self

When you are away for long

My self withers

When you are gone for good

Part of me dies

 

To be me

I need you.

 

 

 once enough interactions occur, we have memories, reflections of comments made to us and about us, social comparisons with others, enough thoughts about self that we don't have to physically interact/be present with others.. we're continually doing it in the mind

 

 

Please see my post in the "People that Need People" thread. ~ I get & agree that memories, reflections and such can keep that missing person alive for us...which keeps the parts of us that they bring out in us..also alive. This was just a little poetry-like way of saying that maybe Our Self needs, in a very real and literal way, specific others or else we loose some of our *I*. Memories and reflections can only do so much, and often they fade over time.



#60 Jabadoodle

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:42 PM


There is still something else nagging -- a different type of "self" that isn't quite covered in this -- but not a universal/spiritual self. Something else I'm trying to pin down.

 

 

What I think I mean here is a self that is not dependent on language or others. That is, it may still want or even need others and/or language -- but I think there is a self (or type / meaning of self) that is independent of others or language. I'm not talking spiritual or universal or religious. Is it the self identity that even an animal or feral child would have. Maybe even that a tree would have. Maybe even an insect. Maybe even a rock formation -- though I'm not sure about those last examples. 

 

 

Yeah, me too

 

I have serious questions about spiritual notions of self

 

if one considers Christian dogma, we will go to heaven/hell (we are accountable) based on choices we make. Our choices are connected to our self (thoughts, knowing right and wrong, asking for forgiveness, etc) . If that's the case my soul is intricately linked to my self (which is, in large part, a product of environment). If my soul isn't connected to my SELF, it's just a random owner-less entity that shouldn't be held responsible for thoughts/actions/"sins."

 

Then, if we consider Eastern thought: we have ego but true self is something like "pure awareness." or some universal consciousness. "pure awareness" without anything attached seems to result in what looks like animal nature/feral outcomes.  Not sure how that is "self" - seems like no self, thus shouldn't use the term "self" because it doesn't even seem to apply here. And seems to fly in the face of the human condition. Just doesn't work for me.

 

(edit, that was not articulated well - tired and unclear in my thoughts)


I don't believe in christian dogma, other religious, etc. So I don't concerns myself with that in this type of discussion -- unless another party believes in that and wants to explore that with me.

I do believe, in some way yet to be fully and accurately articulated, in a fully connected universe. I believe in some ways that we are all one. That we are, as Alan Watts says, playing hide and seek with all others (not just the "alive" but everything). We really should start another thread about our metaphysical (or religious/spiritual if those words fit some people better) views. All the other things (especially this topic) really need that frame or reference to mean anything. ~ But I got off track: I believe in some more universal connectedness. But I do not see value or truth or accuracy in using the word (Self) that we use about Our Selves in a way that is conneted to the universal oneness of things. ~ The universality of things is a very different subject. 

(Not worded well. Yikes.)



#61 Jabadoodle

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:46 PM

good question and I'd argue no. they seem to simply react to sensory stimuli.. smell, sound, hunger, pain, vibration (much like an infant - I'd argue infants don't have a self either).

 

I'm not sure I believe that animals think. thinking, to me, involves reflection/contemplation/meaning-making.

 

though, primates, whose brains are close to identical with ours, could very well have/be close to having self-awareness (and there seems to be evidence for this)

 

As far as other animals, I'm open to be proven incorrect in my beliefs. I'm not familiar with the research.


If "the distinguishing aspect of the self is the self's ability to be an object to itself" -- to have a consciousness of self -- than some animals clearly have less or no Self. But that is what I was saying just a post or two up -- I think there is a Self that does NOT require having to be able to see oneself. I don't think self-reflection is the only criteria for a type of self.

Aside from that, I think some animals do have some sense of self. Dogs I think, especially if they learn words -- which some can learn words and even concepts -- can have at least some sense of self.



#62 china cat

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:40 PM


If "the distinguishing aspect of the self is the self's ability to be an object to itself" -- to have a consciousness of self -- than some animals clearly have less or no Self. But that is what I was saying just a post or two up -- I think there is a Self that does NOT require having to be able to see oneself. I don't think self-reflection is the only criteria for a type of self.

Aside from that, I think some animals do have some sense of self. Dogs I think, especially if they learn words -- which some can learn words and even concepts -- can have at least some sense of self.

 

I think dogs react to sounds, not words. sound is a sensory/auditory experience.

 

words involve translation of sound/writing into meaning. people react not to sound but to meaning.

 

if i speak japanese to you, you hear sound but you don't translate those sounds to meaning. you may be trained to react to certain tonal inflections, but that's not the same as understanding the sounds as words is it?

 

i'd be interested in seeing research that shows dogs can think conceptually.

 

again, i'm not up on the research here, so I'm open to information that causes me to rethink my current perspective.



#63 china cat

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:42 PM

Are you 

* Curious about The Self as a concept/thing -- how it works. What your paper was about. How this thread has been.
* Or...how to find out what Ones / Your true self is, as in like, " "Finding your Element is a quest to find yourself..."

 


 

 

both, though I'm pretty satisfied by the symbolic interactionist (Mead) perspective on the development of personal identity.

 

second question is so illusive that seems to make less and less sense to attempt an answer (not that intellectual masturbation doesn't get me off sometimes :coffee: )



#64 china cat

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:50 PM

What I think I mean here is a self that is not dependent on language or others. That is, it may still want or even need others and/or language -- but I think there is a self (or type / meaning of self) that is independent of others or language. I'm not talking spiritual or universal or religious. Is it the self identity that even an animal or feral child would have. Maybe even that a tree would have. Maybe even an insect. Maybe even a rock formation -- though I'm not sure about those last examples. 

 

 


I don't believe in christian dogma, other religious, etc. So I don't concerns myself with that in this type of discussion -- unless another party believes in that and wants to explore that with me.

I do believe, in some way yet to be fully and accurately articulated, in a fully connected universe. I believe in some ways that we are all one. That we are, as Alan Watts says, playing hide and seek with all others (not just the "alive" but everything). We really should start another thread about our metaphysical (or religious/spiritual if those words fit some people better) views. All the other things (especially this topic) really need that frame or reference to mean anything. ~ But I got off track: I believe in some more universal connectedness. But I do not see value or truth or accuracy in using the word (Self) that we use about Our Selves in a way that is conneted to the universal oneness of things. ~ The universality of things is a very different subject. 

(Not worded well. Yikes.)

 

I don't believe in Christian dogma either - I'd be interested in the perspective of someone who does.

 

I believe, also, that we are fully connected - energy ever flowing in and through all of us...

 

solid (seemingly) separated matter creates illusion of separation 

 

just read this in Kornfield's book:

 

“You will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. without a cloud there will be no water; without water the trees cannot grow; without trees, you cannot make paper. so the cloud is in here. the existence of this page is dependent on the existence of a cloud. paper and cloud are so close. let us think of other things, like sunshine. sunshine is very important because the forest cannot grow without sunshine, and we as humans cannot grow without sunshine. so the logger needs sunshine in order to cut the tree, and the tree needs sunshine in this sheet of paper. and if you look more deeply… you see not only the cloud and the sunshine in it, but that everything is here, the wheat that became the bread for the logger to eat, the logger’s father—everything is in this sheet of paper. the presence of this tiny sheet of paper proves the presence of the whole cosmos.”



#65 Jabadoodle

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:08 AM


This looks good, and is co-authored/edited by my man, Daniel Dennett.

 

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The Mind's I Fantasies And Reflections On Self & Soul

 

Hofstadter and Dennett present a variety of conflicting visions of the self and the soul as explored through the writings of some of the twentieth century's most renowned thinkers.



#66 hoagie

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:50 AM

one tree, many leaves.



#67 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 03:38 AM

watching this now on netflix