Monday, June 9, 2014

Here’s a question that occurs to me lately, as I try to prepare for another academic job interview (ten years after the last one): Who am I?
     And why do I need to know?
     I appear to have jostling identities, selves that don’t know each other well, even, sometimes, only dimly aware of each other’s existence. This sounds like crazy talk, sort of schizophrenic. And yet--I have a suspicion (based in part on my reading of Catcher in the Rye) that I am not alone. That this may be, in fact, common. The unified self is, in fact, a social construct--convenient, perhaps even indispensable, but imposed. Learned, at the very least.           
     This is a way to try to get them all together. The cultivated selves, the ones that refuse to be eliminated and must be accommodated (somehow), the granite-like chunks of character. My best self sits down and gives this abstract shape--little black marks that have nothing to do with what they represent--to what is obviously infinite, inchoate, unknowable.


travelingcat said...

you should look into Julian Jaynes and his 'the origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind', for further ruminations on the self..

CLANK said...

Cool, Chris! I will check that out.