Does It Make Sense? (An article on being a stranger to one’s self)
Human beings have exceptional characteristics made by God. One of which is that they, humans, are conscious of their own consciousness. As far as they are concerned, no other species (animals or plants for instance) is capable of identifying this what scholars call as “self-reflection” or the state of assessing one’s self. However, most individuals are more or less blind to our inner realities.
Man alone, unlike all the other animals, habitually stands in contradiction to himself. Of course, there will always be a problem on weighing and respecting fixed opinions, decisions and views of his or her own world.
Most people confuse “self-knowledge” with knowledge of their conscious ego personalities. Anyone who has ego-consciousness at all takes it for granted that he knows himself, but the ego knows only its own contents – not the unconscious and its contents. People measure their self-knowledge by what the average people in their own social environment knows of himself, but not the real psychological factors which are mostly hidden from them.
The writer says that she knows herself – the physical attributes, skills, intellectual capacity, among others that she upholds. Yet, she admits that there comes a time when she thinks that she is a stranger in her own self. To give a precise example on this, she reasons out (like most people often experience) that she does not feel bothered, but reflects with these subtle, existential questions like “Who really she is,” and “Why she is here,” while measuring the purpose of her existence. Being emotional at times brings the researcher the confusion of not realizing the essence of her own existence.
A lot of people close to her (the writer) tell the characteristics which they recognize are dominant about her - that she is practically frank, jolly, energetic, exhilarating and oftentimes enigmatic. These are the attitudes the writer knows about herself since these are what are said to her. On the other hand, puzzling thoughts happen to her for her recognition to herself is still in the process.
In this sense, the writer argues that the starting point of radical thinking is a way to the destruction of these walls of belief that people build around themselves in order to feel safe. In this connection, she (the writer) talks about considering the phrase “gentle shattering of identities” as a problem and a method of radical thinking and being stranger towards one’s self. As one of the verses of the bible implies, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8).”
If humans are trying to gently shatter these solidified identities and pre-packed ways of being and acting in the world, then they are moving in the field of questions that Sigmund Freud tackled with the concepts of “de-personalization” and “de-realization”. These concepts raise the question about the possibility of at the same time believing that something is and at the same time having a fundamentally sceptical attitude towards a given situation.
In this article, the researcher comes up with the idea of strangeness to oneself as something which stops her from thinking of her own progression (for a while), something which impedes them from integrating ideas and concepts in mind. On the contrary, it is one way of legitimately and sensibly acquiring learning and continue growing.