What is ‘Easy to describe but maddening to decipher’ ?
The ‘Self’ obviously…
Stuart Hall, an acclaimed sociologist, divided the modern man’s identity in three specific aspects :
(I must say very much relatable owing to the conflicts I keep having my own self)
We are all born with a firm inner core. Autonomous beings asserting ourselves for whomsoever we are.. Not susceptible to change by any external agent.. We can retain our original identity inspite of interacting with others. Nobody intimidates us at any cost.
Your values are intact even if they are being looked down upon by your peers as outdated and out of vogue.
For instance, you could care less about others being insensitive as the norm. You want to be a nice person to whomsoever you can. You feel being mean is something definitely not pleasant for your standards.
Our inner core can be modified by the society in which we live. One tends to internalise cultural values and traditions by default.
Our self is determined by our social interactions.
Reflexive beings who compare themselves to others inspite of having resolute principles of their own.
The comparison emerges unknowingly once one starts socializing and wants to participate in activities involving others.
An identity is always created with a purpose of being accepted by the society.
As we grow up, we nurture a looking-glass self. We understand ourselves based on the interpretation of then perception held by others about us.
If the world demands you to portray your animal instincts, you lose humanity. If the society expects you to be considerate of animals and nature, you start pretending to be a naturalist.. You become what the society wants you to be.
Our self-referential point keeps changing according to the way we are represented or addressed in the society. Your self is subjected to so many changes that there is nothing fixed. A constant state of flux..
What breeds deep uncertainty, insecurity, and anxiety in these times ?
A theologian, Anthony Thiselton says its ‘loss of stability, loss of stable identity, and loss of confidence in global norms or goals’.
Every person has a gyroscope. A set of internal values that guide one’s life. But the problem is we no longer take cues from this inner guidance.
Ever-ready to conform yet don’t know what exactly to conform to.
I think of the concept of ‘Self’ as an illusion. I created it for my own benefit. It helps me to make sense of rational behaviour.
Our experiences create the ‘Self’. Just imagine an object’s centre of gravity.. It’s abstract not concrete. It’s not the actual thing.
Similarly, our ‘self’ isn’t real.
Coming up next week:
Being creative is donning multiple mindsets..