Insights for the deeply romantic and deeply skeptical

Me, Ourselves and We: Multiple Personalities R Us

Integrity isn't being of one mind; it's being honest about being of several minds. Read More

Many Selves In One?

Many eastern religions teach that we are NOT
unified beings. We have many selves in us.
The problem is, we may be wearing the wrong mask, for
the wrong ocassion.
The only answer is to uncover our unitary self.
This can only be done through self reflection.

Many masks in what you (or

Many masks in what you (or the Eastern Religions) say here. Can you clarify? Do you mean:

We have a unitary self or we are many selves?
We are many selves or one self with many masks?

As for self reflection bringing us to our unitary self, here's my take on that:



Walt Whitman was onto something:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

I concentrate toward them that are nigh, I wait on the door-slab.

Read more: Walt Whitman: Song of Myself, Part 51 |

I used to think Walt was a

I used to think Walt was a romantic weenie, but just this month I got into him. Or try this one:

We Have "Imposter" Selves

We have one true self. But many part time selves.
If I take my idenity from my job, it will be of no use
to me, when some other "role" is required.
If I disgard my false selves, the REAL self will naturally
know what to do.

I disagree with that familiar

I disagree with that familiar formula, but to each true self, his own. ;-)

BTW I participate in research to explain in scientific terms how selves are really real and yet changeable, not true in the usual sense, like the unchangeable soul. So I think they're true in that they really exist (half the conventional wisdom these days interpreted by those with bottomless faith in eastern philosophy argues they aren't real, the other half arguing as you have.)

Thanks for thinking with me here.


True Self or False Selve(s)

The "ego" is the acquired self. It is all the labels
that both society AND our errounous assumptions tell us
we are.
We take our false identitys from a mulitude of sources:
Parents, ethinic group, race gender, material circumstances
religion, etc..
If someone offends or condradicts our idenity we feel
personally affronted as someone would feel if we lost
something we identify with.
The essential self cannot be labeled. Therefore, it cannot
be slighted. It is NOT like a changeable suit of clothes
we put on or take off, depending on the "role" we play.

Two Kinds Of "Born Again"

There are two ways to be "Born Again."
1) Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

"Jesus, I confess that I am a hopeless sinner,
and I hereby surrender my life to you.
I believe that you are the Son Of God, and God
raised you from the dead. My life is YOURS!"

2) Become symbolically 'born again" through self
"There is NO DIFFERENCE between the observer, and
the thing observed." ----Juddi Krihnurmati.

No one KNOWINGLY harms himself. Therefore you WON'T
think negative. Negative thoughts will SUSPEND

This is the 1-2 combination of spirituality.

My articles often trigger

My articles often trigger philosophical/spiritual pronouncements from readers, hard and fast formulas for how to live, and often with no more reference to what I wrote than to take up the original question and set us all straight.

The responses I like better play with the ideas with a certain receptivity to wondering whether you've got it right too. That way we can wonder all together. And the thing about formulas for ending negative thought altogether, or becoming invulnerable once and for all: What they most reveal is the desire for the complications of life to end, and we all to live happily ever after by some revealed rule that somehow humankind never uncovered or never followed even thought it's simple and surefire. To me if it were as easy as you suggest we'd have all done it a long time ago.


"Sleep" is man's ordinary state.

There are only 3 kinds of people:

1) "Supersickies:" They delight in inflicting pain.
Sadists and psychopaths would be included here.

2) "Common Sickies:" 95% of the population. They are
miserible because they are confused. Nothing has worked.

3) "Spiritually Awakened people:" They are inner directed
people who see that the "outside" is a reflection of the
inside. There is no difference between the "inner view"
and the "outer view." That's why 10 different people
have 10 different responses to the same thing. It's
a question of "programming" and "identification."
People TAKE offense.
This of course, does NOT apply to our fear of physical
death. This is an instictual fear to preserve humanity.
We have to differenate the PHYSICAL from the MENTAL
/SPIRITUAL. If my PHYSICAL body is 100lbs. overweight, it
takes PHYSICAL EFFORT to get to the proper weight.
To the physical goes the physical. To the spiritual, goes
the spiritual. Nobody was EVER KILLED by a song. They
"died of shame." The mental CAN influence the physical.
like when a Dr. extracts "a frog" from a throght, but
the physical can't help the spiritual LONG TERM.
That's the reason for amusements and distractions.
can help.

! Well one of the few things

! Well one of the few things I can glean from your mishmash of new age sentiments is that you believe you are spiritually awakened. Rave on Tolle-wannabe! It's all in your mind!


There Is None So Blind As He Who CANNOT see.

If I am oblivious to something, it doesn't exist
TO ME, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist!
If I am new to a strange section of town, I cannot
navagate the streets in the most efficent manner possible.
It is my lack of knowledge of the streets that hinders me.
Once I know the actual layout of the streets, I benifit
from the knowledge I did not have before.
That's why SPIRITUAL literacy is so important. There's
I.Q. , E.Q. and S.Q. People in the western world have
varying levels of the first two, but few have much of the
If I don't know that my bulding has an elevator I must
take the stairs. Once I know about elevators, you would
have to put a gun to my head to make me take the stairs.

Well yes of course, but you

Well yes of course, but you do seem blind to how the world is overpopulated with folks like you who think they've seen absolute truths others are blind to, and then make of themselves tireless and tiresome crusaders. Every douchebag evangelist would sign off on your statement above. It doesn't mean you're wrong, but it should humble you a tad. If only you could see that light. ;-)


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Jeremy Sherman is an evolutionary epistemologist studying the natural history and practical realities of decision making.


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