What Is This Thing Called Self? Essay

1158 Words5 Pages
What Is This Thing Called Self? More than often in our daily lives we talk of the ‘self’ in various forms. The most important being ‘ourselves’. Though this ‘self’ more than often is abstract and fluid, and is something we can never develop a solid image or structure of, yet it is something most personal to us. The ‘Self’ is that one thing that sets us apart and gives us our individuality and identity. But how do we define this ‘self’, and can we ever really define it is the question. In the Chapter “What Is This Thing Called Self” from the book, “Cracking up- The Work of Unconscious Experience” by Christopher Bollas (1995), just as the title suggests Bollas very intricately discusses “The Self”. He talks about Freud’s ideas of the self and take it forward. Bollas examines how people educate one another in the idioms of their unconscious lives and considers the nature and consequences of the traumas that inhibit the freedom to do this. Bollas' answer suggests yet more ways in which the 'separate sense' expresses each person's unique qualities. He talks about the self in relation to various things and begins by talking about how “as conscious selves, we thus have an intriguing relation to our mental contents, some of which are part of a moving or dynamic inner presence that we experience but cannot put into words except by partial derivatives.” (Bollas, pg.148) Like expressed above the concept of ‘self’ as well as our understanding of our self is fluid and constantly changes. Every event in our life every action and reaction modifies our ‘self ‘in ways unknown. Success, Failure, loss, Gain, Love, hatred, anger, happiness etc. all forms a part of ourselves. Bollas also talks about the self as ‘an object of internal dialogue’, this statement made me wonder if I would have ever been able to think of or experience the presence of a self within myself, if I
Open Document