the self... the way we view ourselves...

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the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:07 am

this is a tricky question... the self... what does it mean to
have/be a "self?"

those who have read Descartes know that Descartes focus on the self
was about this statement of "Cogito ego sum" "I think therefor I am"

the self was found in the "I am".... now let us be careful.. the "I am" is not
found in thoughts like, "I have a car"... for what does the statement
"I" have a car... really mean? I own a car.... who is this "I"? it certainly
engages in material wealth, but does that lead us to this "I"?

what is "I"?.....

I hold that much of this "I" is really something different then we might think it is....

for example, what is the connection between this "I" and meeting my needs?

"I am hungry"... is this the self? is meeting our biological needs really the "self"
in action? I hold that much of what we might consider to be "I", the self is really
the pursuit of our needs and desires......I am hungry.. is that a voluntary seeking
of food or is it a biological need to get food in which case we have no choice....

I believe that much of what we consider to be self, is really a seeking of
meeting our needs and wants, both biological and psychological....
I want food as well as I need love and security/safety and belonging....

much of what we do as human beings is simply to seek our biological
and psychological needs.... and how much of that is involved in "self"?

self: is an individual person as the object of its own reflective consciousness....

there are some who find this "self" in memory... in other words, we find our self
in our memories of our past and present...one of my memorable events of my
childhood was when I was 6... and I was wearing a superman outfit that I had
gotten for Halloween and I reasoned, that if Superman could fly with his suit
on, I could fly with my Superman outfit... so, I climbed onto of a Neighbors house,
went to the roof, three stories up and I was going to fly off the roof..
my older sister saw me and threaten to tell our mother... but hay, what did
I care because I was just going to fly away..... I ran to the edge of the roof and
threw myself off the roof....and over 55 years later and I am still hoping to fly....
I landed on a small downhill part of the yard and rolled down the hill...
I landed without a single scratch on me.. I didn't even have a bruise on me...

my mom shortly thereafter arrived and took me back home where she
gave me the spanking of my life. I couldn't walk for three days after that
spanking...the spanking was far, far, far worse then the flight into the air
ever was......

so I have a memory of self.. of my flying off of that roof and wondering,
when exactly was I going to fly?...yeah.....

I have a firm, fixed memory of my much younger self...and I have knowledge
of my current self.... and which self is far more clear to me? why the 55 year old
image of my childhood is far more clear to me then my current self.......

who am I? I am a seeker of knowledge and one who is also seeking the biological
needs of being human.... I need food, water, shelter, education, health care....
all the basic biological needs of self and I need love, and safety/security, belonging
and esteem of my fellow human beings... so how do I separate out my seeking
my physical and psychological needs from who "I" really am?

I would suggest that the two, seeking out physical/biological needs and
seeking out my psychological needs along with the "self" is the same thing....

I am my needs... my self is the same as my biological and psychological needs...

who am I? I am someone who needs to have both my biological and psychological
needs met...... .... seeking knowledge is the same as seeking biological
and psychological needs.... seeking pleasure is the same as seeking knowledge
as is the same as seeking money as is seeking love or fulfilling my safety/security
needs....

the needs we have drive our understanding of who we are....

you cannot separate out the two.. the needs of the human being and
their self understanding of who they are is one and the same....

the problem comes from the fact that most people don't have a clear
sense or purpose of their own biological and psychological needs
we are ignorant of both our biological and psychological needs.....

our needs drive our sense of who we are and what we do in this existence....

the question is, "What am I to do?" becomes a question of how do I fulfill
my needs... what must I do to fulfill my need for food, love, security, safety?

the self becomes/is part of our search to fulfill our various needs....

that is why we have such a hard time understanding or seeing what is
our "self"... this "self" we seek is lost in the midst of our seeking our various
needs of body and mind......

can you separate out your "self" and your needs, physically/biologically
and emotionally/psychologically?

my needs become who I am.... my self......

one might say, ah, come on man, we are more then just our drives
for meeting our needs? are we? we are more then just creatures
that seek to fulfill our needs, biologically and psychologically.....

you sure?

let us take the search for philosophy.... many of us have spent years
in some engagement with, what does it mean to be human?

that seeking of knowledge is the focus of many of us.... how does that come into
play in seeking out our needs, both biological and psychological?

in what sense of our needs, does the need for knowledge come from?

I think it is a psychological need... we have a need to know who we are and what
is our place in the universe... that might fall under our emotional need for
safety/security and our need for belonging.... to belong is to know where we
fit into the nature of things..to know what is our place in the universe is to fulfill our
need of a sense of belonging...

we can even put religion down into this category.. of belonging..
what religion does is give us a sense and place of belonging in the universe.....

we use religion to fix our place in the universe...we are servants of god or
we are equal partners of god.... either way, that knowledge gives us some
sense of our place in the cosmos....

we use religion to find our place of belonging.. where do we human beings fit
into, in regards to how we understand the universe?

religion is just one means of fixing our place in the universe as is history
as is economics as is philosophy as is political science and sociology......

we see where we stand via these various disciplines in terms of how we
fit into the universe by, history for example.......
Marx believes that man, human beings are simply pawns in the mass
movement of economics... we either adapt to our role in economics or
we are run over by economics.... we might see people in terms of the
political, or the social or the economic or the philosophical.....

the so called "great man of history" theory of history is just another story
about our place in history...... if we believe in the Catholic vision of history,
then we are simply taking up time and space until the final moments of history which
is the rapture and end times of history as already decided by god.....
we have no control over this story written about god and his decision to
create the world, populate the world and then end the world... all of it, all of it,
is done without our participation, our say so, and our blessing or curse as the case may be.....

we are simply bystanders in history according to the bible anyway....

and where can the self be if it is simply around to be a backdrop for the
rise and fall of creation by god?

Marxist history as being a movement that is greater then individual human beings is
the exact same story as is the catholic religion as is the story of Buddhism.....
to each of them lies man/human beings as simply being, at best, spectators to
the actually important event which is the mass movement as depicted
by the bible or Marx or Adam Smith or even democracy....

these mass events in which we play bit roles, again at best, doesn't leave
much room for man/human being as individuals to play a role within them.....
human beings only value according to these mass movements is to simply
be witness to them.. not to influence them or to change them, but
to serve as witness to these mass movements that so dominate our lives.....

I do not accept that we are are, at best, simply witness to history or philosophy
or to economics or sociology... if we are not part of or the creators of
history, philosophy, economics, sociology, then why engage with them?

and where do we find the self, within these mass movements like
Catholicism and Buddhism and history and philosophy?

Kropotkin
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Re: the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby waechter418 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:30 pm

All our deeds, emotions, thoughts, creeds - and whatever else we try to relate ourselves with -
are expression of Consciousness exercising its self-realization possibilities.
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Re: the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:33 am

I am... a basic phrase... I am? now think of what usually happens when
one says, I am.... I am hungry, I am tired, I am bored, I am happy,

and each of these "I am" refers back to something else...

and each of them refers to a need of some sort...I am hungry, clearly
food, I am tired.. the biological need for sleep, I am bored and I am
happy refers back to more psychological needs, not the physical needs of
hunger or sleep...but we think of ourselves in terms of our needs....
I am... the self is really about the needs we all have, both physical
and psychological...I have a need for knowledge... I want to know
everything but that knowledge isn't a physical one, that seeking is
a psychological need... I need to know things is a mental/psychological need.....

to be blunt... our self, the self we know is really just the needs we have.....
so we can think of the self as being about our needs.... the self I present to
the world is really just the needs I have being brought out into the world....

that is why we have such a hard trying to pin down the self as Hume tried to
pin down the self.... the self is connected to our needs.. the self is in fact,
a manifestation of our needs....we spend the majority of our days, seeking
the needs of our existence... be it food, or water, or love or security or belonging....
and we see those needs through the thing we call self..... the self is our needs given
form and name and how achieve find those needs.... no needs, no need for a self...

Kropotkin
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Re: the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby Dan~ » Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:43 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:I am... a basic phrase... I am? now think of what usually happens when
one says, I am.... I am hungry, I am tired, I am bored, I am happy,

and each of these "I am" refers back to something else...

and each of them refers to a need of some sort...I am hungry, clearly
food, I am tired.. the biological need for sleep, I am bored and I am
happy refers back to more psychological needs, not the physical needs of
hunger or sleep...but we think of ourselves in terms of our needs....
I am... the self is really about the needs we all have, both physical
and psychological...I have a need for knowledge... I want to know
everything but that knowledge isn't a physical one, that seeking is
a psychological need... I need to know things is a mental/psychological need.....

to be blunt... our self, the self we know is really just the needs we have.....
so we can think of the self as being about our needs.... the self I present to
the world is really just the needs I have being brought out into the world....

that is why we have such a hard trying to pin down the self as Hume tried to
pin down the self.... the self is connected to our needs.. the self is in fact,
a manifestation of our needs....we spend the majority of our days, seeking
the needs of our existence... be it food, or water, or love or security or belonging....
and we see those needs through the thing we call self..... the self is our needs given
form and name and how achieve find those needs.... no needs, no need for a self...

Kropotkin


We only "exist" if we get what we need.
To me it is existential.
I am = existence, which only exists when it makes itself exist,
through actions which supply the self with its needs.

I'm basically agreeing with you here.
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Re: the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:29 pm

thank you Dan... I don't have a very clear sense of where I am
and where I am trying to go with this, so I am throwing it out there
in hopes of gaining some sense of what is self..

much of self is engaged with Rousseau called "sentiment" a very old
fashion word... the dictionary defines sentiment as

"A sentiment is a mental feeling or tender emotion, or a thought proceeding
from feeling or emotion"

obviously much of what we might call "self" is emotions and feelings...

so how do we connect this "emotions/feelings" into this idea of self?

I think, think that our emotions/feelings are also connected to our needs
of body and psychology.... we need food, water, sleep, shelter, education
and these are the bodily needs and we need psychological needs, love,
belonging, security/safety, esteem.... I have posited that our "self" is
a means for us to seek and gain our needs... we have the "self" as a means
to seek out our bodily/ psychological needs... we also have emotional/feelings,
and the "self" is another way to seek out these needs of emotions/feelings.....

think of the self as an organizational principle for seeking out our physical
and emotional needs..... for example, I am hungry... and I am in need of love....

so my "self" is the means by which I seek out and engage with those two distinct
and different needs...

I am hungry.. so I make myself a sandwich... the "self" organizes the priority
of needs... hunger comes before love because I can satisfy my need for food
before I can achieve my need for love.... seeking love can take an entire lifetime,
whereas seeking food, 5 minutes...

so I think that the "self" is an organizing means of achieving our various
goals, both psychological and physical.....the "self" prioritizes our needs
and then works out a means to achieve those needs...

when I was young, so many years ago, I was in dire need of love and companionship...

I reek of it...and people could sense it, perhaps even smell it.. my desperate
need for love and companionship....I now think I was so desperate for love
and companionship, I scared people away.. and that was reflective in my
personality, my self....I was that little puppy dog with the big brown eyes
begging for some attention.. almost any type of attention...
which is cute in a dog, not so much in a person.....

and to this day, sometimes I find myself almost begging for attention...
but I can see this now... I can overcome this weakness of mine.... to seek
attention, to be the center of attention.... and I believe that this need for
attention was also in my "self".....I needed attention and my "self" was
trying so very hard to get some attention..... the "self" was a organizing
principle to seek and get attention.. as it was to seek and get other needs of
mine, food, water, shelter, education and the psychological needs of love,
belonging, esteem....

I can see now that my needs are not the physical/bodily needs of food/water/
shelter.. but my needs, my "self" is an engagement with my psychological needs...
but for some/many, that is not the case, their "self" is an engagement
with the physical/bodily needs....

and most people "self" is an dual split between the psychological needs
and the bodily needs... as we need both to survive....

and because I have worked out my psychological issues within the "self"
I don't have as much a need to be the center of attention...... I can be
apart and separate from others and it makes no difference to me...

my "self" was an organizing principle to seek out and achieve my needs,
in my case, my needs are the psychological needs of love, companionship,
esteem..... I don't have a psychological need for safety/security... perhaps
because that was taken care of when I was young... I felt safe and secure
throughout my childhood... and to this day, I have never really felt unsafe or
insecure....so my safety/security needs have always been met...

but my other psychological needs that I have and have not been met, so that I
seek and attempt to meet those psychological needs.. and that is the goal, point
of the "self"......the "self" is a means, a organizational principle to achieve
both our physical and psychological needs....

Kropotkin
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Re: the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:39 pm

the great discovery of Kant was that this "self"
this organizational principle of existence was an active principle,
not a passive principle as was believed before Kant.....

we are active "self" not a passive "self"

in other words, before Kant, the "self" was passive and things
worked on the "self" but the "self" itself just sort of laid there
and allowed the universe to work its magic... Kant said, that
the "self" as we know it, was an active member of the universe...
it sought out and engaged with the universe, it didn't just lay there
passively....

if there was one thing that Kant did that we can remember him by,
this is it... turning the soul, the self into an active participant
in the universe...... we seek out instead of waiting for....

Kropotkin
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Re: the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:54 pm

to continue on....

we have the universe... plants, tree's, the moon, the earth, dirt, cows,
stars, human beings and all the rest of the universe.....

how do we understand them? how do we make the connections between two
separate things? for example, a tree and a bush... what is the connection
between the two? where is that connection between a bush and a tree made?

the religious thought would be that the connection between a bush and a tree is
in the mind of god....god makes the connection between a bush and a tree....

go on, look at a bush and then look at a tree.... just looking at them, do
you see a connection...they certainly look similar...or look at a cat and then
look at a dog.... what is the connection between the two?
and where is that connection made? we see that similar things are not
always connected... for example, we see whales and we see fish, and they
look connected but whales are mammals whereas fish are not...

can you passively look at whales and then passively look at fish, say a
sharks.. by looking at a shark, can you tell if it is a "fish" or a "mammal"?

no, by what method would you use to decide the difference between
a shark and a whale?

the scientific method of comparing and contrasting the two........
you cannot passively understand the difference between the two.....
you must engage actively in seeing the two....

but how do we see the difference?

is this understanding of the difference innate or is it learned?

the connection made between sharks and whales is done within us...
we make the connection.... by methods we use....

it is not by the transcendental method that we see the difference....
in other words, transcendental means universal, necessary...
and seeing the difference between whales and sharks isn't
universal or necessary...the difference between sharks and whales
is found in the connections we find between sharks and whales
and sharks and other fish and whales and other mammals.....

in other words, we compare and contrast sharks and whales and in doing so,
we find the differences... that isn't being passive, that is being active...
and that is found within us and not found outside of us....

we make the connection between sharks and whales based upon criteria that
we ourselves make between sharks and whales....and it isn't necessary or
universal that a connection needs to be made between sharks and whales....

human beings lived for a million years without knowing the difference between
sharks and whales in terms of how they were classed... because that classification
is based upon our own understanding, our own classification of whales and sharks.....

now how is this understanding/connection between things and our needs.......

for example, what is transcendental in human beings are their needs...
again, transcendental means universal/ necessary... so what do human beings,
need universally, as necessary?

we have needs that are universal, necessary for all living beings...
food, water, sleep, shelter, education, health care, and our psychological
needs of love, esteem, security/safety, of belonging....

now our knowledge that we have is found within us by methods that
we ourselves created.... we have classified whales as mammals based
upon certain standards that we ourselves have create.... but those created
standards aren't transcendental, universal/necessary....we could have
easily created other standards in which to put whales or sharks into.....

the connection found between whales and sharks are connections we ourselves
have made..... that there are no universal or necessary way to connect
sharks and whales, that becomes clear... the connection made between sharks and
whales is, from a human standpoint, is artificial....

the method of creating connections can be rational, emotional,
psychological, philosophical, historical or scientific......

and because there are so many ways to connect sharks and whales,
this means there is no transcendental or universal method of making
the connections between sharks and whales...

in other words, Kant is wrong about how we make connections....
he believes that there are inborn, universal, transcendental
method of making the connections in life... we have, categories,
within us that allows us to make connections... the way we connect
the universe is transcendental, universal in all people....

but we can make connections in any number of ways....
there isn't one particular method or way we can connect
the matter in the universe....

I can connect sharks and whales in any number of ways....
and each way would be right depending on the method or means used......

if I connect sharks and whales scientifically, then I am prevented, supposedly, from
connecting sharks and whales emotionally, or religiously or poetically.....

we in this "modern" world hold that we make our connections scientifically,
via the method of science... and that method is transcendental.. universal or
necessary...... but the fact is it isn't universal or necessary....

we can view sharks and/or whales by any number of ways....
of which science is one such method....

and what does all of this have to do with the "self"?

the "self" is one such method of organizing our needs into some sort
of fashion...as does is science, it becomes one sort of way
to organize or to make connections between different things..

the "self" organizes how we seek and gain our needs and our "self"
also organizes our means of connecting the world to us.....

so this "self" decides upon what method it uses to connect
and organize our world........ so our "self" can decide to organize the world
in various ways, scientific, religious, historically, philosophically, rationally,
emotionally or psychologically.......

we make a decision or not, about how we go about organizing the world....

what method we use to organize the world and how......or and this is important,
people will often rely on the methods that they were taught as children as
the organizational principle or there way of making connections....

our indoctrinations as children is used as the organizational principle
in our adult hood.....if we are taught to see the world in a religious
sense, then we see the world as adults, in a religious sense...our
organizational principle is the religious method....so as I have often said,
we must overcome... by that I mean we overcome our childhood indoctrinations
and we learn new ways, new methods of connecting or organizing the world.....
which is inside of us... we are the organizing principle in the universe...

and how we go about this organizing the universe can be random or it
can be logical or it can be scientific or it can be philosophical.....

the "self" does the organizing based upon how it was taught to organize...
be it rationally, or emotionally or logically or historically... and we can overcome
that method of indoctrination by a reevaluation of values......

how we were taught as children to organize the world can be relearned....
we don't have to organize the world via religious methods or scientific or
historical methods.... we can choose the way we decide to connect and organize
the world.....

the "self" makes a decision as to how it is going to understand and evaluate
and connect the world.....

so the "self" is in one part, a way to organize our needs and in another way,
a means to organize the way we view, understand and evaluate and connect
the world.....

Kropotkin
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Re: the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby waechter418 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:17 pm

Self without realisation is a hypothesis.
Self-realisation is a two-way process - analogous to reflection/projection - in this case called introspection & exposition.
Introspection - also known as travel inwards (Lat: initiation) - is to discover, and exposition to manifest ones true Nature, i.e. Self.

Explore the Nature and Powers of your own Being.
This includes everything which is, or can be for you: and you must accept everything exactly as it is in itself,
as one of the factors which go to make up your True Self.
This True Self thus ultimately includes all things so ever: its discovery is Initiation (the travelling inwards)
and as its Nature is to move continually, it must be understood not as static, but as dynamic, not as a Noun but as a Verb.

from "Selfrealisation" by http://waechter418.wordpress.com
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Re: the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:42 pm

waechter418 wrote:Self without realisation is a hypothesis.
Self-realisation is a two-way process - analogous to reflection/projection - in this case called introspection & exposition.
Introspection - also known as travel inwards (Lat: initiation) - is to discover, and exposition to manifest ones true Nature, i.e. Self.

Explore the Nature and Powers of your own Being.
This includes everything which is, or can be for you: and you must accept everything exactly as it is in itself,
as one of the factors which go to make up your True Self.
This True Self thus ultimately includes all things so ever: its discovery is Initiation (the travelling inwards)
and as its Nature is to move continually, it must be understood not as static, but as dynamic, not as a Noun but as a Verb.

from "Selfrealisation" by http://waechter418.wordpress.com


K: I see where you are going with this, but I don't see how it impacts my
ever changing thoughts about the "self"...so I haven't responded because
I am unsure what you said and how it impacts what I am saying....

Kropotkin
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Re: the self... the way we view ourselves...

Postby waechter418 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:50 pm

forgot to point out that both (what i call) introspection and exposition are active and thus subject to change - which counts for all aspects of existence i.e. manifestations of consciousness.
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