Coded gray.

Tuesday 29 May 2001

Screenshot, B&W

Pic of the day: My choice of totem creature in B&W may not have been overly representative, as this tiger is "very very compassionate".

Who you really are

I'd follow your course
of doors left ajar
to try to find out
who you really are ...
Who you really are.

Per Gessle / "Roxette", Wish I could fly

"Find out who you really are."

Lionhead Studios, motto for the game Black & White.


In my dream, I am somewhere in Latin America. I am singing a song I have made myself, about a girl I admire for her bravery and her loyalty. I am unaware that she is hiding nearby, listening, until I practically stumble over her. Nobody else knows what I feel for her, or what she feels for me. She does not say it, only show it.

In the next dream, the big room is almost empty. Then something begins to become aware. Glowing colored strands of energy appear in the room. They are invisible to all except for the nameless awareness. A white-bearded professor appears to perform an experiment. The awareness merges with the body of a young man in the room and the energies forms a protective aura around him, which the professor is unable to get through. Then the energies start to change the young man ... into something else.


"Know thyself" was the inscription at the Oracle. But can we even know our self, much less others? I have said in the past that to some extent, the very idea of a "self" is Just Plain Wrong, in so far as it is seen as a pearl - alike from all angles and consisting of the same stuff all the way through. At best our self seems to be a many-faceted jewel, and even that is just a happy illusion. By direct observation can we see that the self is a composite unity. Different sub-persona come to the fore in different situations ... one at work, one at home, one at parties and so on. (Actually, there are usually several just at home.) Normally they have a lot in common and overlap to a high degree, but often they squabble like siblings in a large family.

Who has not experienced to forget something important despite it being all too obvious? Groped in vain for the name of a close friend? Said just the wrong words at the right time, despite knowing better both before and after the fact? Like the smaller brother who doesn't get the front seat, the neglected sub-persona is all too happy to trip your feet when you are not looking. Decidedly replete with squabble.

On the bright side, this group structure of the self allows us to take in other people. And what is love, if not taking someone else into your heart? Whether you love a human, a god, or even a pet: They have a place in your heart, in your soul, in your thought, in your self. Of course we cannot absorb the whole real person, only what we see. And even that may not be what they really are. Not even what they pretend to be! For we tend to match people with our existing stereotypes. These may be personal, or common for our family, or for our culture. Some seem to exist across time and continents, and you may know them as archetypes. If you match up another person with one of these, all bets are off. But you've probably noticed already. (Infatuation, anyone?)


Now, that the self is composite, and that it includes others - does this mean that no self exist? That we cannot know ourselves, because we are not real? Nah. Do we say that a chair is not real? Because it consists of molecules which consist of atoms which consist mostly of empty space and a few small neutrons, protons and electrons ... which again, when you come right down to it, don't really have a fixed value but rather are probability waves. For instance an electron does not circle around the nucleus like the moon circles Earth, much as we try to make children believe this. No, it exist as a cloud of probability within certain distances from the nucleus.

If now the things we can see and hear and touch are composites, dwindling down into infinity, how can we possibly expect the self to be a uniform lump of "personality stuff", definable and fixed? The molecules in our body are exchanged day by day, and of course the same happens to out soul. The person I was three years ago, when I started this journal, is not the person I am today. Yet there is always enough left that you can easily recognize my soul, just as you can easily recognize my body.

Platon made a huge mistake with his "idea" doctrine. He confused words with reality, as do many today. He seems to have thought that if there is a word for something, there must be a corresponding reality. We should be aware that such is not the case. And especially when it comes to each other. Even if you think you know me, chances are you don't. Not because I try to deceive you, but because we see each other through two layers of illusion. Our own and the other's. We see as through a glass, darkly. The outlines may be right, but the details may be our imagination.

But at least when it comes to me, you're in luck: You can continue to learn more about me every day. No doubt some of you may notice patterns that I don't. "The eye sees everything but not itself" as the old Norse saying goes. All you need to do is follow the doors left ajar, into the depths of myself. If you dare. :)

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