The "Self"

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default The "Self"

Post by Cat on Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:39 pm


Mulled a bit over this in my blog, but thoughts continue to shift.

One article stated that our identity is tied to what we love and our innate impulses, the things we choose vs. other things. (Someone drawn to romantic, adventurous, and spiritual films can define themselves as such.)

Another book mentioned that it's dangerous to narrowly define the self in this way, because it can cause unnecessary limitations. ("I could never work in an office, I'm a romantic/poet", "I only wear pink," "I'm a numbers guy, I can't be creative," etc.)

I also read another article on INFJs specifically being "chameleons" or "least likely to be who you think they are" - because INFJs are more inclined to be relational. My INTJ friend said I am "like a rainbow" because I can fit into various contexts. I'm genuinely interested in various things, so each environment just brings out a different aspect of "self."

In that sense, I don't really feel as if I have a "base" self. I've never really had iron-clad opinions about anything, because I know that as I learn new things - my opinions often grow and change. My opinons are always more along the lines of "This is where I am at - for right now."

I view the self almost as a blank canvas - or just openness/receptivity itself.

How do you define it?
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Post by melodiccolor on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:51 pm

I do have a core self; no words can define it; it's just who I am. The rest is exploration of various aspects of self, and those aspects can seem infinite. But I also have a sense of what I am not too; to do certain things would feel very wrong to me given who I am and the inner scope I live by. We all have interests and we all have areas we have no interests in. While that can change over time, the range is definitely there and helps us see who we are too, or at least those aspects currently active.

I am INFJ and even though I try to be as clear as I can, I am never who people think I am, lol. There have been a few very rare exceptions to that, thank goodness. cyclops

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Life is complex. Parts of it are real and parts of it are imaginary. (read in a novel by Gregory Benford.)

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Post by Cat on Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:15 pm

"The rest is exploration of various aspects of self" -- Right, that's how I view it too. The "Internal Family Systems/Parts Work" therapy model also states that each emotion is a different "part" or offshoot of the original self - the self being just an empty, meditative state -

"The self is so subtle that is has been difficult to describe it. One person has said that it is like water: it is clear, and quiet, and calm, and doesn't have a 'personality' like the often colorful parts of the inner system do. Another way of representing Self is to see it as a conductor of an orchestra. ...When we are functioning well and in harmony, our conductor, the Self, easily brings forth the parts of ourselves that are needed. When we are in Self we are calm and compassionate, we have curiosity, clarity, confidence, creativity, courage, and connectedness. This experience of *being,* unshaken by changes in the body, feelings, or mind, always conscious and capable of choice."


"I am INFJ and even though I try to be as clear as I can, I am never who people think I am, lol. " - HA, I get this too. I gave up trying to explain myself in simple terms and now just say, "It takes time and patience to really get to know me." =P
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Post by Cat on Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:09 pm

Saw this post on another forum and thought it fit this question too -

"It's been said that 4's on the enneagram have trouble establishing a stable sense of self because they base their identity largely on their feelings, which are ever changing. I've noticed this issue in myself. I look back at something I wrote the previous day and I'm filled with shame because it doesn't even sound like me. It just sounds fake to me, like I was trying too hard to sound a certain way. This is because I'm in a different state of mind than when I wrote it, and I base my identity on how I feel in the present moment rather than how I have felt in the past.

Has anyone else had similar issues or experiences? Has anyone managed to overcome this issue and create a more stable sense of identity? And if so, how did you accomplish this?"
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Post by RBM on Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:16 pm

My understanding of the sense of self, comes from Tom Campbell's model. In it, for this topic, there are two parts, the Being state of consciousness(aka, Soul, Spirit, Being, Being state of Consciousness) and the second part, the EGO(my personal form of notation).

The non-physical part that comes with physical birth is the Being. It's what exists when the body dies.

The EGO is learned from birth and dies with the body, and is defined as that part of Self that is in service to Fear. The Being is love, as in compassion and caring for others. Minimize fear and the EGO will dissipate into the air, depending on how minimal one gets. That minimizing process of the EGO, maximizes Love.
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Post by Cat on Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:49 am

RBM wrote:My understanding of the sense of self, comes from Tom Campbell's model. In it, for this topic, there are two parts, the Being state of consciousness(aka, Soul, Spirit, Being, Being state of Consciousness) and the second part, the EGO(my personal form of notation).

The non-physical part that comes with physical birth is the Being. It's what exists when the body dies.

The EGO is learned from birth and dies with the body, and is defined as that part of Self that is in service to Fear. The Being is love, as in compassion and caring for others. Minimize fear and the EGO will dissipate into the air, depending on how minimal one gets. That minimizing process of the EGO, maximizes Love.

Interesting, I was just reading an article on ideal friends/partners for INFJs, and it mentioned how "a lack of ego-defensiveness" is a key factor.

"INFJs are surprisingly verbal (more so than any of the other introverts), and they need clearance to speak candidly about their perceptions, even at the risk of offending of their partners. This is why a lack of ego defensiveness in their partners is so important. Communication takes precedence the idea being that with open and honest communication, almost any other challenge can be navigated."

So similar to what you said, a lack of ego-defensiveness equating to love/connection.
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