Who Am I?

The societal self -vs- the real me

While religion has attempted to define that for me and failed, to find yourself isn’t listening to how you have been labeled or perusing through self help books, but looking within and answering the question all by yourself.

The duplicity of humanness is evident even in the structure of everyday language. Who am I? Want to find your real self? Automatically, these imply there is intrinsically more to you (two of you) and that there are many I’s within you, and there is self—The real Self, and finding that one demands you understand that the I you have been trained to be, isn’t the real you, or the entire you at all.

Unconsciously or consciously, we all mostly identify with two selves. The life you live in the matrix, and the real you that tires of wearing the mask. The imperfections you displease in the mirror and the ideal self you, that you can never quite master.

The you that complains about the way the world is but cannot change your own consciousness, habits, or secrets, has no room to judge anyone else who can’t change either, where real change is mostly accomplished by pretending and frequent relapse.

Many of us are quite aware (and tired) of the hard work and imposture of acting out our performative and cultural selves. Humans often seek refuge in nature, in the home, the bedroom, the bathroom; places where the conscious performance of their everyday interaction rituals can be put on hold.

Those that no longer identify as I, are those that have dropped the rigor of charade and discovered self. Ethically, then, it may be important to recognize that for the most part, we are all real impostors—each playing their preferred game; that little niche of life that dispenses the most hormones to their particular personality. The rigorous scholar, the realist, the spiritualist, the concerned politico, the worrier, the philosopher, the court jester, the asshole—each in his own right the perfect display of a self governing organism, when they can get away with it.

If one is to blame all are to blame. Like republicans blaming antifa for leading the White House riot, yet republicans followed them in—when they thought they were republicans…

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

36 thoughts on “Who Am I?”

  1. God is whittling me down to one me! I’m learning to, ‘Walk in the light-‘ to live openly before him amongst the stuff he deposits along the way.

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        1. Real psychotherapy can only begin or complete when the organism stops apologizing for being an organism. What the gospel does quite well is get one to pretend they are changed. It’s quite a competition —who can love god the most, who can be the most repentant, who can give the best alms, etc. But really AA is the best analogy —giving credit to god yet always in recovery. You have all the power inside you. Learn to use that

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  2. This is a good way of putting things. Someone else I know once remarked that humans are like chameleons who change themselves depending on the situation. If this was the case, how many personalities do we have? Can we really be our true selves? Some wacky food for thought lol.

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    1. Like pretending to be a believer until you just can’t do it anymore? Then not telling your friends or family for the way they might think of you? How many anonymous blogs on atheism have we seen over the years?

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  3. excellent post!
    it’s a heavy price we pay for choosing to be ‘something’ or ‘someone’. we lose being EVERYTHING. only in becoming nothing, can we be all. sort of logical, don’t you think?

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    1. “The Oneness takes on the temporal ‘appearance’ of separation as the many selves- you and me and every other being in the myriad realms in this universe. We appear to be separate, but in reality are not. There is only One consciousness.
      For those of us who have not yet achieved enlightenment, this truth is difficult to feel because we identify with our individual personality-self and not with the eternal Self within.

      Once we reconnect with that Supreme Consciousness within, we realize that ‘there is no plurality of Self. Consciousness is only one Self. The Sanskrit word (caitanya) for consciousness is non-relational, meaning no subject-object relation. There is no English word that conveys this subtle distinction.” this comes from an ancient text, Shiva Sutras

      Until this realization comes and becomes established, the illusionary ‘me’ identity continues to project a reality out of endless desires and keeps us locked into a self-created hologram.

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      1. The speed at which objects are perceived varies based on one’s familiarity with the object. These things you are saying are unfamiliar to the western mind. I’ve heard some master meditators say that once they see this, they laugh or shrug their shoulders. That’s it? It’s like being shown the workings of a magicians trick. Then once you see it it can’t be undone.

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  4. Ah, Jim, do you really not know who you are, yet? Don’t be ashamed! 99.9999% of the people in this world have little to no idea of who they are, and are even less willing to put the person they think they are on display.
    Do you really want to know who you are, if you don’t already? I know how I found me, and I put it all down on the Internet over 20 years ago.
    It actually starts at https://rawgod.tripod.com/id.27/htm but unfortunately that page is antiquated. The main link on it now goes somewhere completely different, and I don’t think computers can be visually defragmented any more, which was a very useful tool to me when I created this website. Still, if you have a good imagination, this is the page to start on.
    Or, you can start at https://rawgod.tripod.com/4StepProgram/index.htm to see the processes I went through to find out the true me.
    I’m sure there are other ways to do this, but this is what worked for me after a lot of trial and error. (And as I reread it today, prior to deciding to give directions to this site, I realized I left out part of Step One, and I cannot put it in as I have lost access to the site. But should anyone want to know what it is they need only request it at gewcolo@gmail.com.)
    Anyway, if any of your readers are interested, I offer my experience to them, of course, free of any charge. Do you really want to know who you are?

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  5. That’s a heavy lift, Jim. But I mostly like it and I have no dispute.
    “I guess every form of refuge has its price.” (Lyin’ Eyes, Eagles; Songwriters: Don Henley / Glenn Frey)

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    1. Our ability to pretend is likely the keystone to civil society. Acting on one’s true feelings isn’t always in the best interest of self preservation.

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      1. Civil society? What is that, Jim? If you have to stop yourself from being yourself in order to protect yourself from others, or to protect others from you, then you are not in a good place.

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          1. In my opinion only, Jim, you would have to change something about yourself, or, the place you are in. You cannot change anyone else. But, Jim, what exactly are you asking. If anything were true? Most everything I suggested is often true for everyone at some time in their life, or I am understanding nothing in your post. We do something, or don’t do something, say something or don’t say something, that totally changes a situation, for better or for worse. If we are being civil then we are probably making a choice that goes against what we really want to do. You have to be someone other than you. Is civility worth it? (I’m just playing devil’s advocate here, this is not necessarily what I believe.) I think if you know you could be a better person, do something to make yourself a better person. I am me, not anyone else. In my mind, if I purposely do something to harm someone, I need to make changes. And if I have to be someone else in order to be civil, again, I need to change.
            My father knew he could be a better person, but he did not want to be better, or even civil. I don’t know how many times I heard him say, “I’m the meanest person in the world. I’m too mean to die!” Obviously, his second statement was not true, but his first one may have been. He never treated anyone with respect, especially his own family members. He had 8 siblings. He had 10 children. He had other relatives enough to fill a village. Wny would he not want to change? He certainly did nothing to be civil. I have no need to be someone like him, in any way.

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            1. There is a range of behavior one is capable of living. Changing attitude, like with weight loss and weight gain, your still going to be you. People are very incapable of truly changing anything. Can you change your personality?
              Can the one that needs changing—do the changing? Why does anything need changing?
              Don’t be an itch that attracts scratching. That is what people learn to not do, yet their inner most feelings are simply suppressed because no one wants that type of stimulus.

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            2. If you knew me when I was younger, Jim, you would not say that. I wasn’t an asshole by any means, but I absorbed a lot of bad shit from authority figures around me as a child. My father solved everything with violence. I had to fight hard not to follow in his footsteps. I have a very addictive personality. Not alcohol, but drugs, gambling, and sex were all high on my list of to-do things. My only addiction now is Word Press, and I think, for the most part, it is not ruining my life. And LSD had a definite positive influence on my spiritual life, it helped me become an atheist. But it was other drugs I was addicted to, not acid.
              I was brought up to be the man of the house–but I learned not only how to share, but to listen.
              Maybe these things were always there and just needed to be brought out, but it was me who brought them out, which in my books is creating change. I am not the person I was when I was born.
              Suppression, yes, I had to learn to suppress myself, but I am no longer suppressing. Being the me I want to be is easy, because I believe in me now. I know how to love me, while when I was younger I hated being me.
              Part of my changes was learning to leave bad influences behind. As a kid I let myself be influenced by anyone who wanted to order me around. And there were lots of those people around. That does not happen anymore.
              Having been an addictions counsellor, I was able to be honest when I said to someone that permanent change was easier if they could find it in themselves to leave the place where everyone treated them as an addict. Find a new place where you can allow yourself to change, because as much as others might want you to change, they hold you back. Changing your place is as important as changing yourself. My true successes, which were not my successes but theirs, if they are still successes–I hope they are–were the people who moved where no one knew their histories, where people accepted them as who the wanted and showed themselves to be. Only a few people were able to do that, most thought they had to stay where they knew everyone, and everyone knew they were addicts. That makes change very difficult.
              Yeah, I’m just ranting now, because you seem to be coming from a position that people cannot change. That pisses me off. You know you can change. In becoming an atheist, or even just an agnostic, a person changes. You cannot make that change without changing yourself. You have to learn how to think critically, which itself is a big change, no matter how critically you think you thought when you were an xian.
              I don’t know that much about you, Jim, not the true you, but I’m betting where you live now is not where you lived as a child, your childhood friends are no longer your friends today, and even your birth family treats you differently, if and when you still see them.
              And maybe you live in a range of behaviour, I don’t know. I do my best not to. I do not change to suit the people I am around. I treat everyone the same. I have only a few secrets about who I was, and those are about who I used to be, there is no honour in those secrets.
              Okay, I’ll shut up now. But I’ll probably rant here again. I usually do.

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            3. Have you ever trained a horse? Maybe the simplest form of how humans respond to pressure can be found in domesticated animals. No offense, and nice work finding your happy place, but you’d be hard pressed to demonstrate your “positive” change is not simply a reaction to stimuli.
              With horses we’ll here, wow, he’s such a good horse (short for broken) and I don’t think we’re really any different. Not that that’s good or bad, but the way we adapt for survival.

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            4. I have never trained a horse, no. But I do own thoroughbred race horses (that I cannot afford, but I love them and cannot sell them to owners whose trainers will treat them like animals, not people!) My trainer does not break horses, she trains them with love. She is one of the new breed of trainers who teaches horses they are part of a team, not a servant to a human. I don’t know what the method is called, or if it even has a name. It was developed, she told me, by a horse whisperer named Jim Anderson, I believe. Watching her work with my young fillies is like watching an angel. She respects her horses, and they respect her. I watch other trainers break horses, and it makes me want to vomit. And if that is what you call training a horse, I want no part of it.
              As for a “reaction to stimuli,” of course change is a reaction to stimuli, but it is anything but simple. I just replied to a comment by Nan, probably above, of how it was the stimuli of realizing I was being different personas to different people that gave me the impetus to become one person (using different words). You like to break everything down to chemicals, and electrons, which if you deny a spiritual connection to life is all you can do. Spiritual does not mean religious, and has nothing to do with gods. Monica calls her spiritual connection a cosmic consciousness, and I agree with her in a way, to a point. I just see life. The life within us, for me, on earth, has a lot to do with chemicals, and the building blocks of matter, but it is more than the sum of its parts. There is a spark within me, a something which makes me appreciate that I am alive. It has no consciousness as we humans talk about consciousness, it just is, and is something more than matter. I do not worship this energy in me, if you are okay with calling it that, I do not give it any special qualities, any sense of superiority or god-like supremacy. But neither do I deny that it does exist, whatever it is, and that without it there would be no ability to conceive of being alive. It would be mindless, purposeless matter, which opens a whole different kettle of fishsticks. But I won’t go there today. I think I have already said too much.

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  6. “Oh would some power the gift give us, To see ourselves as others see us.” (Robert Burns)
    To see ourselves as others see us is an act of observation. To do it properly one must observe and set aside the judgments, comments, and “conclusions” created by us about us. A useful tool for doing this is monitoring self-talk, what we say about ourselves to ourselves. I often say “Never say negative things about yourself . . . that’s what friends and family are for.” It is fairly easy to separate clear observations from self-serving bullshit, but only if one embraces the task.

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    1. Hey, Steve, I have a question (or two) for you: Why would you want to see yourself as others see you? Why not want to see yourself as you see you? When I’ll first asked this question of myself over 50 years ago, my life began to change. Others ceased to matter, only my vision of myself became important, and that started me on the road to me. I have not stepped off that road since…

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      1. But rawgod … we must all interact with others (unless you live as a hermit), so it’s generally a good thing when you’re able to see yourself as others see you. After all, we do live in a society and if we want to get along with the rest of the world, it’s important to be (at least somewhat) accommodating.

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        1. What I’m trying to say, Nan, is to be the person you want others to see. Let them know who you are, not someone they think you are. Maybe I’m not good at explaining things I take for granted now, but there was a time I hid who I was, because I tried to be who others wanted me to be. That drove me crazy (though I did not realuze it at the time), especially when I was with people from two or more different parts of my life. I had my cool friends, my stodgy friends, my nerdy friends, all of whom I had a different persona for. One day they all came together, and it was impossible for me to be all those different people, and that was the last straw on my camel’s back. I determined that I had to become one person, no more personas. It took a while, a long while truth to be told, and a lot of very hard work, but I accomplished it. I discovered the real me, the person behind the personas. I stopped being what others wanted me to be, and became myself. I cannot stop people from seeing what they want to see, that is human nature. But now I am just myself, and that removed a lot of stress from my life.
          Maybe not everyone feels the stress, or maybe not everyone hides behind personas. That was how I grew up, without even noticing it. I thought it was natural to have a family persona, a school persona, a work persona, a hippie persona, a straight persona, a whatever persona. Now I am one person, me. So easy to be, just me.

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