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Philosophy Essay On Self: What Role, If Any Do Others Play In The Formation Of Self?

1570 words - 7 pages

To many, it may seem others play an important role in the formation of self. When we interact with others, make comparisons with others and live out our social roles we seem to be affected – so we assume that so is the formation of our “self”. In reality, it isn’t affected. With an idealist view of a non-physical self, that also possesses continuity and unity it can be exposed how flawed this view of self is, and how others play no role whatsoever in the formation of the self. However, our sensory knowledge which is deceptive, leads us to believe in an incorrect view of self, causing the illusion of the importance of the role of others in the formation of the ...view middle of the document...

Hence, most plausible is idealism, which presents a purely non-physical self, and outlines how the so-called “real-world” is inseparable from our mind and its perceptions, and we are simply deluded to believe that it is the ultimate reality on its own. Just as when we are sub-conscious or in a dream, what we experience seems to exist and is real – only until our awakening into a conscious state do we realise it is not. For the only difference between experiencing a “dream” and “worldly reality” is our doubt of events that may occur (we know we cannot fly in reality but may accept we can in a dream). Similarly, it is our ignorance and false perception that leads us to believe in the world as the ultimate reality. Only if we reach a “super conscious” state that is, to unite with our true self – the ultimate reality, can we understand the fallacy of our perceptions about the world. But an idealist view of a non-physical self is not enough to answer the problem. For, it could be our ego, or the mind but we must realize the self is deeper than this. The “Self” is not only deep and immaterial, but an absolute, eternal and indestructible entity that is the pure consciousness and ultimate reality - free from illusion and false perceptions. It may be referred to as the soul or Atman (in Hindu Philosophy). But as mentioned earlier, we may mistake the self for our ego, or the mind. When I say “I am” it is the ego and mind that I identify as the individual - we can refer to this as a “false self” purely based on our misperception and created by our error of its superimposition over the actual self..So, with this understanding of self, it becomes apparent that others play absolutely no role in the formation of our true self. We must realise, we are simply deluded to believe that the formation of self is affected in any way by others. This, illusion arises, from our senses which are rather deceptive. For example, when a rod is placed in water it appears bent but is actually straight. If our senses deceive us once, how can they be trusted to deliver us the ultimate truth that is the self? Our deceptive senses impact on the mind causing it to be immersed in the so-called “world” - where it interacts with others causing us to believe our formation of self has been affected. However, this is not the self but rather our ego and mindset (false self) which behaves as a conscious entity, but ultimately this is an illusion. This false self is a false centre, but our senses cause us to believe that it assumes the power of control and is the consciousness (which is actually the self), however it is similar to a reflected consciousness. Think of moon light, which is nothing but reflected light from the sun, although we (our senses) perceive moon-light, there is no moon-light (false self) other than the sun light (actual self). Hence, our misperception of the self can be revealed, if...

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