Every human being has a self, a sense of me; each of us has a self he believes is separated from other selves. The individual defends his separated self when other selves seem to attack it; his goal is the survival of his apparent separated self; he believes that his separated self has different interests from other selves interests and defends his different interests.
The contemporary psychological conception of the self is that in childhood each of us constructs a self; according to the psychological musings of George Kelly (1955), the child uses the experience he has with his body and his social milieu, especially his experience in a family, with his significant others (parents, siblings and peers at play and at school and teachers) to construct a self.
By the time a child reaches adolescence he is supposed to have learned a self, or invented a self-concept (nobody actually remembers sitting down to construct a self, all the individual knows is that over time he does things in a certain way and comes to have a sense of self based on that pattern of behavior).
Each of us has a self-concept and self-image, and a pattern of behaving, especially a pattern of interacting with other people.
Generally, the individual self sees a boundary between it and other selves; it believes that it begins and ends in its body; if other people touch its body without its permission it defends it, including attacking and or killing the person who violated its body (it fears that the death of its body is its death and it does not want to die).
If we did not have selves we would not interact with one another; without individuated selves there would be no communication and no relationships with other people.
The choice we have is not whether to have separated selves or not but whether those selves are healthy or diseased (aka disordered, sick and ill self).
Where the self is relatively healthy the individual interacts with other selves mostly in a conflict free manner. But where the self is diseased the individual's interaction with other people is diseased; that is, his interaction with other people is filled with interpersonal conflicts.
Given the problems caused by the possession of the self it would be nice to eliminate the self so as to not have problematic relationship with other people. Unfortunately, the fact is that the self cannot be eliminated.
The best that one can do is to improve one's self and make its interaction with other selves less problematic.
In the Christian world, to obtain a healthy self-folks are told to give their ego separated selves to the Holy Spirit to guide them.
God is said to be in his heaven (as the transcendent God) and at the same time projects his self into the manifest universe (the immanent God). The immanent God, God in the temporal universe is called the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit sees our world and knows heaven; it has, as it were, one foot in heaven and one foot on earth.
That Holy Spirit (whole spirit, as opposed to the ego self that is only a partial spirit) knows that our true selves is love; it knows that our real selves are not in bodies, are spirits; it knows that our true selves are in heaven not on earth; the selves on earth are projected out selves, false selves, ego selves.
The Holy Spirit urges the ego self to love and forgive other ego selves the wrongs they did to it and to do what helps other people. If the ego self-cares for other people the individual lives in peace and harmony with other people.
Alas, the ego separated self-pursues what it deems its self-concept and its separated interests and often does so at the expense of other selves interests; in the process the ego clashes with other egos (other selves are also pursuing their self-interests; the result is the state of conflict and war we live in).
We cannot eliminate the self, neither in time nor in eternity. In eternity, as science is beginning to learn, there are information units that we might call selves.
The latest thinking in physics is that what we call empty space is actually composed of information units called Qubits.
Science is coming to the conclusion that space is composed of one continuous chain of information; the chain has units that can be called Quantum bits or Qubits. Each unit is like a unit of light, photon; it is holographic and contains all the information in the entire space continuum.
Let us dispense with science for now and state the obvious. The universe is composed of one continuous wave of light (light carries information); that light is wave and simultaneously particles.
There are particles of light everywhere. Each particle of light is equivalent to a human self (and other selves, animals, trees, atoms etc.). Each self, each unit of light is the same as all the other units (each Qubit is the same as all others; each contains all the others, as in a holographic universe).
Yesterday, January 5, 2017, I got the January issue of Scientific American. I stayed up most of the night until I had read all the articles in it. One of the lead article in it is called "Tangled Up in Space-time"; it explored the idea of Qubit as units of space-time that interact with each other; it does so in accordance with the concept of entanglement (when two or more particles are entangled, and later separated and placed even at the polar opposite ends of the universe, when one is touched and reacts the other reacts instantaneously, as if there is no space and time separating them, overriding the speed of light (186, 000 miles per second, a speed that Einstein said that nothing can travel faster than).
In 1935, Einstein, Podolski and Rosen (EPR) made a thought experiment and reached the conclusion that we now call the non-locality of the behavior of entangled particles (spooky action at a distance, they called it). In 1962 John Bell reached the same conclusion; Alan Aspect has experimentally proved it.
I will just state the truth is I know it. Each of us has a self. That self is eternal; it is not born and it does not die. It has existed forever. If you like, you can call that self a photon, or a Qubit; in truth it has no name. It is part of a wave of light, and is part of space-time.
When that self (a unit of light, a unit of space-time) manifests in human flesh it experiences the particular nature of the body it manifests in and the environmental and social milieu it lives in. In childhood that self develops a self that is now contingent on body and society (but it still has a different self, one that is not in body).
In body and society, some selves are healthier than others; many selves are diseased. The inner self, the real self, call it unit of God, unit of light, unit of space-time is always healthy (it is what people call their higher selves and Christians call the Holy Spirit, the self in touch with all selves, and the whole self, aka God).
The self that identifies with body, the separated self can be diseased. Because it can be diseased, sick and unhealthy human societies and cultures everywhere have ways of trying to make the ego selves healthy.
Hinduism and Buddhism asks the individual to go into meditation and shut out his ego self; in meditation the individual is to silence the self that he is consciously aware of, and experience egolessness; in the egoless silence of his mind his higher self would penetrate into his awareness.
As a matter of experimental fact, if you can keep the mind of your ego self-silent for an hour, with no thinking, thoughts in your mind, you will have your higher self (the Holy Spirit) penetrate your ego mind.
The Holy Spirit has an invariant message for us: love and care for all selves, for they literally share one-self with us.
We all have one self not in the sense that we do not have separated selves but in the sense that outside body, space and time all selves are the same and equal and are related to each other; all selves are part of one whole self that folks call God.
How do you know when you are mostly living through your real self? When you operate from your real self you tend to feel fearless and anger less; you have no depression, paranoia, mania, schizophrenia. When you live from your real self you are peaceful and happy.
On the other hand, when you operate from the ego, separated self you experience fear, anger, paranoia, depression, mania, schizophrenia and the other mental disorders.
The purpose of Western psychotherapy is to enable you to understand your self-structure and see if it is relatively healthy or diseased. If it causes you too much social conflicts it is diseased and you ought to work on it and make it live harmoniously with other selves.
In Nigeria a group of folks called Igbos are always disturbing the Nigerian peace. These people mostly have diseased selves. They want to seem superior to other people (which is at best neurotic, and at worst personality disordered, such as narcissistic and paranoid; and it may even be psychotic). These people are always having conflicts with their neighbors.
They do so because of their self-structures; their ego selves are in pursuit of false ego ideals, such as desire for superiority, power and wealth.
Desiring to seem better than other people they constantly put other egos down. Those they put down resent them and occasionally attack and or kill them.
I am an Igbo but cannot be in the presence of Igbos for an hour without feeling like throwing up. Their conversations are replete with childish arrogance (humility is not in their vocabulary), vanity and boastfulness; they are always comparing themselves to other Nigerians and telling you how everything good in Nigeria is due to Igbo efforts.
They mostly live in Yoruba and Hausa lands; in their foreign environment they claim to have developed everything there.
In the meantime, their Igbo land is literally shithole. One asks: if they are so good at developing places why not go develop their lands. Charity, they say, begins at home, so why abandon their Igbo land and go develop other people's lands?
Of course, they did not develop Lagos or Abuja or Kano; they are merely exhibiting their boastful, diseased egos.
Just watch; now that the west has allowed them to come eke out a living from the west, soon, they will be claiming to have built America and Europe; they will boast that they are responsible for western civilization even as people in their Igbo land live in the stone age; these people are deluded, pure and simple! They need psychotherapy, cure'; when around you they begin boasting about how they are responsible for everything good in our world please do not get upset by their infantile behavior, just give to them the list of psychotherapists(psychiatrists and psychologists) in your town and urge them to go visit them and stop building castles in the sky.
We cannot eliminate our ego, separated selves; all we can do while we are in bodies is making ourselves relatively healthy, not perfectly healthy. Perfect health can only obtain in the part of us that is outside our bodies.
If on earth, in body, one is able to live harmoniously with other selves, to not generate social conflicts and war one is doing fine.
A healthy person is humble; he does not compare himself to other people, for he is not other people, and other people are not him; he lives in harmony with his environment; he is contented with his lot; he lives in peace and joy regardless of his material circumstances.
Those who encounter him feel like he gives them his peace (if you give people conflict and war you are mentally diseased).
How do people who are close to you feel: peaceful or conflicted? What are you giving to the world, peace or war? You decide!
I want peace and do not want you around me if all you want to give to me and the world is conflict; move on; your company is not desired!
January 6, 2017