Saturday, August 01, 2009

The contingent self.

The human bran is attracted to contingencies, the mixture of regular and random things. Contingencies are concerned with the border between the self and non-self. Things about the self are in general predictable, whereas actions and events arising from the non-self are largely unpredictable.

There is, however, an important amendment due to the above statement. The dynamics of the unconscious contain surprises and inconsistencies from the point of view of the conscious mind, as historically demonstrated by Sigmund Freud. One cannot control one's dreams or hidden and often suppressed desires. Thus, due to the existence of those irregular elements, the core of the self is rich in contingencies.

That is why one keeps being attracted to the self. If everything about the self is predictable, it is not very fun any more. The very fact that some part of the "I" is unpredictable makes being the contingent self so interesting.


Utako said...

It is interesting to open our mind to contingencies, as if a bird on the treetop trembling with fear and curiosity.

I was so helped to spread my peaceful sphere by the Freud's words, for example, "Repressed desires always return to oneself." I could realize that the repression to defend myself threatened me with the same or more bending power.

A four-frame comic strip of the artist Sekine is fine and funny. It has interesting details, and seem to be full of satire and heart.
Please give him a warm hug instead of me.

Yuko I said...

Please excuse me for the comment but I am interested in the nature of the self and I wanted to clarify what you are saying here.

Are you making the distinction between the "self" and "non-self" parallel to that of "consciousness" and "unconsciousness"?
Are you saying something like, "what we normally refer to as 'self' is a combination of both the consciousness and unconsciousness and hence our 'self' is contingent and full of surprises"? It would seem to make sense if so but why the distinction between "self" and "non-self"? Isn't the "non-self" also the "self"?

By the way I am currently doing a thesis on the theory of self in Nishida Kitaro's philosophy at a uni in Japan. The 'self' is so intriguing.

Anonymous said...

I think non-self can be replaced with others here.

masami said...

Dreams which have special atmosphere often help us to recognize ourselves in our very lives.
Does that mean we have a huge knowledge of ourselves unconsciously?