Disclaimer: by the time this post has been released, I have already made this post in a video series on my youtube channel:Simple Wisdom.
Last post I explored what improve meant. Now I shall be looking at the self.
The oxford english dictionary defines the self as, “In appositive use, indicating emphatically that the reference is to the person or thing mentioned and not, or not merely, to some other.”
When we talk about the self, we are talking about consciousness. The thing that locates and differentiates ourselves from anybody else. The knowledge that we are. However, what consciousness is, is not understood fully. In the 1960’s, scientists predicted that by the 1990’s, civilization would have fully functioning AI with consciousness. And this prediction was wrong, because of one simple miscalculation– sight.
It turns out that sight is a very complicated thing, and a prerequisite for sight is a body. In order for consciousness to function, a huge part of it, is being able to distinguish itself from other things. Meaning, it needs to have a body that it can distinguish from other AI, humans, etc. And for this reason, for the past 40 years, scientists have been struggling with sight.
And so we know that a huge prerequisite to the self is being able to distinguish one’s self from others.
We also know that the self is something that humans uniquely have gained a master of. We know that animals do not have anywhere near an understanding of consciousness like humans do, and so we are separate in this way.
Now that we got the basics out of the way, what is the optimum self?
A lot of people think that their main goal in life is to be happy. I hear this all the time, whether it comes from bad New Year’s Resolution Goals or Long Term Goals, if you ask someone what they want out of life, a lot of their default answers will be to simply be Happy. And that is so wrong, it’s not even funny.
Trying to be happy all the time is a horrible goal. Happy is a single emotion out of an array of emotions. And like all other emotions, being happy has a time and a place. Sometimes being happy is the wrong reaction to an event, and can cause huge negative consequences. Instead of trying to be happy all the time as a goal, a good start is to gain a mastery over your emotions. So that you know when to be happy, so that you know when to be angry, sad, confused, hurt, etc. There are definitely times when you should be filled with rage, rage directed in the right way can lead to greatness. DO you remember a time in your life where you were so mad at something, and instead of letting it out on a person or a thing, you let it out in your work? How much work did you get done? How much did the quality of your work increase, because you were so angry that you would not allow the quality of your work to be subpar?
The start of achievement should be to master your own emotions.
The next step is to become a monster. What does that mean?
This idea was created by Swiss psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and philosopher Carl Yung, and is commonly talked about by Jordan Peterson. He advocates a very specific type of person that I am also in support of. But before I tell you what kind of person that is, allow me to tell you the polar opposite first.
Have you ever met a person that could only do good? A person you could never imagine doing anything evil? Would you call that person moral? I would argue no, that the person is not moral. Why? Because, I believe in order for a choice to be a moral one, there must be a choice between good and evil in the first place. And to a person that can only do good, where they are so naive or unwilling to do evil that they can never choose to do so, then they are just robots that do good, the choice is not there for them, so good is all that they can do.
A monster is someone that can look at evil and understand it. Someone that can see a murderer, a rapist, a pedophile, a Hitler, a Stalin, a Ghengis Khan, and see that in themselves. A monster is someone that understands that they have the same capability, and that they are just a bad day away from committing the same deed, because it’s true. There are too many proven scientific tests that show people, who say that they would never kill a person, that if they were given the right circumstances, they would kill a person with little hesitation. Now you can say to yourself, “I would never!”, but I believe it is more honest and noble to understand that you have the power to commit great evil, and even have all the necessary desire to do so, and so vow to take control of those evil tendencies.
A monster is the killer, the rapist, the Hitler, the Khan that fully understands its evil side, but chooses to do good. That is true morality. At least in my eyes.
So we did not arrive at the all inclusive definition of the self, but rather a elevated version. Strive to gain full control over yourself. Your emotions, and your evil. Be the monster that is in control. There you shall find the optimal self. There you can direct your power as you please, and you will find a level of productivity, passion, and power that you would have never dreamed.
It’s that simple,
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And here is the youtube link to the video version~