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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Constructed Self (a post enlightenment idea)

"I achieve self-consciousness; I become myself only by revealing myself to another, through another and with another’s help. The most important acts, constitutive of self-consciousness, are determined by their relation to another consciousness (a “thou”). Cutting oneself off, isolating oneself, closing oneself off, those are the basic reasons for loss of self….. It turns out that every internal experience occurs on the border, it comes across another, and this essence resides in this intense encounter…. The very being of man (both internal and external) is a profound communication. To be means to communicate….. To be means to be for the other, and through him, for oneself, man has no internal sovereign territory; he is all and always on the boundary; looking with himself, he looks in the eyes of the other or through the eyes of the other….. I cannot do without the other; I cannot become myself without the other; I must find myself in the other, finding the other in me (in mutual reflection and perception). Justification cannot be justification of oneself; confession cannot be confession of oneself. I receive my name from the other, and this name exists for the other (to name oneself is to engage in usurpation). Self-love is equally impossible."                                                        --Mikhail Bakhtin                                                                                                      

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