KD-ADS: Expanding Horizons

Cos thinking should never be stagnant...

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A Bitter "Past" Self

You're Judas. You're dark and mysterious and are
rarely seen without your mask. You can be
bitter and mean, but deep down care deeply for
your friends. Your past is complicated. You're
also know as Lion Magnus, but you'd rather not
discuss that. Your swordian is Chaltier.

Which Tales of Destiny 2 character are you?
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NB: The above description is not intended to portray my personality holistically.

"In the consciousness of the truth he has perceived, man now sees everywhere only the awfulness or the absurdity of existence... and loathing seizes him."
- Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

I always had some doubt that each of us are ever able to discover a coherent self in us. Most people are disposed to imagine that they have a stable, coherent and consist self throughout their lives, which isn't difficult to construct for the most part, and could evidently remain so. We may find that as we trace the vestige of a self in our past, we would identify elements of our personality that have stayed and affected every second of our lives, despite how conscious we are of it or not.

However, at the same time, we would also find that we have different "selves", that we choose to subsume or irresistably protrude in social situations, e.g. being a different person in a party or at work. When moments like this appear, some of us are petrified that the consistent self has morphed into another being, an unrecognisable and unimaginable self which haunts us about the nature of our personalities. At other times, we may excuse our differentiated selves, by justifying the situation at hand, e.g. I was too nervous to be my real self, or I am forced to play a role, and we calm ourselves that this would be a passing evanescence
that wouldn't concern us anymore, as long as we are convinced of our authentic selves. The key element is to hold on tight to what we know of our authenticity, and never refrain from that.

But what would happen if we are persistently turning into something we are not? What if your truest and strongest assumptions about your self continue to be refuted, or if every single instance shows otherwise of your staunch beliefs? Would this authentic self be a constructed shell, that perpetuates the lies that are too frightening to bare, or would we find no reason to accept that an authentic self exists? Would it be much easier to lead a troubleless existence by denying that authenticity is pure fabrication, or a comfort blanket that consistency and stability must be found in our life narratives?

Nietzsche believed in the notion of eternal recurrence. That is
while time might be infinite, the possible combinations of happenings was statistically limited. Therefore, some events were bound to repeat. This interesting proposition perhaps should enlighten the endless predicament all of us are bound to, from dealing with similiar turmoils of love and jealousy to grappling with the anxieties of life and death, indeed why should our emotional psyche not be forced to obey the laws of eternal recurrence? Considering that our emotional and mental anguish can not be solved by a definite absolute solution, but is repeatedly brought back to our consciousness, and sometimes survived till death, it would seem that we are fraught to deal with our multiple selves, because they are the consistencies, they make up as part of our true authentic being, constructed and represented differently but yet embodied in a fragmented form.

Those fragments shift and churn in our psyche, and each day the effects can be felt, from the mood swings that overtake our day, the unconscious thoughts that surface for no rhyme or reason, the sudden epihanies that shock our preconceived beliefs of our selves, or even the constant remarks and messages received from our external social environment that beget us to doubt our intentions. Like broken pieces of a mirror, fragments can be pieced to make a whole being, but they never stay on for long. And in our lifetime, you can expect each of these pieces to return.