Discover more from Weekend Wisdom - Dan Isaacman
Who Are You?
You Are Your Alter Ego
Who Are You? - Not the typical question to ask someone you meet, but this was a question I was asked recently by a child.
Not knowing how to answer, I went into an abstract thought process.
What About You is Constant?
The only thing that we can perceive as a constant is our consciousness. Scientifically we do not understand consciousness, but intuitively we do. Perhaps the answer to the questions who are you is that you are" the observer" you are the one who sees.
Are you your physical body? It doesn't seem so because we always change and replenish our cells.
Are you your thoughts and emotions? Well, you might wake-up feeling and thinking one thing, before completely changing throughout the day. Sometimes you might have an emotional roller-coaster.
You are the observer who sees the body, mind, thoughts, feelings, and emotion.
Have you ever been in a conversation and thought "what should I say next?" Who's voice are you hearing?
If I ask you to say the word Ego, but without opening your mouth, say it in your mind. Can you perceive the sound?
Is that us that says the word or is it our mind. If it is not us, then there must be more interesting elements at play.
There seems to be a gap between the conscious and the physical. This gap makes it possible to insert an ego in between.
It's hard to grasp the idea of this ancient word" ego", and it seems to have taken on a different shape over time. A more fundamental concept to understand is the alter ego.
Think about Superman. His alter-ego is Clark Kent. Superman uses this constructed character as an alter ego to function as a citizen and deal with the complications of a "normal" life as a journalist.
If Superman Can do it, So Can You.
Creating an alter ego to help us deal with our challenges.
In a way, we already have a constructed image of who we are in our minds.
The character of "I" or "me" is a result of your experiences, environment, and other people. Outside circumstances profoundly influence your self-image.
Arguably, we construct a mostly fictional identity.
We base this self on several identifiers that other people give to us throughout life. "You are silly. You are mean. You are x."
We dress and act in accordance with this character and mostly live within the box of who we believe that we are.
Our natural alter egos show themselves as to how we show up as different people in different environments. We may have a different character for work than we do when we are with our friends.
What if we could set up a proxy between ourselves and the outside world?
What if we could create any self-identity that we want. We might base it on a fictional character like superman, or we may pick and choose qualities that we want to portray. Some people name their alter ego and create a rich back-story to give life to an identity that you wish to embody.
Understanding that some people may consider having multiple personalities as a mental illness, it is worth noting that there has been well-documented evidence over time of the power of crafting an alter ego as a tool.
The separation between the consciousness and the Ego gives you an advantage by allowing you to explore life as without feeling too personally involved.
You can use a totem, or a trinket such as a ring, coin photo or any object to help you create this character. Superman chose a set of glasses.
By reinforcing certain behaviours while consciously using your item of choice, you can help to strengthen practices and actions that resonate with your new self.
We observe ourselves as we go through life and often construct the notion of self, based on what we do and don't do. When you step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, you allow a more magnificent self-image to appear and can positively construct the person you want to be.
In the end, this trick is not for everyone, but if you can start to observe the gap between your physical world and your conscious being, life has an exciting way of opening up.