Saturday, August 29, 2009

An Approximate Sense of Self

I am who you think I am, I am who I think I am, I am who I am.

I was browsing the other evening through the profiles of some of the various people who have shared interests with those quoted on my own BlogSpot – I am still waiting for someone else to share ‘a stolen smile’ with! It is an interesting exercise exploring the nuances of what people choose to reveal about themselves. You make judgements, second-guess them and sometimes feel compelled to reach out, to make contact, to be certain that your perceptions were accurate.

The objective and subjective perceptions of self rarely in ordinary life coalesce to give an accurate portrayal unless, I sometimes think, it is in a man saying ‘no’ or a woman saying ‘yes’ to those eternal questions, Do you believe, do you love me, are you happy, do you forgive? The reverse gender responses do not generally hold true.

And in writers it is never true!

Bernard-Henri Lévy, the Algerian born millionaire ‘media-darling’ philosopher of the French left – I have to state here that my perception of modern Socialist/Leftist French politics, and indeed also that of the current Iranian ‘theocracy’, is akin to that of a recent amputee, who inwardly, at a cerebral cortex level at least, has a sensation of something ‘out there’ where the limb once was, moving, touching, sensing, reacting yet in reality there is nothing there, nothing of substance at least, just a memory, a memory of a once viable purpose – said in an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine some years ago that ‘writers are not as interesting as the books they write.

Is this the key?

The great books, the greatest poetry, the most beautiful music and art are all exploratory journeys of self, yet in their greatness reach or almost reach non-self, the approximate likeness of being.

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