We hear and say this expression "be your self" frequently. And usually we intend somehow being honest and/or not pretending to be somebody else. But I am a little more curious about the meaning of self. What is the true myself. How can I be myself? How can I know and understand myself. I was wondering what philosophers, or thinkers in general, have said about the meaning of self and being myself?
closed as not constructive by stoicfury♦ Feb 3 '13 at 3:42
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There was the great Russian philosopher Bibihin Vladimir Veniaminovich. He wrote a lot about this problem in his book "Мир" ("World"). There is another his book "Узнай себя" ("Know yourself").
He believed that we could find ourself only in harmony with World. I can't reproduce how deep his ideas.
This is more about the meaning of self. I can't say a great deal as I've only just begun to study this.
In the Indian astika (they accept the authority of the Vedas) atheistic philosophical school called Samkhya dating from the 2CE, has a kind of substance duality, they have purusha (usually considered as consciousness) which is contrasted from prakriti (that is matter), they are bonded together through desire into the state known as jiva and only released in moksha. Often purusha is translated as self, it is seen to be our true identity, it is not the thoughts nor the mental, intellectual or emotional activity that one normally have, nor the qualia of percepton itself, indeed these are seen to be prakriti.
(Mythologically, purusha is cosmic man, in the rig-veda sutra 10:90 he is dismembered to create this universe).