Inventing the Self


October 15th, 2013 by Gabriel R. Seijo · 1 Comment

This week’s readings can put into question the aspect of “true self” that was discussed in earlier class discussions. Is a notion of “true self” created for individuals dealing with the hearing of voices? McCarthy-Jones describes the coming to self as part of the process of coping with such a condition; Lowboy in a way used the voices in his head to push forward with his quest. It would appear that the general identity of individuals could be considered that part of our personality that interacts with the rest of our personalities. In the case of Lowboy, that part of him that realized the aspects of his mental state and interacted with the different voices and characters that conflicted with his mind.

In my personal experience, the last five years of my grandmother’s life were populated with tactile hallucinations, and on occasions it very much helped catching her attention and remembering her of her mental state, which resulted in the continuance of the hallucinations, but with a more balanced ratio from that mental state and her mindfulness.

I felt that Wray’s narrative capacity to describe scenes in the story through senses other than sight gave the notion of consciousness a whole other spectrum. His descriptions of the weather in relation to the body recognized the necessary relationship of body, mind, surrounding; and the constant description of places through their smell got me thinking of Damasio’s biological explanation of memory storage and image filing in the brain. Places that smell similarly will be recalled through memory when that particular odor is sensed. I feel that John Wray’s style of description goes in hand with Noe’s conception of the relationship of body, mind, surroundings, and got me to thinking: is that part of our identity that interacts with our variant personalities something that can be considered the “true self”?

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1 response so far ↓

  • Samantha Gamble // Oct 16th 2013 at 9:09 am

    Reading McCarthy-Jones also lead me to think about the “true self.” In reading McCarthy-Jones’ article I was able to understand the disease from the patient’s point of view. In reading the patients account and personal feelings about their disease, I was able to see the separation of the voices heard from what would be considered the “true self.” Before reading McCarthy-Jones, I did not understand that individuals with Schizophrenia were able to gain any understanding of their disorder. I often viewed them as almost always being in psychosis.

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