Saturday, September 15, 2012

Losing Yourself

What is it to "lose yourself?" I imagine it in this way.

When one is calm and self-aware, we might say that his perspective of his actions or his feelings or his will includes "I" as the subject. For example, "I am walking down the street," "I am listening to music," "I am climbing a mountain," "I am thirsty," "I need to know." Losing oneself means ceasing to experience, or perhaps having a diminished experience of, the "I" part of all this. It becomes "walk down the street," "listen to this music," "climb!" "get water!" "tell me!" Or perhaps more truthfully, language itself ceases to be a factor, the commentary discontinues and there is merely feeling and impulse, reaction to stimuli.

The ability to stand back and observe as though separate from the experience is lost, we lose the ability to evaluate our own reactions to the situation. Instead we experience only the reaction, and only later can we look back on what we felt and what we did.

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