June 8, 2009

Day 11 Asking for Help- Doppleganger

“What enables a person to move from experience to experience while still staying true to who they are?” this question, which comes to me from my friend Paul, and which will be included in 12 days journal #56, has me stumped! Truly I think it is the first question which I really have no idea how to answer. Maybe I am tired, or all “inspirationed” out from the last entry, but I sat here and pondered this, and couldn’t come up with anything. From a psychological standpoint, we are born with a personality, then nurture takes over and we are shaped. This personality might be the constant, the ballast which keeps everything congruent. But I suspect it is more than this. I also began to wonder if I DO indeed stay true to who I am? I wonder if I am the same person when I am dancing my way round beautiful California, as I am when I am baking cookies for a school potluck (Ok you got me, I almost never bake, but you get the idea). It is hard for me to gauge how consistent I am, because I am the one playing the role. For a good long while last year I felt as though my two lives were completely dis-integrated. I was a double agent. I know that at the core I was the same person, but there were times I wondered if it weren’t some cosmic trick, if I was actually two different people!

Paul didn’t give me an answer, had he have I may have been able to pull from it, but for right now, I am stumped. All I can say is personality plays a role, the other roles are players which are a mystery to me. Perhaps my doppleganger knows the answer?!


  1. I think it's easy to remain myself and true to myself as I move from experience to experience. I mean, really, multiple personality disorder makes this no problem. I just compartmentalize.

    Actually I am being somewhat true here. I don't have multiple personality disorder but there are many facets to who I am. There is the part of me that is the lover, part of me who is the nurturer, part of me who is capable of killing another human being...I and we are all capable of doing so many things given the right set of circumstances. I believe that whatever I do is being true to some parts of me and may fly in the face of other parts of me. I am not being untrue to myself, I think I actually just need to accept that the things that I do are all done for a good reason according to some part of my psyche.

    I'm not sure if this makes any sense at all.

  2. Well, what is a river? Is it the water passing by? Look away for a moment, and when you look back, it's entirely different water you see, so that's not it. Is it the banks that contain it? If the river were to dry up, one would hardly look at the banks and call it a river. Even in a running river, the banks are always shifting as the water carves and deposits earth. A river then, it would seem, is a dynamic event. Not a thing or a place. I am river, regardless of the state of my banks (life circumstances), or the ebb and flow of the waters (events, thoughts, etc.) And perhaps more to the point, some day I will not be a river. I will not be at all. I do not need to stay true to who I am, because I simply am, regardless. Any notion of who I am is can only hold me back from growth and change. Perhaps a better question to ask is how do we keep from stagnating....

  3. Wow, awesome question! I think, for me, anyway, that it goes back to what Socrates or Plato (don't remember which) said: Know thyself. I think constantly exploring my Self, and who I am, and assessing which parts of me have remained the same and which parts of me have changed, and knowing that there will always be change. And yet, as B. said, there is sort of a core personality that remains somewhat constant in spite of the modifications that come along, in spite of adapting to one's circumstances, etc.

    I'm intrigued with the idea of the doppelganger, actually. There has only been one experience in my entire life where I can honestly say that I completely lost my Self. I was empty inside, I was a shell of my former Self, and was well and truly lost and I didn't know how to find my Self again. The dictionary.com entry for doppelganger mentioned old folklore about how it was believed that if a person met their doppelganger wraith, it meant that they were going to die.

    The opposite happened for me. I met my doppelganger, embraced it, and reintegrated it into my Self again, reborn, new and improved but paradoxically still the same. It was like reincarnation, but twice into the same body.

    But the question was WHAT enables us to hold onto our true Selves from experience to experience, and I would suggest again, knowing thyself. I had a very strong sense of Self before I got lost...I think that if I hadn't, I would never have found my way back.

    I also really love Anon's river analogy. So true!

  4. Wow...I should loss my inspiration and be tired more often! These answers are so clear, and insightful! (I know, I know, I am not suppose to b commenting, this is actually my doppelganger!)

  5. I only have one point of view wherever I am, that is although I feel different ways about different things there is only one me to experience what I do. This is hard to explain. So I think I am a travelling point of view, as is everyone else, connected to everyone else, and with a way of connecting all my experiences giving me a unique and consistant life because of my unique position. So I think because of this it's impossible not to be true to who you are, certainly in the universal sense and you will always self-correct if you are not true to who you are in a day to day sense. And having written thisI'm still not sure whether it makes any sense. Probably depends on your point of view.

  6. I followed it, Anthony. It makes sense to me!