Organs, republics and other subjects

SUNDAY, 11 JULY 2004

Coma, amnesia, and consciousness of the self – the relationship between the body and the “psyche”

My sense of self and my ability to critically think about the self whilst my own self remains comfortable depend greatly on the proper functioning of my major organs.

The details of my particular self-consciousness – language, culture, ethnicity – is directly related to the rise of the Dutch Republic to eminent naval power and accompanying economic growth and prosperity and even advancements in the field of art during the seventeenth century.

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Both “sense of self” and “identity” are essential for something to function. What is this something?

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Family and friends are important, even essential to our existence, because we think they know us. They – “know who I am.”

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It feels like I am running down the correct lane in the orchard, but I am not barking up the right tree.

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Johnny Clegg said, “Spirit is the journey, body is the bus.” Perhaps one should be more specific and say: The body is the bus, sense of self and particular identity is the driver, and the “spirit” is the passenger that needs both the body, and the self-identity to get where it needs to go. But, go where?

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