Two aspects of the self

I’ve touched on this before, but to reiterate because it is so very important…

We only have one self, but it useful to understand two different aspects of it:

The socially-constructed, anonymous, ‘Das man’ (Heiddeger), ‘being for others’ (Sartre) self is the inauthentic self. It is about ‘identity’ and social roles; e.g. mother, Lawyer, wife, sister, socialist, environmentalist, etc.

The authentic self is the more biological self (Nietszsche, Freud). It is rooted in the deepest emotions, such as the fear of death (Heidegger). The authentic self must embrace its deepest emotions, i.e., fully realise them. It must transcend (Sartre) the social self and understand the body – physical and psychological (Nietzsche) –  to truly understand and realise its freedom in creating a life.


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