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24 September 2012

THE FALLACY OF THE SELF


While in a stationary train or vehicle, we are often disillusioned of being in motion because of the motion of other train or vehicle seen through the side windows. To ascertain if we are truly in a state of motion, we look beyond those moving trains for known stationary entities like the trees or buildings. If the trees or buildings are not in motion, the mind immediately informs that we are not in motion. Many times in our real life, we completely deny or ignore the accuracy or the existence of such referable stationary entities. Like the knowledge of motion or motionlessness becoming impossible without referring to known stationary entities, our mind would not know whether we are sane or insane without referring to an external point of reference. Only through the senses derived by referring to external agents can one arbitrate the sanity of one’s own mind. 

Can a fallible self be a better point of reference for the self than the infallible being Himself? Man cannot be righteous without God as the point of reference. But the tendency to justify our own moral conduct is so intrinsic that we acknowledge the self more often than the infallible God. In the lack of the infallible Being, the self creates god in the likeness of the self and the self reduced itself to an idolater when the self, in due course, worships the self. This intrinsic tendency is in total disregard to the truth - men’s need for an infallible external moral point of reference. Like the disillusionment of motion in a motionless train, we used our own self to inform us on whether we are morally right or wrong not realizing or refusing to realize that we have failed time and again to look beyond and see the incorruptible God, the moral law giver. 

Extrapolations of similar misplacements are also seen in the social sphere. Self justifications for the sake of self aggrandizements have become the emperor’s decree of the self. This is the decree any individual self is more than willing to self imposed. The tendency of sensitivity only to the self has caused us so much pain and abounds our society with purposeless aspirations. 

While acknowledging the fallacy of the self, some have fatally fall short by referring to fallible and movable point of references. The movement of the train we see is not ours but the train around us. How long shall we remain disillusioned by the movements of others around us? 

With this seemingly post-modern mind, we end up arriving at contradicting conclusions but equally convincing explanations – the fallacy youngsters admired and adults celebrated. Such contradictions can never be the means to achieve mutual benefit or harmony. Are our minds closed to the common good of all? Are our minds fixed on the self and nothing more? When self becomes the measure of everything, God is no longer the measure of the self – then the self lost its purpose and meaning.


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