The First Person
The Center of Reality
“In all affairs, it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” - Bertrand Russell
There you are sitting, looking out onto the world. Looking out onto the world at these words on this page. This is the same place from which you have, and will always observe the world. To you, this is the first person perspective. This perspective becomes part of what you identify as yourself. This self-gets combined with other attributes, mental and physical which relate to the body you seemingly carry around with you, or better yet, seemingly carries the "you" around all of the time. This is something we can all agree upon and know that we experience.
It is from this first-person perspective that we can not only observe the outer but the inner world as well. This inner world is a complex culmination of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In healthy people, most of the time, this inner world is a rich and complex space. However, being a human, a consciousness inside of a body leaves room for some pain, and some loneliness at all times. As Carl Jung so eloquently put it:
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” - Carl Jung
We each have our own unique experience that we have inside of whatever we consider to be "ourselves". This cannot be shared directly. There is no one to have such an experience with.
The only way we can explore and understand if another is having a similar experience is through words and body language. These are symbols after all and are not direct experiences. Herein lies the gap of human existence. It is in this void that we exist as seemingly separate and lonely individuals. This is the vulnerability that is exploited by corporate society. That missing link is played to by telling us if we consume, we will feel better. There is some sort of fleeting and empty comfort felt from this consuming.
This seeking of superficial comfort stems from the void of being able to directly experience another's experience. So people spend their days distracting themselves with consumer goods and other means. They strive to fill their time with busy work and superficial interactions with other human beings, various forms of entertainment or an array of drugs. These are all feathers from the same bird. They are all distractions from the true nature of reality and what it means to be a conscious awareness in a body that gets boxed up in an array of terms.
In a day and age where we are sold the notion that we are an inherent individual who should do everything they can to gain things for themselves; this perspective can not only get unbalanced, it can become a train-wreck in and of itself. When we fall into this trap, our viewpoint and mindset become very narrow and focused on the possession of material goods to the greatest quantity and in the most rapid manner possible. We do this with little to no regard for our fellow humans. This distorts our perspective of reality. To us gaining money, consuming and having an endless stream of fun in our lives is sold to us as the proper way to live. Is the best way in which we can be living? Perhaps
“To live fully, we must learn to use things and love people, and not love things and use people.” - John Powell.