We are made of words! 

What is this person we know ourselves as?  This individual with our name?  Who walks about (or struts his hour upon the stage) amazed at the fact of his or her very existence in the Universe?  Who wonders at his or her relationship to this surrounding, separate, reality? Who lives in fear of its life ending?!

How did a 'Rob' or a 'David' or a 'Susan' or a 'Helen' come to be inhabiting this human body?  Where do we go when this body dies?

 

In our Beginning was the Word. And that word was probably "baby" or "Rob" or "David" or "Susan" and it started to define us, to identify us and to separate us from the stuff around us. Our human capability for language and abstract ideas and those words about ourselves began the ceaseless internal conversation of our thoughts.  No baby feels of different 'stuff' from its surroundings but once we have learned to talk we experience ourselves as something abstract/separated.  We are already a name, a baby boy or girl, a son or daughter - concepts we now carry with us, different from concrete reality, the stuff around us.  We may already be a "good boy" or a "naughty little brat”. We may have already learned other words about us which will arise and repeat in our internal conversation for the rest of our lives.  

And so, who we 'are' is constructed through language.  The person we understand ourselves to be is a social construction. A construct of abstract ideas conveyed in words, and maintained, in our internal conversation - our ceaseless thinking -all in words.   Perhaps this construct is what Freud termed the Ego. This articulate part of our consciousness becomes all that we understand ourselves to be.

This verbal self is a powerful aspect of a human. It enables us to function as part of a complex social order, to operate far beyond what we could possibly expect to do without shared knowledge.  But its cost is the illusion of separation from others, the world, Nature, Reality.   Its cost is that we understand ourselves to be something immeasurably less than the totality of what we are.  

Its cost is that much of our being is unknown to us and possibly much of 'reality' around us.  We fear the unknown so we live in fear.  And of course there is the great unknown waiting at the end for us....

But how do we 'get past ourselves' and fear?    And without simply becoming dependent upon the ideas and interpretation of reality provided by others?