I Was Toying With The Idea Of Creating The Self

I was toying with the idea of creating the self. Should I or shouldn’t I? Would I, or wouldn’t I? I was undecided. Then the thought came that this could be a good idea. It could be fun, an enjoyable experience. A good laugh. And of course the moment that this thought came along – the thought that creating the self could be fun – I was sold. I couldn’t resist and so I pressed the button. I pressed the button that you have to press when you want to create a self. You know that button…


Now I know that you might well be scratching your head at this moment. If you have a head to scratch. You must be thinking that I’m a bit of a dope. I know that it sounds very much as if I must have already have been there when I say things like  “I couldn’t resist” or “I went right ahead and pressed the button.” Who couldn’t resist, then? Who went right ahead and pressed the button? I know it sounds like I’ve shot myself in the foot but I’d like to argue that me saying this is merely a convention of language, nothing more. I acknowledge that it’s a tricky enough point to understand. It’s certainly a tricky point to put across, without tying oneself up in knots at the same time. There I go again, you see, mentioning the old S-word…


The self, the ‘I’, is such a central assumption to everything isn’t it. It’s our default reference point and so we keep coming back to it even when we don’t want to. It’s hard not to fall into the trap of invoking that old bogey-man of the self but we have to give it a go if there is to be any clarity here. The whole thing is very tricky indeed. The trouble all starts with this business of ‘a thought coming along’. This implies a self, of course. More than just implying a self – it automatically assumes one. There can’t be a thought without a self; who would have the thought, otherwise? Who would the thought belong to? Every object needs a subject, as we all know. So as soon as you have a thought about something (anything at all) there is already a you. The thought IS you – it’s you in disguise. It’s you pretending to be something else. It’s you pretending to be not you…


So just as soon as you have a thought about something you’re lost – that’s the end of it. It’s all done and dusted when you get to this stage. You can forget about it. You WILL forget about it. It’s fait accomplis – there’s nothing more you can do about it. You notice of course how I fell into the trap of saying ‘there’s nothing YOU can do about it’? Of course there’s nothing ‘you’ can do about it – that’s the whole problem in a nutshell. Once the you is there then of course there’s nothing you can do; you’ve been caught out, you’ve been hoisted by your own petard. You’ve been well and truly snookered…


So it seems like a good idea to create a self, it seems like that would be a lot of fun, etc, etc (I’m mentally yawning as I say this) but that’s only because you already ARE a self. Of course it seems like a good idea! I trust you see where I’m coming from at this stage. Because I certainly don’t! Sorry no that’s just me making a little joke. It’s my own private joke I suppose you could say only it’s not particularly funny. It’s a damp squib. There’s no point running away because it’s not going to go off. It’s not a joke I’ve ever laughed at anyway and no one else has ever had a chance to! Not that they would laugh either if it came to it – no one ever laughs at my jokes. I’m just not a natural born joke-teller, I guess. I’ll never do stand-up.


I found myself being uncontrollably angry about the thing. “The thing should never have happened!” I burst out, full of indignation. I was in Supermacs eating a cod and chips meal and drinking a medium coke. Everyone turned around to look at me, taking a break from eating their chips or burgers or pizza slices or snack boxes or whatever it was that they were previously busy tucking into. I fell silent again. In my head I was far from silent though – I was railing against the thing. If it wasn’t one thing then it would be another. There’s always one kind of thing or another that’s just about to happen – a thing that you have to get very upset about. A thing that you are liable to get unreasonably angry about. Or perhaps anxious about, depending upon you predilection.


I had – because of my ridiculous angry outburst – embarrassed myself in public and that knowledge was only adding to the cocktail of negative emotions that I was experiencing right then. That’s what it’s like being a self. It’s humiliating and degrading – you’re the butt of every joke. You’re the perennial fall-guy, and that hurts so much. The pain of humiliation that you can’t escape from because it hits the nail right on the head. Ouch! Boy does that ever hurt!!! When they see you for the complete and utter plonker that you are…


You’re obliged to act the clown but you have to keep on pretending that you’re not a clown at the same time. You have to keep pretending to yourself and others that you’re not a total laughable idiot, and yet you keep on tripping yourself up. Tripping yourself up every time. Tripping yourself up with your own ludicrous size 47 shoes.






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