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dopeguru's avatar

What are your thoughts on this speculation?

Asked by dopeguru (1738points) 6 days ago

“The child quickly learns to cultivate the inner, private, life because it puts a barrier between him and the demands of the world. By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe, but we pay a price. We find ourselves hopelessly separated from everyone else … Only during one period do we break down the barriers of separateness: “preadolescent chumship” … One reason youth and elders don’t understand one another is that they live in “different worlds”: youth trafficking in their “insides” which elders have long since “submerged”. The parent himself “now” has difficulty making contact with his own inner feelings, hopes, and dreams. He wonders who is really inside his fleshy casing … “What do the blue eyes, the wrinkles mean?” The face is a lie for an animal who really feels himself to be somewhere in his own interior; … We find ourselves in the ironic situation of having to transact with others with the part of ourselves – our exteriors – that we value the least. And we are all placed in the position of having to judge others on this least important aspect”

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10 Answers

seawulf575's avatar

I think it’s hogwash. Yes, people do put on a public face and keep certain things on the inside (Billy Joel, the Stranger). But I don’t think it is to the extent indicated by this speculation. Growing up, I was pretty in tune with who I was and what I valued. I did not feel separated from everyone else. As an adult, I have kept up this view. As a result, I have been able to successfully deal with 7 kids, to raise them to be good adults that are in touch with themselves.

The speculation also makes another assumption I disagree with. “We find ourselves in the ironic situation of having to transact with others with the part of ourselves – our exteriors – that we value the least.” I think many people value their exteriors too much. That is why when someone on Facebook says something negative about someone else, there is a meltdown and all sorts of anxiety.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Sounds like a bunch of bullshit. Like a person was trying to be deep and introspective and made up all sorts of crap which boils down to be utterly meaningless.

There is zero substance to what was written. It’s rambling garbage.

janbb's avatar

You really do need to attribute your quotes. I won’t respond to a quote that is not cited.

ragingloli's avatar

I saw a series of “Surprised Pikachu” memes, where it listed all the things a child gets denigrated for and made fun of (interests, hobbies, emotional problems, etc) by their parents and other adults, and how it causes children to become disinterested in things and afraid to seek help from others for fear of being made fun of.
So, yeah, sounds plausible to me.

dopeguru's avatar

@janbb It’s from the summary of Ernest Becker’s book Denial of Death

janbb's avatar

Thanks. I think a lot of it is true but I think there are a number of adults who are still connected to their inner selves and perhaps reveal that self to those they are intimate with or trust. I think as I’ve grown and gotten more confident in myself, my true self is more apt to be revealed now than when I was a young adult or perhaps even a child.

Zaku's avatar

It’s one view and expression of something that is almost always true to some degree, especially in modern Western cultures.

The vehement denial you sometimes see to such ideas, reveals how the adult ego rejects such suggestions, with an extra energy that comes from the fear of looking at how true and painful the truth is.

LostInParadise's avatar

I disagree. I like Sartre’s existential view of the human condition. Existence precedes essence. We know that we exist but spend a lifetime trying to determine who we are.

zenvelo's avatar

The premise is not correct:

“The child quickly learns to cultivate the inner, private, life because it puts a barrier between him and the demands of the world.

A happy, week adjusted child does not feel the need to escape the demands of the world. And, in fact, learns that presenting his honest self makes life easier to deal with.

The author sounds like he had a bad childhood and hasn’t done the work to get past it.

YARNLADY's avatar

This sounds like an adult trying to justify his own experience, rather than an exhaustive observation of a large sample.

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