I was looking thru my profile pictures on Facebook this morning, and i noticed something that really piqued my analytical mind… The pics i like least of myself got the most “likes”. The ones where i felt i looked best got the least. I wonder what that means?
I have read that researchers and psychologists believe that if we were to meet ourselves on the street, we wouldn’t recognize ourselves. That what we look like to the outside is very different from what we look like in a reflection. I can see that being true. After all, we don’t often get the opportunity to see what we are like from afar. When you look at yourself in a mirror, you only see one part at a time. And when we see ourselves on film, we are usually too busy critiquing ourselves to get a good overall view. So it makes sense that the visual in its entirety is lost.
Talking with someone about this and why i like the pictures i do, i tell them i like the ones that i feel portray the image of the woman i want to be. The ones where i feel like i look pretty or sexy, smart, unique, badass, and happy. The ones that other people like… I look at them and see too many chins, or asymmetry, or age. Obviously, other people don’t. The logician in me says that one of us, either me or them, must be wrong. But who decides? I wonder what it would be like if, for a moment, we could see ourselves as others see us. Or that they could see us as we view ourselves. Would we be shocked at the results? Would it help us to become more impartial? Less prejudiced against ourselves and others?
And what if we extend it to more than just looks? How we perceive our own intelligence, wit, and altruism surely has the same type of bias. What i feel are my greatest assets may not be the same as what you feel are my greatest assets. And if there is a disparity, which perception is the most truthful? With our human tendency to self-deprecate (or self-elevate, depending on your personality type), can we ever become truly honest with ourselves about ourselves? On the flip side, can anyone who isn’t privy to the thoughts in our head ever hold an accurate impression of the goings on inside?
If we can’t hold an impartial view of ourselves because we are too close, and others can’t get an impartial view because they aren’t close enough….. Who holds the actual truth?
Maybe God/Goddess/Universe is the only thing capable of being both within and without; and therefore, the only potential truth holder. (In which case, we are still at a loss; because if GGU starts speaking to you and telling you the real truths, the world will be more inclined to believe that you forgot your medicine that morning….)
Another possibility is that the truth becomes known when the perceptions within agree with those without. When what i see in me is also what you see in me. Perhaps that’s when the truth appears. When we learn to view ourselves without the first person bias. And when others learn to view us from a more personal vantage point. That intersection becomes a sentinel moment in the life continuum. That point in time becomes the terminus, the clear definitude of authenticity. When all agree and all is revealed, would it be as if we, as a group, achieved Nirvana and became fully, completely aware? Like a rapture of veracity?
Or maybe there is no truth. There is no essence. There is no real. Perhaps the philosophical quest to find it is doomed to be unfulfilled. It could be that everything: truth, time, life itself, are all abstracts in the eye of the beholder. It is possible that Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates were all full of shit and just too lazy to seek out real employment.
But i suspect not. I think truth is something that we work towards, in a rather Buddhist way, tho not necessarily thru Buddhism. And i like to think that when we find it, like Jonathan Livingston Seagull, we will break thru that barrier to see what lies beyond. We will become one with the other side. Elysium, Heaven, immortality.
I could be wrong, but i hope not. Truth is an ultimate quest. And what is life worth without a passionate crusade?