“The most important thing is to know oneself better.” — Spinoza. What do you think is the most important thing?

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A Facebook pal of mine posted the following on Facebook yesterday:

 

‘ “The most important thing is to know oneself better.” — Spinoza. What do you think is the most important thing?’

 

My response:

 

“Heavy question! The most important thing (in terms of ourselves)?

It took me over 40 years to get close to an answer. I blog a lot and I’ve just started a new blog. That question, not in so many words, and the answer, they’re in the blog and I want to write a book, my ‘take’ on that question and an answer.

It’s more complex than ‘just’ having to know ourselves better. I think we do know ourselves but most of us don’t, to a lesser or greater extent, like ourselves or we aren’t comfortable with who/what we are…I think a lot of us, if we met ourselves, we wouldn’t want to be friends with ourselves. Most of us have a private persona and a public one…in some cases, the two are similar, in other cases, they are very different. The private one is the real us and it is that private side that, I think, we struggle with…we fight with that private persona, we ignore him/her, we lock him/her away, we let the public one pummel the private one. We can find it hard to live with that private persona, it wants to be something and we can’t get it there or we just don’t like it but we have to accept that it is us, it’s not detached from us, we have to embrace it, we have to live up to it and if there are bad elements, negatives, we have to face them and extinguish them. We are caterpillars and we can turn into butterflies, we aren’t ugly ducklings, we are beautiful swans.

A great line in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, Paul (aka Fred) (George Peppard) says to Hollie (Audrey Hepburn), “no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself”‘.

 

I think, in my case, I have always worked against myself, I have always fought with myself, I have always given myself excuses. I have an alter ago, a ‘spirit’, which is fighting to get out, has ambition, a sense of direction and destination, some self-belief, but my demons, my negativity, my lack of self-confidence, my lack of self-belief, keep that spirit down and locked away. Sometimes, that ‘destination’ seems nearby, sometimes I can ‘see’ it, ‘feel’ it, sometimes I can embrace that ‘spirit’, that alter ego, sometimes I’m at one with it. When that happens, it’s a great feeling, like being ‘in the zone’, all parts of me working in unison, no inner turmoil, no fighting with myself.

I sense change, my own metamorphosis. My ‘spirit’ is getting stronger, my alter ego is fighting back. I now control my demons, they don’t control me. I feel a sense of independence (from my demons), I feel free, creative and productive. I feel a bit like I did on the day I passed my driving test in the UK when I was 17 years old, that sense of being able to just go, that sense of control….I don’t feel so good all the time, I sometimes have to work hard to push those demons away but, Thank G-d, and thanks to my wonderful family, Dr. Mary-Jane Tacchi and good friends, it’s now three steps forward for every one step back.

12 Comments
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    May 22, 2015

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    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?

    • Koby Gould
      May 24, 2015

      I know nothing about plugins, sorry

  • eebest8 fiverr
    May 8, 2015

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is fantastic, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about &.

    • Koby Gould
      May 11, 2015

      Thank you!

  • Estelle
    April 9, 2015

    Jamie, don’t you realise that your” real ” hidden self, your outward persona and also the facets of yourself that you are fighting with constantly, are the sum parts of what makes up James Gould? Everyone has foibles, I just happen to like mine!!
    You are a terrific guy. All those things that you see as weaknesses or demons make you who you are and actually give you that very appealing air of vulnerability that makes you so lovable. Don’t knock it!!! xxxxxxx

    • Koby Gould
      April 9, 2015

      We all love you so much, Estelle!! x

  • Estelle
    April 9, 2015

    Re: My last comment. I absolutely agree with Spinoza that one should know oneself —-in fact I agree with a whole lot of his philosophy including Pantheism. My small difference of opinion is with you Koby, about most people not liking themselves!!

    • Koby Gould
      April 9, 2015

      so I think you’ll agree with my reply to your first comment.

  • Estelle
    April 9, 2015

    Well Koby, There are some of us who would beg to differ! I know myself very well indeed, as they say, warts and all and have done since I was about 18 and I would hate to be anyone else!

    • Koby Gould
      April 9, 2015

      Hiya. I don’t want to be someone else, I just want to be the person I am deep down, the person I am meant to be. I have always felt that being that person is too difficult so I’ve kept him down and put someone else in his place but I now want to be my real self. My demons have always kept the real me locked away but not any more!

      • Anonymous
        April 9, 2015

        You really are quite amazing,your understanding is acute and I am sure that so many people feel the way you do. The fact that you express this will make a lot of people feel better about themselves in so many ways. The way you write shows exactly the person that is you……a compassionate and thought provoking human being.

        • Koby Gould
          April 9, 2015

          Thank you so much!! Do you ‘know’ me? If not, you are the first person, besides ‘spammers’, who has responded to one of my CARRY ON KOBY blogs. Believe me, I’m NOT amazing, far from it. I could be a lot better than I am but I am improving, I am getting stronger, I am fighting back. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I hope that it helps people who suffer with depression and other associated conditions to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and also helps those who don’t understand depression etc to get their heads around it.

          That said, I say I’m not amazing but maybe it’s more precise to say that we are all amazing and the ‘trick’ is to discover that amazing person within ourselves. We’re certainly all unique and we all have something to offer, we can all affect others for good, we can all touch people’s lives and add value and perhaps, in our own little way, we are all amazing!

          Thanks, again, and all the very best!!

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