How do we know who we are?
How do we measure our value? Do we create or do we discover ourselves? And, how can these questions possibly relate to sex?
Philosopher George Berkeley, in the 18th century developed subjective idealism, a metaphysical theory, also referred to as, “To be is to be perceived.” Berkeley is credited with asking the much pondered and elaborated upon question, “”If a tree falls in a forest and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
If we are trying to know ourselves, we must take as true that there is a self to know, and beyond Berkeley’s question.
What does it matter if something exists, if it doesn’t know it exists. What does it matter if something knows it exists, if it doesn’t know what it is? Or, if we know we exists, what is it that we know is existing.
Berkeley’s “tree” cannot perceive; if the tree is instead a human being and can perceive, the question gets more interesting, but would it change anything? If a person was left in the forest as a baby and grew up without anyone ever finding him, would the person know he exists? She would hear, see, smell and touch, but what would she think of herself? What would they think they were? How self aware would they be? If they didn’t know who or what they were, or what existed, could they know they exist? Would they be an animal?
Berkeley’s theory, “to be is to be perceived,” may be be sufficient for theorizing about whether a sound exists, but with humans who can perceive themselves, is the theory sufficient? Perhaps “to be,” one only need perceive themselves; but, how does one know they are being? Perhaps, to know that oneself is being is to be perceived BY another being?
How do we know if we exists, if we don’t know who we are? Who are we and what are we that is existing is the question?
Are we what others perceive us to be? Or, do others perceive what we are – as we become? Do we grow by imagining who we are, and then choose relationships with those whose perception agree the most with our vision? Or, do we know ourselves by seeing other people’s perceptions of us, then grow by making adjustments?
What if who we think we are, or wish to be, is not at all what someone else is reflecting, is seeing?
We let them in for a closer look; as we fall in love and open up, show them more evidence of who we truly are, the more authority their reflection will gain upon us. Do we try to correct their perception or by their perception try to correct our self delusion?