Tales of a Contemporary Twenty-Something: The Socratic DialogueMature

To underestimate is a natural reaction for the human brain. To perceive is a reflection on how one was reared, raised, brought up.  My parents are saints, what does that say about me? If you're a asshole, what does that say about you?

"I don't know how to answer that?" you reply.

"Let me pose it in a different fashion," I say. "If your personality, your attitude is to your disliking, what would you do?"

"Are you suggesting that I can consciously judge my own personality?"


“Even though my personality is unconscious?”

“Are you saying that you do not control how you act?” I ask.

“Acting physically is a matter of control: thoughts that lead to body movements and such.  What I am suggesting is that a personality is an action that one is not aware of conducting; essentially an unconscious event,” you smugly reply.

“Yet, it is in your possession; it is a product of your mental state. So, if I was correct in understanding you, if you can control your thoughts then you should be able to control your personality.”

“What are you talking about?” is your blunt reaction.  “Yes, the personality is a product of my mental state, but, as I stated, it is enacted unconsciously.”

“Yet, if it is a result of your brain, much like your physical actions are, you should be able to judge your own personality.”

With a frown you question, "so, to clarify, you say that I can both act as I act unconsciously, which is what a personality is, and also be conscious of it so that I may judge it. Be at the same place at the same time so to speak?"


“But how can I judge my personality consciously yet still act unconsciously as is the very nature of personality?”

"You've already stated that you are aware that you have a personality."


"But being aware of having a personality is different from knowing a personality?"


"So you are telling me that you don't know who you are?" I say.

“I know who I am because no one may know me like myself.”

“Did you not just tell me that you cannot consciously judge your own personality?”

"Yes!" you answer.

“But how can you know how to judge another’s personality when you cannot judge your own?’

“I do not have to judge it because it is MY personality. I know who I am already so it would be arbitrary to do so.”

"But you can you judge another's personality?"

"Of course, but it is separate from my own,” you conclude.

“So, although you do not know how to judge someone’s personality because you cannot judge your own, you still firmly believe that whatever conclusions you draw from another’s personality is to be correct?”

“It is correct because it may be evaluated externally. Listen carefully to me now because I don’t want to repeat myself.  It is BECAUSE a person’s personality is unconscious that I can evaluate it justly. This person is unaware of his personality and how it is enacted, therefore, my opinions of the particular personality are justified.”

“So, what you are saying is that an external perspective would have a correct evaluation of a personality?”


“Therefore, the external’s perspective is true despite any disagreement from the one being evaluated.”


“And what I conclude about your personality must be true if I can evaluate it externally and you cannot because you are unconscious of it.”

“Yes!’ you say, throwing your hands in the air, “what else do you want me to say?!”

“Nothing at all, thank you, you have just proven my point.”

“What’s that?” you rudely spat.

“That you’re an asshole.”

The End

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