MetaSelf We are tightrope walkers on a beam of light
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Other Points of View


We started with the point of view of someone who looked at the box-frame and saw it as a schematic representation of the self. Then, in Social Relationships and Virtues, we began to examine how "changing places" with the box-frame is like experiencing the position or perspective or feelings of another person, a way to have empathy or compassion for them. Now you can step aside from both these positions and imagine yourself as a third party observing an interaction between two people, one of whom might be yourself.

Finally, you can try stepping back still farther to a position outside any system that is represented by the room, thus becoming some sort of outside observer. Explore these two additional points of view.

Special Emphasis

While this model explores the meanings we give all three axes of the human body, its special emphasis is the front/back horizontal axis, with its connotations of interpersonal connection, mutual respect, fairness and partnership. This is a corrective to models that over-emphasize vertical hierarchy, extreme individualism, and mental abstraction.


1. Looking at the self interacting with another

Two people interacting; something is going on between them. One of them is represented by a human figure, the other by a model of a human figure (the box-frame). Both people are within a situation or system (the room). As we look at this drawing we are halfway between these people, so we can put ourselves in the position of either (identify and empathize with them). Our point of view is outside their relationship, but we are still inside the system; we share the same assumptions and rules. More.

In the next drawing, our viewpoint is from outside the wall, outside the system.


2. Looking at the self and the system it is in from "outside"

As we have seen, the MetaSelf model uses the walls, floor and ceiling of the room collectively to represent any system larger than the self, such as a family, organization or nation.  Taken on the largest scale, however, the room is the entire natural universe. In this case, the space beyond the room becomes the metaphorical location of the many things we place "beyond space and time," which are listed below.

Figurative Meanings of the Space Outside the Room

Heaven, God.
Where souls go after death.
An imageless, unnameable God.
The domain of light.
The location of Platonic Forms, e.g., The Good.
The location of universals (as opposed to particulars).
Fate.
Ultimate assumptions about reality.
Where our highest potential comes from.
Where the transpersonal Self dwells.
A Zen void or Buddhist spaciousness - all around us (as well as in us).
The Whole greater than the sum of all parts.
The buddha-self or observer-self.
The One as opposed to the many (Plotinus).
The Absolute (Hegel).
Alternate realities, other worlds.
Other "dimensions."
Existential or atheist nothingness.
The Comprehensive (Karl Jaspers).
The eternal (e-ternal, not temporal).
What is "outside" our system and therefore cannot logically be talked about or named at all (Gödel and Wittgenstein).
The unknown, The Mystery.