By nature, I am a systemizer. It has taken every fiber of my will to keep from systemizing, what I fear, is unsystemizable; I suspect even the system of “self.” I spent, at least twenty years, trying to understand the difference between pneuma, psuche, and sarx. The delineations escaped me. Today, I find the notion of “I” suspect. What is the “I” in “I am”?
When I use this language I reference a concept. I do not think of my hands and feet as each part or even a picture of my body, my physical organs, my spiritual center, or any other specific part. I refer to a totality of my being, of which in itself, is an assumed concept. We may be trying to form a complete alignment in our spirit, when we are dealing with alternate streams of agency or intelligence. I want to believe in a unified “I”. I feel that I must face responsibility for my actions as a unified “I”. However, I cannot even explain the way my dreams take work.
I’m often involved in a dream and then surprised by its outcome. I’m careful to experience the experience of my dreams, and in doing so, I’m stunned by the way they unfold. Characters that speak in ways I’m not familiar, familiarity I have with the unfamiliar, endings other than the one I planned, etc. I realize that referring to the notion of dreams is in itself a way to cast doubt on everything I’ve said before, but dreams are part of my empirical experience and I do not ignore them. I also realize that Christianity has explanation for such, including the role of supernatural spirits, but even Christianity posits a responsible, unified “I”. In fact, Christianity offers a way to restore the “I,” to a place of original unity.
Wittgenstein’s transition from the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus investigations represents a dramatic change in his understanding of the mind. If I am a pluralistic set, in any sense, then it may be that I need to recognize that my “I” set is a set within sets. I find this particularly fascinating when searching for a moral “standard”. If I am “I” is a pluralistic expression, at the least a compound noun, then I am born into a social dynamic which in turn, informs my thinking about my relationship with those other pluralistic “I’s” whom surround me.