SELF is essence of what and who we are. It is a concept that can never be fully understood because I believe there are many theories and hypothesis about “Self”. In fact, us humans experience a collective awareness of our environment when we are awake but when we sleep our experience is not part of the collective awareness which means that we are unconscious and not aware of “Self”. I believe consciousness gives validity and credibility to illusion, which helps us experience existence that is utilized by “Self”. Consciousness is an important aspect that humans have with life experience because without it we would be unaware of our thinking’s. I believe humans are not all born with the ability to understand the world but: instead, we all learn a lot over time from the experiences we get from our surroundings. Human beings are aware of the world and their surroundings because they are self-conscious about everything such as the activities going on around them, their bodies and their mental lives.
In addition, humans are given the power to have a voice and express our opinions and thought by our self-consciousness. Descartes explained in depth about the idea of mental operations to finding an identity, “you doubt the accuracy of ideas presented to you, you affirm the truth of a statement made about you, you deny an accusation that someone has made, you will yourself to complete a task you have begun, you refuse to follow a command that you consider to be unethical, you imagine a fulfilling career for yourself, and/or you feel passionate emotions toward another person” (Chaffee 105). A human is unaware of thinking if they lack consciousness because they are unable to observe reasons, thoughts or obtain self-identity.
In fact, according to Descartes, “we need to need to use our own thinking abilities to investigate, analyze, experiment, and develop our own well-reasoned conclusions, supported with compelling truth” (Chaffee 102). Self-consciousness has a lot of impact on humans without them even knowing, “self-consciousness is the only way for you to develop beliefs that are truly your ad not someone else’s” as Chaffee mentioned (Chaffee 104). Humans constantly think about age, height, appearance, gender, weight, hair, race, style, and many more because they have a self-conscious and either they know their self-identity or are trying to find it. Chaffee further goes on to say “If you were consistently not conscious of your mental operations, consistently unaware of your thinking, reasoning, and perceiving processes, then it would not be possible to have a self-identity, a unique essence, a you” without a self-consciousness (Chaffee 105). Without, self-conscious we don’t know our self.
However, many philosophers have different opinions on “Self”, some agree with each other, and some disagree. Locke is one of many philosophers who has a similar opinion to Descartes but has a different approach of understanding self. Humans use their self-consciousness, and their self-awareness to improve self, but Locke’s opinion is that awareness is unnecessary for the self to exist. Humans would not be aware of themselves or things around the without self-awareness and they would not be aware of being humans without consciousness. One of the most important ways a person finds themselves is by the experiences they have had in the past, and the memories they have created. Without self-consciousness or self-awareness, one cannot find self because they would not have experiences or memories: instead, they would just be people who are existing.
In conclusion, everyone has their own opinions on self and how they approach it. I believe that the only way a person can find self is by being self-conscious and always being self-aware. Without consciousness and awareness, a person cannot find self because they wouldn’t have any memories or experiences to remember. No one finds self at the same time, everyone has their own time they find their true self-identity.