Another aspect of the experienced self is the facade, the front we present
to the world. We say: "I could see I was making a bad impression."
The critic is here not criticizing the innermost self, but rather the impression
the self makes. The facade is what JUNG calls the persona (e.g., 1953, pp. 154ff.),
again a phenomenal fact. We say somebody that he is a stuffed shirt, and we
mean he is all facade with little of interest beneath. Facades present as great
a variety as people do. Sometimes there is a considerable contrast between the
real person and the front he presents, so that we occasionally have surprises
when a person´s situation changes. On the whole, though, the persona is
an expression of the person himself; and like other expressions, it is characteristic
of him. Like our clothes, the persona serves the functions of protection and
We see another dimension of the phenomenal self in
the following example: "That´s an idea of mine I don´t take particularly
seriously." Here we see the realist in conflict with the dreamer. Some of us
have a more developed dreamer than realist, while with others the realist carries
more weight. For example MINNIVER, who curses the commonplace, is letting his dreamer
crowd out the realist. On the other hand, THURBER´s man who "doesn´t
know anything but facts" might well allow more scope to his dreamer. The dreamer
says: "I think I´ll take a trip around the world," and the realist
retorts: "Fine. And what will you use for money?"
Space does not permit a continuation of this analysis, though we have by no means exhausted the phenomenally distinguishable aspects of the personality. I will only add that, although conflicts are experiences, as in some of the examples given above, these experientially distinct aspects of the self work together, on the whole, in an organized manner, with reference to each other if not always in harmony. Furthermore, they are not all experienced together. Ordinarily, it seems, we divide ourselves phenomenally into two or possible three at any given moment. The paradigm is the dialogue, not the mob scene.
It has been indicated above that an adequate psychology
of personality cannot be limited to a psychology of consciousness. Of what use,
then, is this kind of phenomenological study? First of all, this is an important
source of facts about the personality, most of which have been neglected by current
theories. In addition, several problems will be mentioned, to whose solution this
kind of material might contribute.
Corresponding to the various divisions within the person, we come to have
a number of views of ourselves. For example, the views of the inner friend and
the critic are likely to be different.
divergence of opinion provides the possibility of a more balanced view of ourselves.
Or, if we are less fortunate, one such partial view may become the dominant
one. Or else, compartmentalization may occur: the dreamer is allowed his freedom,
for example, so long as he keeps out of the actor´s way.
This paper has dealt in a preliminary way with only
a single problem in the phenomenology of the personality, namely that of the experienced
multiplicity of the self. Many additional problems remain to be studied. Some attention
has been given to the matter of ego boundaries, the question of how much of the
phenomenal world is experienced as "I" and how much as "not-I".
The boundaries of the "you" or the "he" present equally interesting
problems. Many aspects of the phenomenology of motivation and of the emotions likewise
suggest themselves as ripe for study.
This paper has dealt with a problem in the phenomenology
of the personality, namely that of the experienced multiplicity of the self. We
do not experience ourselves as a single undifferentiated "I"; rather,
a number of distinguishable functions are phenomenally present. Several of these
were discussed briefly; the actor, observer, critic, friend, impulsive functions,
facade, dreamer and realist. These act with reference to each other, even if not
always in harmony, and ordinarily no more than two or possible three such aspects
of the self are experienced at any given moment. In addition to calling attention
to a neglected body of data about the personality, this approach seems to clarify
a number of problems in the psychology of personality.
back to part 1
(3) Of course in all these cases we are dealing with a circular process. Not only do our relations with outer friends, outer critics, etc. depend upon the state of the corresponding inner functions; the development of the inner friend depends on significant outer relations, that of the inner critic depends on our experience with criticism offered from the outside, etc. Since developmental problems have not been discussed here, only the former set of relations has been considered. [back to text]
(4) There are other difficulties in knowing oneself that are not relevant in the present connection . [back to text]
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