Do we have a core, coherent personality or are we really fractured selves? Personal construct psychology suggests our sense of coherent self may be something we superimpose onto ourselves to feel more coherent - a kind of rationalisation of our experience to feel more whole and unified as a person. It makes sense to me as a possibility.
It's a bit like life. I look back over my life and see a pattern emerge. Is the pattern really 'there' or do I subconsciously superimpose a pattern as a way of post-rationalising my experience so that it feels somehow less random and chaotic and more unified and meaningful? It's a philosophical and psychological hypothesis I find intriguing.
It's as if I choose certain experiences selectively from memory and then draw imaginary lines between them. If this is the case, it opens me to alternative constructions that could change how I understand myself, my life story, and thereby open up fresh possibilities for the future.
A Singaporean friend asked this morning, 'Why is this so interesting for you at this point in your life?' I found that question very thought-provoking. Perhaps I'm at a place of re-evaluating lots of things, viewing my life and the world through different lenses as a way of making new sense of them.
It's often a struggle to find meaningful language to express such difficult ideas that lie at the edge of language and experience. I would be very interested, therefore, to hear from any other people grappling with similar ideas, concepts and experiences. May God guide us with insight, wisdom and freedom.
Nick is a psychological coach, OD consultant and trainer, specialising in critical reflective practice.