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Chapter Two: Share Your "Aha" Moments

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message 1: by Karey (last edited Feb 11, 2008 05:49PM) (new)

Karey (kareyshane) To get us started on the Chapter Two discussion, here are the chapter headings in case you need a reminder (*:*).

The Illusory Self, The Voice in the Head, Content and Structure of the Ego, Identification with Things, The Lost Ring, The Illusion of Ownership, Wanting: The Need for More, Indentification with the Body, Forgetfulness of Being, From Descartes's Error to Sartre's insight, The Peace That Passes All Understanding.

message 2: by Kathrynn (last edited Feb 07, 2008 04:41PM) (new)

Kathrynn This was a great chapter that took me down the road of "needing more" for "self validation." And, really, all that "stuff" that we feel the NEED to buy means nothing when we are on our death beds. So true!

The second portion of this chapter deals with body image. Oh boy...Don't even want to go there. It's a problem. I'm 45 and decided to age gracefully.... I realized I will never be the size I was "pre-kids." I eat right and exercise. Have to let it go and be happy.

The last part, about "I think therefore I am" I got, but Sartre's interpretation of that statement I'm not sure I understand. Anyone?

Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews (hugbandit7) I'm through about 1/2 of the chapter and wanted to echo Kathrynn's comments about stuff and needing more for validation. That really hit home for me, I can be a packrat thinking I need this stuff for something. I know in recent years I am trying to be better about giving things away, not buying things, etc and I do feel better about myself and more at peace.

I'm sure I'll be back with thoughts on the 2nd half of the chapter

message 4: by Karey (last edited Feb 12, 2008 08:35AM) (new)

Karey (kareyshane) I had an "aha moment" when I read, ...in many cases you are not buying a product, but an "identity enhancer. (p. 36)"

Ha! I had a good laugh when I read that. I thought, "I do that!" When I bought a car several years ago, the one thing I kept asking myself when I struggled to make up my mind on which car to get was, "What car shows who I really am?" That's hilarious. I ended up getting a Subaru Outback because it was a combination of classy, fun, practical and driving off the beaten path. Me, basically, or so I liked to think.

Now I drive it because I like the way it drives, how it handles, and all the features that make it fun, but I don't feel that initial sense of, "Ahh, this is who I reeeeally am," (pat pat on the back. Aren't I special?) when I get in the car. I don't look to see who is looking to see what I'm driving. And that's nice. I'm just glad it's got wheels.

message 5: by Karey (last edited Feb 12, 2008 09:05AM) (new)

Karey (kareyshane) Hi Kathrynn, do you have a page reference for Sartre's interpretation for the statement, "I think, therefore I am?"

Oh, and I liked what you said about dealing with body issues. :o) I'm 45 too, and unlike my profile picture (taken two years ago while standing next to the Seine River in Paris, a lovely memory, I might add) my hair is now, shall we say, distinctively gray.

Aging gracefully is a gift, but why can it be so darn difficult when you're looking in the mirror after a really long day and your hair has a life of it's own? I've noticed that if I spend that extra ten minutes on straightening out the hippie look of my wavy gray hair and giving it a bit of lift, people respond to me completely differently. What is that saying about me? Or them? Hmmmm....I'm going to go look for that quote from Audrey Hepburn on the nature of true beauty. I'll be back in a jiff...

Here it is:

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

A lot of men (and probably some women) do just that though. Drive to be seen.

I confess I get annoyed when I see someone drive obviously slowly in their expensive sports car: "Look at my "#¤%&" is what they are really saying ;-) !

And that's my Ego reacting to their Ego !

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

>What is that saying about me? Or them?

Thats 99 % their ego reacting to what they think they see of you.

20 pounds ago I was the same person I am now.
But now that those pounds are gone people talk to me in a completely different language !

message 8: by Kathrynn (new)

Kathrynn KSR, I love the Audrey Hepburn quote! I'd like to add that to my favorite quotes, if that is okay with you.

Pages 54-55, "From Descartes's error to Sartre's insight" I got Descartes's insight, but Sartre's....hmmmm

message 9: by Kathrynn (last edited Feb 13, 2008 08:41AM) (new)

Kathrynn Cathrine and KSR, people do treat us completely different when we are "looking are best." Go to a store dressed up and you get a lot of "may I help you." Go in sweats with no makeup and hair in a pony and rarely are you even acknowledged...I gained a lot of weight with each pregnancy (thankfully it is gone now), but it was shocking to me how differently I was treated by both men and women.

p.s. I color my gray! I do it for myself, because it makes me feel better. My husband doesn't care one way or the other. God bless him!

message 10: by Karey (new)

Karey (kareyshane) Thanks for the page reference, Kathrynn. I'm glad you liked the quote. It's so lovely. I used to keep it on my bathroom mirror.

message 11: by Kitt (new)

Kitt | 7 comments just a side comment about this. I had a discussion recently with an old friend who has always struggled with being overweight. She was telling me, with a lot of sorrow, how she had felt discriminated against because of her weight. It was somewhat of a revelation to her when I explained that I had always felt discriminated against because I was thin and reasonably attractive -- lol.

Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews (hugbandit7) I finally was able to grab some time to finish this chapter. I had gotten up to the part about body image and have to agree with that section, that society/media tells us what is attractive even though that isn't necessarily true. Why is thin attractive to most people?

I never thought much about products being an identity enhancer but now that you say that I can see that it is true. I like some toys, but for the most part don't need the latest and greatest of X to be happy or satisfied. I drive a 7 year old car because it gets great gas mileage and is sensible. That doesn't mean that every now and then I would like a new car just because it is new, but I know that it isn't practical or a smart purchase.

message 13: by Kathrynn (new)

Kathrynn Kitt, so true. The other side of the spectrum is too attractive. Good point.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Here is a question about 'Ego'.

Say I take a photo that I like.
And then I show it to people, and they like it.

Them enjoying it makes me happy.


This must be the ego at work.

But is it wrong to enjoy the attention you get for something you create?

A painting, a book?

Or is it enough to say "yup thats the ego" and then enjoy anyway ;-)
yeah yeah thats the ticket

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

How about dressing up for a party?
Who are you dressing up for?

If it is to feel comfortable, why does it make you feel more comfortable ? Other's reaction ? Ego ego ??

I have a party tomorrow.
I'm putting on make up ;-).
Who for ?
Ego reaction?

Should one dress like a bum in bliss ;-) ?!

message 16: by Kitt (new)

Kitt | 7 comments One thing that this chapter does not touch on is the fact that we (in the US) live in a capitalist driven society. I think that sometimes it's difficult to distinguish the "truth" from "truths" that are marketed to us as consumers. I feel that we are actually sale-pressured into believing that we need these things to be complete.

message 17: by Kitt (new)

Kitt | 7 comments To add to that ... I think that we are taught by different industries what is attractive.

message 18: by Hugh (new)

Hugh Chatfield | 3 comments In my chapter one comments - I say that using terms like "ego" - also brings in everything you have learned about that thing we call "ego". The notion that it is "bad" is a learned thing.

Your showing a photo, painting or book to me is something I called making a human connection. You would normally do this because you may know me and my interests and believe I may have an interest in the object.

I may share your enthusiasm for these things and thank you for bringing it to my attention. Alternately I can say - thanks - but it does nothing for me.

You may feel happy in the first case - and sad in the second... but to me it is not "wrong" in either case. Personally - I get great enjoyment in making these human connections and sharing my thoughts and ideas. Usually I get a reaction and I learn something further... about me, the other person, or the topic... and to me that has to be good.

re: dressing up... one of the most vivid memories I have about Christmas while I was growing up was after all the exchange of gifts - I would get dressed in all my new presents. It felt good to me, and my parents got to see that their choices were good and the garments fit. Everyone was happy - and that has to be "good" not "wrong".

[Pain is natures way of telling you that you are doing something "wrong"]

You get dressed and put on makeup - why? Certainly it is a thing that you "learned"... sometimes without knowing the "why".

I sometimes freak out ladies by telling them that the custom of putting red on their lips and dark around the eyes is related to "sexual attraction".. these simulate what a fully sexually aroused female will look like (due to the blood flow to these areas). Men seem to be hard wired to react to these signals.

Of course most don't think of it this way - they think of it more as a "custom".

Is it "wrong"? - well who is to stand in judgement? Me - I think it just "is" and has no inherent right or wrong associated with it.

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you for your post :)
many thoughts to ponder :)

message 20: by Naomi (new)

Naomi You guys are really making me want to read this book! Awesome discussion. Hope to catch up to you so I can participate.

message 21: by Karey (new)

Karey (kareyshane) Good to see you here, Naomi! You don't have to have read the book to participate. If there's something that you want to respond to in the discussion, please do!

Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews (hugbandit7) great comments Hugh! many things to think about

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