The Perils of “I Am” – 1

The first things we feel about ourselves are our body and our feelings (I am hungry; I am thirsty; I am hurt; I am content; I am discontent). The second often arise from the first (I am cared for; I am neglected). It is only later that we feel or believe ourselves to be something in the world – our relationships, personal or occupational, our genders, our nationalities, our religions, our races, our sexualities.

It is, of course, to these last that we pay the greatest attention and regard to be the most permanent, perhaps because they seem to be the most human and are the most difficult to change. Yet, it is they that are the least true, being grounded not in changing physical experience but in changing social and cultural reality.

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