Man is a unity of body and mind, but that is not all in being human. Being human is also being a self. Mistaken conceptions of the self are plenty, but there is a sound conception of the self going back to some of the classic philosophers: Plato, the Stoics, and most importantly, Kierkegaard. The human self is not some kind of phenomenon but a relationship. When there is a mind-body relationship, a new relationship is possible: one can relate to oneself, for instance by taking up the mind-body relationship one has become by leading one’s life. The Greek saying ”know thyself” originates from this conception. Some people are, however, in deep trouble in that self-relationship – they are unable to relate to themselves properly or normally. They are in deep mental troubles, by being schizophrenic or anorectic for instance. There is some kind of disharmony in their self-relationship. They may then utter meaningful but strange sentences like “I have a nuclear plant inside me” or the like. They are then saying something important about themselves. Ways of being human – being a self, that is – in those ‘diseased’ ways are analyzed.
Tidskrift for Sygeplejeforskning, 2010, Vol 2010, Issue 2 & 3, p. 3-12
I, individual, me, self, understanding, utterance-meaning