Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

The Elves in Your Selves

Originally posted on October 6, 2013

First of all, your sense of your self as one self is to some degree an illusion. There is an ongoing dynamic that ties all your roles together so that you feel like a single self, and this dynamic can be cultivated so that your integration is flexible. This dynamic can also be transcended and held loosely. It’s good to be able to pull yourself together when you’re too strung out, and also it’s good to be able to let go of holding onto your sense of self too tightly, the better to play, pretend, dream, be creative, or to transcend those illusory definitions.


I find it useful to pretend that I’m a sort of circus-master and all my roles are like the parts of a circus, from funny clowns to high-wire artistes. Or I might imagine myself as the conductor of a many instrument-orchestra, or a garden. The metaphors can vary depending on my purpose or question. Or sometimes I allow some of the little slippery parts to be like little elves or sprites mischievously fooling around. I confess that I don’t always have absolute self-control. On the good side this accounts for some delightful spontaneity. On the bad side it accounts for foolishness or a mild intrusion of unwanted images.

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