On the Inadequate Self

I am on the phone with the future, my friend calling me from the next day on the calendar where she is. Together we are assessing our individual capacities for Self-Knowledge using the unauthorized expertise of a website that calls itself an institution.

The assessment begins with a question posed as two paintings. Which one is the correct answer? That depends on your Self. I choose the same painting as the future: a solitary woman in a long dress on a chair gazing off, rubbery arms and an obtuse body. Her skin is like a pearl, she glows. I am not sure how many details I am remembering and which ones are already false projections.

The unchosen answer, the incorrect choice of our Selves, is a painting of a woman with small children. The image is cluttered with patterns and rough textures of oils, the smell of sweat and grass, as if exhaustion is its very affect off my computer screen.

The future and I choose almost all of the same answers. I have already taken the exam and the future is catching up to me. I hold my tongue when she deviates from my Self. Our phone call is going on three hours.

In the end we feel betrayed by not aligning, the future and I.

The evaluation says that my Self has three primary traits very different from the future's.

1. Ambition

"Oddly, it is actually your ability to endure feeling unheroic that counts."

I am flattered the assessment has picked up on the passion I have for my ongoing durational performance, the working title for which is currently "Life."

2. Rationality

"You are motivated by a horror at pointless effort and a longing for precision and insight into how things and people work."

To dissolve fear you must remember what is real: time wasted is never returning to your life's clock, energy wasted is never going to be recharged to you.

Consider what it is you call your hopes and dreams and how this is the term you still use to refer to them.

Consider what it is you are not doing.

3. Aggression

"One way to deny aggression is to direct it inwards, as self-criticism."

To deny my third characteristic is to find deficiencies in myself in order to forgive the performance of any affect upon me, or effect directly of me, considered to be subpar. If I critique myself enough I will become preoccupied with improving my flaws, faults, and failures until my imperfections are not negated.

Want not is Ambition, because less is being untethered is freedom is having all is Rationality. Without having had there is nothing to have lost. The net characteristic is neutral at which point I am playing my own avatar.

If I repair every defect I can avoid having frustrations because Aggression will have been removed with the criticisms of who I was; the new Self, in denying Aggression, will become one characteristic less of the person I am to Know as my Self.

Consider how these results were evaluated by the Internet, which can be summed up as Ambition and Rationality and Aggression.