Sigmund Freud has a structural theory of mind (Though all do not accept this) in which he divides the mind in different structural layers, chiefly conscious mind and unconscious mind. He thought that conscious mind is very thin layer of mind as compared to unconscious mind which is the thickest and deepest layer of mind. Most of memories are deleted from conscious mind but they are stored in the unconscious mind. What we call “I” is representative of conscious mind and Freud called it “ego”. It may not match our concept of ego though. “I” is very selective and careful about his/her image and only let those memories remain in conscious mind which represent a good face of it and bury deep the rest… Actually according to Freudian concept, conscious mind has a role of undertaker that buries most of our memories… Cultures are the extension in role of “ego” and provide social values to strengthen the “ego”… This is beneficial to both individuals and society and it is why cultural evolution has preferred it… However, like every good thing there is also a downside to it and that is a general ignorance about “self”… Because of the continuous burial of memories, we are only aware of our very thin layer. It was realized for long times and it is why one of the main focus of Socrates was “Know thyself”. Actually some believe that Socrates gave birth to humanities by shifting the focus from knowing cosmos to knowing thyself. Besides, Socrates was thinking of himself as wise man solely based of knowing about his ignorance. Knowing is related to conscious mind and ignorance is related to unconscious mind…. Again though we are a rational creature but still we need to contemplate in order to solve problems and understand more clearly. As we practice more thinking likewise our level of clearer understanding also increases. Our “ego” makes us to like claiming we are the best. For example, I like to claim that I am a good man but it is only true compare to some. The same is true to all other qualities and it stands true to all of us. If I claim that I am an honest person, of course it again stand true to some (there are people who are more honest than me)…
Now that we are aware of shallowness of our knowledge about ourselves lets read following description of a learned individual and a prized gadget,
It is how New York Times describes Professor Strogatz,
“Steven Strogatz is a professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University. In 2007 he received the Communications Award, a lifetime achievement award for the communication of mathematics to the general public. He previously taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received the E.M. Baker Award, an institute-wide teaching prize selected solely by students. "Chaos," his series of 24 lectures on chaos theory, was filmed and produced in 2008 by The Teaching Company. He is the author, most recently, of “The Calculus of Friendship,” the story of his 30-year correspondence with his high school calculus teacher.”………….
And it is how Apple Store decribes Ipad,
Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core A5 chip. 10-hour battery life.1 Over 200 new software features in iOS 5. And iCloud. All in a remarkably thin, light design. There’s so much to iPad, it’s amazing there’s so little of it.
What do you see common in these two descriptions? New York Times describes specific features of Professor Strogatz that have market value and Apple Inc. describes Ipad’s specific features that also have market value… Market valued features are common in descriptions of both Professor Strogatz and Ipad. Definitely both Professor Strogatz and Ipad have much more than what were described but perhaps those values weren’t of much importance according to current market values.
I just brought these two examples to illustrate how cultures are shaping the concepts of us about ourselves. Whether you like it or not and whatever culture you belongs, the global market culture is influencing all and it makes us to bury our those values which have no market value and strive to present ourselves as more marketable. Every now and then I see in the emails of the University where students are offered help in writing their Resume or CV. I just take my head. What? Helping in describing another person? Who knows one better than himself? But yes, professionals can help because they are more aware of market values than the individual who know himself better than others… Even some of us try to project ourselves what we are not… What we see in movies is not the personality of actors but their performances and performances are mostly based on market values. When youths talk, walk, dress and behave like movie stars, what do all these mean? Isn’t it self-denial? Learning and adaptations are highly valued qualities but imitations are not… I think in a time that market culture is prevailing the Socratic methods are most needed…..