Living Truly: The Multi-faceted Human Self

Words: 340
Est. reading time: 1-2 minutes.

A short contemplation and moment of clarity:

Some days we function as an indomitable intellect; other days as a fantastic dreamer; some days as the wretched beast; and more, other days as a sensitive spirit. The multi-faceted nature of the human being presents itself in cycles. The “parts of the soul” as Plato would say – the Nous, the lion, and the beast (mind, heart, and natural impulse) – all at some time or other make their face greatly known as the others rest. It is no sense to wake a tired lion, or stir a spent Nous to act when the beast is out in force.

Great wisdom supersedes the parts of the soul as an intertwined harmony and through this understanding we can tame the beast or cultivate the spirit. Like a roller coaster ride that one either enjoys as a whole, or screams in horror and makes great pain out of the thrilling ride, we choose harmony or strife; we choose wisdom or brashness. Though one can feed and cultivate one specific part of the soul as in the “tale of two wolves”, there is no guarantee one will not at one time rise up with nearly insurmountable force and vigor. That’s the nature of nature. The only friction from any one of these faces of the soul is from societally constructed norms and deadlines.

A human being is not just a single element: not just a concert of atoms, biochemicals, or physiological reactions; not just a locus of emotion, passion, sensation, or meaning; and not just a place of thought and ideas, a mind. The parts of it intertwine and are necessary for a human to be a human. The whole human is greater than the sum of its intellectual, passionate, and bestial parts. To deny any part of this is to deny human reality, to deny a piece of the puzzle, to lose sight of the whole picture.

To truly be a thriving human is to know the wisdom of the whole of human nature and its parts.

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