Impossibility of Defining Ourselves

Although we tend to see ourselves as one of many people we experience in our own lives, in reality, we cannot experience our own “self” in the same way we can experience anyone else, or anything else. For instance, we can’t shake our own hands, buy something from ourselves, or debate with ourselves. Even if we tried, the experience wouldn’t be the same; it would be an imitation or simulation of what we do with others.

Our self is a totality of our experience. The fact that we seem to be able to experience ourselves is an illusion, a bewitchment of our language. We cannot define ourselves any more than we can shake our own hands in a mirror.