The Self is a Collection of Objects

  • Description of motion: Fingers (one from each hand) point rapidly to random spots in space.
  • Observed:  Rad School Meeting.  Sarabeth. 1-14-2015.  13 people seated around rectangular table.
  • Example:  "I'm all over the place."
  • Link:  “I'm all over the place, up and down, scattered, withdrawing, trying to find some elusive sense of serenity."  - Anne Lamott
  • Use: Used to show mental state, typically in relation to the idea of being "scattered".
  • Metaphor:  The Self is a Collection of Objects
  • Explanation:  Much like the molecular structure of an object, "the self" is thought of in various states.  In its solid state the self is organized, put together, secure.  In its liquid form the self is wishy-washy, flowing, fluid.  In its gaseous form the self is airy, clouded, wind blown.  A self that is "all over the place" is disorganized, much like the particles of gas are disorganized.  They are both made of a collection of objects (molecules) that together form something greater than the sum of their parts.  This explanation is also coherent with the phrase, "Pull yourself together" which implies that "yourself" is in many disparate pieces lying around in an unorganized state.  You pull these disparate parts together to create order, to solidify "yourself".
  • Origin:  Imagine three different collections of walnuts.  In one collection the walnuts are stacked in a pyramid.  In another, the walnuts are dropped on the ground in a semblance of a pile.  In a third, the walnuts are thrown so far apart it is hard to discern there is a grouping at all.  These three physical experiences with these three differing groupings each give us access to talk about the organization of things in three different ways.