Writing self: Will I ever fully know myself?

According to Scottish philosopher David Hume, man could only have a limited knowledge of himself. I came across this theory whilst looking over some of my old university notes and began to think about my writing. I write to get a better understanding of my thoughts, feelings and how they fit into the world I live in. Both reading and writing opens my mind to different possibilities and by looking at other peopleโ€™s opinions on a subject matter, I am able to reviewย my own thoughts. However Humeโ€™s theory made me think a little deeper in terms of how much my writing and reading helps me to know myself. Will I ever completely have a full understanding of who I am?


About Plantain Periodicals

Hello! Welcome to the Plantain Periodicals blogs. The name stems from the kitchen moments I had with my friends at university cooking plantain and planning our lives together. I have used this space as a window into my mind and the way I make sense of all my experiences through writing.This is where I share those conversations and moments that happen inside my head as a young woman growing up in 21st century London. Hopefully you'll be entertained and also learn a thing or two. My main blog ad: www.nissiknows.wordpress.com My literature blog: www.plantainperiodicals.wordpress.com NMx
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21 Responses to Writing self: Will I ever fully know myself?

  1. nicole says:

    i think that we are constantly changing, so instead of trying to “understand,” we should just “be” because being will allow us to best appreciate. at least that’s what i think. ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  2. I agree with Nicole, we are constantly changing, maybe that is one reason the philosopher had for believing man can never know himself? I do think, as you get older, which I am, you do know yourself better too. Just being part of life allows that, you know what you DO NOT want or need more than ever. Just my IMHO.

    • We are constantly changing and growing but do you think it is possible to reach a peak and end of that growth?

      • mannymoments says:

        To stop changing and growing is to be dead. That is when the growth ends. It may seem tiresome, but a life of constant improvement and learning is the best way to keep our minds sharp and to live an inspired life. I use my writing in the same manner to get to know myself better and my thoughts, so thank you very much for your wonderful post!

      • I hope not! Since things are constantly changing, we have to too! ๐Ÿ™‚ I would hope there is no “peak”. That is actually a depressing thought.

      • nicole says:

        i devoutly read atlas shrugged thrice annually, and it keeps me on my entrepreneurial ever changing path to constant change, improvement, and success! (and i also must add that it was flattering to see that someone agrees with me! not many people do!). ๐Ÿ™‚ x

      • Great minds! Sorry Nicole when you say atlas do you mean the map, or is there a separate book? ( I know that might seem like a silly question…).

  3. samanthabare says:

    I think that while we constantly evolve, we should have an understanding of our motivations and what drives us. As a journalist, knowing myself is crucial so I can identify my own biases and opinions and then ensure they don’t creep into my body of work. I feel that is important enough to carry over to my personal life as well.

  4. I agree with fourbluehills. I don’t think there is one ultimate peak in life….rather many ups and downs and some plateaus.
    I think that knowing oneself is possible, but that you may learn new things based on the context and situation. Isn’t the human capacity for change an incredibly wonderful thing? I think so.

  5. The growing is a way through to the next thing. Just when I think I have everything figured out, life shows me I have more to learn. And, that’s all part of the adventure.

  6. Leah says:

    I am such a strong advocate of keeping a daily journal. I find it helps me gain a better understanding of one’s self. I also agree with Hume that we can never fully know ourselves. I think this boils down to the fact that we are unable to be an objective party viewiing ourself and many times we are not even privy to the workings of our own unconscious/defense mechanisms that strive to keep us safeguarded and protected from our own thoughts, fears and desires. Therefore, I think writing can help ground us in what we are actually thinking and serve as an indicator of who we were/are in certain points in our life, but we can never fully know ourselves.

    • Leah I love the way you have considered bias in terms of knowing ourselves. I had never interpreted it the way you have…I am going away to think about that ( I can feel another post coming on!). By the way how do you use your joural -do you write in it daily, if so what kind of things do you write?

  7. We are always changing it’s important to be reflective ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Ok, with all of you journal keepers here I feel a bit left out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not cuz of you, because while I love reading and occasionally writing the odd article for my blog. (I do enjoy doing that, but feel pretty dumb at times, insecure I guess) I have tried keeping a journal/diary. My own life was boring. LOL I go to work, go home, sleep. Supporting myself there are not many occasions to visit other places (Can’t afford it) and see other things. WHAT do you write about? How do you keep it from becoming monotonous? It was fun as a teenager and now if I go back and read my teenage diary it makes me laugh. How do you keep it interesting? Are you even suppose to keep it interesting? How does it help you know yourself better? Sorry for all the questions but asking because the other day I thought about keeping a journal yet again, but then dismissed the idea for the reasons above. Thanks ahead of time for any replies I receive and for the patience reading this note.

    • Hiya Fourbluehills, the way I keep a journal now is not like the day to day diary. Instead I only write in it when I have something specific to say, or an extra strong feeling I want to remember/ understand or get over. I write poems, little self declarations, note reminders. I see my journal as a practical book. Hope that helps! Like you I could not sit daily and write in a diary.

      • Thanks for getting back to me. I see your point about writing every day, which is what I tried to do, and sometimes that is just like writing the same thing, over and over. I felt obligated. Your post truly did help me, thanks so much, make me more open to the idea again! Thank you kindly. I hope you are having a beautiful weekend?

  9. Sharp says:

    the actual question is: do you really need to fully understand yourself? I think it’s nice that every now and then you amaze yourself … ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. ahulx says:

    Read – the identity project, i have full faith that one can know themselves as deep as they want by creating and molding their own identity.

  11. onerayofhope says:

    The journey of ;knowing who we are..I suppose.. Is the reason we are here. I will commit to follow you on that journey. Blessings of all sorts and glad to meet you ๐Ÿ™‚

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