Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Alter ego

Recently, this topic entered my mind. For days, I was clueless. I was – and still am – not even sure that I believe in this philosophical concept. Moreover, I doubt that most people have an alter ego. My personality has facets but has only one ego. Perhaps, the confusion is related to its (original) meaning.

Wikipedia on alter ego: “Cicero coined the term as part of his philosophical construct in 1st-century Rome, but he described it as “a second self, a trusted friend”.” Perhaps, this term then related to the voice inside our heads (eg, Quora).

In my view, the term alter ego suggests multiple personalities. Wiki: “An alter ego (Latin for “other I”) means an alternate self, which is believed to be distinct from a person’s normal or true original personality.”

Having multiple personalities is often viewed as having a mental sickness, called dissociative identity disorder (a.k.a. “multiple personality disorder“). This Wiki sentence is important: “It remains a controversial diagnosis.” Controversial: “subject of intense public argumentdisagreement, or disapproval”.

During our sleep, we may dream about alternate (fictional) personalities, like Don Juan or James Bond. Quite often, our dreams represent our (weird) imagination; else, our (hidden) hopes and/or fears. For most of us, our dreams are “gone” once we get up and walk around.

The quote below suggests that an alter ego is like wearing a (proverbial) mask. Our common “masks” are at home (eg, the family man), and/or at work (eg, the professional). Perhaps, only our friends see our real ego. In that context, all others see our alter ego(s).

Even after writing this blog, I’m still not convinced that an alter ego exists. Philosophy might be an art of Make Believe (eg, Kendall Walton).

“We wear masks not to be something different, but to deny the ‘something different’ that we are without the mask.”

A quote by Craig D. Lounsbrough, “licensed professional counsellor”

Alter Ego (2016) by Minus One
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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