Human beings have always had the paradoxical need to be joined with others yet remain apart.  I’ve been recently thinking about a psychological theory I learned back in shrink school. An analyst named Dr. Modell developed a dynamic theory based on the concept of “The Private Self”. I won’t do him and his idea justice, but in summary it is about the aspects of ourselves that remain forever private. The Private Self is the part of our psyches which is never shared, even with our nearest and dearest.

Once in awhile I withdraw into this inner compartment of my mind. This is a kind of mental bubble in which I establish myself whenever I feel I can not bear to be a part of what is going on around me. From it I can see out plainly; in it I am safe from any kind of penetration from without. No one has ever entered it, not even my nearest and dearest.

My Private Self remains large despite five years of blogging. There are topics I have never shared here. I hope this is done not out of ‘fear’ but out of the need – and respect – for a Private Self.

Nowadays, the desire to express ourselves seems to vastly outweigh the need for privacy. The notion of a Private Self seems at odds, even threatened by so much sharing via technology. People broadcast more and more of their personal life via blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. Will we become a sort of psychological “Borg”?  I don’t think so; I hope not anyway.

 

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