7. Where am “I”? Experiences of self, other, and neither

We all have those “off” moments—sometimes entirely off days—when our inner experiences refuse to live up to our expectations, and we feel unwell, unsettled, or in pain. Times like these, we might wonder why “I just don’t feel like myself.” What does this mean, exactly? Who are these “myself” people—who do they think they are—telling us how we should or shouldn’t feel?

Some days, of course, we’re perfectly happy to identify with our sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Perhaps they feel pleasant, or they make us feel smart and principled, and we have no problem attributing them to “me.” Other days we feel darker, more unproductive, and we might wonder what happened to that sharp, optimistic ...

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