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How to Become Your Own Professor (A "Self-Professor") (2016, the "Hermitericum")

Updated: Feb 22

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Disclaimer: This article was originally written in 2016 for my first book, "Hermitericum". My perception of things has changed over the years. Nevertheless, I decided to try to translate and edit it from Hebrew. It was the article's original language. If there is something you'd like to ask me regarding the article, sign up and comment. Thanks, and I hope I'm doing good service to my older material. In October 2023, it has also been revamped to be more rational and have more sources.



Knowing the Psyche

The psyche is made up of many layers, varied and twisted. Staying in the inner world, AKA, solitude, is the perfect time to start exploring the individualism that lies within you. Getting to know yourself is something of great importance, and all the more so in solitary activities, like writing.

If you do not learn to know yourself, you are bound to suffer and sink into a thick fog of unconsciousness, when you do not know what your body and mind need at one moment or another. It's your job to be in-tune with your body and mind in order to know what is best for you.

Each of us knows himself or herself to a certain extent. Most of us know when we are hungry, thirsty, stressed, and the like. But why would it be enough to reach the heights of human self-awareness?

Time alone has the potential for a most fruitful spiritual journey. A journey that can help the experimenter convert it into positive solitude. And he, as a loner, must know his own complexes - the contents of his personality, his motives, hobbies, principles and the like, in order to attain positive solitude, for one must enjoy himself, to enjoy solitude. The reason isn't that I, Mr. Tomasio, said that he must. I do not work according to the authority fallacy's faulty logic. The reason is that self-knowledge can lead to self-acceptance. And self-acceptance is key to endure negative solitude. You need to know what there is to accept, in order to accept it. That includes the shadowy parts of yourself.

Only in this way will he/she be able to formulate a philosophy that will give meaning to his/her life. A personalized philosophy, whose purpose can make solitude far more bearable. Otherwise, he would surely sink into gloomy nihilism. Sink, and not endure the emptiness of the universe successfully. Not endure the insignificance of their own reality. Not strive to be far more significant than otherwise!

In the end, it will be inevitable to admit the unavoidable insight: The one that says, that personal identity is the sum of the stories we tell ourselves. For the truth that is the self, is one that develops per the thoughts that it thinks and believes. Man has never had an authentic, deep, and hidden nucleus: A default, rich and cohesive "core" when he or she was born. Instead, it is one that is formed in its physical and mental development, In contact with society, and/or alongside it. We create ourselves using our mental resources, it's called neuroplasticity.

But how much does man know about that self-created nucleus? His ultimate, life-long creation? As long as he will choose to deem himself or herself as the victim, he would never be aware of the fact that he is the master, the authority, and the potential professor, of his or her own self.

When a person is asked to talk about himself, he will surely start with everything that others have given him: His name, his origin, his socio-economic status, his family. Nothing that is really his intellectual property necessarily. By "intellectual property" I refer to details that are products of his own making, and not to things that must be related to copyright.

I'm speaking of details which have little to do with others. Hence why much of us are products of our environment, for we let ourselves be influenced so easily by others. However, this can be changed.

When it comes to the self that exists partially independently of others, this is also where loneliness comes in - when a person finds himself alone, the great spiritual journey begins. The journey to finding his intellectual/spiritual property -- the gradually-developing nucleus of their own making. The portions of it, that are his or her own making.e For we are not entirely the shaped pawns of external influence -- we also have some degree of agency over ourselves. And that agency can, at times, overcome the external world, by allowing ourselves to become the best versions of ourselves.

What is, in fact, "spiritual/intellectual property", according to what I'm referring to? You may not acquire or import any such spiritual property. That amorphous and unexplained property is deep within you, even though it isn't inherit or inborn. Our genes are still developed independently of family, as they are influenced by other factors as well.

The Untapped Power of The Self

It's your psychological nature, not your sociological one. It's one that exists regardless of the people around it. For people come and go. Your self remains as long as you breathe. It's your authentic system, which is in the background as you manage your day to day life. The one you mask, intentionally or not (like in the process of denial). You can only get to know her, through the indefinite power of potential at your disposal. Through knowing what you're truly capable of.

And how can you know about that power? It can be evident from the practice of your craft. And the more you practice, the more you can improve. And since energy is everything, and energy is power, then power is everything.

If we speak in a more cosmological language, then everything you create in the most creative and sincere way... might be from an intentional desire from a supreme creation. That which is produced from the same property I wrote about. The inner genius.

It's the very same mental power that develops and forms in you as your body cells. Mentality manifested into physicality. It's breathing and emitting, born and dead, expanding and shrinking. A dynamic, mental organism, which you can harness for your own interests, like I harnessed it in the name of Philosocom.

It's the power we all have inside of us. One that is flexible as a bamboo tree, deep as a nuclear reactor. It is is the untapped essence of life - what connects man with his existence and disconnects him from others thanks to his solitary, distinct individualism. Thanks to the fact, they are capable of being seperated from others, in the name of training, in the name of their craft. Emotional attachment to others is as flexible a mental component as any other component. Hence why I am largely relaxed during times of war. And also why I take criticism professionally. The reason is that the human mind is capable of flexibility and can be shaped per our desires. We just need to be aware of it first.

In order for the experimenter to gain experience and be more independent, recognition is at demand. Since he or she probably does not communicate with others when alone, they are isolated from others, even from the virtual company of others. And one cannot know themselves properly without this distinction, without this isolation, temporary or otherwise. Some have called it a curse, since social consciousness strongly condemns isolation, sees all human beings as social creatures, and generalizes all aspects of human communication as strictly social.

At the same time, there will be those who, by faith, will believe that it is good to avoid any kind of isolation. However, should one not escape it, the recluse can become a creative, sovereign, and even free person from the negative principles that society has attributed to isolation. The notion of isolation as purely negative is a make-believe fact, one that preaches to all to blindly recognize it as, indeed, objective. No entertainment of the possibility that there are some who are not social. Some humans are even anti-social.

The loner can be someone who rethinks things. Only through rethinking will they break through intersubjective barriers, knowing that this nature is indeed intersubjective, and not factual, just because there is a wide agreement on some beliefs. When a person thinks about things anew, they are capable of remodeling their inner and ideological structure. The potential to remodel our beliefs is also how one can gain leadership and intellectual authority over themselves.

The structures of his or her faith undergo renovation, cleansing, and shaping. A reassessment of all the things in which they have believed or learned to believe so far, in order to develop greater horizons. Horizons towards understanding of a self that is more distinct than that of others and thus, one that can understand better as such: A unique, special being. A distinction so aware, so realized, until it is alienated from their former skin; the skin of a former, less-ideal self; Just as a snake sheds its skin and develops a newer skin than its predecessor.

The point of self-professorship is to realize who you truly are, and extract the potential of said self, in a reality where it would otherwise lay dormant.

Just as science is meant to explain how the world and the universe work, so the professor of the self develops his or her mind, for both knowledge and application. He or she devises theories about the components of it, and as a result, these theories may work together to create a robust and functional identity, an identity that is greater than otherwise, an identity that can be suited for your needs and ambitions.

For the self can greatly be a means to to achieve an even better end.

That is why I sacrificed much of my emotion. They were in the way of my intentions.

And if the professor himself or herself finds that their mind is weak, dysfunctional, or defective, they can do two things: Lose an attempt at self-inquiry and turn to others, or develop self-inquiry and turn to their own resources. They would understand what's wrong with them. Whether or not they will accept their own faults or work to reduce them, is their own prerogative.

Remember, loneliness is a time of survival and struggle. Solitude is a time of peace and prosperity. There is no solitude without loneliness (unless you like being alone automatically). And deep, existential meaning might not be attained by being alone without struggle, first.

If you do not know how to light a fire, make containers, hunt, etc., you may face hunger, despair, and even death. If you know how to do these things, you will also know what is good for you, personally, while alone. Such knowledge can show you how to avoid the things that harm you and threaten your peace.

Society can provide you with all your needs and be a source of support. It can provide validation and affection when needed. But if you do not know how to provide all these things for yourself, you will not be able to know yourself in depth. Why? Because you do not necessarily need validation from the outside world, unless it is imperative to your survival. When you know yourself more completely, you might understand that much of what is outside of you can already be found within yourself. That includes self-validation.

Therefore, a greater self-knower validates himself or herself. No one that is not your therapist is responsible for handling your emotions. The self-professor does not reside in a greenhouse, per se. He or she takes care of himself or herself without having to be in a greater collective, and without needing a safe space. For his potential of self-security is already within him or her.

Just like an actual professor is confident in their words, the self-prof is confident in his or her respective expertise. Unless they are in court (and I am not providing legal advice), it is their job to lecture about themselves when necessary. It is their job to tell others that they are not the same.

After all, if you are mentally dependent on society, you do not need to know yourself.

Self-awareness, at its core, is a tool for better mental health. Those who are not lonely or do not lead a solitary life do not need this tool. There are countless people who can do the effort for you, such as psychologists and other advisors. If you are not a loner, why would you learn to know yourself if it has no functionality or contribution?

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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