Within each of us there are many points of view all competing for a satisfactory result. Even the result — the expression of those inner views, can vary from moment to moment. Who we are and how we express ourselves an hour from now may be slightly, even vastly different from who we are and how we express ourselves in this moment. Or as David Eagleman concluded his book Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain:
“. . . this book was written over the course of a few years by several different people, all of whom were named David Eagleman, but who were somewhat different with each passing hour.”
We have an inner democracy which acts like a set of checks and balances. We have the ability to contemplate different points of view and to even temporarily adopt the arguments of those different points of view.
We like to think that we have only one point of view and only one way of dealing with certain circumstances. This is so prevalent that we can even find ourselves defending opinions and actions we once expressed, but no long support.
We are generally not comfortable with the fact that we contradict ourselves. But this contradictory nature is a reflection of our inner democracy — the many points of view we have contemplated and expressed over the course of many years.
There is a struggle within, and that struggle is normal. It becomes a problem though when we deny that it exists and we try to reconcile everything as one.
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes).” ~ Walt Whitman, Song of Myself (also found in Eagleman’s book)