religions - John Stracquatanio Philosophy 204 Chris Largent...

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John Stracquatanio Philosophy 204 Chris Largent 1/29/08 The Meaning of the Self When I think of self worth, I try to imagine a value on all of my attributes and characteristics that make up who I am. Self worth, to me, is something that only I can determine and ultimately means more than what my peers or corporations think I am worth. If you were to bring in the religious perspective, depending on the religion, it might mean whether or not I go to Heaven or Hell, or whether or not I reach enlightenment. When you look at the interpretation of the self through the eyes of three different religions and cultures of Hinduism, Buddhism, and native peoples, you find that you get a very different, but equally important perspective. From the pages of Malidoma Patrice Somé’s, The Healing Wisom of Africa , you learn of a culture and worldview never taught in the Western world. In fact, it is even hard to imagine the sort of world he describes because everything we have learned conflicts with what he is telling us. He even tells us how surprised he was to discover that very few people know anything about Africa in his introduction. What we find out about the self in his experience is that native cultures have a whole different understanding and perspective of the world. Somé gives reason for Westerner’s feeling nostalgia and exile as we are being beckoned by the green lady to come home. He feels that you will not “fit in the way society wants you to fit in to be recognized as a person,” so in a way, the self to him is
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useless unless it is at “home,” because it will always be exiled until it comes home. The
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course PHIL 204 taught by Professor Largent during the Spring '08 term at University of Delaware.

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religions - John Stracquatanio Philosophy 204 Chris Largent...

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