Today we live in a society that promotes the individual as a singular personality with a linear narrative. From historical figures lifted to mythological status to celebrities that fill our newsfeeds, the story that we are meant to consume is actually a shade of who the person really is. Although thinking of the personality as a static entity is easy to understand is misleading because it assumes that the ego contains boundaries and cannot be changed. It is a model that is riddled with misconceptions and encourages shallowness. Instead, what if we throw this egotistical idea that we are currently the best version of ourselves and recognize that the personality is always evolving.
An alternative perspective of viewing the personality is by embracing the concept of a multiple personality complex. Proposed by Grant Morrison, he suggests that an unlimited number of personalities exist in us and that our egos build walls to encapsulate how we think about ourselves. “I” can only go so far when you question your conscious mind to the limit and often we fail to acknowledge our unconscious urges. As evidence to this idea, he points out that our unconscious mind causes us to act in ways that contradict our conscious thoughts. Furthermore, I drew a connection to the multiple personality complex by how we act differently in varying settings, whether it is at school, work, or with friends. By accepting the multiple personality complex, you are embracing that vastness of human potential by recognizing the unlimited shades of self.
I have come up with a method to visualize the multiple personality complex through an XYZ graph; X represents how you view yourself, Y represent how others view you, and Z represents how you are viewed at any point in time. These three variables are constantly interacting with each other and define what shade of personality is being displayed at any given moment.
X is the internal voice that guides our thoughts and preferences. They could be as simple as the music we listen too or as complex as the interests we refine ourselves in over time. The more pursuits you educate yourself in, the more you grow as a person. A person that I can think of that displays well-roundedness like this is Joe Rogan As a stand-up comedian, MMA commentator, and psychedelic advocate, Rogan applies these three seemingly unrelated topics to complement each other in his life.
Y is how you project yourself to others and how others perceive you. This yin and yang communicative aspect are vital because the self cannot exist without the other; the constant evolving personality requires judgment from others. That is why it is not only important to project confidence in your actions, but surround yourself with people who help you improve yourself. The effect of who you keep in your company is documented, and keeping close those who lift you up instead of dragging you down has a constant weight on your personality.
Z signifies any given point in time where X and Y meet. We have this mistaken belief that our lives have been building up to this very moment we are presently in now, but the fact is that our lives and personalities are a never ending process of evolving. The passions and preferences we had ten, five, even two years ago are probably different than what we have now. Yet those memories are events that we hold onto, sometimes as lessons learned for the better or distressed reminiscences that seem impossible to let go of. If meditation taught me anything, it is to take a step back, breath, and be fully aware where you are right here right now.
By analyzing the personality from this perspective, it makes it simpler to understand that not only does the personality change, but you affect how it changes. It is up to you to choose what pursuits you want to perfect, what group of people you want to surround yourself with, and to have the awareness to be in the present moment. To achieve this inner serenity is to have variables complement each other rather than contradict each other. This means the more well-versed you are as a person, the more attentive you become too. Opening yourself to more variables is the key to unlocking your mind.