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The Purpose of Self

To understand what self is, we must first know the purpose of self. Why are there seven billion “selves” on this planet? They are all here for one reason: to learn. To gather experience and wisdom for the whole. The whole can only evolve and grow as each self observes, remembers, acts, and learns.

Just as bees have mandibles, wings, and legs for the sole purpose of gathering pollen, all the properties of self derive from its purpose. To learn, each self must observe experience, remember experience, organize experience (into categories and higher order conclusions called wisdom), and choose mental and physical actions (focusing awareness and deciding what to do).

No learning can happen without engaging each property of the self. No wisdom tradition can find truth through a single aspect of self. As each self learns, the whole becomes god.

Matthew McKay
by Matthew McKay

Matthew McKay is a clinical psychologist and a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. In 1979, he cofounded Haight Ashbury Psychological Services in San Francisco and served as its clinical director for twenty-five years. Currently he serves as the director of the Berkeley Cognitive Behavior Therapy Clinic. He has explored spiritual and afterlife issues in two previous books: Why? and Your Life on Purpose. He is also the author of professional and self-help psychology books, including Thoughts & Feelings, Messages, Mind and Emotions, Self-Esteem, Prisoners of Belief, and many others.

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