“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. I lift my eyes and all is born again” -Sylvia Plath

What does it mean to view one’s self accurately? Is there a difference between a self-image that is positive and one that is accurate? Does either imply the other? I must think not.

As we self-reflect we quickly face the limit, the native language of the sensual information from which we cannot deviate. We cannot even conceive of fluency in another. We cannot even imagine what that other might be. The territory of logic is neither exception nor refuge. It is equally problematic. We trust it similarly because we have no choice, and yet it betrays us. From a single contradiction, everything follows. And over and over again we contradict, and then we revise, and nothing is steadfast.

I am no longer dysmorphic, which is to say, I am no longer preoccupied by some part or whole of what I see in the mirror. This is not to suggest that what I see in the mirror corresponds to the way strangers and friends see my body, The point is I am not preoccupied. I know I must base my self-image on the empirical. Many people are attracted to me, therefore I am attractive. It is uncomfortable to exist this way. Perhaps more poignantly: Imagine you do not have hands. You look down and have stumps. Yet you when you try to do things which require hands, you are miraculously successful. You tie your shoes, you grip things, you play the piano, you make your lover come. It is impossible and yet it happens over and over again. But you do not have hands. But it as if you have them so it does not matter. And if you try to explain to someone that you do not have hands, he or she looks at you in sheer disbelief. Clearly you have hands, look at all you can do. And then you look down at the stumps at the end of your forearms. The are unsightly and useless.  If only you had hands. Think of all the things you might do!

From a single contradiction, everything follows.

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