Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Perceptively True to Ourselves – Analyzing Among the Multitude by Walt Whitman

by M. J. Joachim

People have many faces they share with the world.  Whitman refers to this in the opening lines of his poem, “Among the Multitude”.  We are professional at work.  We get silly at Disneyland.  We are serious when studying for exams, and perhaps grumpy when overtired.  

Hopefully, we are relaxed enough around our families to let them see a glimpse of who we really are.

Yet, even our families are limited when it comes to discovering our individual true self.  Hidden deep in the center of our beings is a soul that separates us from each other.  This core that holds the very essence of who we are, and what we are about, rests in the gift of who we were made to be.

It is secret, unique, and holy.  Whitman refers to people being made in the Image of Christ when he states that one is picking him out by divine signs.  This special relationship is very personal, as Whitman declares that no one else is closer.

Whitman directs our attention to the true self within each of us, the one who can’t be fooled, and knows exactly who we are.  We go about our lives, creating an image for the world.  We help people form perceptions about who we are, by what we do and say.  When we are alone, we know if those perceptions are accurate.

Whitman discusses the love people feel for themselves.  Our true self is certainly equal to the person we share with the world.  He tantalizes us with the playful dual that carries on within each person.  We build ourselves up with little exaggerations or indirections, as Whitman so perfectly claims.

He concludes that our happiness will be found when we finally discover our true selves.  In fact, it might even be easy to recognize the person we have failed to meet.   It seems they are not as different as one might like to believe.

How many faces do you share with the world, and what weight of responsibility does each aspect of your personality portray? Are people blind to you, because of the perceptions you allow them to get to know, or do people have a glimpse of who you really are? Please share your answers in the comments. Thank you!

Thank you for visiting Effectively Human.
Until next time, I wish you every good thing.

M. J.

Photo credit:  M. J. Joachim
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