Your use of parallelisms and paradoxical language muddies your point for me, while it makes the language more interesting. In poetry, I like both.
In conversation, my preference is that the flowers be accompanied by dinner: After my senses are intoxicated, I'd like something to chew over and digest, something that satisfies my hunger for information and discourse.
I refuse to believe that a man who can teach himself Hebrew isn't focused enough to put his meaning into English plain enough for me to follow. Please. When everybody talks so cleverly, I tend to miss the point, and these philosophical conversations get pretty involved. It's not that I'm so down home when I write, mind you, but it's generally helpful for me to explain myself when folks don't follow me either. It makes me think things through in different language. Sometimes that changes my thinking a bit.
For example, in thinking about your point, Essorant, as I was writing an initial reply, I began to ask myself what my assumptions were in working with somebody who wanted to deal with life-problems? Did I think that they were problems that were behavioral or problems that were inherent in "the self." So you've gotten me thinking about your point of view here in a way that I hadn't thought before.
My provisional thought, by the way, was that I thought that the problems, to the degree that they were psychological and social, were in fact parts of the self, but the problems came in the limited ways that the self was able to think about itself and other people. That is, I actually am the terrible person that I've always thought I was. My problem is that I've limited my thinking, and that I am also other things in addition to being a terrible person. I am trapped as long as I believe I am only a terrible person or as long as I believe I've been duped into believing I'm a terrible person, because I cannot convince myself of either proposition. If I believe that I am only a terrible person, of course, then I am lying to myself as well. There are lies all over the landscape here, and it's simple to get trapped.
Once I accept my rotten self as a real and important part of who I am, I can begin to claim other aspects of myself. I need to be able to see myself as complex. Certainly the description you offer, which splits person from actions and behavior, doesn't seem to work well for me. My experience is that selves are much more complex than simple; and that selves are composed of much more than goodness and purity.
I would still appreciate an answer, if you feel the answer worth giving to the question I asked you a few days ago. As usual, I found myself being long winded about it:
If a guy lies to me or cheats me, that may be his behavior, and I may forgive him for it, but I have also been led to make a decision about the being that's at the wheel in there. I call myself "experienced" for having done so.
Essorant, if you tell me that you're going to plunk down your kid's college money to buy shares in this guy's new scheme to air- condition the whole of the Amazon basin with zero point energy and your dog's old frisbees, I would be somewhat on the surprised side. I think of you as being "experienced" as well.
If you tell me that his old actions forbid you from believing in his new plan, I would ask you to distinguish for me how that differs from deciding the guy himself isn't to be trusted. Is there some way it can be distinguished by a well-meaning outside observer? Because I haven't come up with a way yet.
I think you tried to take a swing at it a day or two later, but I think you actually skipped by the question part, which was, "Is there some way it can be distinguished by a well-meaning outside observer? " The referent to "it" can be read from the more extended quote I've offered above; there's only so much repetition I want to inflict here.
Any thoughts on these matters by Essorant or by anybody else?