Zur Überwindung des tiefverwurzelten metaphysischen Vorurteils, der Mensch sei von der «äußeren» Welt getrennt
This chapter leads toward a new understanding of our own selves — that is, a new understanding of the lone self that habitually founds its self-consciousness upon its supposed isolation. Stressing our relations of interdependence with the rest of the world, we will look at the way nature always surrounds its beings with their respective habitats. Then we will advance the idea that sense experience is what provides the self with its own individual and specific «habitat». In philosophical terms we could say that this approach is about giving up the notion of subject-object separation. This deep-rooted, not-at-all-conscious notion can be given up, at least during phases of intensified «presence». And even in everyday life we feel ourselves much less separated from our habitat of current appearances than our supposed separation from the world around us would allow. The preceding chapters stressed that current appearances need our attention and our intentional activity to emerge into consciousness. As this activity becomes an experience we can esteem those appearances we participate in as being exclusively ours. It is as if we were continually busy choosing just them. We may learn to respect them as the source of new stimuli in our biography that constantly accompany us. As a rule, we do not consciously take our surroundings to be part of ourselves, though we may well feel fond of home, emotionally attached to our place of birth, and involved with all the people who really are part of our lives.