If I tried to sketch my own self-portrait the way I appear from the inside, what would it look like? A self-portrait, as we know it, usually portrays the physical aspects of a human as it appears seen from the outside. It should rather be called “another persons impression of oneself – portrait”. How do I then see myself?
I sometimes think of myself as one big eye. From where I seem to be located, I am able to observe the world. All of it appearing in my field of view, while I seem to be earlier. Even most of my physical appearance might be included amongst everything being observable.
If I had been looking at a picture of myself seated in a couch, I would have no problem separating my body from the couch. I would have pointed to the body saying, “There I am”. Even when I am looking from the inside out, most of my body appears as an object to be observed. Something within seems to differentiate between the body and “myself”.
If I take a closer look, I would see that even the eye looking is being observed. Who would be sketching the eye? Is it possible to portray the sketcher?
Nasrudin went into a bank with a cheque to cash.
“Can you identify yourself?” asked the clerk.
Nasrudin took out a mirror and peered into it.
“Yes, that’s me all right” he said.
– Ancient Sufi story –