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I Am, I Am, I Am – Still[1]

I’m. I’m. I’m. I’m. I’m. I’m.[2]

“Who Am I?” – “Who How? What Now?”[3]

His Deepest feeling is always one of Self-Deception[4]

That Woman joins a Search party – looking for Herself[5]

Though it seems that I Know that I Know, what I would like to

See is the I that Knows Me when I Know that I Know that I Know[6]

Whatever Comes from Being is Caught up in being, drunkenly Forgetting the way back[7]

Do you see yourself on the Material Plane of Observed Phenomena?[8]

Blink yourself – into thousands of Self-Seeing Eyes[9]

Before I Know myself – Seek not to Know me[10]


I, the Tower in no Man’s Land[11]

I: “My Master, Clear enough proceeds”[12]

The Choice we Think we have is called Ego[13]

You’re Egocentric – it’s your Defining Characteristic[14]

I have taken Birth as the Personification of Rampant Egohood[15]

I feel within me new Beings full of dexterity, Building a new Universe and Running it as well[16]

He says “I” and he, Alone, is that and nobody Else, nobody More[17]

The Dominance of the letter “I” and the Aridity, which

Like the Giant beech tree, it Casts within its Shade[18]

Deem yourself Inevitable and take Credit for it[19]

Painting Myself Opaque[20]


Is it Hard to make Arrangements with your Self?[21]

Tremble thus on the Exquisite edge of Self-Betrayal[22]

I am forever Afraid of performing my Identity Incorrectly[23]

All other Swindlers upon earth are nothing to the Self-Swindlers[24]

A Non-Man: something that knows Vaguely that it is Human but feels that it is not[25]

Shaky Autonomy of being a self, capable at times of Dividing into Proximate Agitated figures[26]

I’ve promised myself that I will not care about Things, Persons, or Myself,

But I do … my Objects, Loves, and Self interfere with my own Being[27]

Thou art become (O worst Imprisonment!) the Dungeon of Thyself[28]

To be present at this great Spectacle of Life and never

To be liberated from a Small Hungry Shivering Self[29]

The Burdens of the Self have never been Heavier[30]


Who are You among Men?[31]

Men are but Sorry Witnesses in their own Cause[32]

I present Myself to myself for Argument and Subject[33]

Although I Search myself – it’s always Someone Else I see[34]

I Try my best to Be just like I Am – but Everybody wants you to be just like Them[35]

If you understand others you are Smart, if you understand yourself you are Illuminated,

If you overcome others you are Powerful, if you overcome yourself you have Strength[36]

Better for my Lyre to be out of Tune – for most Men to Disagree and Contradict me –

Than that I, but One Man, should be in Contradiction and Out of Tune with Myself[37]

The Purpose of Life seems to be to Acquaint a Man with Himself[38]

Face Yourself – and do not be Satisfied with just any Answer[39]

Though I bear Record of Myself – yet my Record is True[40]


When he is Made – the Mold is Broke[41]

The only Voice to Call me in is my Own[42]

I have Pried up – Brushed off the Self in me[43]

Those are the Only terms anybody ever Knows: his Own[44]

My Universe is my Eyes and my Ears – anything else is Hearsay[45]

Find something Tangible that Binds you to who you Are at your Core[46]

Everything that happens stays Inside even if you can’t Remember[47]

The Poem about what In Ourselves we have to Live with[48]

I Find myself always Moored by Inner Anchors[49]

Each of us is to himself Indelible[50]


Identity is made of Select Experiences[51]

Pick your Favorite Feature – and Accentuate[52]

I may have been Made – but now I’m making Myself[53]

We are always Arriving at ourselves: I give Myself to my-

Self and the giving is a Revelation, is Destination, is Body[54]

If you really want to Escape the things that Harass you, what you’re

Needing is not to be in a different Place, but to be a Different Person[55]

I am Constructing a possible Self, a way to Be in the world, and am Off-

Ering that to others, whether I Intend to or not, as one Possible way to be[56]

Sure I have a Face and Voice to distinguish myself from others but my Thoughts

And Memories are Unique only to me, and I carry a sense of my own Destiny[57]

Personality is an Unbroken series of Successful Gestures[58]

The Individual is not constituted through Language alone –

It is Formed through real Practices that act on the Body[59]

Your Appearance is Residual Self-Image[60]


Who am I with my Various Selves?[61]

We tend to be narrow-minded about the Myriads

Of different things that go into Making Somebody[62]

May a man not have Several Voices as well as Two Complexions?[63]

Within each man lives a Great Multiplicity – Nobody is just One thing[64]

Many Wills inhabit me … Every one of the Tendencies within me has its Own will[65]

A Rupture with Identarian and Totalizing belonging, assured of itself in a Homogenous Whole[66]

We are all Patchwork, and so Shapeless and Diverse in Com-

Position, that each Bit, each Moment plays its Own game[67]

Self-Identify as one thing despite your certain Know-

Ledge that you are a Bit of This – and a Bit of That[68]

I am not Turning against myself ­– I am Multitudes[69]

The Bifurcations of a Self across Lifetimes[70]


I Unto My Selfe Alone will Sing[71]

The Call isn’t Out there at all – it’s Inside me[72]

The Name you are called by means Self-Reliance[73]

Self-School’d – Self-Scann’d – Self-Honour’d – Self-Secure[74]

Look well into Thyself: there is a source of Strength which will always Spring up[75]

Refuse the Old means of Measurement – rely instead on the Thrumming Wilderness of Self[76]

For what is a Man, what has he Got – if not Himself then he has Naught[77]

Self is the Refuge of Self – what else could be our Refuge? a

Well-Regulated Self becomes a Refuge such as few can find[78]

I’m not ready to Quit bein’ Free, and I’m not willing to Stop

Being Me – I’ve gotta sing My Song, why should I Belong?[79]

May I for my Own Self Song’s Truth reckon[80]


Self-Forgetting is one’s Goal – not Self-Absorption[81]

No need to wonder How or Where or Whether you are[82]

We are not Condemned to Sustained flights of Being – but

Are constantly Refreshed by little Holidays from ourselves[83]

To Study the Way is to Study the Self – to Study the Self is to Forget the Self[84]

We turn Inward and prove our True-Nature: that True-Self is No-Self, our own Self is No-Self[85]

One wishes to Feel the Dimensions of Being Outside the Dimensions of the Self[86]

The “I” is Extra, there is no You to say “I” – what we call “I” is

Just a Swinging Door which moves when we Inhale and Exhale[87]

Where I becomes Impossible – the Problem is no longer[88]

Let the Fortress of Egos, that huge Barricade, Crumble[89]

You’ve Lost Nothing but your Self-Conceit[90]


I – Selfless I – am Supreme[91]

Being is the Eternal, Ever-Present one Life beyond the

Myriad forms of Life that are subject to Birth and Death[92]

There is no Terminus – only Suitcases out of which the same Self Unfolds[93]

I Effuse Egoism and show it Underlying All – and I am the Bard of Personality[94]

The Infinite possibility, the Unlimited and Unqualified wholeness of being of the Uncommit-

Ted, the Nonacting, the Uncarved – the being who, being nothing but himself, is Everything[95]

The Person who has Sought for and Known the Self, obtains All Worlds and All Desires[96]

To Strengthen his own Selfhood by Surrender to Superhuman Destinies[97]

Power to be Finite Ceased before Identity was Leased[98]

To Know the Self is to Allow Everything[99]

I am the Outbreathing of this Ground[100]

[1] Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

[2] Douglas Kearney, Massachism

[3] Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach, Fantastic Mr. Fox

[4] George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

[5] Dzifa Benson, Nkofofodo or The Moulding of My Drinking Name

[6] Alan Watts, Swimming Headless

[7] Rumi, Lord the Air Smells Good Today

[8] John Yau, Something to Look Forward To

[9] Alice Oswald, Nobody

[10] William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis

[11] Rafael Alberti tr. Geoffrey Connell, The Warlike Angels

[12] Dante Alighieri tr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Inferno

[13] Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart

[14] Danny Rubin & Harold Ramis, Groundhog Day

[15] Padmasambhava tr. Gyurme Dorje, The Tibetan Book of the Dead

[16] Guillaume Apollinaire tr. Oliver Bernard, The Little Car

[17] Circe Maia tr. Jesse Lee Kercheval, (?)

[18] Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

[19] W.S. Merwin, A Scale in May

[20] Philip Roth, American Pastoral

[21] Neil Young, Tell Me Why

[22] Mary McCarthy, Cruel and Barbarous Treatment

[23] Safia Elhillo, Good Muslim/Bad Muslim

[24] Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

[25] Richard Wright, Black Boy

[26] Ann Lauterbach, Task: To Open

[27] Alan Dugan, Untitled Poem (I’ve Promised that I Will Not Care­)

[28] John Milton, Samson Agonistes

[29] George Eliot, Middlemarch

[30] Esther Perel, Esther Perel Takes on Workplace Relationships

[31] Homer tr. Samuel Butler, The Iliad

[32] James’s Aesop, The Man Bitten by a Dog

[33] Michel de Montaigne, quoted by James Miller in Examined Lives

[34] Elton John, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me

[35] Bob Dylan, Maggie’s Farm

[36] Lao Tzu tr. Charles Muller, Tao Te Ching 33

[37] Plato’s Socrates, quoted by James Miller in Examined Lives

[38] Ralph Waldo Emerson

[39] Mother Teresa, Her Essential Wisdom

[40] John 8:14 (King James)

[41] Jack London, The Call of the Wild

[42] Jonathan Harper, Southern Gaelic

[43] quoted by Richard Flynn from Men of Our Time

[44] Herman J. Mankiewicz & Orson Wells, Citizen Kane

[45] Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

[46] Bill Wolkoff, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts 2.2: The Goat Cheese Prophesy

[47] Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away (dub)

[48] Katheryn Nuernberger, Toad

[49] Joanna Klink, Excerpts from a Secret Prophecy

[50] Frank Bidart, The Ghost

[51] Rae Armantrout, Vultures

[52] quoted by Martha Silano in New Mother Cento

[53] Olga Ravn tr. Martin Aitken, The Employees

[54] Leah Umansky, Unleashed

[55] Seneca

[56] Linda Alcoff, The Problem of Speaking for Others

[57] Kazunori Itô tr. Paul C. Halbert & Taro Yoshida, Ghost in the Shell

[58] F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

[59] J.K. Gibson-Graham

[60] Lana Wachowski & Lilly Wachowski, The Matrix

[61] Lawrence T. Giles, The Indian Places

[62] David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men #46

[63] Nathaniel Hawthorne, My Kinsman, Major Molineux

[64] Peter A. Knight, BoJack Horseman 3.5: Love And/Or Marriage

[65] Henri Michaux tr. Richard Sieburth, Plume

[66] Jacques Derrida tr. Gil Anidjar, Avowing – The Impossible

[67] Michel de Montaigne, quoted by James Miller in Examined Lives

[68] Adhaf Soueif, Mezzaterra

[69] Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy

[70] Daniel Vogel, A Residual Volume

[71] Edmund Spencer, Epithalamion

[72] Lin-Manuel Miranda, I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors) in Moana

[73] Dhira tr. Charles Hallisey, Therīgāthā

[74] Matthew Arnold, Shakespeare

[75] Marcus Aurelius

[76] Donika Kelly, Out West

[77] Claude Francois, Gilles Thibaut, Jacques Revaux, & Paul Anka, My Way

[78] Dhammapada, verse 160, quoted by Shundo Aoyama tr. Patricia Dai-En Bennage, Zen Seeds

[79] Leon Carr & Earl Shulman, Marriage is For Old Folks

[80] Ezra Pound, The Seafarer

[81] Valerie Solanas, SCUM Manifesto

[82] Philip Whalen, Life and Death and a Letter to My Mother Beyond Them Both

[83] Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince

[84] Dogen, Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, quoted by Shundo Aoyama tr. Patricia Dai-En Bennage, Zen Seeds

[85] Hakuin Ekaku, Chant in Praise of Zazen

[86] Susan Griffin, Hunger

[87] Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

[88] Katharine Coles, Imaginary Numbers

[89] Vahan Tekeyan tr. Diana Der Hovanessian & Marzbed Margossian, Prayer on the Threshold of Tomorrow

[90] C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy

[91] Philip Kapleau, The Three Pillars of Zen

[92] Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

[93] Sylvia Plath, Totem

[94] Walt Whitman, Starting from Paumanok

[95] Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

[96] Chandogya-Upanishad 8.7.1, tr. Swami Lokeswarananda

[97] Hermann Hesse tr. Richard & Clara Winston, The Rainmaker

[98] Emily Dickinson, Estranged from Beauty – None Can Be

[99] Paul Ferrini, Wisdom of the Self

[100] Wendell Berry, To a Siberian Woodsman

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