Me, my Self and I

The ‘self’ is a concept that I know best by the writings of Carl Jung.

I don’t know if my understanding of the concept is right, but I thought I more or less ‘got it’.

But as mentioned in my previous post, David Bohm also talks about the ‘self’. And somehow I got the feeling he gives it a different meaning.

In another post I will go into the meaning I think Jung gives to it, but in this post I want to look into the definition of Bohm.

I versus Me

First he makes a clear distinction between I and me. The ‘I’ is in control, while the ‘me’ is limited. The ‘I’ makes the choices, while everything just happens to ‘me’.

A child must begin regarding himself as the great I am because he sees himself as the center of the universe from which all action flows. Then he learns from society he’s only little me. They say: Who do you think you are?


Reflex system versus creative expression

The next differentiation Bohm makes is between, what he calls, the ‘repetitive reflex system’ and a ‘natural desire of creative expression’. Everyone has this creative desire, but when the repetitive reflex system is more strong, the creativity is most likely not able to develop enough.

People are conditioned to stay in the repetitive reflex system, which has the tendency to defend itself and to keep you in it.

One of the greatest dangers of creativity is producing for a reward.

If the child is rewarded for producing a desired result, this will automatically throw him into the reflex system. It gives a very powerful emotional pressure to continue there.

Creative children do not need a reward, they don’t need to be told they are good, because the creative free play is a reward in itself. It makes them learn to rely on their own inner knowledge.

Self and Ego

I don’t think the definition of Bohm of the ‘self’ is the same as the definition of Jung. I will go into that into another post, but as I see it at this point, the definition of Bohm might be what is called the ‘ego’ by Jung.


Me myself and I

Image: source


  1. Thats interesting. I did psychology last semester in college, I might look into Jung and Bohm some more for my self interest.

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