X-Message-Number: 11026
From: "Scott Badger" <>
Subject: Re: Self-esteem et al [smithid]
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 08:29:45 -0600

To George Smith:

I must confess that, unlike yourself,  self-esteem issues were not the focus
of attention in my program, so please clarify a couple of points for me,

You appear to be suggesting that it will be to my advantage to disassociate
myself from my behavior.  And I appreciate that considerable emotional
distress can result from over-identifying with one's opinions, job, etc.
But if I am the experiencer and not the experience, I'm not sure who "I" am.
You make it sound like I (the experiencer) am little more than a view-cam.
Who IS the view-cam?  The view-cam merely watches.  It has no traits of it's
own.  It cannot be differentiated from other view-cams.  If I am not what I
do, think, and feel . . . just what are you suggesting I am?  What's left?
Some soul-like entity?

You see, to my way of thinking, I am the "Experience" and not the
"Experiencer".  More specifically, I am Process.  The view-cam inside me
that watches is more of an illusion than the experiences it watches.  I am
not who I was and will not be who I am.  And even though I believe this to
be the case, a part of me resists the notion because it wants to hold on to
the idea that there is some immutable Experiencer.

And when you suggest that self-acceptance is healthier than self-esteem. . .
What is there to accept about yourself other than your experiences?  And how
does one truly "accept" aspects of themselves that they truly don't value?
IOW, how does one keep self-evaluation (self-esteem) out of the equation
when one "chooses" to be accepting?  And it can be very convenient, can't
it?  "I accept myself since my rude and selfish behavior
is not really who I am."

Finally, I have to say that Ellis has some good ideas but I wouldn't want
him for a therapist.  He strikes me as having about "zero" empathy.  The
word crusty comes to mind (and not because he's old).

I must also say that I do agree with many things you say but don't have the
time right now to enumerate them.

Best wishes,

Scott Badger

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