Personal Identity In The Egoist By Pablo Neruda

Decent Essays
In every person, a self which interacts with the world appears to live. However, what can one truly classify as their persona? Cognitive scientist Bruce Hood defines illusion as, “[the] experience of something that is not what it seems.” By this denotation, he classifies the ego as illusory; humans naturally experience it, but it does not actually exist. Accordingly, in Pablo Neruda’s “The Egoist,” Neruda contrasts personal identity with the natural world, deeming abandoning one’s individuality a necessary step to obtaining lasting satisfaction with existence. Neruda conveys his idea as a physician would a diagnosis; first identifying the problem’s nature, then outlining its effects and solution. “The Egoist’s” first stanzas portray the individual ego as nonexistent and ghostlike. Instantaneously, Neruda boldly asserts, “Nobody is missing from the garden. Nobody is here: / only the green and black winter” (Neruda, 1-2). Repeating “nobody is” attests to the flowers’ lack of self. Similarly, Neruda connoting green and black in the subsequent line asserts nature’s holism. Green, reflecting chlorophyll’s color, represents nature’s power to create and subsist, while black portrays the equalizing emptiness within every being’s essence. By combining repetition and connotation, Neruda propounds dependent origination, a philosophical concept which rejects the independent ego by noticing how all existing bodies rely on others to exist. Consequently, when Neruda depicts the self as a
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