Tuesday, January 23, 2007

That which is hidden

This post began as a discussion with RuthAnn and continued in my mind and finally worked its way here. I'm still sorting it out. Clearly haven't come to anything ultra-conclusive.

Question: Do people really have a hidden side that no one knows about? Or do observers really have the ability to see through supposed facades and secrets that were thought hidden. Granted, everyone has secrets, and granted some people are more perceptive than others. But is it possible to have a side that is known only to the individual and kept completely hidden from the rest of the world?

I'm not just referring to specific events or experiences. Yes, these things do leave an impact on who we are, but they do not define who we are. And of course the details of experience can definitely be kept hidden. I'm talking about having actual aspects of personality that people don't know about.

However, not to take this to an extreme, I do think there are individuals who are convinced that deep down they are someone completely different--i.e. smarter, braver, kinder, more adventuresome. In reality, this identity exist only in the mind and they have never responded accordingly.

Honestly, I think it comes down to a choice. As individuals, we decide how much to open up, how far to let people see in. As observers, we choose how much we will see, how perceptive we'll be, and when to just turn a blind eye and be oblivious.

So, although I first agreed that people don't have a hidden side, that others are more aware of the hidden "us" than we like to think, the more I think on it, the more I think I disagree. I think it's possible to keep a part of self (not just experiences, but actual personality and character) completely hidden.

I'm begging to be proven wrong, so if anyone has an opinion, have at it.


Katy said...

That's like asking to measure the immeasureable. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one's able to hear it, does it make a sound? If one has a hidden side, but chooses never to express it, can it be regarded as a part of them? Apparently, it's kept hidden for a reason. If it's real, if there's validity, then eventually, it will have to be expressed, for something that is truly defining in one's life could never be wholly silent.

cassiopeiarl said...

Theoretically, I believe that someone could hide something and no one could know it. Pratically, not a way in the world. No one actually wants to keep themselves totally hidden. The hidden side is a plea for someone to dig just a little deeper, generally with the hope that the digger will embrace the person in spite (or because) of what they find. When someone digs a little deeper (and there is always that someone), then the hidden side is revealed.

kathryn said...

a "hidden side" miight actually be expressed, but in ways that no other person actually sees.

weedeater said...

I'd say definitely people have a hidden side, but it doesn't define us. Take for example that all people have a sin nature - as Christians we strive to keep that hidden. Peoples' choices define who they are. We all have the same natures within us, we chose who we want to be and that is what we act on. Hypocrasy is when what we show to others differs from our choices. So you have to specify what you mean by hidden. Hidden from others or completely unacted on? Also, if it is meditated on to the point where it is part of one's personality, it will come out. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Of course, God sees all and nothing is hidden from Him.