12/18/2009 09:25 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Avatar of Self

Avatar is a Hindu term that originally means an appearance, a manifestation of a deity in a visible form, an embodiment of the ideal.

Philosophically, the term Avatar could be understood as synonymous with Form (form-based manifestation of Essence).

Psychologically, the term Avatar, in my opinion, is interchangeable with the concept of Self (as in "public self" or "persona" that we project into the world as a manifestation of what/who we internally are; or as our own, inner "self-view," an in-house informational representation of ourselves to ourselves, a "self-schema").

Now, my point of the moment:


Let me ask you something.

While living this very life, would you - as if in some kind of virtual reality - like to be an Avatar?


The question above is rhetorical:

If you think of yourself as some kind of self-form, you already are your own manifestation.


The real, non-rhetorical question is: what is this essence that you are representing right now with such words as "I" and "me?" Who is this who is reading this and thinking "I am?" What is this essence that keeps confusing itself with its informational avatar of self-narrative?

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is the author of "Eating the Moment" (New Harbinger, 2008), "Present Perfect" (NH, 2010), and "The Lotus Effect" (NH, 2010). He is in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information visit