Does Humpty-Dumpty say that we see our true selves only when we are broke?

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Chitra Ayengar
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Re: Does Humpty-Dumpty say that we see our true selves only when we are broke?

Post by Chitra Ayengar »

Sushan wrote: November 19th, 2022, 9:51 am This topic is about the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes


Humpty Dumpty doesn’t need a surgeon. He simply needs to find himself.
(page 56 - Kindle version)

We have discussed about how to see one's true self by stripping him/her of his/her physical possessions, ego, and everything else.

But have Humpty-Dumpty been saying all this time to let ourselves to be broken and then we will see the true remainder of us; the true Self? Has that 'silly nursery rhyme' never been a silly nursery rhyme, but an opening to a great philosophical discussion? Does it become more easy to see our real selves when we are literally broke?
I agree with whatever is said in the book. It is not easy feat to find one's true self. In this world we equate our identity with material accomplishments. If I am successful professionally, and own a fancy car, a villa, and hefty bank balance then I am successful and supposed to have achieved my purpose in life. But is it my true self. Even if we strip our outer shells to find one's true self is a long arduous journey. But I am unable to fathom humpty dumpty's connection to this aspect. Maybe it is a nursery rhyme for kids and a supposedly deep embedded message for adults to make out.
Ruth Siriba
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Re: Does Humpty-Dumpty say that we see our true selves only when we are broke?

Post by Ruth Siriba »

The nursery rhyme describes the unfortunate fall of Humpty Dumpty, an anthropomorphic egg, from a wall. It is a whimsical tale that doesn't delve into deeper philosophical concepts or the idea of seeing our true selves when broke. Instead, it remains a classic and simple children's rhyme that has been passed down through generations.
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Sushan
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Re: Does Humpty-Dumpty say that we see our true selves only when we are broke?

Post by Sushan »

Chitra Ayengar wrote: February 9th, 2024, 10:31 pm
Sushan wrote: November 19th, 2022, 9:51 am This topic is about the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes


Humpty Dumpty doesn’t need a surgeon. He simply needs to find himself.
(page 56 - Kindle version)

We have discussed about how to see one's true self by stripping him/her of his/her physical possessions, ego, and everything else.

But have Humpty-Dumpty been saying all this time to let ourselves to be broken and then we will see the true remainder of us; the true Self? Has that 'silly nursery rhyme' never been a silly nursery rhyme, but an opening to a great philosophical discussion? Does it become more easy to see our real selves when we are literally broke?
I agree with whatever is said in the book. It is not easy feat to find one's true self. In this world we equate our identity with material accomplishments. If I am successful professionally, and own a fancy car, a villa, and hefty bank balance then I am successful and supposed to have achieved my purpose in life. But is it my true self. Even if we strip our outer shells to find one's true self is a long arduous journey. But I am unable to fathom humpty dumpty's connection to this aspect. Maybe it is a nursery rhyme for kids and a supposedly deep embedded message for adults to make out.
Your hesitation to draw a direct connection between the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme and the profound journey of self-discovery amidst our capitalist society's values resonates with the inherent complexity of interpreting such symbols. It's fascinating how a seemingly simple children's rhyme can unfold into a rich tapestry of meaning when viewed through the lens of adult experiences and philosophical inquiry.

The dichotomy you've highlighted—between the nursery rhyme's surface simplicity and its potential depth—mirrors the tension many of us feel living in a world dominated by capitalist ideals. On one level, the story of Humpty Dumpty can be seen as a cautionary tale about the fragility of existence and the inevitability of falls, both literal and metaphorical. On another, it invites a deeper reflection on the process of falling apart and the opportunities it presents for rebuilding oneself more authentically, stripped of societal pretensions and material trappings.

Addressing your uncertainty, the connection between Humpty Dumpty and the capitalist view on success might not be immediately apparent because it requires a leap from the literal to the metaphorical. In a capitalist framework, success is often quantified by external achievements and possessions, which can lead to a fragmented sense of self, defined more by what we have than who we are. Humpty Dumpty's fall, then, can be metaphorically likened to the personal crises or failures that compel us to look beyond the material, to the essence of our being that remains when external markers of success are stripped away.

The journey to understanding our true selves, as you've insightfully noted, is arduous and often obscured by our attachment to these external markers. The story of Humpty Dumpty, in its simplicity, offers a poignant metaphor for the necessity of breaking—both in terms of our ego and our attachment to material success—to truly embark on a path of self-discovery. This breaking is not the end but rather the beginning of a deeper exploration into what constitutes our true essence beyond societal definitions of success.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on how we can navigate this tension between societal measures of success and the quest for genuine self-understanding. How can we foster a culture that values personal growth and authenticity over material accumulation? And in this context, how can stories and metaphors, even those as simple as Humpty Dumpty, inspire us to rethink our approach to success and fulfillment?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Sushan
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Re: Does Humpty-Dumpty say that we see our true selves only when we are broke?

Post by Sushan »

Ruth Siriba wrote: February 12th, 2024, 6:20 am The nursery rhyme describes the unfortunate fall of Humpty Dumpty, an anthropomorphic egg, from a wall. It is a whimsical tale that doesn't delve into deeper philosophical concepts or the idea of seeing our true selves when broke. Instead, it remains a classic and simple children's rhyme that has been passed down through generations.
While I appreciate your perspective on the nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty being primarily a whimsical tale for children, I'd like to gently propose a slightly different viewpoint that considers the potential for deeper philosophical interpretation. Literary works, including nursery rhymes, often carry layers of meaning that can transcend their apparent simplicity, offering rich material for philosophical exploration.

The very essence of literature—and indeed, any form of storytelling—is its ability to convey multifaceted truths and insights into the human condition. This capacity isn't limited by the work's original context or its surface simplicity. Just as parables, myths, and even modern fiction can serve as vehicles for profound truths, so too can nursery rhymes like Humpty Dumpty be seen as metaphors or allegories for deeper experiences and existential realities.

The interpretation of Humpty Dumpty's fall not merely as an unfortunate accident but as a metaphor for the human experience of vulnerability, failure, and the quest for self-discovery, opens up a space for philosophical inquiry. It's a prompt to consider how moments of 'breaking'—whether emotional, financial, or existential—strip away the outer layers of ego and material attachment, potentially leading us to a closer encounter with our true selves.

This viewpoint does not detract from the rhyme's value as a piece of children's literature but rather adds a dimension that invites both children and adults to engage with it on different levels. The beauty of literary interpretation lies in its variability and the personal resonance each reader finds within the text. Just as art is seen differently by each viewer, so too can literary works evoke a wide range of meanings beyond their literal words.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
Cristina-Ioana Toader
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Re: Does Humpty-Dumpty say that we see our true selves only when we are broke?

Post by Cristina-Ioana Toader »

The interpretation of the Humpty Dumpty narrative as a philosophical exploration rather than just a nursery rhyme is intriguing. In this light, Humpty Dumpty's story invites us to embrace our fractures as openings through which we can explore the depths of our being. It's a reminder that sometimes, it's through our breaking that we find our way to healing and wholeness.
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