When his boss challenged his integrity, he became angry. Although he was more than 60 years of age, this was only the second time in his whole life that he had displayed anger publicly. His self-control reflected his cultural heritage; during his boyhood, he had been conditioned not to display anger – and to speak with courtesy, if not respect. Proper conduct and social stability were of the ultimate importance.
In his anger, he fiercely and volubly denigrated his boss and the latter’s progenitors, using foul language (but never before, not in public) learned from his employment in Australian factories. While he was venting his disdain, a thought flashed through his mind. It was ‘What are you doing, stupid?’ He ignored it while continuing his tirade. Yet, this message would have prevented him from losing his temper. That he would never allow again!
He had clearly lost his temper on the previous occasion had had become angry. Then, in his twenties, he had held his wife out of the open window of a second-story building, saying gruffly ‘If you want to kill yourself, let me help you.’ From somewhere in his subconscious had then come the warning ‘What are you doing, stupid?’
When the situation had calmed down, there came the realisation to him that he had displayed 3 facets of himself in the ‘Let me help you’ episode – the actor, the observer/questioner, and the watcher/reporter. Without the observer within, could he (as a conscious entity) have been aware of the consequences of his probable (or just likely) action? The watcher/reporter had, of course, to be the one who could see the whole stage.
How complex is the human personality? Are there external influences impinging upon the human mind which affect behaviour as well as thought? If so, what might these be?