I had a professor at my bachelor’s degree who taught me a “Philosophical Foundations of Education” course. The class was more philosophy than education, which was what I wanted. One class, he compares humans to onions. We have multiple layers to who we are that are shown based on context and people around us. This totally rings true for me. For me, I don’t show many layers of myself. I have a tendency to only show the superficial version of myself. So getting to see the core of who I am is… almost impossible.
I as an INTJ compare the world’s access to who I am to the layout of the Jewish temple. Like the Jewish temple, there are 3 main layers to myself: the atrium, the holy place, and the holiest place.
Most people, however, don’t ever get to go inside. The reason: most people either don’t know that I exist or know that I exist but don’t interact with me. It’s mainly not their fault. I say mainly because there are people that I just don’t allow to know more than the superficial first impression things about me. I deny them access to anything about me that I can control. They may know my name, the sound of my voice, but not much else.
Most people who interact with me only know me superficially. They may know my name, the sound of my voice, my ministry in music, maybe certain traits that can be picked up from watching my interactions with other people. These people would be like those that remain in the atrium of a temple. It may not be entirely their fault, because I as an INTJ am very careful of who I invest my time in.
There are people that have been around me for a really long time and/or have gotten to know me in the short years that I have been an adult in Christ. These people can state how my humor is and my favorite foods along with the other superficial information, but have never seen me at my most vulnerable self. These people have accessed the holy layer of myself. This is the space where I
relax … no. I don’t relax. I don’t really relax because I don’t feel safe to relax. I don’t fully relax because I just don’t trust most of them with my most heavily guarded information. The type of information that reveals how different I am from what they see, what they perceive as truth about me. I also don’t like many people getting to see my core self. I may never let them in the holiest place.
It’s no secret that 99.999% of humanity will never know my innermost self. 99.999% of them don’t care. That’s fine by me. Those that care… should know that caring is a waste of time. I will not give you access just because you care.
Finally, there is the innermost core of who I am: the holiest layer of myself. People have gotten access to it. Yet they can’t stay for long… because they will die if they do. These people have seen aspects of myself that I have buried for years. They get access to the things that move me at my core. These people get access to the feelings that I keep hidden from the masses. These people get access to see the true nature of my goals and aspirations. These people see how much of myself I fake to the world.