Most of us think of a ghost as something that only exists after we die, which continues to hang around and haunt the places we lived while alive. What if there are ghosts of yourself that are around while you are alive? What if what you think you are is actually a ghost?
As we usually think of them, ghosts are insubstantial forms that come and go. They aren’t solid or real, and most people can’t see them. And yet, how substantial or real are our images of ourselves, our ideas about who we are? If you have an image of yourself as an attractive person one day and an unattractive person the next day, how real is either image? And can other people see your self-image? What does it mean if you have a self-image of being unattractive and someone is attracted to you anyway? Maybe they can’t see your self-image. Maybe your self-image is a kind of ghost. We aren’t always willing to see that our idea of ourselves is a kind of ghost because we really believe that our self-image is what we are.
We may wonder, “Who am I if what I think I am is something insubstantial and not real? What is here besides the ghosts of my self-images?” There’s a sense that we do exist, that we are real.