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Irrelevant Notes on Existence

[“notes on existence” is off-the-cuff notes on the psychological fundamentals of life, written from Self to Other, in a conceptually impatient kind of way, as if from self-to-self, which is really the case, see below]

What are the elements of life?

  • Self-Preservation (what Freud would call Id) (what I call “pursuit of wellbeing” or “skinthink” (in all of its forms – minimization of pain, pursuit of pleasure, homeostatic maintenance of pain and pleasure in balance (for example, through hard work)) (structurally – self-replication, self-assembly, autopoeitic self-referencing)
  • Self-Awareness (what Freud would call Ego) (what I call “brokerage” – the mediation of the inner and outer, what I also call the “skin of being” or living on the edge, or riding the boundary)
  • Self/Other-Identification (what Freud would call Superego) what I call compassion or identification or “expanding the radius of identity,” what I mean when I say that Self is Other) (what Martin Buber would call I-Thou) (what psychologists call empathy) (what religious folks call God)(what Vedic sages meant when they said “tat tvam asi” meaning “I am you;” understanding that Self = Other)

There might be more to this thing-less thing called “life” but that’s all I understand about the subject at the present time.


Poetry is important.

Sharing is important.

Sharing is poetry, poetry is sharing.

Restate Heart Sutra (which is “essence is form, form is essence”) any way you can.


Ultimately Life is beyond description.

Irrelevant Notes on Existence

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).



APA Reference
Somov, P. (2012). Irrelevant Notes on Existence. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Nov 2012
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