Do you feel that each & everyone of us actually was already born with a ‘best friend’? This best friend is our mind. I feel that I engage in silent (I hope) conversation with her more often. She doesn’t judge. Loves me even when I fall or doesn’t perform up to expectation. Secrets that we share are never at risk of public humiliation. I wonder why some people fear loneliness. Is it because they haven’t found that friend of theirs?

Philosopher's reply

Dear Shuz

I’ve been thinking lots about your idea that we are all born with a “best friend” that is our mind. The way you describe your experience sounds a bit like my relationship with my imaginary friend. One difference, perhaps, is that I think of my friend as someone separate to my own mind (she “lives” in my mind, but isn’t “part of” it). I wonder if the thing you describe is you, or part of you, or someone separate? Does your best friend have their own thoughts, beliefs, or emotions? Do they have a “body”?

You also describe how ur friend helps u to not feel lonely. My own friend helps keep me company, but I do sometimes still feel lonely, bc it’s much harder for them to be around when I’m anxious. I get so wrapped up in my own worries I can’t pay attention to them w/o making stuff up. Do you ever feel like your friend is more present at some times than others? Do you ever find it difficult to talk/listen to them? How can u tell when you’re really listening to them?

Sorry to answer your questions with even more questions. Maybe you could talk to your friend about some of these things. At any rate, I hope your relationship continues to flourish.

My love to (both of?) you,
Sasha x

Philosopher's profile

Sasha Lawson-Frost

Oxford, UK

I discovered Iris Murdoch about a year after I decided I believed in God. Though philosophy played an important part in figuring out my faith, the shift was mostly driven by personal experiences. Reading Iris Murdoch has been hugely significant for me getting to grips with how my faith and my philosophical views come together. I’m especially interested in the emphasis she puts on moral vision, and the implications this has for how we think about revelations and transformative experiences.

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