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in the stomach, one is this painful stomach and nothing else.

One is not an
object-pain but a person-suffering. When experienced at a nonreflective
level, this pain and one3 body are cbe same, However, one's reflcctivt aware-
ness of the pain will reveal it as a psychic object-that is, as an illness. A suf-
fered illness is a strange bodily sensation that incapacitates one's body and
preverats it from functioning at its optimum level. But when a physician
views this pain through the theories and concepts of medical science, the
pain is reveated as a disease hahored by a patient" body. The physician
k n w s rhe patientss body only as an object that needs to be trcated through
medicine and surgery. This knowledge of one's body by the other escapes
one's grasp. Thus the bodily self could be revealed in all the three dimen-
sions: body as lived by one, as used by the other, and as known by Che mhec

Socidl or Community Self


Besides the bodily self, Sartre discusses a dimeslsion of the self that can be
called the social or community self. This self, which develops only in the
context of a concrete situation, revcals itself as "we-subjec~s~ or as "us-ob-
jects." Though conflict underlies most of human relations, the possibility of
a community experience does exist. Sartre identifies situations that bring
about a shared experience among peopfc. This community with mhers oc-
curs in various concrete situations: "We" watch a play or a sports event,
%em listen to a concert or a political speech, "a.e7"se the subway or public
parks, "we" elect rhc president or governor, Here, "weNrefers to the experi-
ence of being as "subjects in common."
However, there is another aspect of this community self that Sartre desig-
natm as a ~ ~ In , nthis case wc experience our being as objects in common or

our common being as it is revealed to the other, The other constitutes a class
or a group &at oypresses or controls us. For instance, we may exper;ence
ourselves as part of a working class &at is suppressed by the upper class or
the capitalist hierarchy. The class consciousness of any oppressed group such
as factory workers, prisoners, patients, disgruntled consumers, alienated
young people, tbe sifent majority, and so on brings about the "us" experi-
ence. Common to this experience is the feeling that we are trapped in a net-
work of external factors influencing our destiny over which we have no con-
trol. The heling of coIlective alienxeion, of being reduced to mere object or a
replaceable number, is an example of the "us" experience.
Though the community self revealed through the "we-subject" or the "us-
object" arises through an intense s h a ~ dexperience, i t has an unscabfe exis-
tence, Its transiency is d t ~ et o the fluidity of human consciousness. The
"we-subject" feeling can be wiped our by the other's glance, which in turn
can reduce the former into the experience of the ""us-objeckn Similarly, the
"us-object" feeling can be transforlned into the "we-subject" experience if
the suppressed group glances back at the oppressor. Both aspects of the