Awkward Self

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Awkward Self is a term used by Alan Watts to describe your Bodily Ego, or the part of you that emerges as a consequence of neurology (i.e. the DMN, life, and socialization experiences. The emphasis in this term is on the confused, awkward, low functioning (when compared with Spiritual Ego) nature of the Bodily Ego.

Syncretic Terms

Bodily Ego > Acquired Self, Apparent Ego, Awkward Self, Earthly Self, Egoic Consciousness, Elusive Self, Empirical Self, False Personality, Illusory Self, King of the Body, Little Self, Not Self, Outer Self, Personality, Self, Subtle Body, Talking Self


The master will not let him escape into this unconsciousness, for every confrontation with the student reminds him painfully of his awkward self. By these means the student is at last convinced that his ego, the self which he has believed himself to be, is nothing but a pattern of habits or artificial reactions. Strain as it will, there is nothing it can do to be natural, to let go of itself.[1]


  1. Watts, Alan W.. This Is It (p. 70). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.