- An imagined or unrealistic conception of oneself
- (psychology) An anxiety to escape from a social or sentimental condition judged to be unsatisfactory, sometimes by building a fictitious personality
- a conception of oneself as other than one is to the extent that one's general behavior is conditioned or dominated by the conception; especially
- domination by such an idealized, glamorized, glorified, or otherwise unreal conception of oneself that it results in dramatic personal conflict (as in tragedy), in markedly unusual behavior (as in paranoia), or in great achievement.
- in order to create that alternate conception of one self we need to recreate our image. A new way of dressing, new ideas of religion, new friends, etc..
Emma Bovary in the novel of from Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, is anxious to escape from social conditions which define her.
"Today, Bovarism is understood to mean fleeing tedium and melancholy into an impossible world of dreams, but there is still no consensus over whether Emma deserves sympathy for trying to break free from the 19th-century bourgeois constraints or merits condemnation for going to any length to fulfill her desires." -- Alad Riding, "It's 'Bovary.' It's French. Don't Expect Harmony." New York Times, April 9, 1991
Unsatisfied with the outcome of the choices of our life we develop a psychological anxiety about ourselves and who we appear to be to others. To escape from the social or sentimental condition judged to be unsatisfactory to our personal pride people , sometimes build a fictitious personality.
Almost anything and everything that sets us apart in our mind, hides the truth of our true nature, divides us from the old way we were, which we want to believe we have put behind us, is essential to maintain the new image of our self and anyone who knows the truth of who we really are will become the enemy.
We divide ourselves within society with a "collective Bovarism" which supports our imaginary escape from who or what we really are. This of course is how what we call religion is often used in history. The definition of religion has shifted back and fourth over the centuries from how we perform our duty to both God and our fellow man to what we think about God.
What we think about God is unmoored from the spirit of God as expressed by the life of Christ and the prophets and dipped or steeped in rituals and ceremonies. Those ceremonies are more form than spirit. We soon cannot resist the temptation of codifying religious practices like the Pharisees. Words and interpretations of doctrines are soon worshiped rather than the spirit which the elude to.
Whether a Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Catholic, messianic Jew, or one of the thousands of protestant sects the form and personal interpretation of the Doctrines of Christ become more important than the weightier matters.
Seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness often provides only a spiritual reward which can be realized when we face the whole truth about ourselves.
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== Footnotes ==