For, the newborn, the toddler, the young lad — it is through the encounters with the objective world, fully conscious, certainly, but unaware yet of the reversal and looping back into one’s own being. Some would posit that the state of self-awareness cannot occur until there first exists a “self” of some sort to begin with. Thus, a newborn cannot be self-conscious because there is not enough of the “stuff” of one’s self in order to be aware.
Thoughts, beliefs, memories, a history of having been — these, and much more, in their aggregate and totality, comprise the molding and making of a “self”, and awareness of one’s self — of self-consciousness — can occur only when enough of the self has been developed in order to realize the very existence of one’s self within a universe of many others.
In the end, self-consciousness is merely a state of heightened awareness of another being existing within a world of multiple beings, who happens to be one’s self. Too much of such self-awareness — a preoccupation, as it were, or an obsession to the exclusion of the needed encounter outside of one’s self — can become unhealthy.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, becoming self-conscious as to one’s medical condition and the state of existence in relation to one’s career and Federal Agency or Postal unit is a natural phenomena — precisely because of the impact of one’s medical condition upon one’s self.
Yet, such preoccupation must ultimately be translated back to a direct engagement with the world, by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.
Robert R. McGill, Lawyer