When I first tried to visualize my inner experience to explain to readers, I imagined different parts me nested inside of one another like Russian Matryoshka dolls.
After a lot of thought, I envisioned three main aspects of my Self: primitive, social, and reasonable. Using this model of human nature makes it easier to look inside by helping to organize your experience. This is not a perfect model, but it offers a place to start building a model that reflects your experience.
Try imagining three aspects to your personality, each with its own way of interacting with the world. Each of these aspects - let's call them primitive, social, and reasonable - has different needs and skills, and its own characteristic way of responding to life. These different parts of you can be envisioned as three wholly distinct creatures - nested into one another like Russian dolls. Each has its own goals, means of communication, and methods for achieving those goals.
Our three inner voices say things to us like:
In evolutionary terms, our Primitive aspect is the oldest. This aspect of our Self is responsible for our physical survival: it is reliable and reactive, yet it doesn't really grow.
Next comes our Social doll, responsible for maintaining relationships. Our social concerns have surprising influence and leverage over our other concerns. They exert incredible power on both our primitive urges and reason.
Reason is our outermost doll. It offers us a thin veneer of logic to protect us from ourselves and the world. This aspect of our personality seeks knowledge, understanding, and meaning to think more clearly about the world so that we can plan ahead. Although it stands guard over our emotional inner dolls, logical reason has surprisingly little influence over them. One of reason's great strengths is that it look within and be self-reflective, strengthening us with information about our multifaceted self.
An Emotional Detective applies reason and knowledge to inner experience.