The fragmented self is the mark of American adulthood. In this way it is no different than childhood. I like you today, hate you tomorrow, I don't know why. It is difficult to remain in time in America.
Take drugs or alcohol. Take caffeine, extended shopping runs, television. There are many ways to pull the needle from the record, so to speak. They are the same insofar as they all permit a RESET. As in:
Man: I feel terrible today. I don't know why.
He gets high.
Man: I don't remember what I was thinking about this morning.
It may be a good time or not, the high -- or even a period of intensified bad times -- but when he comes down he finds himself differently oriented toward people and things in the world. The change is not external though it manifests there.
What does it mean to be fragmented? It means an ability to compartmentalize related things as if they were unrelated. As in:
Man: I am a kind person, and I feel ready to love. In the meantime, I will continue to masturbate to bondage and sadomasochist pornography.
Later he may think to himself how he loves his sister and his mother. He is fragmented, lacking the ability to move freely between all his parts and uncover the feelings they hide and claim them as his own. When he masturbates, he experiences himself in a way that is different fundamentally than when he speaks to his sister, or is charming on a date.
Do not get fixated on masturbation. Fragmentation is the condition, and however the fragmented self seeks to step out of time and RESET is informative about the self but ultimately irrelevant. To use cocaine, to buy shoes, to play sudoku... these things will not lift the needle for everyone. Only for an American adult are they passageways outside of time. The man brings fragmentation to everyone he engages. He may be reseting as he gives advice, or makes love.
It is not an issue of being false. It is impossible to feel happy all the time in America; impossible anywhere; yet the American adult cannot stand to suffer. Suffering threatens him to detonate him at the fissures. He will not SIT WITH the feeling. He will not just hurt. And so he finds & expands passageways outside of time -- where just as sound is to space no feeling can travel -- and these are divisions in himself like many rooms within a house that he can move to without ever having to make any his own.
If he did just hurt and sat with the hurt it would blossom and show him the essence of its life. Eventually he would recognize its life as his own and its essence as his. Then maybe one day he could sit with his essence until it too blossoms and out comes the soul to show him: there is only one soul, and it is continuous.