Understood in a more religiously observant time, the "self" arises per loving God completely, during which the Self of I-Thou develops, thence "and love colleague as Self." After Shakespeare's promotion of the modern human, the more "enlightened" man as measure of all things tended to replace, in the intellectual set, God as the center and circumference of Being. Many and varied factors propelled this for differing individuals, such as the freedom as license (reminiscent of the tree of relative good and evil in the Garden story) which man as measure brings, the accelerated control over physis (atomic determinism as sciens, knowing), and the discovery of non-Church cultures in India, China, etc.
Thus, the role of priest as confessor and moral guide was replaced by humanist if it feels good, do it therapeutics; Freud was a culminating influence, with logotherapy uncovering repressed psyche (in God-centered, psyche = soul of God; in humanism, psyche-ology = Aristotelian life energy, typically not of God).
Finding who you are, the self to which one is true, thus became a relativized, even narcissistic, humanism, a la Sartre, Camus, Nietzsche, et al. This problem of identity was encountered by Descartes in that his "I am" as a reflection of God, I Am, is often a given or a posited, rather than an I-Thou of Buber, a One Mind Soul-realization of Plotinus. Thus the thinker rises, as Plato noted, to her level of sensibility (Eikasia, Pistis, Dianoia, Noesis), and, as Whitehead and others noted, tends to the fallacy of over-generalization of consciousness based upon her own awareness.
The or an answer to one's hypothetical is given in the awareness of a Plato, a Husserl, a Maslow, or even (more strugglingly) in a Kierkegaard, a Nietzsche, a Heidegger, a Deleuze: in Saint Teresa of Avila-speak, spiritualization of sensibility, the occasion of poetic light in-sight in later Heiddeger, etc. Thus both experience (empiricism) and reflection (rationalism) may, if linked with a Childlike love of God, Life, bring more sensibility to sense. To ask in faith is to receive at those levels, and God so respects one's God-given right to make an infinity of Good choices, or otherwise, that to ask God is to permit God, Saints, and Angels to draw nigh in more than ordinary measure. The agnostic's sincere prayerful permission at eventide to be guided, guarded, loved, and taught by the Kingdom of God permits more progress, thence conditioned by one's love for more of God, Good, and the Pauline desire to exchange lesser humanism for eternal Being.
Autobiography of a Yogi;
Beams from Meher Baba;
The Path of the Higher Self;
Answers, Mother Meera;
Watch Your Dreams;
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.