Understanding to Know Yourself, Part One

by on August 22nd, 2010
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To be is to experience your-self absent of all societal and worldly encumbrances. You must replace yourself in space and time. Re-recognize and accept your freedom, innocence, and naïveté in the world of ultimate experience. This is not an experience where you constitute meaning of what is with the intellect. It is not an experience where faith espouses a why for what is. It is the experience of your-self inhabiting space and time of all experience. Without this experience, you are an apparent automaton in the world of economic, political, religious, and societal structures and backgrounds in which you accept and endorse as who you are. Your life has meaning, relevance, and significance within these contexts. Where are you in your quest to be your-self and to be?

The simplest and quickest way to experience yourself is through a traumatic experience. But, this is not probably something you want to seek out. Another manner in which to experience who you are is through a devotion to seek what is yourself. When you embark on a journey of self-awareness and personal development, you are declaring your devotion to know yourself and to be.

To begin the journey to knowing yourself, you must begin to recognize how societies, religions, politics, and economics directly influence and constitute meaning and significance to accepting and endorsing who you are. Consider society in terms of moral principles and ethical guidelines. As anthropologists have pointed out over the centuries, what is considered moral, just, fair, right, or good varies from society to society. Where it is morally acceptable to burn the dead in one society, it is morally unacceptable in other societies. Setting aside the question of which society holds the just or right moral principles or standards is a key to initiating your path of self-awareness and personal development. Focus your attention on this question: why is burning the dead morally acceptable in one society and why is it morally unacceptable in other societies? Grasping why it is moral to burn the dead and why it is immoral to burn the dead is an initial sign of progress in shedding the encumbrances of society in understanding yourself.

Society affects who your-self is in other ways as well. What you consider worth experiencing or that which has value or worth in your life is directly influenced by the societal norms, pressures, and standards you experienced and learnt while living to this day. If what gives your life value is working for a company 40-60 hours a week, to spend the weekends with the family and friends; to continue for 48 weeks a year, to spend 4 weeks of the year on vacation or sick; to continue for 20 -30 years until retirement, then it appears to suggest you accept and endorse societal standards and principles you may or may not be aware of. Inescapably, this society is what provides your life value, worth, and it defines you; however, if you ask a simple question, you will begin to understand why you are where you are now and where your potential is. The question is: Am ‘I’ genuinely happy and satisfied with where I am? Genuinely and sincerely ‘listening’ to your response to this question will point to yourself and it will whisper: “Are you ready to enter the rabbit hole?”

A second question you must ask is: Is ‘my’ life really that absurd? Any hesitation in your response points to a glimpse of yourself and a natural desire to be. It is in that hesitation where faith and intellect appear. Faith and the intellect persuade and convince you that your life is worthy and valuable. Recall what said above that understanding your-self is not an intellectual or faithful experience. Return to the hesitation, initiate your process of personal development so the encumbrances of society can be eradicated.

Society plays a significant role in defining you and you must begin to ask whether you are willing to return to yourself and accept the naïveté, innocence, and freedom to be your-self?


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