I Know Who I Am And I Know What I Want

That is the problem. You do not know who you are, and you only know what you think you want.

There are many sayings that tell us to find our self, be that in religion, Shakespeare or in common conversation. ‘Know thyself’ “To thine own self be true” ‘Don’t think who you are, know who you are.’

Our journey through life is a process of wondering who we are, trying to find out who we are, then building on that throughout our life and then dying wondering who we were.

One thing is certain, if you are absolutely clear on something, it is very difficult for your mind to be open and actively looking to find the answer to that which you already know without doubt to be true.

Another thing we can be quite certain about with even just a slight amount of self-reflection, we do not know who we really are, who that is who is asking this very question.

A little deeper thought will bring us to the clear conclusion that all we are is a conglomeration of thoughts and ideas, morals and concepts, images, language, culture and religious beliefs that we have been fed and absorbed between the moment of birth and today. We are just an accumulation of events which have formed our character and personality and new events could change that.

Whatever it is that was born speaks in your accent and has your religious and cultural tendencies based on where and with who you grew up, not because of who the biological parents are which formed your body.

Take a caucasian infant and give it to parents in the deepest remote regions of India and maybe that child will speak english, but it certainly will sound different than its Canadian biological parents.

Now we should ask the question again, do you know who YOU are?

Having fairly established that you do not know who the real you really is, we can now move on to the question of knowing what you want. A little more self-observation and comparison will show you that your desires have also been completely fed to you. Think of the things you want and consider if you had never seen or heard about it, would you want it? It is simply not possible to want what you do not know exists.

Mainly our basic desires are natural, we want to be loved, to have someone to love, and then food, clothing and shelter are of course the basic desires. The problem is that we want more than the basics and that usually includes a certain standard of quality and luxury as well as appearance.

If you lived on an island and everyone was very very heavy, then you would want a partner who is equally large in size. However our marketing has shown us that slim is in and that is beauty. If slim was truly beautiful and what everyone desired, why would the art and sculptures of the Renaissance period depict women a little chubby with a round belly?

Clothing is the most obvious example to prove that you do not know what you want other than to want what you are being made to want. If you are old enough to recall the style of cloths you wore 20 or 30 years ago and consider wearing that today, any woman would shudder at the thought! Yet back then, you just loved and had to have those cloths.

Could a member of a wandering tribe in africa who has never left the desert and has not seen a computer with internet, or watched a movie want a four bedroom house with central air-conditioning and a BMW? You want what you have seen which creates desires to fulfill the needs of what you really want which is comfort and security.

What do you really want and how will you get it? Chasing what you think you want creates more desires for things that cannot provide what you really want and so you are left ever chasing the new and improved and never resting. This even goes for the many courses and programs to get rich and happy, even there people change and jump from one to the other.

And so we have come round circle, if you think you know what you want, and what you want is only what you have been told what to want, then you will not be able to find what you really want because your mind is closed believing it has that answer.

And most importantly, if you think you know who you are, you will have to put in a tremendous amount of effort to keep that illusion alive rather than working to find who that really is, thus expending tremendous time and money on the things you think you want to maintain your image of who you think you are. Overall, a life spent chasing your tail in circles.

Find comfort in not knowing.
Find the challenge and excitement in searching.
Find the wisdom to perpetually test what you find even if you never find the right answer, but better that than believing a lie.
Find that you do not know who you are or what you want and that wanting to answer those questions are just to be able to rest.
Know that resting in our search for truth and our real self is stagnation and like a stagnant pond, eventually nothing will grow there and you will begin to stink of decay.

What I know for certain is that I know virtually nothing in relation to what is really going on, and what I truly am, and most certainly what I really want, which differs dramatically from what I think I want.

Knowing this gives me great peace and serenity.

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One Response to I Know Who I Am And I Know What I Want

  1. Andy Sophocleous May 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Thank you for this article. As I read I felt my mind closing, saying: “I know this, I’ve heard this before” and I made a conscious effort to keep it open. When I did, I found new things, and inspiration.

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