“What a man can be-
he must be. This NEED
we call Self-actualization”
Throughout your life you will be asked questions which relate to your character and personality. You can never escape who you are, and when the debate arises about which self-concept you apply to yourself, it’s not easy to give a definitive answer. If it was easy to state exactly who you are this moment in time, then it wouldn’t be such an issue for most people. We all have stories of how: “I went through phase X”, “I’m over phase Y”. What i’m interested in is how we experience these phases. What do these phases tell us about ourselves and how much does having a sense of “Self” matter to us?
Almost every body can attest to a story about how they experienced themselves as a ‘different’ person at one point of their lives. Since consciousness is an appearance of the world, and appearance varies from place to place and person to person, naturally a different appearance of the world changes our consciousness. If our appearance of the world is in a flux, constantly changing then our consciousness is never a singular experience, but a state that accumulates over time.
Consciousness is important because it is the way that we look at the world. If you are visually impaired, wearing glasses is your way of seeing properly. Consciousness is the glasses we wear which allows us to experience the world through multiple lens. Everybody has their own individual consciousness, but when we join together, our collective consciousness becomes enhanced. There is a saying that goes like this: “The wise one knows that there is something to be learned from everyone”. This is true. Tuning into what others are experiencing helps us understand our own conscious and sub-conscious better.
Our interactions with others is a representation of ourselves and the way we experience the world is a representation of our consciousness at the time. When I say, for example, that I felt like I was a “different” person a few years ago, this means that the world was actually a different place for me at the time. Time does not limit consciousness because reality is non-linear. If I feel like a creative person today, there is no guarantee I will feel the same way tomorrow. This is because consciousness is not still in time. When you state “I am X” or “I am Y”, you are not recognising the moving space in which YOU exist.
In a world filled with so many different consciousnesses, it only makes sense that we cannot be understood by everyone. Our state of minds take different forms as we work, get married or have children so there’s no guarantee that anyone is experiencing the same consciousness as you. How can we except someone to understand us when they are busy understanding themselves? It is better to feel like a stranger in the world. You may not ever truly understand anyone in this world, you may not even understand yourself. But you can at least try to. Just remember that the attempt to understand does not translate into actual understanding. Only by a process of self-actualization can you “know yourself” and then perhaps you can try to understand others better. Even then, it is totally possible to wake up feel totally lost again. This why I state that “knowing yourself” is a long journey, a search, not a product or concrete feeling.
So when Drake says “Know Yourself”, I think to myself “Is it every possible to truly know myself?”. If I knew exactly who I was, would my life still be an enjoyable search?. I’d rather look at my life as a free-flowing journey of self-discovery which knows no knowable end. In this way, my search is never over. Ask yourself: if you understood yourself, would you still be interested the search in finding out who you could be? All I know is that I cannot know who I am today just because I am aware of who I was yesterday. The logic that uses the past to presuppose the future is circular and groundless. The future is totally unpredictable and that is the way I want it. The unpredictability is what is exciting. Not knowing who I am is what creates the adventure for exploration. I want to experience myself as much as I can through this journey of life without anyone pinning labels on me or without anybody telling me that I have to be someone. I am who I am at this present moment, I can offer nothing more or nothing less than that.