Doing to find the being

Often when we don’t know who we are, we flail around trying to do lots of things, hoping that one of them will feel right and define us. The problem is that most of the things we do feel wrong, so we mistakenly think that we are wrong. We forget that the flailing around is an experiment to help us discover what we are, and thus what we aren’t.The ones that feel wrong should be celebrated as yet another step towards discovering who we are.

Another tactic is to step back and ponder who we would like to be. Sometimes this can help us work out who we are, since who we are isn’t going to want to be something completely abstract from who we are. I appreciate that this idea seems a bit odd, but lets go with it a bit further. I am not suggesting that you carry out your hypothetical, but rather that you use the hypothetical to explore yourself. Someone who wants to be a mass murderer, as an extreme, can learn something about themselves from this desire. Why do you wish to create carnage and mayhem? Do you wish to murder specific people or random people? Why? What do these urges tell you about yourself? Often we seek to do violence because we feel helpless about something, and the violence is like a pressure relief valve to save ourselves or put of inevitable doom. Or there may be hatred involved, in which case who do we really hate and what can we do about it? If these people were ‘gone’, how would this change your world? What does this change tell you about you and where you are now?

Another thing we may wish to be is a benefactor of mankind. Why do we wish to be a benefactor? What does this change? What form of benefactor do you wish to be and how would you feel if you were to achieve this? Does this feeling tell you anything about how you are feeling or wanting to feel now? Are there other ways to feel this?

Perhaps a far less extreme becoming would also help. Perhaps you will identify that you would like to get a nice job. What is it about the job that you want? What does the job provide for you that you don’t currently have? How are you defining nice? What would stop the job from being nice? What change does having a job provide you compared to now? Things that you may get from having a nice job is: money, social contact, structure, an excuse to get away from home, a feeling of purpose, ontological security, completion of a definition of self as a worker, your parents of your back and so on. If we don’t look at why we want the job, how do we know what we need the job to do to feel success? Of, for example, we get a job that doesn’t pay enough and is in a field we don’t like that our parents don’t support, we may feel that we have failed in getting a nice job, which we may then transfer as a feeling of us being the failure.

Three major things to take away from this:
1) Doing things to discover who we are often lead to us discovering who we are not, and that is success
2) Pausing to consider what we want can help uncover who we are
3) Once we know what we want and why, we can begin to choose to do things because of who we are