Self and Identity – Who the fuck am I
For a while I\’ve had an obsession with the concept of self, more specifically true self. This started when I began to look more closely at quotes such as \”accept yourself\” or \”love yourself\” or \”destroy your ego and become your true self\”. Every time I read something that went along those lines I found myself asking the same question over and over:
WHO THE FUCK AM I
I started to constantly meditate and contemplate to try and find something in me. I was trying to find some sort of core that I could call me. I thought that once I found that I would find happiness but I could not find anything. The closest thing I could find was ego.
Today I\’ve had a realization though. What if there is no self, no core. What if instead we are the culmination of the habits we preform everyday. What if our \”identities\” simply lie in the way we live our lives.
I think the conclusion I\’ve come to would be we are what we consistently do. What do you guys think? These are just my thoughts whether you love em or hate em please write feedback and leave some of your own.
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@edwardbernays, Good points! But hard work and the determination to never fail will get you where you want to go even if you have to overcome some huge obstacles. Your absolutely right in saying we should utilize our strengths in some form or another and I agree completely. Cheers!
@moonglade, I think if you stopped trying to figure out who you are that you may find yourself. Keep meditating, but don’t try to get anything from it. Just observe the moment as it is. If done repetitively your life will change in a way you would never have thought possible.
you’re post reminds me of
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Another important thing to remember is that perhaps it’s more important instead of finding yourself instead to become that person you want to be! Yet i love the message your saying and I totally feel your words! Nothing defines us and by that we are not bound by anything and that is true freedom and I just love it and it’s just made me feel so good lately. It’s buzzy also to think that what we were in the past was simply memories now how can we attach who we were 10 20 years ago to who we are now! Knowing we were all basically identical when we were just a baby or even more Nothing! what we were just trying to make yuou think
@moonglade, I don’t really get why people place so much emphasis on who they really are and stuff like the search for God or universal oneness, all this spirituality stuff. I remember I used to persue that stuff but that was when I was lost. What you do is focus on your strengths, do the best you can, but what you really need is to find your passion.
There are many things that can get in the way of identifying your passion, you may not have given something a chance because someone you don’t like does it or recommended it. Maybe it has a reputation of being “gay” uncool. You may compare things to your favourite movie and yawn whenever something is mentioned that is not that action packed.
Reasons why you missed your passion can be endless, but people with a focus on all this hoodoo stuff are just lost because they have this gaping hole in their life that is supposed to be filled with that passion.
Looks like someone found some truth.
There is no real you, it’s all just ego. It’s all malleable, yes it’s fully malleable till the day you choke your last sigh.
You are what you do, you are what you think, you are what you CHOOSE, you are WHAT YOU WANT.
Identity isn’t really real, it’s an illusion. It’s all just temporary thoughtforms, a framework of self that’s made out of nothing but your own thoughts.
Pretty mindblowing, isn’t it?
And this insight is one of the most liberating and empowering thoughts you could ever have.
With this understanding, you are the driver, not a passenger. Not just the driver, but the mechanic and the inventor of the vehicle as well, and the very vehicle you’re driving.
There is no you to be found. But there is a you to be created, BY YOU ONLY.
Nice. Look for my article recently posted on HE, “If You’re Not Born With It, It’s Not Yours. Consider the possibility that there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go, no practice(s) to follow. “That which you seek you already are”. You exist. You have always existed. What we “do” and our mental activities operate on a superficial level as we all do. Even realized masters and gurus still function on the superficial level: they still eat, sleep, shit, are affected by their human body, etc. Here are some words from Bentinho Massaro (google him): “I traveled through India for about 5-1/2 months. And I met some swamis there as well – meditation teachers – and I just felt that I couldn’t do it any more. I couldn’t believe in yet another system, another philosophy, another theoretical: you have to do this, you have to do that because then you become something – it just felt so unnatural. So when I really realized that this is unnatural. Life isn’t thinking in terms of states of mind and purification. We are superimposing all of that – all of that philosophical structure. When i realized that, I kinda gave up believing in what the teachers were telling me and the books were telling me. And I started to relax into my own natural presence.”
Thanks for all the replies guys. I’ve noticed that people have started talking about passions and how they link to self. It’s kinda funny cause the reason I started this whole search for self thing was to find a life path for myself. Right now I’m pretty lost and I guess I wanted to find “me” because it would give me the “right” path.
Now I realize there is no right path and that we are the ones who create our own fates. Really the only thing that you own are your passions which is why you should go after them 100%
I was thinking about this a while ago and found this explanation somewhere:
That’s the wrong question. Instead ask “Who do I want to be?” Then go out and be that person.
If you don’t know who that person is, then you’ll need to figure it out. The best way to do this is through trial and error. Open up the filter between your brain and your mouth; just say stuff, whatever you feel like saying. If you say something and then feel bad about it, make a mental note not to say that kind of thing again. Do stuff that seems fun and interesting*; again, if you regret it, just make sure not to do that thing again. Meet lots of new people. Say things to them and do things with them. If you decide you don’t like them, or being around them makes you feel bad, then meet different people. Let your emotions run a little wild: get hopping mad over political arguments, laugh at every joke you see, and cry your heart out at the end of movies.
This is all easier said than done, I know, but you can’t develop a personality through introspection alone. This isn’t about digging down through layers and layers to find some unmovable kernel of self; the self is not a kernel. The self is a filter, a way of deciding what to do and what to not do. You can’t refine the filter without, well, doing stuff and seeing what happens, seeing whether you like it or not. And this is good! Doing stuff is fun! It’s educational! It’s what life is all about!
Deliberately filtering your actions and words might seem fake at first, like you’re wearing a mask, but really, we’re all wearing masks all the time. That is the human condition. The way you be honest about it is by making sure you’re always wearing a mask that you like. If you don’t like the mask, the filter, the self, then change it! Start acting differently! It really is that simple (even if it’s not that easy).
@cognizantelephant, The funny thing about passions is they can be hard work, stressful, cause obsession, drive you nuts, they can even make you miserable. So are they all good? That is the last word I’d use to describe any passion, let alone all of them. The thing is they are the wildest ride that makes you feel alive, they make it worth it. When your life is going swimmingly but you just don’t give a shit, this torture will hit and you say “So that’s why I’m alive”.
How about we stop trying to find out who we are and just be.One may think that is the way but aren’t you just being a speakerphone for the established way of thought.Look at everything we do in our nutty ways from actually telling others directly or indirectly to find themselves in the hopes that they either get lost reducing the competition or give us a shortcut which in essence is a delusion as they have to assert to our understanding,which we assume is free from others influence which is another deluded lie,.I can go on and on about this pretty soon it becomes a rabbit hole which is what it truly is.Finding yourself bears no meaning beyond the assumed beauty we think others ,whom we assume have found it, have.Bringing your subjective objectivity to a subject matter doesn’t make its understanding any more objective just more subjective.In fact what am saying is subject to interpretations from others objective points of view.In short just be and stop fretting about such a waste of time; finding your happiness whether objective or not is limited to that.I think you know, everyone knows who they are and its bound to the experiences they have had without which they are just bags of meat with a potential to be more,our experiences bring the difference and diversity we see most of us bitchin about.So do this live and let live,its a hell lot more interesting than finding yourself,btw which @#@$ comes up with this shit.Such a waste of our potential man. Oh before i forget,peace out.
@moonglade you have it exactly right! Your identity lives within other people. I dont want to come off religious, but think JESUS. He lived for others not himself. He wasnt wondering around trying to figure out who he was, but just was. He was helping others with PURE intentions. Its hard, i know! Everybody knows! All religion and spirituality aside, if you live life to the purest, you will not have any regret anything and it will be to the fullest. You will begin to catch yourself just doing (pure), instead of living it in a way the you are self conscious about everything you do. Instead of looking in for yourself, look out. Your eyes arent facing inwards, theyre facing out. Now create.
@splashartist, We are not all born with the same chances in life, realities such as genetics existence, among other factors. This isn’t to say life is unfair, because we’re all good at something, and we can all create meaning and perception of reality. I know many good athletes (particularly hockey players) who were/are really good, but even given their best they still won’t make it to the point where they can make a sustainable living off it. But thats okay, thats life. Instead, I’m planning on taking one of my strengths (and passions) of communicating and applying that to my passion of sports. Likewise, I’m sure (and I’d hope) that you’ll use your strength of an analytical brain and apply it to your passion.
Your brain strengthens the connections within it that are your strengths, and doesn’t focus so much on the rest (particularly as you get older). Thus, its natural to do what your good at, it will quite literally make you happy, because you can achieve things. That being said, your exactly right in suggesting not to do a job that you hate (ie desk job) just because you’re good at it and it pays well. Never settle for that. Cheers!
@moonglade, There are many life paths. Many will lead to happiness. Life is but a series of choices. Follow your heart and you won’t end up in the wrong place.
@moonglade, I’m sailing the same ship of confusion lately too. I think maybe it was generated by a summer class I took revolved completely around identity and self. When we had to submit a conclusive project summarizing who we are morally, down to the core, etc., I found myself totally dumbfounded. Every time I thought of something, I immediately thought “No…that’s not me, is it?” I think it’s a medley of life events that is contributing to my identity crisis, and at times it is frightening and frankly depressing. However, it is a little exciting. When something traumatic happens to us, we have the opportunity to work with the broken pieces and re-mold ourselves. But I do think that over-thinking can create problems that were never there to begin with; so I agree with your approach of just letting go and notice what you do naturally. The less we think, the more we do. With that, over time, we might find ourselves. Emancipating one’s self from mental slavery is a hard thing to do. But if we practice we can get there. Compare it to practicing a musical instrument or exceeding an exercise milestone. Life is full of actors, adopting the role of whom they think they should be. But if we let go of that picture in our mind of how it is supposed to be, we may be free of this ambivalence.
I was thinking about this today, and came across this picture on here that helped me understand. http://www.highexistence.com/images/view/interests/
@trek79, It is funny, a dark kind of funny lol. Who’s to say that our perceptions of what we’re enjoying accurately represent what we want? To me having a passion is like being able to lose yourself in something, where the rest of the world speeds by as you and this thing you’ve found combine into something that you can’t begin to describe. Such fleeting moments! But I’d have to say that pursuing any passion could be dangerous. Pursuing something you can’t at the moment justify is paradoxical.
@moonglade, I think you may have come to the conclusion (and forgive me if I’m wrong) that there is no ‘you’, but in doing so you’re assuming that at the core of every human being there is ‘nothing’, that ‘you’ are a product of nature and nurture of your parents, plus the influence of society. However, there is a ‘you’ and it exists in the choices that you make,etc.. So, i think part of you’re conclusion (you-being what you do/how we live our lives) is true, but further the conclusion that there is no self/ego/spirit is not. My understanding comes from Dr. Dan Baker’s book “What Happy People Know”, which I highly recommend. -E.B.
@moonglade, I agree with a lot of what you said. Similar to what @splashartist said, it sounds like you are trying very hard to find yourself. Finding yourself comes with time, it is not something that happens over night. Please don’t be hard on yourself for questioning your identity- it is a very normal process that most people go through.
In terms of what you stated above, I am not so sure that I believe our actions are the only thing that represent who we are. After all, we think and feel so much more than we actually express. We have “souls” that somehow allow us to feel a certain way. I think that it is our passions that define who we are… because these are the things that drive us to keep going in this world. If this is what you mean by a culmination of habits then I agree with what you stated above. I think that the first step to figuring out who you are involves figuring out what you are passionate about, and figuring out what you truly enjoy doing. If you cannot think of something then maybe it is time to actively explore different interests, or try to remember what you loved doing as a child. You may find you still love to do those same things.
I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors. Remember, it’s a journey! Try not to speed up the process; it will surely come with time. As long as you are open to try new things and to pursue what you love, I am confident that you will gain a better understanding of who you really are.
Lolll I just made a meditation about this VERY question, check it out:
Meditation – Beyond Identity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JTTuw2c6hOo
@edwardbernays, This advice is great advice for people who wish to be miserable in life. For instance, I have a great analytic business mind that would be great for many business positions.
The thing is, it isn’t something my heart wants. I would be sitting in an office miserable just because it makes me a decent amount of coin.
I say, follow your heart and pursue something YOU ENJOY DOING. I have to agree with @trek79, 100%. Life will always support you if you follow your heart and live in the now. It takes a massive amount of balls to do but that’s what makes it different then the norm of these days. AKA going to school for something that makes good money that you might be good at. Fuck that.
You may have had different intentions with your post, but that’s just what I got out of it. Cheers! :)
@moonglade, give this some thought – http://www.highexistence.com/spoiler-alert-you-do-not-exist
You need to think and reflect upon your lifes experiences to reach a point and level of understanding where by you can determine who you are and what is your purpose in life. I contemplate the sort all the time. Im a young guy in my early twenties. I think off my lifes experiences in reflection and ponder the such. Ultimately, I use my lifes experiences to understand who I am and how it has shaped me as a human being. I compare them to a train for instance. A train will travel for miles, stop at and pass by station after station. Until it reaches the end of the track.
Sticking with the train metaphor, our life experiences are the station stops, like them, we don’t know who we will meet, and what will happen. Like the train moving to the next stop, we will progress forward after each life experience only to be stop by another until we reach the end of the tracks too
Our life experiences involve absolutely EVERYTHING we do every day no matter how trivial. I or anyone cannot predict what will happen me or anyone tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.
The fascinating thing is the fact that we dont know what will happen, that what makes life so rewarding and thrilling. The fact that we dont know what will happen, not knowing how we will react to the situation or cope (pending on severity) and ultimately how the situation will (if at all) shape us as a person for the better or otherwise.
Contemplation and reflection of your life experiences that have happened can aid you to find yourself. Some questions you may ask yourself are: how I helped or made the situation better or worse, Was my advice fair and constructive or sharp, rude, blunt or crude, Did I listen cause I want ed to or because its the polite thing to do, Am I good friend, Do I show it enough, Do I tell my friends how much they mean to me enough, etc.etc.etc. Really to be totally honest the list off possible questions is endless but you get the idea.
I have know doubt that if you do this for a few minutes you’ll be able to answer your questions. Their by realising will if this is what I said or did, do I really what to be like that. If not you’ll immediately start making changes. Doesnt matter how small they are. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you like the person you found yourself to be well thats fantastic but Id speak to a close friend and ask what kind off person do you see me as, who do you think I am and whats do you think of me as an individual and friend???
I hope this helps.
Thats the mystery of it all, I think whether Im right or wrong who knows. All I know is realising who we are and have been and trying to find who WE WOULD LIKE TO BE isn’t easy!!! Good luck :-)