Who am I . . . really?
Whether consciously or subconsciously, the question “who am I” is one we all ask at one time or another — along with questions like why am I here, what is life all about, and so on and so on. In fact, we probably ask this question on the unconscious level more than we would suspect. Trying to figure out who I am can be a daunting task. Not only am I a product of my genetic code, but a product, as well, of my environment, my heritage, the belief system with which I was raised, my experiences, and so on and so on and so on. We humans are complicated beings, for sure.
René Descartes wrote “I think, therefore I am.”
Rene Descartes walks into a bar and proceeds to order many drink[s]. The bartender says to him a while later, seeing he is completely inebriated, ‘I think you’ve had enough.’ Descartes slurs, ‘I think not!’ Then he disappears.
I’m really not sure that joke has a lot to do essentially with this post, but it certainly gives one pause to think about the literal meaning to what is Descartes most famous saying. Is the fact that we think the true basis for our being? Rocks don’t think, but they definitely exist. One might say that one of the things that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is the fact that we think and reason, but do we know that for a fact? Even so, does it take away the reality of animals and the fact that “they are”?
In the Old Testament, when asked by Moses who He was, God answered, “I AM THAT I AM”.
Could I not say that about myself? Is there any basis for my existence other than the fact that I simply am? If I were to lose all ability to think, would that mean I would no longer exist? And if I am simply because of the fact that I am, does that not then provide with a wonderfully clean slate on which to build my life? I exist in this physical form because of a bonding between my mother and father, but does that define every aspect of my being and the potential I have for becoming? Am I and my destiny totally defined by the environment in which they raised me or by what I was taught in school or church or by my peers and others around me? Was I formed into some kind of mold at birth in which I was meant to spend the rest of my life?
My life is not determined by my past.
I love what Tony Robbins says . . .
If I live in the past, there is no future.
While I don’t exist simply because I think, I do grow and develop and create my world because of what and how I think, and that’s the glory of being human. I have the freedom to choose, to become who I want — for better or worse — to be and who I think I am and should be. Perhaps we should reword Descartes’ quote to read . . .
I think, therefore I become.
What do you think?
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