“Who are you?” Was the question, with a very simple answer. But as I proceeded to answer the question I was amazed at the rapidity of my answer, and the answer itself… a name, an age, educational qualification and some very monotonous details. As I sat answering the questions, somewhere in my subconscious, I was thinking of what my identity had been reduced to.
Who was I? Well the ideal answer to this [as well as uncommon] should have been about me. I am a free spirited woman who enjoys reading, loves the sea, likes to think a lot, loves to gorge on homemade food, I’m also a kind and enthusiastic animal lover and love dogs. But this introduction I guess would better suit a matrimonial column.
Yes, my point is that we are forgetting the “I “completely. The concept of this “I” is slowly vanishing off our minds. We are slowly becoming conformists to larger interests and groups that are slowly taking away our individuality away from us in lieu of a ‘greater happiness’.So to gain this greater happiness we are loosing that free and untamed nature of ours that Hobbes called ‘the natural man’.
Now I’m not advocating giving up completely to this untamed nature, but allowing the tamed being once in a while to sit on seashore and without looking at the watch, spend time with oneself. To let loose the coiled up, nagging tensions, take a deep breath, look around, even if all that around you is four walls. Take time off from your family, which is the most important aspect of one’s life still take some time off. We need to realize that we are individuals and we need some individual time for us.
Man was not created to restrict himself to a name, a post and some qualifications but to move beyond his own capacities. A renowned philosopher Pico de la mirandola wrote in ” of dignity” that god did not give man a specific nature, but gave him the power and reason to choose his own nature and form, god gave man the power to be free from conforming to a set and monotonous pattern. That is what we are doing now and day-by-day making ourselves fit into compartments of qualifications, jobs, relations and routines ultimately loosing our natural and spontaneous self that had been granted to us.
Such an idea may not strike a chord with many who advocate the idea of a purposeful living. But this process of discovering and replenishing the “I” is also a vital aspect of that purposeful living. While concentrating on our inner desires and allowing the untamed being to find expression in our outer world we are fulfilling the purpose of the indeterminate nature that man has been created for.
Just a little while ago I was talking to a friend who told me how sick she was of the various therapies, the spas, the massages, and other such antics that were filling up the various magazines and newspapers on helping us to rewind from the hectic schedules in our daily lives. What doesn’t find a space in there was an advice on doing what we want to do on the spur of the moment to revive our long lost self and to explore the maximum extension of our identity. We don’t need a spa or any external therapies to ease the pressure of our conforming lives all they can do is to take take a truckload of your money and leave you temporarily satisfied. But are you looking for temporary satisfaction that ends the moment you walk out of the relaxing center, and once again leaves you in the same shackles you entered that center to avoid. Is that what we are looking for?
What we need to look for is a non-conformist attitude to our identity, to our outlook in life and our life style. We need to become aware of our surroundings and absorb from it sights, sounds, smell and energy that will make us realize what we really want. We need to think about what we want from ourselves and whether we are contributing enough to our inner world? Most of us become so busy in contributing to our families, parents, children, work and [sometimes]the society that we begin to attach our happiness and success with the former. We forget that we are but parts of these organizations and a complete being in ourselves, and align ourselves so intricately with these systems that after a little while we become completely one with them. Forgetting, our uniqueness, our individuality and become hopelessly dependent on these systems to ‘complete us’. I don’t refute the validity of these institutions on developing man’s faculties and other various aspects of our human nature but I do charge them with making man forget in the process his own true nature When the innate nature of man is aligned with his outer world it will satisfy him from within promoting man to higher levels of understanding and creativity.
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