“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”
— Michel Foucault
Every so often in my search for quotes that might inspire a posting, I come across one like this where I agree with the basic idea but the wording seems off to me. I believe that we definitely change, sometimes by the day and definitely by the decision but we don’t become merely something different than we were when we started. I believe that we become more and more ourselves. Perhaps it happens as we discard the ideas and circumstances that do not truly reflect our identities. Perhaps we meet our inner selves part way on life’s journey. Indeed the goal of most spiritual paths seems to be connecting with our true inner beings and reflecting them more and more. To some extent we are all on a spiritual journey, some of us are more aware of it than others.
I was reminded tho that Foucault would see things a bit more cynically. He would say that most of us don’t even realize the social chains and goads that we struggle under and are led by those as much as by any higher awareness. In a typical day as I browse social media I can see his point. So many of us seem to choose a position or a polemic and reiterate their views of their lives through the lenses of the polemic rather than critically looking at things with awareness of context or much self-reflection. I don’t attribute this to a single party, class or race as it seems to cross all lines.
We live in a blame society. Everyone else holds the blame for society’s ills and it is another someone else’s job to fix it. If only we started living in the way we believe is optimal and shared that, taking full responsibility and consequence for our own activities and statements. Perhaps then we would grow to become more deeply ourselves.
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