The Blank Room
Imagine yourself standing in a blank room, with nothing around you. No sound to listen to, no person to look up to, no person to look in to. It’s a meaningless silence and void that you feel will consume you.
To some, this would be terrifying. They feel completely uncertain of their surroundings. The silence deafens their ears, overwhelming their senses. Where does their mind go? Will their fear increase or stay the same? Do they start to see shadows, only to find that it’s only themselves? Our shadows are the ones we are, without knowing.
Or do they fear at all? Are they perfectly content with this room? Do they see no shadows? Only their own hands and feet?
What I’ve just described is what I consider self-examination. These feelings happen because we are suddenly aware of ourselves. Some may be conscious of themselves on a purely social level, i.e. where they fit in (or don’t fit in) in society or who their friends are (or aren’t). These things aren’t self-awareness, they are dependent on others and are therefore pointless to dwell on since they are out of our control.
This isn’t necessarily a discussion on “who” a person is, because “who” a person is is impossible to determine. “Who” is a dynamic relationship between now and later, with external influences trying to shape them. They are constantly moving, never in the same place twice.
In relation to science, The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle says, in brief, that it is impossible to know both the location and momentum of a particle at the same time. If we “see” the location of a particle, we affect the momentum. If we measure the momentum, we affect the location. This theory is a cornerstone of Quantum Mechanics.
If we are constantly changing, however minutely, we are not that much different than this particle. If we try to see who we are at some moment, we see a glimpse of what we were because we inevitably change who we were at that moment. “Who” is change, and is an integral part of a natural progression of “what” we are. The only question we should ask ourselves is: “What” are we?
Put yourself in that room. Close your eyes, turn off all noise, eliminate all distractions, and get lost in yourself. What do you see? Are you afraid? Afraid of your own mind and of what you are? Or are you perfectly content?
If one is to understand what they are to become, they must first understand what they are. By defining “what” you are, you define a constant. If you are unhappy with “what” you are, you can set a constant and unmoving goal to reach; not a goal which is unattainable and lofty.
One will never be truly happy until they are completely alone, yet still content with themselves. At that point, they accept that they are changing towards “what” they want to be and don’t worry about “who” they are.
“Who” they are is irrelevant.