You might be one of my many readers who reflect upon the world and your place in it. I think I’m safe in writing this, because much of the content of bluejayblog has been about amazing things that expand my worldview and how I view myself.
We’re familiar with such concepts as self-reflection, self-exploration, and self-discovery. Perhaps the most important is self-realization. Many of us have spent a fair amount of time pondering and trying to activate self-realization as it regards our own lives. A lot of my own personal reflection time has been spent pondering the subject of self-realization.
What is realization? It’s the action of forming a clear concept. It is also the fulfillment of potential. Therefore, self-realization is the action of forming a clear concept or fulfillment of oneself.
Family, peers, educators, and society in general are very influential. They tell us how we are to think about life and what we are expected to become. There is the constant pressure to mold our personal concepts about who we are and how we should fit into society. We are fed socially acceptable ideals, illustrated by noteworthy historical events and people. We are advised to emulate people who possess high social esteem.
Such concepts and advise is poured into our minds while we are still very young and open to suggestion. So when we have a coming of age period of life or an existential crisis we become aware that we don’t know who we really are, deep inside. Some of us escape through thrill-seeking or chemical alteration of our minds. Some of us find religion. Some of us seek answers in political idealism. Some of us lose ourselves in the pursuit of fame and fortune. Some of us go down the rabbit-hole of self-improvement.
Many of us don’t like what we see so we set about trying to become a new person. Maybe we don’t measure up to family or social expectations. Perhaps we suspect that we’re misfits, forever the black sheep of our social circles. In the process of this self-reflection we stumble upon the idea that we should become the persons we were meant to be.
What is the person you were meant to be? Does this have anything to do with fate? Is this person you were meant to be someone who was born with a particular brain pattern or personality? People in the west believe in something called the soul; is it that? Why is self-realization easy for some people and difficult for others? Why do some people find themselves early in life while others never do?
Is the drive toward self-realization only a socially driven ideal or expectation; or is self-realization a deeply driven biological imperative? In my opinion, self-realization is both of these. It is also a never-ending process that we experience as we travel down the road of life. I don’t think self-realization is a static, never-changing thing.
Some folks experience self-realization as the process of shrinking their viewpoint of their place in life and feel ever more insecure and fearful of the world. They want to close themselves off from unfamiliar experiences and people. They seem to have a fortress mentality.
Other folks take experiences as food for the expansion of their worldview and understand their place in the world. They seek out unfamiliar experiences and people from different backgrounds and personalities. These people are eager to experience unfamiliar concepts. They want to include people of all types in their social circle. It is this type of person we usually associate with someone seeking self-realization.
Self-realization is the dynamic uncovering the inner kernal from the wrappings of programmed concepts and ideals we learned from others and those aspects we have chosen to adopt. It is a willingness to drop ones façades and to question one’s own self-concepts. It’s an eagerness to explore uncharted mental territory.
I eventually became tired of pretending to be someone I am not. I figured out that if I was going to live a good life, pretenses had to go. The silent mental honesty of letting go seems to be the best tool to use in self-realization. This understanding may be the end product of the coming of age, a mid-life crisis, an existential crisis, the dawning of old age, or the cumulative effect of all of these.
Is self-realization the meaning of life or is self-realization the life you live? The answer is deeply personal. Self-realization is the most personal act that you can do.
Enjoy your journey.