Are you the person you always wanted to be, always thought you would be? The man, woman, husband, father, wife, or mother you dreamed you would be? Are you doing what you thought you’d be doing, what you always wanted to be doing by this point in your life? Do you love your life, or have you given up your quest to discover your essential self and settled for less?
When we discover our essential self we begin to live our lives without pretense. As we move towards wisdom, we continually seek out the true meaning of events in our lives. In this enlightened state we begin to see the folly of long held beliefs and routines and move away from them, setting an example for others to follow. Initiating change by inviting those around us to think about these things, to weigh and examine them, and make their own enlightened decisions.
We all have an image or ideal we try to live up to. For instance I strive to be a man with courage of conviction, driven by a desire for knowledge and truth, a man in pursuit of wisdom. Though I am not overtly religious, I long to be sincere and strong in my sense of duty to God. I truly believe that once we allow our essential selves to take over, God, through our voice of reason and conscience, reveals Himself through us, guiding and directing, leading us onward to share His wisdom.
Unfortunately, this quest for truth is full of danger. Sometimes in order to be true to ourselves we must set ourselves in direct opposition to current trends or popular ways of thinking. We must be outspoken, and that takes courage and great integrity. Sometimes our task may alter relationships or costs us friendships, for those around us may not be ready for such life changes. Further, there are others out there who claim to be enlightened, but are not. These contended pretenders rely on half truths and illusion to appear wiser than they really are. They cannot tolerate our independence of thought and will question our values and judge us harshly. Their quest is one of power and control rather than knowledge and truth, and view us as a threat.
I encourage you, as Socrates did, young and old alike, examine your life, your beliefs and attitudes, do some soul searching. Learn why you feel as you do, why you act and react as you do. Question your beliefs, and in time you will discover your essential self, and you will know happiness and contentment. True knowledge begins with self knowledge. with self knowledge comes integrity. Once you have integrity, wisdom is sure to follow.