Somewhere between the age of 5 and 10 everyone starts asking, “What are you going to be?” We learn very quickly what to answer to please the person asking the question. If it is our family we watch very closely to see if we get the approval response and if we do we move on with a big sigh; until the next time.
This question is now the de facto standard question used on us as we age. As we get in the last stages of high school our own anxiety ramps up every time the question is asked. It used to be that we could look forward to college as the place to define our path. With the astronomical cost of college we are feeling more and more the pressure to make the right choice so we get a job after school.
Most of us don’t have a clue about our path; whether we are 5 or 55. We don’t know who we are. We don’t have a sense of what thrills us or bores us. If we are bored or turned off to something we don’t record what we are doing and what we dislike about it. If we love something we have little memory about why. So when we attempt to decide what “to do” with our life we shrug and hope.
In short we can’t answer the question of who we are. Socrates felt this was the essential question we need to answer for a happy life. What is my role in life? What is my relationship to the universe at large? What do I think of others? And many more questions.
The website where I publish these thoughts is Clarity to Desire. Desire in this exploration is not about wanting things. It is the method to make clear to yourself who you are. It starts with simple steps, demanding clarity at each step until who you are becomes clear.
Learning this method lets you expand your sense of self. It lets you grow into the infinite being you are. The Taoists meditation practices deal with two kinds of experiencing; the outer and the inner. The outer experience is the world we sense and see; the inner experience is the world inside. Their belief is that this inner world is just as infinite as the astronomical world. It reminds me of the famous aphorism of Pascal.
Knowing who you are is a creative experience that lets you expand into your larger inner self. As you explore desire you make clear 1) what you believe 2) what you expect and 3) what you love. And as this becomes clearer you become clearer. The creative application of this method irresistibly expands your view of yourself and who you are. You are never finished.