On knowing who we are

angelKnowing who we are is our greatest challenge these days.

Schools assign grades, employers review us and reward us—or not—based on their assessments that are derived from sources they do not define. We are surrounded by people and institutions that want to tell us who we are.

Managers, for the most part, want obedience more than they want authenticity and excellence. They are rewarded for achieving obedience in the people they supervise.

Self-esteem. We are born with it.

Self-esteem. We are born with it.

We are conditioned to not trust our imagination, and this produces a narrow definition of who we are. This leads to demoting our role in the universe. We tend to define ourselves as cogs in a very tiny wheel.

I have made the point many times in this blog that one of the joys of photography is to show people a view of their magical qualities that they might not see in a mirror. Children have a direct experience of their own magic, while most adults have lost that.

The teachers that I quote frequently in this blog assure us of our true nature as creatures of magic and mystery.

If we open to this magic and mystery we are drawn into a strange space. This is how Krishnamurti describes it:

Then there is that which men have sought through the centuries, the unnameable, the timeless. And there is no verbal expression of it…Your mind can only discover it, or come upon it, when you have this strange thing called love, compassion, not only for your neighbor, but for the animals, the trees, for everything.—This Light in Oneself

We emphasize judgment of others, and as K says, it damages them, and it damages us. It’s something to think about.

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