Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Who am I? The Heart of Human Discovery

When diving into your own internal philosophy one question remains for anyone desiring to know what truth is: Who am I? This question is one which man has been asking himself since the beginning of time. Adam asked himself this very question in the Book of Genesis. When Eve came to be Adam stated, 'This one, at last, is bone of my bones', the 'at last' gives us proof that while Adam was naming the animals he was searching internally to know who he was and why he was. Could it be that God has left this question in the human heart to dig for the treasure found in the innermost recesses of our soul? Or is it that humans are built to search for and find a reason for living by the discovery of who they are?
Aristoltle once wrote that 'Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom' so for those who want to be truly wise this question should remain with them for most of their lives. Many name themselves by their careers or their positions of respect but to delve into who and what you are these superficial titles mean nothing. When owning up to your purpose in life, money, stature and material goods mean absolutely nothing. In today's Gospel Jesus resounds this ideal with the famous quote "But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."

Knowing who we are and why we live on a big rock called Earth gives a clear focus to our purpose in life. At the deepest depths of our existence Christ reigns within and even though we are a speck on the masterpiece that is the universe, in God's eyes He sees a living, breathing organism worthy of sacrifice. So when we strive to know ourselves better we end up finding God Himself dwelling within us, which as Artistotle proclaimed, is the seedbed of true wisdom. I heard a great speech by the motivational T.D. Jakes the other day, and while I don't agree with most of his theology he made a valient point when he said the fight (talking about the fight of your life) is not in your checkbook but it is in your mind. Prioitizing is necessary in this thought as the real fight belongs within your soul. There is where we find who and what we are. We find that we are all sinners in need of a savior and that although we might believe we are immortal at times, "Because you are haughty of heart, you say, 'A god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea!"— Ezekiel 28, within our souls we find real immortality.

When life gets rough and the future is unknown this is when we can find out who we are and whether or not we have the sand and grit to face the turbulent storm ahead. Christ calls us to carry our crosses daily because it is in those crosses that we find oursleves which ultimately leads us back to Christ. In the great school of suffering we gain a diploma in self-knowledge. Positive thinking techniques and sweeping problems under the rug can only carry us so far before the stench of our own souls stings our spiritual nostrils urging us to study our own consciences and decide what we will live and die for. When reading the stories of the great saints we find humanity at its finest but what many tend to forget is that each of those powerful souls had to answer their own question of: Who am I?

"It is no small pity, and should cause us no little shame, that, through our own fault, we do not understand ourselves, or know who we are. Would it not be a sign of great ignorance, my daughters, if a person were asked who he was, and could not say, and had no idea who his father or his mother was, or from what country he came? Though that is great stupidity, our own is incomparably greater if we make no attempt to discover what we are, and only know that we are living in these bodies, and have a vague idea, because we have heard it and because our Faith tells us so, that we possess souls. As to what good qualities there may be in our souls, or Who dwells within them, or how precious they are -- those are things which we seldom consider and so we trouble little about carefully preserving the soul's beauty. All our interest is centred in the rough setting of the diamond, and in the outer wall of the castle -- that is to say, in these bodies of ours." - St. Teresa of Avila "Interior Castle"

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