Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Know Thyself. Impossible?

Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are.

Jose Saramago
One of the bad habits of casting directors and other people who are conducting a jab interview is to say to the applicant "So, tell me about yourself." They don't really want you to tell them about yourself, they want facts and figures about your work experience, aptitude, intelligence, special interests and other issues. If you really told them about yourself they would be horrified or embarrassed and in either case you probably wouldn't get the job.

That something inside us that has no name is why it is so difficult to know ourselves. Sometimes we can be taught about ourselves through experiences or other people, but usually those lessons are things we can put a label on. Even the knowledge of who we are can carry a label, but our real essence, the thing that the knowledge points to, is nameless.

"So, tell me about yourself." Where do you start? Anywhere you start is a door that probably leads nowhere. "Tell you about me? Well, I'm this tall, I'm this old,
I've been around the block a few times and I need a job. What else is there to know?"

"Tall you about myself? Well, my life has been filled with many failures and a few triumphs, I have too many regrets. I'm generous and hard working. I know how to live with financial insecurity. But I'm afraid of snakes, courts and bullies. I am a loyal employee but I don't relate well to people. I know how dangerous the world can be. What else do you want to know?"

"Tell you about myself? Well, inside me there lives a human being with traits, natures, talents, formations, facilities, clouds, ghosts and histories, an individual piece in the inscrutable puzzle of the universe.?

"Tell you about myself? I can't, because like everyone else who lives, I don't know what I am."

DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)

Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?

1 reply so far.


Thank you.


Big Mark 243 said...

I think that you were expressing something very profound. Whenever I thought of the phrase, 'I think, therefore I am', I thought of that as the alpha and the omega to my being.

Do you call yourself anything..? I don't know, I can tell you some of the thing that I have done. What kind of person does those things is the kind of person that you think I am. But there are other people who will think totally the opposite even under the same observation conditions, though once something is observed, it changes.

Being content with whatever people call me is something that I try to do. Can't change anyone's mind once they have made it up and were there any chance of that happening, I'd have to do something to make their mind change.

Usually I am not up for that. And often their judgement of me tells me more about them than it does about me to them!!

pacifica62 said...

Very interesting entry. No clue what I am that is for sure and I would not even know where to start telling about myself. Labels can appear comfortable here, but they are not what I am. If I do not know what I am then I risk the danger of having someone else tell me what I am and whatever they tell me about what I am, then I may become that person and that might not be very good. Definitely something worth thinking about.