Rumi’s words, “Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I’m wise, so I am changing myself.”, triggered a naive question in my mind: Who we actually are?
Let me briefly explain my thought experiment on my friend’s cats. My friend has two cats: a mother and a daughter. The mother cat is introverted, she’s always distant to you, and barely lets people touch her. The daughter, on the other hand, is the opposite. She is so friendly, and enjoys being massaged. Although their characters seem quite different, if I show my angry face, and introduce stress with my voice to them, both hesitate to approach me. Even worse, they become like the mom and ignore me. Hence, in theory – luckily just in theory – if they would have lived in a world with all faces full of woes, we might infer they are both introverted and have the same persona. Given we are in this hypothetical world, do you think this conclusion is real?
Let’s go harder within this thought experiment. Imagine a world where every human being – including you – works under extremely fastidious aliens. The aliens have the perfect ability to make human beings feeling useless in every profession. Yet, people have to work to survive in this world. Would you be the same as who you are now?
I like the argument of subjective experience inside the definition of reality from Jordan Peterson’s personality lecture series. He argues that our reality is shaped by experience which is unique for every one of us. He further claims the perception of reality affects who we are.
My concern is can we purify our experiences to disclose maximum of ourselves even under pressure. I think the most critical part of who we are is our heart and intuition. Steve Jobs, in his talk, summarizes what I want to say about heart and intuition.
“… Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary…”
Sometimes we can not feel our heart, and the intuition disappears. In my experience, most of those times what we lack is a clear mind. Okay, so if we can reach a clear mind in every scenario, our intuition could take responsibility. Unfortunately, we may be deceived by the idea of having too many different reasons not allowing our minds to be clear. However, I have failed to find more than five of them, and these are called five hindrances of Buddhism where you may check from my other post.
In short, maybe long pages of personality tests are redundant. Still, instead one only needs to follow their heart and intuition. Maybe the journey of looking for a way to make our hearts speak up, and give control to our intuition is fulfilling ourselves…