Over the years I ran into many people who looked at me with wonder when I told them that I am trying to find out who I am. They would tell me that they know who they are and then throw their name, their address and their social security number at me. If it just would be that easy.

“Know thyself” was the maxim inscribed on the pediment of the temple at Delphi. Does knowing ourselves mean that we know our strengths and weaknesses? Does it mean we have compared ourselves to others and based on our judgments decided who we are? Does knowing oneself mean that I know how I look like, how I feel about things, what my name is and what I do for a living or is it a much deeper question?

Who are we really? Would I be the same person if I would have a different name, address and social security number? What is knowing our strength and weaknesses based on? On our programming as children and on comparing us to others later in life. But what if our programming is wrong? What if we were taught things about the world and ourselves that are not true?

As children we accepted anything that those tall people those grown ups told us. We especially believed our parents who knew so much and were like gods to us. When I grew up I believed that my father is the tallest, strongest and most intelligent man on earth and my mother the tallest, most beautiful, most intelligent woman. Why would I have doubted one word they said? Anything they told me I believed as if it was written in the bible. Did they tell me the truth or did they know what they were talking about? Absolutely not. They just repeated what their parents told them. 

People who had no idea what they were talking about told us who we are, how we should act and what we have to do to live a fulfilled life. That is the foundation of or life’s. We have all these set ideas and beliefs what life is all about. Out of those we create sooner or later what we call the “I”. But how can the “I” be who we really are if it is based on lies?

Every idea we have, every decision we make is routed in our programming. Our feelings, our success and our relationships. Who is getting hurt when our feelings get hurt? Who chooses this job? Who wants to get married? Who wants to be a doctor? Are we living our lives or the life of our parents? Who makes the decisions? Is there free will or not?

As long as we are the illusionary self there is no free will. We are an army of wound up robots doing what we are programmed to do. Our ideas and beliefs are our programming; all our actions are based on them. The foundation we built our life’s on is a lie, is rotten. And then we wonder why our life’s do not work, but how can they? A life based on a lie must be a lie itself. That is why I am talking about the illusionary self, the self as a lie.




“Programmed”. Williamsburg/Brooklyn 02-04-08 at 04-10 PM.



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