We often go with the flow in how we respond and react to the everyday situations which confront us. If someone were, for instance, to study our behaviour and keep track of it all, we would soon be categorized and understood to such an exact degree that our response to every scenario would be wholly predictable beforehand. There is a limited number of buttons implanted in us which, when pressed, cause us to repeatedly behave in the same way without fail. More often than not we are completely unaware and oblivious to this reality of ourselves and continue on believing that we are in fact masters of our destinies, possessors of volition and as free as birds to choose our own personal fate.
In actuality, the only time that choice becomes available is when a man develops an acute awareness of himself and the buttons which make him be and act the way he is and does. Endowed with this potential muscle to witness ourselves as an indifferent and impartial spectator, we are given a possibility, however remote or far off, to see ourselves for what we actually are. That is, an existent being filled with wires, gears and switches, all defined and formed for the sole purpose of creating an exhaustive list of “if…then” reactions to the external world.
An awareness to what is happening in reality, as opposed to what we merely imagine or believe to be true, provides a man with the material to possibly muster a struggle. He sees the strings above his head, bolted to his psychology as a puppet to its limbs, and begins to create some friction and resistance to what hitherto has served as the rule of what he can and cannot do. While the actions and results themselves may remain the same, an inner conflict begins to stir which serves to make him suffer against his mechanical inclinations. His preferences are no longer seen purely as something intimately attached to him, but rather a foreign force to which he can observe from a measurable distance.
We are given this talent to become aware of things, and if we nurture and foster its growth, it may just allow us to begin holding back some of our energy in order to allow that material to accumulate. A man does this until he is able to perhaps one day resist a certain mechanical reaction altogether, in favour of a conscious and genuinely beneficial one. To hold back from having to be right in a certain argument, for example, is an affront to our desires towards feeding pride, vanity and the insignificant aim of attempting to win over the crowd by proving we are unique and special.
Our real power lies in the possibility to change, but to understand that before it can ever be so a man must actually know what is true and false in him to begin with. He must start from scratch wherever he can towards himself and realize that the first folly to overcome is the belief that we already know what we are. We look to the stars and down to the earth with its gamut of flora and fauna, hardly ever wincing for a moment in realization that we do not know what is happening before us. There is a much greater mystery to everything than we acknowledge and admit, and it is the quality of giving in and letting go to what we think we know that offers us the potential to become something more.