It is a common mistake and the one which very few manage to avoid – to voluntarily subscribe to a single view and let it define you while having naive expectation that it may possibly accurately contain and accomodate all the varied and plentiful aspects of your vast personality. It is nowhere as simple as that, in actuality.
There is no label that can dynamically describe any person. Labels are contextually and situationally limited. Very often, they are harmful, because they remove the rensponsibility to deal with the person as he is. Labelled people are treated as their label instructs to treat them. Labels rarely, if ever, take into account that person is always much more than he reveals to outer world, much more than any single circumstance allows him to express, much more than any expectation permits him to be, much more than any half-finished attempt to understand him may represent. It is, in a way, as if we were treating a person with a manual, whereas without this manual, we are left helpless. The honest relationship is two-way transformative. It changes both participants always, because every person is a mystery to both other people as well as to himself.
There is only one way by which any person can learn about the world – through his own intimate and unique relationship with that world. The learning process is a footprint of this connecting relationship-making. However, you will never experience the actuality of the world from second-hand sources – by reading books, listening to the stories, memorizing data, watching television and playing video games. When it comes to catching reality, only direct participation is meaningful. The self-made intimate changing from moment-to-moment relationship with the world is the only gateway allowing you to enter the actuality of reality.. No one can do it for you, no one should be steering you through it and no one can ultimately understand it except you. Most importantly, no one can ”live” it for you.
If I were to say that I am a christian, after a little deconstructive analysis, does it really make sense or help me? No! What I genuinely feel and think about the world will be never in 100% agreement with teachings of Christianity or any other teachings. Why should I force myself to fit in this particular vorldview while in my heart I know that my awareness doesn’t agree on many important details of the story, not mentioning some of its core themes? Why should I force myself to fit in any particular worldview? Should I blame myself for not fitting in christianic vision of the world or should I rather blame the partiality and contextual limitations of christianic vision instead?
I should not blame myself, for my own experience is equally valid as the ones which resulted in the Bible and if my experience happens to be at odds with the claims of those who lived before me, it does not undermine me and I refuse to regard it as a harmful trouble from my side. It rather means that the actuality of my existence has outgrown the capabilities of christianic system of explanations. Yet, this is only the beginning…
What we all need to be doing is just observe how our learning process is shaping up with time. What resonates with us, what we intuitively agree with, what we subconciously reject, what influences us, what tendencies drive us, what mistakes we have done, what doesn’t suit us any longer, what were the biggest shockers for us, where do we feel ‘at home’, what preceded our current situation, what we could never understand, what are our most unshaken convinctions, how were our thought patterns changing over years, what were we avoiding for all the time and where are we always returning to after all is said and done. We need to observe this ”universe” within ourselves and realize its fluidity. You will find that every day you have somewhat different mindset and every year you have somewhat different personality and awareness. It is fine. Respect and cherish it. Whatever it is that excites you, it is different for every season – such is the nature of the learning process. It shifts constantly. No part of this process is irrelevant and out of place, therefore observe and analyze your own learning process and remember that it rises you above any single view for what you are is always bigger than any single view can admit, explain and nourish. The ending goal? Just strive for your own integrity!
I hope that I planted in your mind, especially, this one particular impression – that you are far, far, far more than any single view or label allows you to be and no religion, ideology, system of philosophy, clinical diagnosis or set of rules can fully anticipate and follow what you are up to as a living mystery that you are.