On May 24th, 2019, a hiker named Amanda Eller was rescued after being lost for 17 days in the forest on the island of Maui in Hawaii. To survive that amount of time, with a broken leg, no shoes, no water, and minimal food was an amazing feat. What surprises me however was the motive for the hike that got her lost in the first place. Amanda said she followed her "guiding spirit", who apparently decided to fuck off and leave her to die after she stopped to meditate, and then tried to return to her car.
Reading her story, it made me wonder, why are there so many people trying to "find themselves"? They always tend to be hippie dippie types too. They seem to believe there is some deeper version of themselves that they need to find, some part of their being that's somehow connected to "something bigger", like they're supposed to be a being of celestial light or some such bullshit. Why?
Well the first and obvious answer is that they're disappointed in themselves. They're not proud of who, what, or where they are in life, and so they're "trying to find themselves", which sounds good when you're trying to explain your shortcomings to other people and you're afraid they might not like it.
Or maybe their life, career, creativity, or whatever has turned to crap. It doesn't even have to be their own fault, sometimes things just take a bad turn. Some people react to this by saying they're "trying to find themselves". What a crock of shit. They're using it as an excuse to wallow in self pity and run away from the consequences of what happened. Instead they should be trying to learn from what happened to try not to let it happen again.
Years ago I could have said that I was "trying to find myself as a scientist". I was born with an inbuilt love of science and nature. However my ideal image of life as a scientist didn't match up with the reality: that science is mostly a lot of tedious and repetitive lab work, most scientists have the personality of a doorknob, the pay is utter shit for the amount of work you do, and it's just a fucked career overall and I sucked at it and I hated the lunatic egos and insane personalities of the people I worked with for the most part, and they probably didn't like me either. As soon as I left that fucked career my life got a whole lot better and has been getting better ever since. I didn't need to "find myself", I just needed to face the facts and get the hell out of there.
The concept of “finding yourself” seems to be based on the 1960’s music and LSD-infused intellectualism popularized by the Beatles, Ram Dass and the Grateful Dead. But that stuff was 50 years ago in an age when people were just beginning to question the structure of society, plus they were high as kites on mind bending drugs that made everything seem more profound and magical. We've come a long way since then. These days “finding yourself” is just an excuse and is meaningless. It has nothing to do with reality or with learning, it has to do with being a regressive idiot and not facing up to the truth about yourself and your situation.
At this point I'm reminded of my trip to Sedona some years ago. Lots of hippie dippie crap was going on there, people were visiting the "energy vortexes" and said they could feel their power and so on. I spoke to a Native American woman and she said she'd never felt anything at any of the vortexes.
Later I visited the only brewery in town and struck up a conversation with a guy sitting next to me at the bar. Eventually we came to the topic of the vortexes and he told me "The vortex is within you, it always was". It made sense. There are probably people who've been going to Sedona for years and still haven't "found themselves". Yet there I was on my first visit and I'd found all the wisdom of Sedona distilled into a glass of beer.
So please, quit it with this "finding yourself" crap. You're standing right there in all your imperfect crappy glory. Sure, you've been strongly affected by societal conditioning, other people's opinions, and incorrect conclusions you've made about yourself during your life. But you're not meant to be a being of celestial light, nor will any amount of New Age spiritualism garbage turn you into one. Life is meant to be a crap shoot, it's unfair, it's flawed, and so are you. That's just how it is. Accept life for what it is, and what you are, and face the reality of it and stop making excuses.
-Yours honorably, the mighty bhagwan of disenlightenment, anti-zen, and twisted life lessons - Dave Bad Person