In retrospect, I have often tried to repress some of the views I have had. I have tried to deny that I ever subscribed to them because they now seem archaic to me. I also feel that they were not my real views but acquired by my impressionable naive mind. But isn’t all knowledge acquired? Isn’t original creation rare? It is acceptable that I discard some views because they were old-fashioned but I should not disregard them simply because I got them from someone else. The only thing I like about the social platforms is that I can use them as a projection of my stream of consciousness. Especially twitter where I do not have many followers and which is not in vogue in my circle of offline friends, acquaintances and co-workers, therefore there is no risk of being pretentious. I blurt out whatever comes to my mind but then I tell myself I can do that on my phone’s note taking app as well, why do I have to project it on a social site. I have come to the conclusion that I want limelight on my thoughts. I consciously I want that but since I am very careful about appearances I do not want people to see me as pretentious, so Twitter is the answer; my thoughts lie there on the world stage and a stray limelight can pass over sometimes, they lie in the vicinity of attention. But over the last year I have not been satisfied with this condition. I should be content with my thoughts gestating in my own mind or offline until they are mature enough to be expounded. I have realized that the continuous use of the social media applications has made me impatient. No sooner does an interesting thought appears in the space of my mind than I think of sharing it online. There is nothing wrong with this but it puts an end to the curiosity. It gives finality to the thought, it doesn’t push me to think further. It does not let me wonder about the origin of that thought or the reliability of that thought. The first reaction to any thought is whether it would impress people, whether the ingenuity of these words would garner appreciation from my friends. This is not conducive to my efforts to think through, to think deeply, to analyze, to be curious. I am just like any other teenager who is obsessed with putting up her face and food and pet and everything else on the social sites. I would not be concerned if I were actually doing some deep thinking. I am concerned because nothing is happening. I am in a limbo. I strayed off to uses of social sites because I wanted to mention that I once put up such a thought about my life right after it came to me on my Facebook feed. It was this:
0 to 19: oblivion
19 to 22: mimesis
22 to 24: delusion
24 to 26: pretense
At the beginning of this monologue I was referring to the views which I held when I was in the delusion phase of my life. I was happy that I had split my life so far in such distinct phases. I keep thinking about these categorizations and I have realized that post-26 I keep moving on this spectrum of mimesis-delusion-pretense. What I am now into is a mix of all these. But one thing that I am confident of is that I am not in oblivion. I am very keen to know more and more every passing moment. But this triptych is still following me. Do you know who you really are? The person that you are is made of many identities which have developed over time. If you start analyzing all these identities you would find that they are made by acquisition and adaptation of ideas which were not really yours. You either unknowingly adopted them or were forced to. When I did this I asked myself what is my real identity then? In the movie Doctor Zhivago based on an epic novel by Boris Pasternak a character proudly exclaims: ‘scratch a Russian and you’ll find a peasant!’. I asked myself what would I find if I scratched myself. Metaphorically of course. What if I find nothing and I am afraid that I might find nothing because I know myself to be a mimic. I copy others so unconsciously I do not even realize. One interesting example is my gait. I am sure nobody has noticed my gait but if an interested observer might look into me she would notice that my gait is a combination of the people around me whom I meet daily or whom I work with. When I realized that I have been unconsciously following how other people walk and copying them I was shocked. Why would I do that. I am not impressed by those people. My single criteria of regarding people as impressive or not is the quality of their minds, I am very confident about that. But copying people’s gaits? Really? I could not reconcile my unconscious actions with my known conscious convictions. Like one person I copied walks slowly as if with some effort and he slouches a little. Now why would I mimic such an unattractive style of walking. I know that when I am walking consciously I am very quick and take hurried steps because someone had told me once that’s how you look important (again an acquired idea). I also remember that I have unconsciously copied hand gestures and some phrases from other people too. The point is that this mimicry of physical attributes is not that important, the intellectual, moral, and mental attributes are. There I should be me. What that me is I am still thinking about. But I also understand that the definition of me does not have to be constant. In fact in the modern world, the more fluid it is the more antifragile it can become. I am still learning what that definition is. So, scratch and find.