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Ontological Resentment

Who am I?

A simple as the question may seem, I have yet to see an effective way of answering such a question. Is identity really so simple as such that it can be broken down into components? I feel that formal education has always pushed us to look outwards for answers, by rationalizing and mapping our material world and attempting to find answers to all questions through the process of scientific inquiry. As I reflect on all that I've learned in the past 11 years of school, I can't help but to question what the practical uses of what I've learned are. Honestly, when posed with a question so fundamental as that of identity, what good is "the process of elimination", what good are the hundreds of math formulas we've memorized, what good is my biological understanding of the the way my body works. I feel that formal education has always preached us to look outwards for answers to all of our questions, seldom have we ever looked inwards. I wish not to blame school for my inability to answer the question of ontology, but rather to trivialize the modern conception of "knowledge." To revisit the question, I believe that such a question asks not for an 'answer' in the traditional sense of the term, but rather a methodology by which we can begin to uncover our ontology.

The question to be asked then is not "who am I?", but rather the more geniological, "how did I become who I am." This is not to imply that Identity is formulaic, for that could not be farther from "the truth". Honestly, to define our being as the sum of the biological componants which construct it would be to deny our uniqueness, and thus deny our spiritual existence. I, for one, contend that we are the sum of our experiences. Who I am is shaped by nothing more than what I've experienced, the things that I've done, the people I have known the places I have seen, the things I have learned and the relationships I have had.

If we are to accept such a theory of our ontology, then what does it mean to feel resent? What does it mean to reflect on our experiences and wish to have never willed. To wish away our experiences because of the pain that memory of such an incedent induces would be to deny our ontology, or in Nietzsche's words - to deny life. For if life is nothing more than a collection of our experiences, if you and I are both defined by our relationships with others and with fate, then when we resent a particular moment in our lives, and resent the pain that that experience has caused do we not resent life itself? In wishing away experience, do we not wish away the life we have and will a life absent of that experience?

The past few weeks has tought me that decisions are decisions. And for better or for worse, we are defined by the decisions we make. Weather it be as intricate as a lifestyle, or as simple as what we choose to wear every morning - the conceous decisions that we make on a daily basis define our lives and I believe that instead of wishing to "go back in time" and alter the decisions we've made, we must accept those decisions for what they were, and in doing so accept their ramifications.

That's all I've got for today.

-Shikhar

Mood: 'Voxtrot - Sway'


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