“This above all to thine own self be true”
No matter the occasion, no matter the situation, and no matter the company, you must remember that at all hours of the day — every minute of the hour and every second of that minute — you are being judged. This means that within every moment of your existence, the judgement of you has been decided and it is at the discretion of the judger who judges what one sees, does the observation of you determine what you becomes relative to the judger. In other words, in every fleeting moment and in every moment that has yet to pass, we are what we are, the moment we decide what kind of WHAT we are if we judge ourselves.
So the question becomes — should you be anything at all, and should you judge yourself as anything at all, how should you see yourself as, such that you are always being honest and truthful of yourself within every passing moment of your existence. And more importantly, if you are to express the truth of who you are to others what expression of yourself can you convey to others as truly yourself.
The following tips are some thought — provoking ways to call into question how one perceives oneself, such that the perception of oneself is always as true as the expression of oneself to others.
1.) Be Your Own Witness
Imagine if one were the perfect version of oneself, how would the current you compare relatively to the perfect version of yourself. This perfect version of yourself does not need to be what is other people’s perfect versions of you. In fact the measure, that other people use to determine what makes you one’s perfect version, should be a benchmark by which you decide how much of this perceived perfect version of oneself is relative to the perfect version of oneself one imagines as oneself. Using this benchmark decide how much of you, is really you, and how much of you is a you that has been determined by someone else. Why? Because to best express the truth of oneself, one must wholly accept the truth of oneself that is not the truth decided by someone else. At the same time, one can freely express oneself when what determines one’s freedom to express oneself is the judgement that one accepts of oneself that ultimately defines what one is.
2.) Be Unmoved By Circumstances
Do not allow one’s situation or circumstances to bear any significance on how one should act or behave within any given point in time. If within any moment the individual is to be judged, why should you alter what one is to accommodate for moments in which the you are most often judged more critically as to the nature of what kind of person you are. Why express the false version of one’s truth, when the reality of being judged is more so concerning than the truth of the judgement.
When asked if you took the cookie from the cookie jar, why say you did not when in fact you did. I have learned that if you take the cookie from the cookie jar and admit it was you, you will be labeled as the person who takes the cookie from the cookie jar, but isn’t that what one does anyways and isn’t it more freeing to be known as the kind of person one is than in what one is not? You see, there is no guilt in a conscience that does not judge what is either good or bad, but judges what is true.
If the truth of what one is has already been defined, then no matter the situation or circumstance the individual will instruct itself to act accordingly knowing that there is nothing more true to the individual than to express the truth of what it is.
3.) Derive Truths Not Opinions — In Expression
When conversing with others, be true. You will never know more about another person, than they know about themselves. So avoid gossiping about others as what can you say about someone that they didn’t already know about themselves? And always ask oneself, “What possibly can you say to another person, that would add to who that person truly is?” Whatever is known about oneself has already been known and understood about oneself, in the same sense what is known about another has already been known and understood by them.
What can you teach a person about themselves that they do not already know? Instruction on what is good does not teach a person how to be good. Instruction on what is good by many people who think they know good, will only confuse a person of their being any goodness. To teach goodness is to act by goodness, no good act is ever said, every good act is simply understood not by the one who does the good but by the one who is affected by the good. The only good thing is to question what is good, as one does not need to know a person to question the person, so that it is in questions people are best able to discover answers for themselves about themselves.
The only conversation worth having is a conversation about whether or not what one accepts as true is ever true at all. The best conversation is one in which one begins to even doubt what kind of person one is to begin with; as it is always interesting to realize how many people think they are one thing when in reality had they changed how they perceived who they are – using their same logic, arguments can be made to the contrary revealing that whatever they are now, could have easily made them a completely different person.
Originally published at medium.com