The first time we question what we are, is at an age too early in our lives to remember. In fact, this natural curiosity is present before we are even capable of communicating our thoughts. Have you ever observed a baby or even a puppy closely examining their reflections in a mirror and trying to distinguish who or exactly what is looking back at them? It can even be comical to stand by and watch as they touch, smell, and even bump into the mirror before finally coming to the realization of what is happening.
This milestone is the first astonishing self-discovery in the very beginning of our life, which happens way before we start questioning how to find yourself, what to live for, what is right and what is wrong.
Later, when we learn lessons in school such as chemistry, biology and physics, our understandings become much more complex. We develop the capability of abstract thinking. One day the logic of formal education has to merge with religious ideas and morals resulting from our upbringing. All too often, this juncture leaves us with conflicting explanations about what God is and what we are.
Knowing how to find yourself in this situation where the mind is split with contrary scientific and religious ideas is incredibly difficult. This struggle to discern and differentiate between a multitude of theories and explanations can make it extremely challenging to recognize the truth and to know what is right and what is wrong.
The longing for inner clarity triggers our quest for understanding God as well as ourselves and knowing what we are. We may question where we came from and who our initial ancestors are – whether we are descendants of Gods, apes, or even extraterrestrials. Depending on a concept, “what we are” can be defined as “children of God” just as easily as it would be to rationalize that we are billions of cells and molecules randomly arranged by evolution into different human bodies.
While we grow, we are taught by parents and teachers what is right and what is wrong in this life and how we should behave. We keep these ideas in our memory until a day when life gives us a practical test on our ethical values and we are forced to decide: To lie or not to lie? To betray or not betray?
These sorts of dilemmas we are caught in are always very unpleasant as we have to go through hesitations to while trying to establish what is right and what is wrong. To find the answer, we start doubting everything: morals, religious postulates, and standards of righteous behavior.
In order to move forward in peace, we need to be void of doubt and assure ourselves that we have right to do what we want. Self-justification is crucial as we simply need to feel good about ourselves. The roots of any self-justification are our ideas about what we are.
A world-known classic psychological thriller, Crime and Punishment, by Dostoevsky is a famous plot that centers around a main character committing his first crime. The reader is brought into the inner workings of a man’s mind as he worked to justify his intention to rob and kill someone before ultimately rationalizing that his crime was indeed the “right” action. Upon further examination, what is especially interesting is that he inevitably moves from the inner turmoil of differentiating between what is right and what is wrong to eventually arriving at the question “What am I?” and “Do I have right to do what I want or not?”
This classic example illustrates exactly how our subconscious mind is constantly justifying what we are and our actions regardless of whatever it is that we do. We are so accustomed to this process that it happens without our conscious realization of the inner war taking place.
If our existence is nothing more than that of a leaf on a tree – appearing and quickly vanishing due to eternal laws of nature, why should we care about what is right and what is wrong, or going to the effort of knowing how to find yourself and developing a sense of self-awareness.
The real answer to these questions appears as system and information sciences offer a new brilliant vantage point that allows us to see our universe as a system-informational Matrix containing nothing but systems filled with energy. Within every system, elements are organized by logical laws in a perfect harmonious order.
From this perspective knowing what is right and what is wrong becomes simple and clear because any “right” actions always contribute to harmony of all elements inside of a system, for instance, a society. Consequently, any “wrong” actions serve the interests of only one element at expense of others: like steeling or violence.
This logic of a system-informational approach also sheds light onto the initial question of wondering what we are. The truth is that we are also systems – divine magnificent psycho-biological systems – that exist simultaneously in two opposite realities of the surrounding physical world and a personal inner world which is filled with a variety of all possible thoughts, feelings and desires.
The system approach reveals the mystery of a soul and origins of our deepest motivations and fears. It explains how our feelings and thoughts are formed. When we understand what we are, we will then be able to move forward and embrace the pure wisdom of knowing what is right and what is wrong so that we can live in harmony with what is.