To know thyself, is the beginning of wisdom
On tangibility of the past
All of us create content, every moment, tuned to varying extents of influence and permanence.
It’s intent that separates us all into different leagues of
Let me explain via a hierarchical build up of selected formats of content with varying intensity.
Note that the list isn’t exhaustive by any means and I’ve deliberately excluded works of larger scale (movies, video games : they have the potential to be the most influential kind of content out there).
Memories: Personal reflections for self, minimal intent beyond preserving moments.
Photos and Videos: Captured experiences for personal enjoyment and sharing with friends and family, moderate intent for preserving and sharing life highlights.
Journal Entries: Personal thoughts for self or select readers, growing intent for self-expression.
Social Media Posts: Daily updates for social circles, moderate to high intent for sharing moments.
Vlogs: Video diaries for followers, moderate to high intent for personal connection.
Podcasts: Audio discussions for niche or general listeners, moderate to high intent for sharing insights.
Blogs: Knowledge sharing for a diverse online audience, high intent for educating and engaging.
Books: In-depth guides for readers, high intent for sharing expertise.
Autobiography: A comprehensive life story for readers, high intent for sharing a personal journey.
These are tangible realizations of indices into our past. There also exist psychological indices that one creates when that don’t completely fall into the category of being a memory: working on a project for a long time, so much so that it becomes a part of your life temporarily and allows you to recall exactly how the days passed when working on it.
Serves me well, this pursuit …
For me, reading books with a definite purpose suited to my learning pursuits has been such a strong creator of psychological indices that I could recite my lifestyle when I was reading a particular book and what unique characteristic was different about my life then.
Around two years ago, I remember being able to recite and consolidate my days during all the hundred diverse books I’d read when I crossed that checkpoint.
It was a revelation. I wasn’t aware that I had the ability to remember so densely, something that hadn’t been physically recorded.
That was the first time I understood the power of consuming and creating content with intent.
I began blogging again recently and I’d forgotten some major aspects of my life post a minor rough patch. I read my old blogs some while ago and I was able to recall the characteristics of my old self, all the philosophical ramblings I’d already progressed with and all the metaphysical checkpoints my personality had achieved.
That wouldn’t have been possible hadn’t I been blogging regularly for the major half of my bachelors. I was able to capture the most formative years of my life and record the psychological adaptations and growth through it.
It wasn’t just the blogs, but all the activities that were done with intent that created such strong indices that allowed me to be more self-reflective and be able to know myself better. The habit of blogging only serves as a maturing agent of sorts, consolidating and solidifying these malleable memories.
If not for the habit of blogging, I still would do a lot of the things I did but I would be a completely different person for the nature of my consolidation phases would’ve been comparatively fluffier.
Your unaltered perspective about your own life ,captured at regular, frequent instances will probably produce a fairly noisy and jittery signal. The past is what actually stabilizes your perception of your present and highlights probable trajectories for your future.
Your absolute past is definite and no one’s ever aware of the complete truth (what is that really?). Your perception of your past, however, is again a variable that is dependent on your noisy present. If you’d like being anchored to a specific trajectory or at least have a stable outlook towards uncertainty for your future. I’d consider imparting some inertia to your perceptions.
Writing (maintaining journals, for starters) is definitely the perfect tool in your arsenal which requires deliberate focus. It gives you the option to be extremely intentional with what you put down in words.
Even if you have a noisy present, penning down a page or two about what’s on your mind rids you of the noise that allows you to get on with actually extracting what really needs to be captured.
I’d put it right alongside a long music-free run at the crack of dawn - after the initial grind and post finding the groove it frees you of your intense emotions and your irrational biases, allowing you to think appropriately, as life always demands (being care-free is a luxury not many of us can afford).
With this inertial anchor of perspectives at your disposal, you can lay down a path of breadcrumbs from your past into your present, making your personality’s progress tractable.
It helps you structure past chapters in your life, while planning for future ones robustly which is quite the superpower any protagonist would enjoy while formulating their own story.
The most important book you’ll ever read ..
.. is the one you write about yourself…
Put yourself out there and write your own story. You may not start out with a book but video logs or social media posts. I’d recommend consolidating it at regular intervals via blogs and chapters for phases of your life to finally be compiled into your own version of your story. Just the act of wanting to pack your life densely into a story might encourage you to live a little more adventurously with the drive to give the protagonist a life worth living.
Build your character arc and record it - in hopes of encouraging the future generations to do the same, helping them elevate themselves from the problems you faced by the solutions you consolidated.
As of now, I personally have inspired a handful humans to start writing and the feeling induced when I read their works is that of having created more fellow consolidators that epistemologically forward the world , word by word…
Hope, this blog adds more to that list. Do let me know about your personal logging pursuits (blogs, art pages, books, video logs) in the comments.