The Selflessness of Self-Awareness


Remember thinking the moon was following you? Sometimes I still do.

Suddenly Ptolemy’s geocentric model doesn’t seem so ridiculous. Especially in this anthropocentric world, where mankind has become accustomed to being the centre of the universe.

We aren’t born thinking the world revolves around us — we learn to think that way. It’s only after roughly 15 months that we begin to develop a sense of self and neglect the environment surrounding us.

While we may not cry and kick and make a scandal if we don’t get a toy as we would as children, we still emphasize the idea of self. Everything revolves around this idea of a “self”: Self-confidence, self-esteem, self-conscious, self-awareness.

We seem to direct quite some energy inwards, trying to discover our “inner self”. I know I spend ridiculous amounts of time and energy in deep introspection. My intense introspection, however, points me to another direction: the outer world.

The more I come to “know” myself, the more I begin questioning the existence of what’s outside of me. I know where my body begins and where it ends. But what lies beyond my finish line?

Normally I’d be fine with knowing my limitations. And yet, out of the blue, a thought pops into existence: “Is the Sun aware of itself?”.

I see the sun everyday, I feel its warmth and contemplate photosynthesis as it happens right before my very own eyes. But does the Sun know it shines? Does it know how bright it shines? And if it does, does it have any control over its actions?

And again I remembered a verse, “All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord.” (Psalm 142:10)

Presuming that God created all things (humans, animals, plants), and that God’s creation was made for the sole purpose of praising Him, does that mean that plants and animals have the ability to praise God? As humans, we may have the ability to choose whether we praise Him or not.

Does that mean that plants and animals are able to choose as well? If they have the ability to choose, then it is implied that they are aware of their options; of the purpose of their existence.

Again, as my self-awareness increases, the smaller I feel and the bigger the world seems. After all, in order to become self-aware, one must become aware of the self first.

And to recognize the self, one must acknowledge the existence of something beyond the self.



2 thoughts on “The Selflessness of Self-Awareness

  1. If indeed the sole purpose of God’s creation was to praise him then surely an omnipotent being such as himself would not design them with the potential to even contemplate not praising him. Also, if that is indeed our sole purpose, then why do we have the ability to do the vast array of things we can do. Just something to ponder on.

    1. Hello!

      I thought as much as well. If we are created by God, who is omnipotent, then there should be no space for choosing. Now that would become a question of will, one which I won’t get too much into. It’s an endless debate.

      My point, however, was to show that the world isn’t made of us humans only. As I worship God, so will all of His creation. As I was created, so was all of His creation.
      So if I’m able to become self-aware, does that mean that rocks and trees have some sort of self-awareness too?

      Thanks for the comment, appreciated!

      Stay well,

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