I got this quote today from my Jewish thought for the day:
Before he died, Rabbi Zusya said: "In the world to come they will not ask me, 'Why were you not Moses?'
"They will ask me, 'Why were you not Zusya?'"
It is an interesting philosophical question that the whole world is preoccupied with (and has been for many centuries): "Who am I?" "Be true to yourself" and so on...
You go to a psychiatrist - and what do they think is the final solution to all your problems? Self discovery.
It is something I find myself preoccupied with from time to time. Not just "who am I" but "who am I supposed to be?" What I think I mean by this question is: what gifts has God given me, and how can (or should) I best use them?
For the Orthodox Christian this question cannot remain in the superficial realm of self discovery. It must go deeper, because at the core of the human being is "humanity" and not just "humanity" as it finds itself in this world, but "humanity" in the quintessential sense - humanity as it was before The Fall in the Garden of Eden, and humanity the way Christ healed it through the incarnation - this is true human nature (not the sylized "fallen" human nature we see in Western Christianity) - and true self discovery can only come through discovering that human nature within ourselves.
We cannot simply ask ourselves: "what would Jesus do?" because we are not Divine as He is. But rather, we learn through the study of our own weaknesses to have compassion on others when they fail. We learn through the hard road that we trod in life, to be kind and generous to others. In a nut shell, we learn to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Self discovery then, is actually quite simple, as is the discovery of God if we will only open our eyes and ears, to truly see and truly listen.
~ The Fly