On Becoming Yourself

If a man in the street were to pursue his self, 
what kind of guiding thoughts would he come up with
about changing his existence? 

He would perhaps discover
that his brain is not yet dead,
that his body is not dried up,
and that no matter where he is right now,
he is still the creator of his destiny. 

He can change this destiny
by taking his one decision
to change seriously,
by fighting his petty resistance
against change and fear,
by learning more about his mind,
by trying out behavior which fills his real need,
by carrying out concrete acts
rather than conceptualizing about them,
by practicing to see and hear and touch and feel
as he has never before used these senses,
by creating something with his own hands
without demanding perfection,
by thinking out ways in which he behaves
in a self-defeating manner,
by listening to the words that he utters
to his wife, his kids, and his friends,
by listening to himself,
by listening to the words
and looking into the eyes
of those who speak to him,
by learning to respect the process
of his own creative encounters
and by having faith
that they will get him somewhere soon.

We must remind ourselves,
however, that no change takes place
without working hard and
without getting your hands dirty. 

There are no formulae and
no books to memorize on becoming. 

I only know this:  
I exist. 
I am. 
I am here. 
I am becoming. 
I make my life
and no one else makes it for me. 

I must face
my own shortcomings,
and transgressions. 

No one can suffer my non-being as I do,
but tomorrow is another day,
and I must decide to leave by bed
and live again. 

And if I fail,
I don’t have the comfort
of blaming you
or life
or God.

(Joseph Zinker, On Public Knowledge and Personal Revelation, 1976)

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