Know thyself. – Socrates
Selfies are a fascinating phenomenon to those of us who grew up when people stood in awkward groups with stiff smiles on our faces if a camera was aimed at us. It’s hard for some of us to understand why anyone would actually want themselves immortalized in this way. But it’s intriguing to ask how this universal trend fits into life’s purpose.
Cowboy philosopher Will Rogers said, “I aways like to hear a man talk about himself because then I never hear anything but good.” Most selfies are that way too – smiling faces, best profile, most flattering poses. Already that’s changing, though, as people tire of seeing us at only our best. It may start downhill as we venture into the funny, the odd, the extreme, embarrassing, and bizarre selfies. At that point, the selfie may start to fade into history just as Polaroid instant photos did.
But another kind of selfie has been popular for centuries, even millennia, and probably always will be – autobiography. The best of these dig under the surface image, exploring the author’s past, memories, influences and experiences, inner thoughts, concerns, and aspirations. Usually we go for this kind of “selfie” of the famous or the infamous, statesmen, sports greats, criminals, film stars or war heroes we want to know more about. But every human being has a story to tell, if only they would or could.
At its most engrossing, autobiography illuminates the writer’s character, and even hints at the purpose of his existence. Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography reveals his faults and how he overcome them in remaking himself into one of the most famous and revered men of his time. These books inspire, guide, celebrate life and reveal how transforming it can be when you understand life’s purpose and try to fulfill it.
Undoubtedly, the most honest and meaningful autobiographies are the ones each of us writes just for ourselves, and for God. With no concern about others’ judgments or fear of being misunderstood, we can write what’s in our hearts and see ourselves as none others see us. We can be completely honest about our motives, both good and not so good. We can affirm our strengths, admit our faults, and start to see how our strong points could help us improve the weaker ones.
In the constant effort to improve themselves, Lemurians write this deeper kind of selfie often, rating themselves against certain standards of character and conduct revealed in the Lemurian Philosophy. How tolerant am I; how courageous; how kind? What is my worst fault, and what did I do to overcome it this year? How am I helping others, and what more can I do for humanity next year?
This is the kind of selfie that counts. It’s a picture of ourselves that actually gets better, year after year, and you just can’t say that about your average selfie.
Copyright © 2017 Lemurian Fellowship