On Becoming Who You Are

As it turns out, to “become who you are” is not about finding a “who” you have always been looking for. It is not about separating “you” off from everything else. And it is not about existing as you truly “are” for all time. The self does not lie passively in wait for us to discover it. Selfhood is made in the active, ongoing process, in the German verb werden, “to become.” The enduring nature of being human is to turn into something else, which should not be confused with going somewhere else. This may come as a great disappointment to one who goes in search of the self. What one is, essentially, is this active transformation, nothing more, nothing less. This is not a grand wisdom quest or a hero’s journey, and it doesn’t require one to escape to the mountains. No mountain is high enough.

Just found this passage from one of the few mailing lists I subscribe to. I think that’s by John Kaag as he ruminates on Nietzsche’s philosophy. This is the book. I haven’t read it yet, maybe one of these days.