Life of Self-Creation: Beyond Compulsions and Conformities

by Gaurav Ojha

As a habitual reader of Friedrich Nietzsche, I have realized that to understand his philosophy we need to energize his words with our life. His philosophy is not an armchair; hence, if you want to understand him you have to apply his ideas, take the risk of becoming unique and different and the courage to stand alone. Nietzsche has been misinterpreted and misevaluated like all of us and he has also made his mistakes, however he has reminded us to accept everything as human, all too human. And, for him it is our responsibility as humans to create/recreate the meaning of our life and its values. As Nietzsche reminds us in this seminal work The Gay Science that if we want become who we are, than we need to create ourselves so that we can live the life of our self creation.

Nietzsche encourages us to move away from discovering and knowing ourselves to finding our purpose and values through the process of self-creation and expression, embracing life as a work of art. He wants us to create our own meaning, values and lifestyle. Significantly, I find the idea of creating a meaning of life as the most liberating concept that has been every thought about in both western and eastern philosophical tradition. I know many people would rather choose to explore their meaning of life from stable sources like culture, religion, traditions, and historical narratives. But, what shall we do when the world never plays out in the way we have assumed and the world we are compelled to encounter is radically different from the world we have been promised with. Therefore, holding onto fixed meanings, when realities change can become rather stressful. Besides, if life has no intrinsic meaning, we are free to explore and create our own purpose of life and we can also find a release from the chains of ideology, social assumptions and conformity.

Moreover, take a pause and think, how difficult and depressing it would be trying to fit tight into roles and responsibilities tailored by some else without your measurement and size. Isn’t that life for most of us? When I create my own meaning, I can pull back from what people think of me and just flow on to being and becoming who I am. And, when our achievements fail to make us happy and content, we need to realize the life we are living is not the life of our self- expression and strength.

Living a life with our own purpose motivates us to get engaged and involved in social, political and ecological issues that matter to us and live a life with our own reference to time, value, happiness, achievements and success. We all have different brains wired for different things, hence when we choose to live the life for our self-creation, we can explore and embrace a lifestyle that allows us to follow our inner calling in life and live a life that reflects our inner life and aspirations. Our living becomes undivided, beyond compulsions and conformities.

When I think of life as self-creation, line from the song Barbie girl by Aqua reverberates in the mind, ‘Imagination, life is your creation’, indeed that’s what Nietzsche also reminds us, let us open the doors and windows of our imagination and creativity and give life our own purpose, exuberance, analysis, struggles, values and meaning and embrace life as our self-creation.

About the Author:

Gaurav Ojha is a writer from Kathmandu, Nepal. He works have appeared in Indian Periodical.

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