The Myth of Self Reinvention

December 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Photograph by Roland Tanglao

“Self-reinvention is merely self-deception.”

There are myths in different groups of people. Stories we refer to which shape ideas and life choices. I was born to a family of musicians. In my home, though very religious, there was a great appreciation for the arts and music in general. Among artists and musicians there was a special interest in pioneering musicians, like Miles Davis. So nearly all my life I’ve heard epic tales about the brilliance of Miles Davis’ ability to reinvent himself. Among jazz connoisseurs this is a common epithet. Perhaps, self-reinvention is a quality respected in the world-wide community of artists.

As a result, I’ve always admired the ability to reinvent myself. It felt very artistic to me, however over the years I’ve found the idea of self-reinvention to be utter bullshit. It’s impossible to reinvent anything real. Because something real can only be what it is. Trying to call yourself something else, talk differently, act differently with the intention of self reinvention is merely as self-deception, a trick.

In the time I’ve spent learning under a Sufi Master I’ve come to some  pretty ugly attributes that exist within myself. Immediately, I try to hide or discard these things, quickly. This usually happens during a drastic and desperate attempt to achieve or acquire something. An acquisition based on some careless idea, which seemed good at the time. But what I’ve learned is that facing real life is difficult, but its the only way to be connected to real life. Once we start launching ourselves into the outer realms of our imaginations, we begin a dangerous game that resembles an object floating weightlessly with no means of propulsion.

We need an Anchor. It keeps us grounded. We need to be grounded in order to really get somewhere. Self reinvention is a myth because it gives us immediate gratification and the illusion that we’ve arrived.


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