An Indie Hacker and Digital Nomad
2024 Mar 14

"Being One of Them" by Kazuma Ieiri


The following text is translated version of a blog post by Kazuma Ieiri, a Japanese serial entrepreneur.

The original post:

Translated by ChatGPT

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By considering oneself as a single entity, we end up pursuing self-discovery and self-actualization, becoming concerned about how we present ourselves. We refuse to accept the reality of being nobody, turning our eyes away from it. The "true self" is an illusion; what exists is merely the accumulation of the time and circumstances a person has lived through.

The obsession with depicting "one's true nature" from within only leads to an inflated sense of self-consciousness and a desire for recognition, to the point of bursting. Conversely, by focusing on what can be done for others or what one can do in their current place, sketching the "outside" of oneself, it feels about right to softly outline what might be considered one's shape.

It's nice to strive to be unique rather than number one, but to realize that one is just one of them, merely one among many who are interchangeable. Even without oneself, the world will continue to turn tomorrow. I often fantasize about a world without me, but that world is no different from the current one.

In a world that keeps turning even without oneself, the pursuit of the meaning of life or the true self as illusions only leads to despair when they cannot be found. What exists is only the accumulation of time that the person has lived, that is, their unique story, which is exclusively theirs. There might be no meaning to life, but each person's story exists there.

You don't need to search for the "true self"; the story is actually lying close by. It's the story of oneself, a foolish human being who is interchangeable in society, neither special nor anything else, but that story cannot be replaced.

The belief that one knows oneself best or that the true self exists somewhere is entirely false. By finding oneself in others, we can only touch upon our shape. In the end, nobody, not even oneself, truly understands the true self. Finding oneself in others is the way to know oneself and to understand others.

Instead of seeking the true self or the meaning of life externally, or forcibly changing oneself, accept yourself as you have lived up to now, find the story that is already there, and continue to write it. The important thing might be not searching for oneself, but searching for the story.

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