Is the self discovered or created? What does nature tell us?
The law of gravity already operated prior to its discovery by Isaac Newton. Absent refinements of our understanding, it has worked the same ever since.
The law of relativity already existed prior to its discovery by Einstein. Absent refinements of our understanding it has worked the same ever since.
Every law of Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy etc. is a law discovered not a law created.
The only science which creates laws is that most difficult of sciences, Mathematics. If a SAT question asks, “What is square root of -1”, and all of the options are numbers except an option with ‘impossible’ as choice, a wise High School student chooses impossible as answer. For a College Student majoring in Mathematics, square root of -1 is i. But i does not exist as a physical quantity. It is creation of Mathematics. The answer i lies in realm of what is practical yet unobservable. i is spiritual or metaphysical, not physical like 1+1=2.
While i is reasoned, logical, proveable, unlike Physics, Chemistry, or Astronomy it operates in contexts created by man, it is not a product of nature.
Man creates outside of nature. Within context of nature, man only discovers.
Whether you believe in Creationism or Evolution, man is product of nature. If we learn from nature, we realize the self is discovered not created. What the self eventually becomes, however, is function of what we choose to do with the self we discover. Do we nurture the discovered self, do we reject it, do we sit on the fence in respect of it, do we shrink from it? Two people can discover similar selves yet become two entirely different people because what we become is function of our response to and diligence in nurturing of the self we discover.
If the self is discovered, as opposed to visible without any effort at discovery, man is spiritual and spirituality is important for meaningfulness of life.
When man understood the law of gravity, which always had existed, man harnessed wisdom to utilize the law for lifting off and landing of planes. Much like invention of aeroplanes, self discovery enables harnessing of resources we hitherto never knew lay at our disposal.
In so far as discovery of the self is concerned, ignorance may be bliss, yet it is bliss of less not bliss of more. Knowledge of self that is outcome of self discovery, self awareness? Power for meaningful, turbocharged (purposeful), reflective living.