Preface  (To Be Oneself) 3

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Up till then, my attention had been directed
outwardly towards other people. Finally, the day came
when there was nobody around to serve and to interact
with. For this reason, I had to look inwardly in order to
know who I was, and attend to my own needs. It was
as if I was dealing with a stranger. The  first question I
asked was, Who am I? Even though I had been well
acquainted for a long time with the Socratic saying,
Know thyself, however, like everybody else, I do
not think I had asked myself such a question seriously
before. We accomplish ninety percent of all our daily
activities automatically. We may be mindful of only ten
percent of our doings, if not less. Likewise, according to
psychologists, we only use ten percent of our potential.
Men are not created equal. There are geniuses and idiots
and, in between, the majority of the population, with
higher, lower or average intelligence. As far as I was
concerned, I did not know if I had any potential at all.
The only thing I was sure of was that there was always
something cooking in my kitchen. There were all kinds
of ideas and thoughts. I had to discover what they were
and put them in order. So I resolved,

I must explore and exploit
This gold mine of mine,
As well as this oil well,
I have hidden in my mind.
Or else, God forbid, I explode.

Whether I like it or not,
That, for sure, is my lot.

I have no other alternative, no other choice,
Except to listen carefully to my inner voice,
And accept myself right as I am and rejoice.

Going through the table of contents the reader may
get the impression that the book is a travel guide. But
it is not. Instead of simply numbering the chapters, I
chose to give them - apart from a few - the names of all
the cities around the world where I lived or visited for
a shorter or a longer period.