I've been thinking lately about what it means to be yourself, how one's personality is shaped and why we are who we are. The question of existence of free will aside, there are things in our mind that we do or even don't remember, shaping our every day decisions.
What would it mean for one to completely understand why he / she acts in a certain way or why things in one's life turned out to be the way they are? Does the understanding itself free us to some extent from the influences of the past? Or are we just pawns of the past events, mindlessly reacting to what is racing through our brain, having barely enough self-awareness to realise that we exist?