“Who am I?” This is the fundamental question that thinkers and philosophers of all times have asked. Of all the insights and understandings you can have about your life, none is as important or as far reaching as the vision of who you truly are. This is so because the answer to this question can change everything.
If, for example, you are a professional actor playing the part of a lonely dangerous prisoner and if you somehow forget that you are the actor, and start to identify completely and exclusively with the character you are playing, it would change everything for you. Your thoughts and desires, your decisions, your actions and reactions, the very texture of your experience would be entirely different from the experience in which you are aware that you are the actor who is playing this role. You would genuinely feel imprisoned and lonely. You could believe that you are truly criminal or dangerous, and you would act out this belief. You would even see things in your environment to corroborate your experience, for believing is seeing. When you look at the prison bars, you would not even consider testing their strength, because you are in space of forgetting that they are mere stage props. Your outlook on life, and consequently your whole life will be totally different.
This is largely how our experience on earth – individually and collectively- is currently shaped. Our nature of our experience is determined by our beliefs and belief systems. Some of our beliefs and conceptions correctly and accurately describe reality, but in some cases our beliefs about who we are, about the true nature of our reality and about our purpose are misguided, misinformed, erroneous, and fallacious. We live with false beliefs. We live with illusions.
When you live out of the illusion of who you are, you experience a sense of incompleteness and being lost and alienated. For most of us, most of the time, we live with a sense of being alienated from God, from life and from each other. This sense of separation and confusion about who we are leads to a sense of fear. It leads further into much of the dysfunction we are experiencing in our individual lives and in our world today. The dysfunction takes the form of confusion, selfishness, greed, inequality, violence, abuse, disease and depression. On a global level it leads to war amongst nations and destruction of the very planet which gives us life and sustenance.
This is not the natural order of things. There is a way out of this. With greater insight and awareness into who you truly are, you can live a more meaningful life, living it with more ease and playfulness, and experience more inspiration, and infuse more creativity, be more equanimous, without being subject to the stresses of a confused life. If you expand your sense of self and transcend the beliefs that you are a limited being, you will gradually open yourself up to more of who you are. More of what life and the universe is will flow though you and become part of your experience. When enough of us live our lives out of this enlightened perspective, collectively we will create more peace and harmony and can turn our earthly experience into a heavenly one.
With the dawning of enlightenment, comes the knowing that we are not just human beings who have occasional spiritual experiences, but we are in essence spirit which is here and now having a human experience.
Consider the following, and contemplate the validity of its claim:
“I am. In essence I am the Infinite Consciousness, the All in All, The Life Principle, the Absolute Reality, which is expressing and experiencing life as a localized point of consciousness in a relativistic context of time, space, causation, duality, multiplicity and seeming individuality – continually becoming, deciding, creating and experiencing who I am, relatively. Beyond this, absolutely, I am.”
I would encourage you to contemplate the validity -or otherwise- of this statement. Use this as a means to get to your own truth. Contemplate the eternal question; “Who am I?” contemplation and meditation are powerful techniques towards enlightenment. Through the practice of meditation, quieten your mind from the millions of thoughts and beliefs that you are so accustomed to, much of which you have inherited from our collective cultural story of ‘the way it is”. In the silence of meditation, allow a new truth to emerge. Know thyself and be free.