Who am I? Have you ever asked yourself this question? “Who… am…I…?” If someone asks, you probably say your name, something about your life, your job, your family, your hobbies, maybe you say something about your likes and dislikes, you list personality traits like introvert, extrovert… psychopath. Maybe you tell a story about yourself to illustrate a character trait. Maybe you tell people what you enjoy, but is that you?
A lifetime is spent creating the person to whom you think you are, but you are probably more than one person. You act a certain way depending on who you’re with and the situation you’re in. Other people tell you who they think you are (to your face or behind your back). You see yourself as others see you. If you do something out of character, people say, “That’s not you!” or “You wouldn’t do that!” But how do they know what you will and won’t do? Do they know you on the inside?
You could be a sad clown, smiling on the outside, but crying on the inside. You could be a kind-faced backstabber filled with a secret rage and ready to pounce on anyone who gets in your way. You could be a gentle puppy-dog, but appear as a warrior.
An intricate web of experience as recorded in memories affects who we think we are. We are an idea to ourselves and each other. We have a body image and a personality that becomes who we are, but all that could be regarded as a front. We act. We are actors. We play parts. From day one our character develops as we go along living each day. With each successive year we become more concretized to ourselves and hidden to others.
Our bodies change as we age and our ideas about ourselves change along with it. Ideas are, however: ideas. An idea is an image. The word idea is an idea. We come to think of ourselves in certain ways but those thoughts are not who we are when those traits are removed. It’s an elaborate ruse. It’s a game of hide and seek that we play with ourselves. We hide in ourselves and seek outside ourselves for ourselves and the questions we have.
We seek answers to who we are, but we get in our way. The answer is too obvious. Our ideas are abstractions of the feelings we get when we look out of ourselves. We think of ourselves as inside and of the world as outside.
If we are old and look in the mirror, we may not recognize the person reflected there, but inside, when we look in the mirror, we see our eyes and know that the person behind those eyes is the same person who has been there all along. Just as gentle music isn’t just a sound, so too are we.
We think our thoughts are connected one to another like one day connects to the next, like one month to the next, one season to the next and one year to the next, and so it goes, year to year, but really, each day is a self-contained unit of time that’s been artificially measured by humans who constantly organize and make straight lines in and around the world which we name.
It’s all in an effort to control the world which we call our world as if we owned it and were separated from it by our amazing heads which gift us with dominion over everything on earth.
Once you know who you are, you can enjoy yourself through the experience of receiving living.
Who are you? You are a living organism and in so living, enjoying. All of it, the good and bad. The good, because it is very good, and the bad because it is temporary – a break – to help you know more good.
It’s not complicated. There’s nothing to think about. Look around. Smell the air. Touch the ground. Who are you? You are the one reading, thinking, seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting and touching.
You are here.