This is perhaps the greatest question you can ever ask of yourself. It is a question that many have contemplated and few have answered satisfactorily, for themselves that is.
Many will never approach this question and will remain uncomfortably content in the false concept of life, for there is great fear associated with the realisation that “I am not who I thought I was”. It can be likened to the low hum of a fridge in the background that you don’t hear until it is turned off. There is often a great tear down that comes with the answer to Who Am I?. This usually occurs with the loss of a job, or a loved one, or financial wealth. Many are forced kicking and screaming to this point of realisation only to see the great freedom that is accompanied by the release.
Death of Self
Death is the ultimate release from the illusion of self, at least that how it appears to me. Many believe that those who choose to take their own lives are somehow tragic examples of the inability of humanity to cope with difficult situations, and that may be true to some extent. Those on the brink believe that their loss of identity and/or their past has been so horrific that they can no longer endure it. The truth is that in these situations, people who take their own lives are so overwhelmed by the apparent reality of their situation that there seems no other option.
Thankfully they know on their exit from here that all is well. At their point of exit they become one again with the source of all things, that place from whence they came. The illusion of the self has been cast off and no longer can hold the spirit in it’s illusion. This is not to say that the self or ego is a bad thing, it is not. The ego personality that we all express here, that which makes us individual, is a necessary element of our engagement with others in this world of relativity. The problems begin for us when we identify exclusively with it.
This World is Temporary
The world of from in which we live is a wonderful place, but it is temporary. It is not too difficult to see this, we only need to observe the seasons to understand that all life and apparent reality is fading away. Our experiences are no different, they are just passing engagements with other people and situations. We move through these every moment and then leave them to an apparent past. The Truth is that there is only one moment in which we move and have our being. When we are immersed in the apparent reality of life we miss that which we fundamentally are, we miss the journey.
This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is a flash of lightning in the sky. Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.- Buddha
We must remember who we are. In the midst of the noise it can be very difficult to hear the still small voice that calls to us. The world is full of noise and we have been hypnotised by it to such an extent that we have lost our way, and in my opinion we are on the brink of destruction of humanity. This planet will survive, I am sure of this. We are part of the system of life and the system of life will dispose of us if we threaten it’s existence. We will save humanity only by realisation of true self and our connection to all that is.
We seem to be chasing ghosts. We are believers in abstractions rather than actual reality. Money, Time, Distance, Words, are all abstractions of that which we experience. As Alan Watts said “we are eating the menu instead of the dinner”. We must look inwardly towards the truth of what we are in order to change the world, in order to find out who we are.