Who am I? What is certain? How can you expand that knowledge?
The question, “who am I“ has been the focus of philosophical discussion and studied all the way back to the Greeks. In 5th Century BC, Socrates even stated that the key to happiness is discovering the “true self”. Jesus alluded to it very clearly in the Gospel of Thomas Logion 3, when he stated:
“But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.”
Absolutely astonishing, wouldn’t you say?
But how do we really know our self? Is there something inside us that is truth?
The answer is YES! But to find it we have to first realize what we are not.
Growing up we think different things make up who we are. Such as, the acceptance by our peers in social situations, getting into the right college, being in the right social group in high school, being popular or well-liked. The same things matter after we start a family. We think we are the status of our career or a successful person in that career, being revered by others, being in the right groups, a member of the best country club. Even our sports team and hobbies seem to form our identities. We try to fill ourselves from the outside.
In reality these things are just descriptions of our human personalities, mere tricks of our “small self” that our ego plays on us. Who we are on a global spiritual basis is much vaster, wider and boundless.
As human beings, we constantly are caught up in what is unreal when compared to our real spiritual natures. You went to Harvard, I went to Rutgers. You are an American, I am a Russian. You are a Catholic, I am a Buddhist. You are a Democrat, I am a Republican, you are female , I am a male.These are all mental concepts, not who we really are on a higher spiritual level.
These are distinctions of how we identify and compare ourselves to others. They are mere words.
In a sense they are clouds that blind us to the presence of peace, alive in the illusion of separation from God and others. Many times we fail to quiet the mind and its incessant comparisons and never-ending thinking. Our mind has a false sense of separation from God and thus a false sense of being God, and this keeps us from loving anywhere near our potential.
In reality consciousness has been thrust upon us. It is called birth. The realities you think you know as true are coming from the stage of body-consciousness. We need to understand Spirit. We are not the body, not the mind. We are spirit.
Consider this: In deep sleep, a king dreams that he is a beggar and so he goes about begging. The dream state makes him beg even though he is a king. When he awakens, he is again the king. Then what is true in all this? What was the common denominator?
Consciousness or as wisdom traditions call it, SPIRIT. “The moon, the sun, the stars are millions of miles away? Yet they are seen only by the projection of your own consciousness.” Great lyrics from one of my favorite Grateful Dead song’s proclaims, “You are the eyes of the world”
Buddha clearly understood this and the practice of Zen is the manifestation of this reality.
That by which you know that ‘you are’ is the manifestation of God.
This is the truth that Buddha, Krishna, and all of the great sages from Rumi to Kabir, were infinitely aware of.
Jesus Christ knew this better than anyone and I like to think of him as the “special” appointed son of God.
We are all sons and daughters of God, Jesus is the Christ.
Notice this dialogue with temple Jews from the Gospel of John: Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am “John 8:58
They did not understand him. Jesus knew he was the one Spirit.One with the father. Notice he said “I am”
Who are you? All you can know you are for sure is the “I Am”.
You are. The I Am is the one consciousness.
Know this and meditate on it and see how your awareness of your own spirit expands. Its by eliminating all that we are not and staying planted in the knowingness of our own consciousness that we begin to awaken to our only real truth.
This is our death bed reality.
“Know the Truth, and the truth shall set you free.” These words of Jesus are not referring to some foreign concept of faith. They are referring to the truth of what you are —beyond your titles, accomplishments, sorrows, personal story, name, body, mind, or any other form of any kind.
My message to the reader is, enjoy the beautiful dance of life. Be successful in business, sports, investing, or whatever you do, but please, also be aware of something so freeing, liberating, and important —God is real. God is everything. God will help you and be revealed to you if you knock. You are Spirit itself. That art thou.