Maybe You’re Not Who You Think You Are. Really!

who am I

If I asked you the trick question, “Who are you”, how would you reply? Most persons would answer with their name. Some persons might continue with sharing what they do for a living. Others might share more personally, perhaps telling me of their history, issues, and/or trials.

But then, I might reply, “No… I mean who are you, really.”

Frustrated, some might reply, “I am me!”

“No, who are you?”

And at this point, some persons might just stop for a loss of words, at which point I would reply, “There you are!”

Let me explain.

When we are born, we exist, before being given a name. And so, we cannot be the identity which has a name.
From birth onward, life presents an ever-changing river of experience. Every moment is change. You cannot be what you experience, because your experience ceaselessly changes. Yet your sense of yourself as “I” continues unchanged. You always experience yourself as “I”.

From infant to toddler to pre-school, primary, junior, high school, college, and on and on, each day you experience many different feelings. Who you are cannot be your feelings, because they are always changing, and yet your experience of “I” remains each moment.

What about your thoughts? Every day hundreds, if not thousands of thoughts pass through our brain. They come and go so quickly! How could you think you are your thoughts, when they are so very fleeting, and yet your sense of yourself as “I” so ever-constant?

Maybe you think you are your identity? Mother? Father? Daughter? Teacher? Business person? Etc. Yet your identity has changed with each transition in your life, such as junior high school student, high school student, college, job, etc. Although your identities have and will continue to change, your sense of “I” that experiences each identity remains unchanged.

If you are not your experiences, sensations, emotions, thoughts, or identities, then who are you? What remains?

What remains is who/what you are: a simple and profound presence which has an innate sense of “I” and of existing; a continuous presence whose awareness accompanies your every experience.

Some might call that presence self-existing “awareness”. Who you are hasn’t a name. After all, you didn’t have a name when you were born. Who you are transcends your identity, thoughts, feelings, sensations, and experiences. Yet you make all these possible through your knowing of them. It is the Self, the very source of authenticity.

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