Who are you?
A couple of years ago I wrote two posts* that posed the question, “Who are you?” I’m still pondering that question and thought I’d share what I’ve come up with since then.
Self-discovery, true self-discovery where the soul illuminates the ego rather than the ego darkening the expression of soul or adding false light upon itself can be a tricky process. You know when you’re on the right track when your discovery brings awe, beauty, and happiness. This seems pretty simple, so why is it so hard?
I think part of the reason rests in from what part of ones self one is asking the questions. Asking questions and pondering answers generated from the ego-self almost always complicates the process and limits the results.
Sometimes even asking a question at all can distort reality. Sometimes in order to “hear” one needs to shut-up.
Sometimes just observing, watching, looking, minding (as in being mindful), hearing, seeing, feeling, or sensing is all one needs to open the door to enlightenment. Note that I don’t say anything about “doing” anything with any of that incoming awareness data? That’s because “doing” usually shuts the process down whereas the act of “being” keeps the process relevant and alive.
Try the following:
Step outside, go on… what do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you see? You named it all didn’t you e.g. a “dog” “barking”; new-mowed grass; it’s hot out, must be 90 degrees for god’s sake!; there’s the neighbor playing with their one year old–cute little guy.
Now, try stepping out and observe without doing anything with what you notice. Much quieter, huh? Sometimes when I do this, not only does a sense of peace well up, but tears of happiness, feelings of belonging ,and sometimes a sense of being big enough to include it all–of being bigger than I was before stepping out the door pervades my consciousness. But as soon as I start labeling the experience…poof! It all goes away.
When I “decide” what it is that I’m experiencing I immediately kill all the alternatives, I objectify a subjective experience, I limit the experience. To add “cide” to almost any word means to kill the alternative or object.
Now, it’s not that the process of deciphering and deciding has no usefulness, because on the contrary it’s an evolutionary security process and the faster you can accurately do it, the greater the chance of your personal survival. So I wouldn’t ignore this skill when walking down a dark alley, but one does not have to treat their whole life in survival mode.
When the stresses generated by my mind’s reaction to reality begin to weigh heavily on me sometimes just quieting it by stepping outside and letting the reality wash over me without trying to corral it i.e. define it or add meaning to it will center me and bring me peace.
What does this have to do with the original question, “who are you?” It’s about telling the truth about an observation, whether that observation comes from outside you or from within. It’s about opening to the unvarnished, unmediated experience of reality.