This is a more philosophical article, so don’t try it at home:) I’m just getting ready to see Dalai Lama tomorrow so a proper mindset for the visit will very welcomed.
How many times did you ask yourself “Who Am I?” Probably plenty of times, like I did. But, each time I answered differently. Yes, we can actually answer in millions of ways, just because we are limitless.
According to Maslow’s needs pyramid, the need of self-actualization is one from the top of the pyramid. We reach all these levels of the pyramid in some moments of our lives, it’s a very flexible system. An wonderful thing in looking for the answers for this question is the process of it, the journey becomes more important than the answer itself, sometimes “HOW” prevails “WHAT” is the end of the journey. Those experiences, insights we have along the way, wonders are enriching the journey and make it worth living. And like Viktor Frankl said, is good sometimes to experience NOW, to forget about yourself, to let go “the WHAT”. You might be surprised of what you can find, WHO you can become.
“The more one forgets himself–by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love–the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
“Give up all questions except one: ‘Who am I?’ After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The ‘I am’ is certain. The ‘I am this’ is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality.
To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not.
Discover all that you are not — body, feelings thoughts, time, space, this or that — nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.The clearer you understand on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realise that you are the limitless being.”– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
By NOT knowing what you are, you just create space for your unlimited potential. The fact that you’re limitless, empowers you and increases your awareness about your potential that can be expanded in millions ways by billions times!
It is enough to know what you are not. You need not know what you are. For as long as knowledge means description in terms of what is already known, perceptual, or conceptual, there can be no such thing as self-knowledge, for what you are cannot be described, except as except as total negation. All you can say is: ‘I am not this, I am not that’. You cannot meaningfully say ‘this is what I am’. It just makes no sense. What you can point out as ‘this’ or ‘that’ cannot be yourself. Surely, you can not be ‘something’ else. You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable. Yet, without you there can be neither perception nor imagination. You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting; the very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.
Can there be perception, experience without you? An experience must ‘belong’. Somebody must come and declare it as his own. Without an experiencer the experience is not real. It is the experiencer that imparts reality to experience. An experience which you cannot have, of what value is it to you?
Obviously, every thing experienced is an experience. And in every experience there arises the experiencer of it. Memory creates the illusion of continuity. In reality each experience has its own experiencer and the sense of identity is due to the common factor at the root of all experiencer-experience relations. Identity and continuity are not the same. Just as each flower has its own colour, but all colours are caused by the same light, so do many experiences appear in the undivided and indivisible awareness, each separate in memory, identical in essence. This essence is the root, the foundation, the timeless and spaceless ‘possibility’ of all experience.
Let go your attachment to the unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly step into its own. Stop imagining yourself being or doing this or that and the realization that you are the source and heart of all will dawn upon you. With this will come great love which is not choice or predilection, nor attachment, but a power which makes all things love-worthy and lovable.
You might say that is easy saying than doing, isn’t it? You might think that is something wrong with your mind. The mind is restless, greedy of the pleasant and afraid of the unpleasant.
What is wrong with its seeking the pleasant and shirking the unpleasant? Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows. It is only when the mind refuses to flow with life, and gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes a problem.
By flowing with life means acceptance — letting come what comes and go what goes. Desire not, fear not, observe the actual, as and when it happens, for you are not what happens, you are to whom it happens. Ultimately even the observer you are not.
You are the ultimate potentiality of which the all-embracing consciousness is the manifestation and expression.
So, today I’ll just embrace the NOW and hope you’ll do the same way.