Find out Who You Are.
Finding out who you are is not a shift in perception, belief or lifestyle. While these states can be part of your story, finding out who you are is a revelation, a realization of what you aren’t. Every time you identify your Self you limit your Self. Any idea you have about your Self is not your Self. You are not a concept.
When I think about what I have learned over my life, and more so over the last 20 years of my journey pursuing “a spiritual path” I realize more often or not that on one level, it has really has been a process of accumulation. Reduced to the most simplistic way of seeing it, I have accumulated experiences and information. While “I” can say that those experiences were “spiritual” experiences and that the knowledge I gained appeared to be “spiritual” knowledge, it was and is still an accumulation; skewed, motivated and driven by a hard wired need to find out Who I Am.
While those experiences and that knowledge have provided a certain amount of understanding, and perhaps a meaningful elevation to my subjective life experience, at the end of the day it’s still for the most part been a journey of accumulation. Am I closer to finding out Who I Am, or have I really only been entertaining myself with the consumption of concepts that only speculate as to Who I Am? Do I know Who I Am; or have I been seduced by a multitude of ideas, notions, perceptions, philosophies and intellectual l understandings or knowledge that may enrich the mind, but only ever, imply Who I Am?
Over the last five years I have been exposing myself to the wisdom teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and immersing myself in the brilliant work of Stephen Wolinsky, a direct student of Nisargadatta. While my previous teachings and studies provided valuable direction and understanding to my life at the time, “I” was still in the accumulation mode. I was still under the seduction and belief that “the more I knew” about “so called spirituality”, the more I would somehow find out Who I was; that, the more so called spiritual “experiences” I had AND could have, the more I would somehow elevate my consciousness to a “higher level”. While this is all part and parcel of the conventional leanings and teachings of spirituality, I am now realizing that it has nothing to do with Who I Am! I am now realizing that more knowledge and more experience, is not necessarily better when it comes down to realizing my true nature.
It’s tempting to imagine that just because I memorize some paragraph, quote or chapter from a “spiritual” or “holy” book, that it will somehow allow me to reach a superior level of awareness. Likewise, there is a great seduction in thinking that just because I have been meditating for 20 years or more, I will be able to somehow transcend or detach myself from the sufferings of day to day living. Just because “I” appear to have this or that, in the form of understandings, certifications, teachings or achievements, and just because I have read these books or those books or attended this workshop or that workshop does not mean I have mastered some “secret law of attraction” or have some ability to create the kind of life that I have always dreamed about. Just because I lived in an ashram or studied under some guru, does not necessarily mean that I know my true Self.
While all of these pursuits are interesting, seductive, romantic and inspiring, providing great story and improvement on past experiences and behaviors that may have been based on struggle, they are in many cases really just a substitute on previous ways of thinking and being. They are in themselves not necessarily leading me or anyone else, (albeit intellectually) closer to Who I Am, Who I Was, and Who I will always be.
I could say that I am now in the process of unlearning; deconstructing ALL that I ever imagined or conceived my self to be. It’s my hope that as I do so, a space will appear allowing the real and true me to be revealed; spontaneously, naturally and without any “effort” or conceptual understanding on my part. What has become very interesting in this process is to witness “my” willingness and the necessity and value in approaching this process with a “no holds barred” attitude; in recognizing how essential it is to have an “all or nothing approach” while in the examination of that accumulated knowledge and its validity to Who I Am.
It’s valuable and important to improve the quality of ones life, to engage the process of our own evolution in awareness. It’s also good to know and hear, that there many distractions and temptations in the so called spiritual world; pseudo teachings, philosophies, practices and knowledge that offer a sweet redemption to all of life’s needs, but may not necessarily lead you any closer to Who You Are.
The task of finding out Who You Are, should not be confused with taking on lifestyles, knowledge, or practices; however beneficial, that only really offer a conceptualized understanding of our true nature; a nature that can ultimately only be revealed. The task of finding out Who You Are, should never be confused with accumulation, gain or achievement. Your ideas of spirituality may in fact have nothing to do with your spirituality. If anything, it is all about an ability to abandon all that you imagine your self to be, so that the One Self can finally appear.
Prior to the story of who you think you are, there is a space. If you allow your attention to settle on that space; if you take the time to notice that space, you might for the first time see that you are not your story ~ however good or bad it may appear. You might finally recognize that while you may have spent most of your life identifying yourself too that story, adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing its content, that the real and only “you” lies outside the boundaries of those accumulated, intellectual meanderings, which, to be completely congruent, have to include everything I’ve said in this blog entry…
Who are you?
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