Monday, November 21, 2011

Daily Om - Who Am I? The Heart Of Unknowing

Remember when you were in college and you and some buddies would drop a couple of tabs of acid and stay up all night talking about philosophical stuff, like the meaning of life, who you were, and whether the Kandinsky print on the wall or the Brian Eno music playing the background actually had a specific meaning or was simply some kind of psycho-spiritual Rorschach test?

No? Well, damn, you went to the wrong college or had really straight friends.

My point is that those questions, especially about the meaning of life and "Who am I?", still have value - just because we are older does not mean we should be less curious. Or maybe you are in college now, for the first time, and these questions are even more pressing.

Spend some time with them. Construct some meaning, or deconstruct your sense of self. We are humans being . . . identity is a process, not a thing. You may not be who you think you are.
Who Am I
The Heart Of Unknowing
The question of who we are is a seed that can bear much fruit if given the chance to unfold.

At some point in our lives, or perhaps at many points in our lives, we ask the question, “Who am I?” At times like these, we are looking beyond the obvious, beyond our names and the names of the cities and states we came from, into the layers beneath our surface identities. We may feel the need for a deeper sense of purpose in our lives, or we may be ready to accommodate a more complex understanding of the situation in which we find ourselves. Whatever the case, the question of who we are is a seed that can bear much fruit.

It can send us on an exploration of our ancestry, or the past lives of our soul. It can call us to take up journaling in order to discover that voice deep within us that seems to know the answers to a multitude of questions. It can draw our attention so deeply inward that we find the spark of spirit that connects us to every living thing in the universe. One Hindu tradition counsels its practitioners to ask the question over and over, using it as a mantra to lead them inevitably into the heart of the divine.

While there are people who seem to come into the world knowing who they are and why they are here, for the most part the human journey appears to be very much about asking this question and allowing its answers to guide us on our paths. So when we find ourselves in the heart of unknowing, we can have faith that we are in a very human place, as well as a very divine one. “Who am I?” is a timeless mantra, a Zen koan ultimately designed to lead us home, into the part of our minds that finally lets go of questions and answers and finds instead the ability to simply be.

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