The search for self is a funny thing:
Who am I?
Who am I?
A more appropriate question might be: who is the I that is asking the question? And why do we need, or at least think we need, to know?
What do I like?
What do I want to do with my life?
What do I like eating?
What kind of person do I want to be?
The list goes on and on. But why question? Why do we want to know the answers to these things? When you look at them in the cold light of day we see, at their core, that they are very selfish. They are self centred. They are all about that mysterious "I". And who is watching the "I"? For there must be a watcher in order to acknowledge that the "I" exists.
Just like, in our society, there must be money (or the exchange of goods or service) for work to be necessary; like so there must be a watcher of the "I" in order for the "I" to exist.
So who is the watcher?
It could be argued that the watcher is conscious thought. It could be further argued that the "I" is the physical body. What we feed into the conscious thought directly correlates to the judgements passed on the physical body and therefore how we relate to and describe the "I" as being.
I am short
I am curvy
I have a high sex drive
I like food
I work hard, but I am often lazy
These judgements do not tell us who we are. They are merely statements of fact. So, who am I?
I am a woman
I am a sister
I am a daughter
I am a friend
Is who I am dependent on my physical and emotional attributes and how others relate to me and I to them? No. Certainly not. So, who am I?
I am kind but I have a terrible temper
I am a poet
I am a cook
I am a gardener of the mind
But surely these are things I do; not what I am!? So, who am I?
I am an animal
I am a collection of cells and neurons
I am cosmic matter
I came from star dust
When objects collided in space and time they forced new life into being, I am one of those beings
I am 4 billion years old
Ah. So now we see how small you are. How insignificant. And now we see why you search for who you are. You must be more than that. Because if you are star dust, that means everyone is star dust. If you are 4 billion years old: everyone must be 4 billion years old. In sentient beings there exists the ego. The ego is the "I" - the ego strives to be more than it is. It lays down laws and likes and dislikes, it questions our choices, it creates a false version of ourselves and of the people we are connected to. The ego shades everything in the tint of its own rosy glow.
See that man? He is my one true love. He is good and kind and sweet and I love him. Therefore he must love me. Therefore I must have him. Therefore if he does not behave in the way I have imagined him... he hurts me.
So you have hurt yourself.
NO! It was him. He did it. He was false, he was not his true self. I know his true self. His true self resides in my heart.
So you have hurt yourself. Hurt yourself with a construct of a man. A construct of a man. A man who does not exist.
But he does exist. See he is there, living, breathing, laughing.
The man exists yes. The physical body. But that body is inhabited by his ego. Not yours.
The man in my heart is not that man?
He is not that man. He is a construct of that man.
He is my construct. I made him. But he is not real. Only his shell is real. I filled him. Filled him with my hopes. My desires.
He has other hopes and desires.
So now we see how the ego destroys not only us but our friendships also. Constantly demanding. Judging. Claiming truth where there is none to claim. Making false statements based on whimsy.
All that from star dust!
From dust we came and to dust we shall return.
Let not the ego spoil you.
Let not the ego spoil you.