Topic 2: Who Are You Really?
If I were to ask you who you are, you would most likely start with your name, then perhaps whether you are a parent, followed by your line of work, where you are from, and from there the list gets more variable, religion maybe, or a concern or hobby that interests you, but you get the drill. The point is, there is a definite “you” in your mind, and you believe my question is directed at asking for the description of that individual – you. Our uniform approach to answering the question, “who are you?” is a perfect example of how we’ve been conditioned to perceive our world. We are taught to start with a sense of “me,” and we are given the parameters by which we determine that “me.”
If only we could remember when we entered this world, we’d see that we didn’t arrive with that description. In fact, had there been a mix-up in the nursery, you could just as easily have been Isaac Levine or Sheila O’Leary, and all that implies. A description is what in fact created you, not the other way round. Our very first bit of information was confirmation of our gender, the next our name. “Oh was a beautiful little boy (girl). Oh my precious little Stevie (Martha).” You’re actual moment of birth happened then, when you were born to your name. That defined the stage on which your life would be played out, and you were taught to build from that platform. Your parents were the first to give you a great deal of information as to who you were, then family, community, church, country, etc. In the same manner, scientists were taught to start with atoms and subatomic particles, which once named and described, were treated as a given, and from that platform scientists described our present view of the formation of matter and the world.
The quantum scientists were stunned when their quantum experiments suggested their prior description of the world as determinant and built from identifiable and measurable building blocks wasn’t an accurate portrayal. What if we humans were wrong too? What if there isn’t a definite, determinant Bobby or Sally or Sean. If I were to ask you to locate yourself, you’d point to your body. But let’s face it, we’ve already shown how that could have just as easily been someone else. So you are NOT your body. So where is this person who goes by your name? You might next point to your head; for it feels somewhat like the notion of you is in there. And that would indeed put you much closer to the truth.
For in truth, you could say that you or I are an idea to which we were first introduced when we were informed of our name and gender. Then to that, we were shown how to add long lists of beliefs, opinions, assumptions, conclusions and values. Are you beginning to get a sense of something happening here? Are you realizing there is nothing substantive about you, something that you could pick up or carry to another location? Yes, your body can do that but, remember, you aren’t your body. Your body is a physical entity that could just as easily have a different name and set of beliefs associated with it. Who or where is this person who fights to be right, who defends itself, who suffers, who believes it will die?
You, as you know yourself, are a being you’ve been taught exists. And further to that, you’ve been taught to apply that same sort of method of describing to everything else—the “others” in your life. We have been conditioned to see the world from the vantage point of I-Thou, subject-object, to such a degree that had you not read this blog, you wouldn’t likely question that orientation. You would go on accepting that to divvy the world into objects and treat them as if their real nature is something of substance inseparable from the physical container is an accurate way of describing the world. Only it’s not. For what you are in truth is something most extraordinary, not to be confused with the body in which it is housed. Does it matter that we know ourselves from this other perspective? Immensely. To know ourselves as only Mary or John is the fundamental cause for most of our difficulties here on earth. To know our true nature is to know a way out. Are you curious? Then chew on these ideas a bit, ask some questions or share some comments and keep an eye out, as we expand on these ideas, for Topic 3: The Perpetrating of a Hoax.
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