Identity

September 4, 2015

“Teach yourself who you are the way you would teach a child, through experience and using wonder. You are not a lesson to be read about in books. You are not something made, a fact to be memorized, a concrete object, a force that can’t move. And so you cannot learn yourself the way you would learn about such things, you cannot decipher yourself using the tools you normally use to learn things. You have to answer the question, ‘Who?’ using all the openness available to you, and you must attend to every obstacle to that opening, dismantling your objections and all of your hardness so that the soft possibility of knowing yourself as you are becomes available to you. If I say to you, “You, as you are, are exactly like the sky, found everywhere, permeating everything,” I would have served you no better than a book would, a lesson written, a fact memorized. And so it is better if I say, “Feel the question, ‘Who?’, feel inside everything you know to be your own person, explore your body and explore your mind—but then use those to explore that which seems to be neither body nor mind.” Your identity is revealed according to the truth you feel in it, and the answer to the question, ‘Who am I really?’ is found in some resonance, some sense you have of what is real and what is not. The best clue I can give you is: You are real. And anything that passes, anything invented or imagined, can therefore not be you. The time will come when you will not ask this question, because there will be nothing that you are not. But until then, ask it so as to distinguish what is real from what is not, what has truth as its core and what is empty on the inside of anything permanent or stable. You endure, but endurance is not your quality because there are no qualities which can rightfully be called ‘yours’. Still, look for what lasts, look for what seems, when all else falls away, to be still present, unthreatened, and undamaged. And do not neglect what you feel you already know of yourself, look there, too; examine all of your parts, find what feels truest. ‘Who?’ is really the only question we can ask, and the only one that, after all else falls away, will still have an answer.”

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