Throughout our life, as we move through the universe, through space and time, and from the beginning to the end of our journey, whether consciously or subconsciously, we are always searching for the answer to this question:
Who am I?
Who am I? That is the real question, the foundational question, even when we ask other questions, such as:
- Why am I here?
- Where do I belong?
- (Or in the case of Hamlet: “To be, or not to be?”)
When we are young, and the world is fresh and new, our self-centered selves are mainly concerned with the question: What do I want?
Then, when still young, but with an expanded consciousness, we ask: Where do I fit it?
When a little bit older, and thrust into a functioning society that expects us to produce, the question is: What should I do?
And when a little bit older still, with some wisdom gained from a broader, deeper view of the world and our place in it, we ask: What is my purpose?
Then finally, in our twilight years, our question becomes: What shall I leave behind?
Who am I? This question implies more than simple identity, which is fraught with labels and classes and categories. (Where do you live? What is your gender? What is your ethnic background? What do you do for work? Who are your friends? Do you have kids? Do you have a disability? Are you rich or poor? What are your achievements?) All these classes and categories can never accurately answer the question: Who am I? Why? Because these classes and categories will never be able to get to the Truth of who you are. And because, it is a question that cannot be answered with words, but with a deep sense of knowing that comes from your soul.