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Who or What?

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:58 pm
by Webwanderer
In many of our discussions about the exploration of our true nature, it is a prime theme to consider the question of 'who am I'. If I'm not who I think I am, who I've always believed myself to be, then who am I really? I have suggested before that the better question is 'what am I?, because it tends to filter out identitification in favor of underlying substance.' So, I was feeling my way through this distinction and had a bit of an insight that I wish to share.

The question of 'who am I' is a mind centered identity question reaching for a logical and mental solution for another possibly higher Identity. It is a 'who' reaching for another, larger 'Who'. But it is still an identity oriented question and is not what we truly seek.

On the other hand, seeking a sense of 'what' I am, is less of a mental construct than it is a feeling one. At least it more readily leans that way if we focus on what the question feels like over adopting some new definition of terms as it relates to identity. 'What' leads one to an entirely different context than a simple change in identification. It leads more to a direct sense of larger being than a new mental identity construct. It leads to a change in perspective that can help organize all the other elements of our life experience.

WW

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:50 am
by kiki
Well said, WW. It's a subtle but very important point, and I really like the way you phrased it to make the distinction.

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:25 am
by snowheight
in the silence, feel it now
forget who, what why or how
in the stillness, there you'll know
what never moves and always so

on the shining pathless path
the laws and limits fade and pass
during free fall, be the space
only truth leaves any trace

a joy that words can never say
is what you'll find on any day
that falsity is left to fade
with emptiness true heart is made

humanity is an embrace
a big wet kiss on your true face
leave the madness far behind
center on what transcends kind

love is always everywhere
remembered sweet scent in the air
it actually was ever so
what was it that obscured below?

no matter is it for the mind
all thinking ever tastes is rind
open to the world today
and stand in awe without dismay

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:36 pm
by Webwanderer
Nice poem snowheight. First paragraph re-affirms my point however, in its very contradiction.

in the silence, feel it now
forget who, what why or how
in the stillness, there you'll know
what
never moves and always so

WW

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:14 pm
by snowheight
Remember to forget, so you forget to remember, what you thought you knew, that wasn't true. :D

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:09 pm
by Fiona_W
Very nice, both the original posting and the poem taking off from stillness. I remember clearly the time I first encountered an explicit teaching about our true nature (well, unless you count the Gospels). I was preparing, at the age of 16, to go for a few months to live with an Indian family in Madras (now Chennai) by reading a general introductory tome called Indian Philosophy. My little flash of unveiling came from a passage on the well-known Sanskrit saying, "Tat tvam asi," usually translated as "Thou art That"—"Thou" being both oneself and the Divine. Somehow the simple fact of the word that, corresponding to Webwanderer's what, revealed something to me. I said aloud, "I believe that. I think that is the Truth."

Just a little flash of light, but a flash I've always held in my mind.

Now I'm 64. All these years later, I've been reading James Swartz's excellent book on Vedanta, The Essence of Enlightenment, and revisiting that same, very powerful, idea. We are only—changelessly, irreducibly, blissfully, silently—That. I think of it most often as Awareness, but I also like to call it Brahman, Atman, and saccidānanda (Joy of Conscious Being). Eckhart Tolle mentions saccidānanda in a talk I recently watched. That pleased me so much, because it made me feel like I'm on the right track, the "pathless path."

Fi ("fee")

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 1:23 am
by smiileyjen101
nice OP webby, and gorgeous poem Snow.
Loved the big wet kiss line - reminded me of a Thich Nhat Hanh quote - ...walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 5:00 pm
by Alicia
That's a really useful point and really well put. I can already feel the value in asking myself what I am as opposed to who I am. You're right that asking 'who' limits any enquiry within the idea of identity. Thanks for sharing this - I'm going to start asking myself tonight.

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:19 am
by Webwanderer
Along the lines of 'what' we are, I recently ran across and interesting, and even stunning, take on our True Nature. Of coarse we are all familiar with the reference that we are 'spirit' and/or 'consciousness', but over time these terms seem to lose some of their impact as clarifying and expansive pointers. They have become somewhat cliche. It's like they've simply become another identifier that has become difficult to get a clear feel for. Not for everyone certainly, but for many. Or maybe it just drifts that way over time.

In truth, there may be no escape from some form of identification, even as spirit, if for no other reason than to rescue us from lessor versions of self that unnecessarily bind us to our human conditioning. Anyway, I ran across a new verbiage that, I found, has power to free. I guess you could say I liked it, and thought it worth sharing for your consideration and comment.

At our Core, our Source Being, we are (I Am) Intelligent Energy.

I encourage you to sit with this for a few minutes, or maybe even a meditation, and consider the depth of such a revelation. I like how it takes the 'substance' out of the equation of being and leaves the Essence. Energy is creative. Intelligence is directive. It's how we have the power and ability to create experience. And that experience helps us evolve and grow.

Consider also how energy imbued with intelligence becomes self aware - to know itself through exploration of creativity. And I also like how this fits so harmoniously with a previous consideration I've held of us all being Unique Perspectives within the Infinite Oneness of Source.

Enjoy.

WW

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:19 am
by smiileyjen101
Harking back to an old, old, topic Being Human and this thread, this article has me giggling :D https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ob ... vOAE9Ve4Z4

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:18 am
by Webwanderer
Yeah, the hippie generation and all that LSD, shrooms, pot, etc. It was certainly a watershed time. Just think, all those hippies are our age now. Makes me wonder about that guy in the mirror.

WW

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:27 am
by turiya

Re: Who or What?

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:19 pm
by Dcdc
Webwanderer wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:58 pm
In many of our discussions about the exploration of our true nature, it is a prime theme to consider the question of 'who am I'. If I'm not who I think I am, who I've always believed myself to be, then who am I really? I have suggested before that the better question is 'what am I?, because it tends to filter out identitification in favor of underlying substance.' So, I was feeling my way through this distinction and had a bit of an insight that I wish to share.

The question of 'who am I' is a mind centered identity question reaching for a logical and mental solution for another possibly higher Identity. It is a 'who' reaching for another, larger 'Who'. But it is still an identity oriented question and is not what we truly seek.

On the other hand, seeking a sense of 'what' I am, is less of a mental construct than it is a feeling one. At least it more readily leans that way if we focus on what the question feels like over adopting some new definition of terms as it relates to identity. 'What' leads one to an entirely different context than a simple change in identification. It leads more to a direct sense of larger being than a new mental identity construct. It leads to a change in perspective that can help organize all the other elements of our life experience.

WW
I agree. :- )