The famous enlightened master Ramana Maharshi teaches the pathway to enlightenment through self-inquiry and constantly asking the question, “Who am I?” Just ask yourself, “Who am I? Who sees when I see? Who hears when I hear? Who knows that I am aware? Who am I?”
Who Am I?
Is your name, its letters and sounds, you?
Or is it just a label? It’s not you. If you changed your name, would you still be you?
Are you your body?
If your body changes, if you lose a limb, you would still be you.
Is your mind you?
If yours thoughts change or your beliefs alter or the mind you have goes quiet in meditation, you’d still be here. The thought processes are not you. Who is it that’s noticing the thoughts?
The “I am” that I am is the same beingness that existed when you were five years old. Various qualities and characteristics about you may have changed since, certainly, but the very core of the fact that you exist hasn’t changed.
When you fall asleep, you lose memory of your own existence, yet you obviously still exist. Poke the body and it’ll react. There’s a life force there driving the body even if the person is not conscious of it and has no memory. Same thing as when they’re in a coma.
Kill the body and the life force changes form, but the energy isn’t actually destroyed. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, only changed forms. Like water turning to steam or back again.
Keep following the question “Who am I?” back farther and farther and you’ll find there is no personalized you.
There is no “I” to ask the question.
You are a localized awareness, a field of energy, presence, beingness. Pure existence. I am. I exist.
Like a drop in the ocean, you are the drop and the entirety of the ocean itself.
Your “soul” is nothing more than an individuation of Divinity, an atom that makes up Allness, yet the very substance of Allness itself.
I am something, but what is that thing? I am not a “thing.” I am simply awareness, but awareness is not a thing. So I am obviously something, awareness, but I am no-thing.
At your very core, there is no doer. There is only an awareness which exists.
This beingness is prior even to Love. It is pure existence.
Now, awareness can become aware of itself. It can realize it exists. This is called Self-realization. This is not just “I am” (I exist), but “I am that I am” (I am aware that I am aware, I am aware of my own existence.)
On top of beingness, doingness arises. Beingness is the foundation which allows for doingness to happen.
Like the movie screen which allows for a movie to be projected onto it, yet is not affected by the images on the screen.
This presence is the same screen that is aware of yet unaffected by the parade of form of life.
“Enlightenment is nothing more then the deepest possible understanding that there is no individual doer of any actions.”
This is true. There is no personalized doer.
You are not the doer. You simply ARE. There is something else which is doing the doing.
You are an infinite non-local presence which appears local, in the here and now. You’re like a video camera which is looking out at the world but is unaffected by what it sees and has no judgment of what it sees. You are pure consciousness.
On top of your beingness, there are two possible “doers” that are the Source for action.
* The human ego.
When the body is being driven by the mind, its thoughts and beliefs, urges, desires, habits, and past programming, your awareness is becoming aware of egoic creations. The body you have is being pulled completely by the ego and its lower wants. You are not the one choosing all this because the ego is not you. It’s all literally programming, like a computer. Artificial intelligence is not actual intelligence despite outer appearances.
* Your Higher Self.
Your actions can be guided by your intuition, gut feeling, inner knowingness, God’s will, spiritual will, or higher purpose.
When connected to this source, you are connected to the very source of life itself.
“That which supports life is SUPPORTED by life.”
The ego supports death, destruction, and suffering. Follow the ego fully and you will find that it is literally like cancer. It will destroy YOU (its host, the body and mind) in an effort to be right and solidify its own existence.
In fact, cancer is a perfect example of what the ego would look like in physical manifestation.
It is like a parasitic being eating away at its own host believing that it is getting better and stronger, yet not consciously aware enough to realize that by eating away at its host, it is actually leading up to its own death.
The bodies we have are like puppets. Meat puppets.
They are guided by one of two sources: the ego/mind or the energy or Love, the personal will or the spiritual will, carnal desires or intuitive knowingness.
In Christianity, they refer to choosing spiritual will as putting on your Christ mind. To “sin” means to “miss the mark” by choose from the personal ego-based will. The “mark” to aim for is your “Christ mind” or enlightened Self.
This was the true original meaning of Jesus’ teachings.
It’s simply about choosing to come from a higher place, abiding in a higher level of consciousness, be BE the living Truth that you represent.
This is NOT a philosophy. This is not a belief system. This is not a mental box that the mind can be happy with by saying, “I am the infinite awareness. There is no me. I am Allness. Cool. Got it.” The mind would be very happy making a box and putting some label such as “God” on it and stepping inside that box to say, “I know who I am. I feel happy and secure now.”
No, these Truths are not a mental understanding. They MUST be a personalized experience. A mental understanding WILL NOT suffice.
So I encourage you to ask the question, “Who am I?” and continue to ask yourself this question until you realize the answer for yourself. Find out for yourself if you come to the same conclusion or a different one.
If you feel you know the answer, “Who is it that knows who I am?”
If you feel frustrated, “Who is feeling frustrated?”
Who am I?
Who am I?
Who am I?