Do you ever ask who am I? We all have. But what are your answers? Now, I don’t know you personally, but I’m going to guess that you answered that question based on what’s most prevalent in your life right now. Did you say things like “I am a parent”, “I am a spouse”, “I am an entrepreneur”, “I am a student”, “I am a good friend”, “I am a woman”, “I am a man”, “I am a human” etc. You get the point.
Now those are great answers, but they are all temporary. Think about your life to date and how many different hats you’ve worn. Just thinking about my life (and no, I won’t say how old I am), I was a child, a sibling, a student, a friend, a learner, an employee, a boyfriend, a husband, a father, an entrepreneur and more. And as continue through my life, I will wear more hats.
But I am not any of those things. If I was, then wouldn’t it be permanent? But none of it is. Not even being human is permanent. We all eventually die. And when you die, all the hats go with it. But then you can argue that we’re constantly evolving. But again, what happens when we die. I know, this idea is scary. We like to define ourselves in order to bring order into our lives. Otherwise we will have a serious identity crisis on our hands.
Probably more than anyone else, mothers understand this best. When they give birth, they suddenly have a completely dependent person to take care of. And this goes on for years, especially if they have more than one child. And then one day, their children grow up and they are not dependent on their mothers anymore. But a woman has been a mother for so long and have defined herself that way (because it’s become such an important part of their lives), for so long, that they don’t know who they are anymore. They literally ask, if I’m not longer depended on as a mother, then who am I?
Entrepreneurs who have built a business from the ground up feel very similar when they have to stop being an entrepreneur (for whatever reason). They who am I, without my business?
People who have worked their entire lives feel the same way when they retire.
But then if we’re not any of these things, then who are you really?
To quote Chardin
I believe the philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said it best, when he said:
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
In other words, there is a non-physical part of you that was here before your physical body was focused into this physical world, and that will be here after your physical body leaves the physical world. It is most commonly known as the soul. But others call it your inner being, higher self, true essence, spirit, consciousness and more.
This part of us (who we really are), is eternal. Meaning it was never born and it never dies. A hard concept to understand with our understanding of linear time. But as anyone who has studied physics know, time is not as we know it.
The Illusion of time
Albert Einstein, in his theory of relativity, identified the idea of time dilation. Simply said, time is not a universal construct that applies equally to everyone. Time actually slows down the faster something moves (not the perception of time, but actual time). As identified in this great article summarizing the theory of relativity in relation to time,
“It doesn’t matter how much our lives are governed by the same seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks, regardless of where we live on the globe, time will never be absolute. The rate at which it passes depends entirely on your speed and acceleration at any given moment.”
From an anecdotal perspective, there are countless cases of people experiencing timelessness or the idea of an eternal now in many different mind-altering states including near death experiences, meditation and being under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. To get a sense, check out this article from Psychology Today.
In other words, you have to suspend this idea of time to understand this idea of who we really are.
But let’s take a step further. This concept was borrowed from the book Conversations with God and has both spiritual and practical implications as well.
Imagine the smallest particle in the universe. As small as your imagination can go. Now take this particle and cut it in half. What do you have? Two smaller halves. Now, cut that in half. And again and again.
In other words, it never ends. It’s infinite. Matter (because these are the building blocks of matter) can never be destroyed. It can only change form. You are no different. Sure, your physical body will die, but your essence or energy (the building blocks of matter) never dies. It just changes form.
But this concept carries with it another huge implication. Not only can your soul, or essence never die. It’s also part of everything else, because at the subatomic level, this infinite energy is all the same.
Why does this matter? It matters because not only are you one with everything and everyone else in the physical world, you are one with the energy that created this world in the first place. Call it God or the big bang or whatever you like, but you are that source of energy (or consciousness) that runs through everything in the physical and non-physical world.
And to take it one step further, what is the primary intent of this energy? Creation. This energy has, is and always will be shaped and molded into ever changing forms of creation. And so, doesn’t it stand to reason that who you really are is creation itself, manifested into physical form and therefore not only creation, but the creator as well?
That is who you really are. You are the energy that creates worlds, enjoying a physical experience. And when this physical experience ends, you continue to be the energy that creates worlds. And if you decide to re-enter the physical world as a different form, you are still the energy that creates world. You are always and forever the energy that creates world. You are forever the ultimate creator.
And what does that mean? That you have the ability to shape and mold energy any which way you desire. Now how you do that is a conversation for another day, but for now it’s enough to know who you really are and to wear that hat everywhere you go. Just this knowledge alone will go a long way to helping you create whatever you desire in this physical world.
The next time you ask Who am I? Remember this post and realize you’re much more than any hat you wear.
That’s it for today. I would love to get your thoughts on this concept. Please leave a comment below, sharing your thoughts.