Who are you?

“The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you.”—Eckhart Tolle

Human beings are fundamentally gregarious creatures. We long to belong, almost above all else. Even if we identify as a so-called rebel or lone wolf, we belong to the group of non-conformists. We cannot escape this deep and ancient compulsion.

We are social creatures because no one is complete unto him or herself. We are individuals, yes, but we are each a part of the larger body of humankind. We may be individual human beings but we’re like islands in the ocean: if you go far enough down, you see that we are connected to one another in profound and inextricable ways. We are all members of the body of humanity, whether we like it or not, and as a result, we all matter, immensely.

If you spend any amount of time observing your fellows, you see quickly that people are generally desperate for identity. As I said, they are compelled to fit in and they do so through various—typically outer—patterns of identity. They band together, as Echkart Tolle noted above, in a wide variety of often nested patterns. Like Russian dolls, they layer their identities. I, according to this pattern, am a Westerner, educated, tall, married, heterosexual male, Gen X, white, male, U.S. citizen, pilot, soccer fan, falconer, polyglot, and serial entrepreneur, among other things.

The funny thing is, that for as much effort is put into the cultivation and maintenance of these patterns of identification (and we all have them, don’t we!?!), they having nothing to do with your or my true identity.

And you know it…or at least feel it. That’s why you keep searching for more, or perhaps, why you are suffering from an unshakeable sense of irrelevance. You long to belong, but in a real, true way. You desire something more than the the shallow patterns of identification, but where do you turn? Where do you find the reality of you?

To begin with, you are not what you have, neither are you your emotions or feelings. What you have may be an extension or magnification of an aspect of the true you, but to confuse your identity with what you have is like assuming you are the car and not the driver. Even your body, mind, and heart are fleeting possessions, not the reality of you.

Think about the identities you’ve assumed. They usually follow the statement: “I am…” Whether you were born into these patterns or acquired them in the course of living is beside the point. The fact that you—the real you—identifies these patterns as something outside of you should tell you something. They are not you, as enduring as they might be through the various chapters in the book of your life.

Take a moment and write these down. Head the list: “I am” and then enumerate your ego identifications. Some items may be more short-lived, but none shall go with you when you shed your mortal coil. Now ask yourself, who is losing the mortal coil, the “suits” and “costumes” you wore, as Leonard Cohen called them in his song, “Going Home”? Something else is…and that something is the real you, your true identity.

Many throughout history have attempted to become acquainted with their true identity by turning inwards, but this is impossible. The real you exists on a “higher” plane than the composite of earthly identifications you possess. The higher levels represent are finer, denser, and therefore impenetrable by the “lower” levels. This is why, incidentally, the mind can penetrate the body, but the body cannot penetrate the mind. It is “mind over matter,” as they say, for this very reason, and not matter over mind.

The lower vibratory patterns cannot penetrate the higher vibratory patterns. This also explains the story of the Tower of Babel, which is the recurring tale of the human attempt to climb out of “earth” into “heaven.” It simply cannot be done, not because something is being withheld from us, but because of the underlying physics and natural laws governing mind and matter. Remember this and you will see past many misconceptions about life and the universe and save yourself a lot of wasted effort: even omnipotent God cannot break the Laws of God, the Laws of Being. And this is one of them. The higher vibratory patterns can penetrate the lower, but not vice versa.

So, you cannot “pierce the veil” of you. You can no more look inward or upward and see yourself than you can look through your mind’s eye into the heavens or into the realm of spirit. Jesus tried numerous times to describe this to his disciples, using the terms “master” and “servant” as a bridge in their understanding to this fundamental law (e.g., John 13:16), but all but John the Beloved never really grasped the concept. The key to understanding who you are is found in this fundamental law of Being: the higher penetrated the lower, but not vice versa.

You cannot climb into an understanding of your true, inner identity through mental gymnastics, neither can you conjure up enlightenment through ritualistic practices like prayer, yoga, chanting, etc., as the world’s religions and spiritual practices have so vainly attempted since the fall in consciousness (which was primarily a fall in identity that was described allegorically as the “fall of man” or simply, “the Fall.”) These patterns are useful to the degree that they tend to clear the mental and emotional landscape of debris that would otherwise block the flow of Being that you are into the human that you have, but they backfire when they become wrote or repetitive and when the form of the exercise is mistaken for the spirit it is designed to unbind.

Your true identity can only be known as it is expressed radiantly “downward” and “outward” through you, into your field of circumstances and relationships. You do this as you let the highest and finest of which you are aware and capable be released from “above to below,” that is, from “heaven” into “earth.” You begin to know your true identity as you stop reacting to the world around you and start letting only the highest and finest of which you are presently capable be given form through your thoughts, words, and deeds. This is the gateway to letting “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,” as it was put so eloquently. The “Thy” in this case is the will of the Father, the pattern of will with which, incidentally, the real you is eternally and unwaveringly aligned.

You are not here to struggle, suffer, and cope with the world as it is become. Neither are you here to “get by” until your time is up. You are here to create, to reveal the greatness that comes to focus in the true you, to let the higher patterns permeate the lower, to let the “kingdom of heaven” which is “at hand” find expression through you into the daily interactions you are privileged to have while you have an earthly vehicle (i.e., a body, mind, and heart) that is designed for no other purpose than to translate or transmute spirit into form, that all might be uplifted.

There are no shortcuts to the experience of heaven on earth. That said, the more your sense of self ascends to its rightful place (i.e., above the common and timeworn ego identifications) the more spacious and gracious your experience will become. Struggle, pain, and suffering give way to joy, tranquility, and potency.

You begin to live on purpose. You begin to understand why you are here, now. You begin to live in a way that all are called to live. Lack and want are replaced by an overwhelming sense of abundance, love, and appreciation for what now is.

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