Meditation on ‘Who Am I?’
I see a world before me of incomparable beauty and compassion, of dire suffering and brutality. I walk, fly, sail, march, struggle, and stomp along the road of life as a body and as a mind. All that I experience is merged in this ‘I’-- a location in consciousness with a name and a form-- an identity with a social insurance number, an address, an opinion, a role, a conviction, a conscience, imagination, aspiration, past and future. This is my description, and it is the description of every human being on earth (well….maybe not the social insurance number!)
Who describes me? Who is it that sees me fit myself into the myriad of shapes and sizes that I wear and cast aside? Who is it that surpasses the borders of time, contains infinite universes and galaxies in a single thought, and remains constant throughout the infinite waves of change that rise and fall?
These are the questions that I have come to include in assessing the totality of myself. I am the air in my breath, the earth in my body, the fire in my life force, the water in my blood. I am the Presence that permeates all ages and stages. I am the vulnerable in the invulnerable, the separation in the indivisible, one in the many and many in one. When I consider that I am all this, what identity defines me?
I make decisions for my life, my family, my country, and my planet in a finite individual package. At one tiny point in time and space, I appear to hold the delicate balance of creation and destruction in the palm of my hand. Where does my responsibility begin and end? What can I expect of myself in the context of this everyday world?
This is the age-old paradox. It is an explosive dance between the appearance that is and the non-appearance out of which it arises. I journey back. I enter the door to the interior landscape. From the ocean of consciousness, a wave of manifestation, a material formation emerges and keeps unfolding moment to moment. After some time, the outer call of the senses becomes tame; another door opens, and another and another. I pass through, one by one, and ultimately, the doors dissolve into soundless sound, breathless breath, thoughtless thought, to the mecca of existence and non-existence where I am known unto my Self.