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December 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm #140032tatsutsumeParticipant
Who are you? Ask this question to anyone on the street and you they most likely will give you their name or occupation depending on what they are doing at the time. In my communication lesson I am working on what is called “open questions” or questions that demand more than a yes or no answer. Many of us when we hear this respond quite the same way; with our names or what we do. Have you ever just sat down and asked yourself “Who am I?” Most of us will still try to rationalize this and break it down into the various things we do. For instance “I play guitar. I do Tai Chi and Karate. I am a Swordsman. I am a Draftsman. I am a Father and Husband. I am a Teacher, in ways.” Yes I am all these things but saying that is like saying “I am angry, I am hungry, I am sick or I am tired.” I may be and do all those things in my life, but I am not constantly a Swordsman or Draftsman or Father or Husband, sometimes I am just a friend to my family, some one who listens and sympathizes with them when they hurt and rejoices with them when they succeed. I am only a Draftsman or Swordsman when I am doing those things. Just like I am only hungry when I haven’t eaten in a while or sick because of my body adjusting to the weather. But who am I? Look past all the things in your life to the very core of your being, what has made you do the things in life you do. In fact, just completely strip them away until you are faced with just your true self. Are you just all these things that you do and nothing more, or are you more that those things-unfathomable and unknowable. This is put in meditation because it is something to meditate on, something your mind must be clear for so you can see it with out warped or twisted perceptions. I ask this so that you can truly be able to trust yourself, for how can you trust yourself if you do not know who you are?December 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm #156891Tai-DaParticipant
There is two replies I would respond to this question however it depends on how I am asked.
If someone asked me “Who are you?” The best respond to this is human. Like you said we are not constantly a swordsman or a buisnessman or whatever you are. However we are always human.
Also If I was asked “what are you?” which is on the same lines I would respond awake. This is because in order to answer the question I must be awake.December 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm #156892StryseParticipant
Its a poor question to begin with. The only correct answer (for me) is “I am Stryse.” What does it mean to be Stryse? That’s a little better of a question. It forces me to go into more depth to provide an answer. Which of course is the point of the meditation excercise proposed in this thread.
“Who Are You?” rarely is a precise enough question to get the type of answer you are really seeking, assuming you want more than just a simple name to call them by.
Open-ended questions are but one step in the greater journey of precision questioning.December 4, 2010 at 2:36 am #156895Kol DrakeModerator
The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once dreamt that he was a butterfly fluttering here and there. In the dream he had no awareness of his individuality as a person. He was only a butterfly. Suddenly, he awoke and found himself laying there, a person once again. But then he thought to himself, “Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?”
“Who am I?”Quote:Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.
— The Matrix (1999)
In the Matrix physical reality is merely an illusion, and when one realizes this so deeply that it becomes obvious and second nature, then one can reform reality however you want.
In fact, the only reality is our perception of it, and we can choose to see it any way we wish and project that back out to others. Essentially we have free reign to shape and change reality (and ourselves) in any way that we so desire. The only thing stopping us is our previous experience of reality holds us back from believing that it can be real, even if we try. This is coupled with another quote in the movie “free your mind”. We ‘define’ ourselves by our own thoughts and actions. We are also ‘defined’ by the thoughts and actions of those around us. We wade through a sea of reality creation and consensus. How do we peel the layers of masks and labels to get to ‘who we are’?Quote:Two monks argued about a temple flag waving in the breeze.
One said, “It is the flag that moves.” The other said, “It is the breeze moving.”
Just then, Hui-neng appeared saying, “Not the flag; not the wind; it is the mind that moves.”
— Zen parable
Not that far off from our ‘spoon’, no?
Zenists often say, “The universe is void or empty.” However, in this context void does not mean a vacuum and empty does not mean nothing. Rather, the universe is filled with buddha-mind or buddha-nature.
Mind and nature are words that point to a universal reality that is dynamic and moves in relationship mode – never independently. All elements in the universe are aspects of that which is greater than they are.Quote:“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
— Obi Won Kenobi, SW IV
And, being one with the Force, we understand we are an aspect of the wholistic and universal relationship of all that was and is, and contains all that will be. The wind, a flag, a spoon — all exists as we exist, but only as aspects of that which is greater. And, that which is greater exists within us — the Force within and the Force ‘out there.’December 4, 2010 at 6:03 am #156898tatsutsumeParticipant
Precisely Kol Drake. When we examine ourselves deeply to see who we are we realize we are part of the wholeness of the universe and everything is in us and we are in everything. Individual yet the same.January 6, 2011 at 8:05 am #157237One-Winged AngelParticipantQuote:Who are you?
“I” is an illusion, created and maintained by the ego. Without the identification of the “I”, the ego ceases to be – and it so desperately wants to be. The illusion is in perceiving existence as a separation of “I” from “Not-I”, where “I am…” and “everything else is Not-I”.
There is no “I”, and therefore “Not-I” is not. There is only the Force, however you wish to call it.
Direct experience of this truth, rather than intellectual understanding of the concept, may lead one to Nirvana – Enlightenment.January 7, 2011 at 9:57 am #157254YingParticipant
I find this all extremely interesting, Ive only been on my Jedi path for 5 months now, and it is all getting a little confusing… letting go of my false reality, allowing the force to flow through me, stripping the limitations of myself, harmony and balance, totality and so forth… im not sure if im taking the path to quick, whether im thinking about it too much or just going about it the wrong way.January 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm #157255Brandel ValicoParticipant
Ahh Nirvana, Its always amused me that the concept of removing contridictory thought may let you obtain it. When the very concept of it is a contridctory thought itself. The concept that it can be obtained (Though they do teach not to seek it) Or that it is in fact even a seprate thing from the wheel of life. That in obtaining it you remove yourself from the wheel. Again creating this and that in concepts , here or there.
Nirvana is as much an illusion and a transatory concept in my mind as any other state is. Enlightenment is a brief flicker a knowing without knowing difficult to hang on to and hard to sustain. For myself it is the connection to the Force. (Call it what you will) A student may do so in flickers here and there an Adept learns to do so when they need to. A Knight begins to do so even when they don’t. A Master does so more often then not. In the tradition I was taught we accepted that this state of being was as transitory as all others. That the concept of obtaining it and removing yourself from the wheel was an illusion.
As for the original question.. Who am I?
Remove all the trappings and fluff the false concepts and images I hold myself to be. The answer is simple…. I become Daremo… Nothing,Nobody,None…. But doing so is to ignore the truth… I am all those things all the time. Once one becomes a father… They are always a father… A student…They are always a student… A Jedi…They are always a Jedi… To ignore or deny any part of it either good or bad. Is to deny the turht of what and who I am. It’s to create an illusion of my own making a false image to exist within. We need not strip away ourselves to be part of the whole.
Though all be honest if you approached me on the street and asked me. I’d probably just shrug smile and tell you to not waste your time with the question but simply to learn the answer if you want to, then wander off.January 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm #157256Anonymous
People sometimes glimpse at who they really are, then they loose it in all the rubbish the world throws at them, Its hard work separating yourself from outside influences and emotions but when you can actually see things as they are and not be clouded by emotions etc it can be a very liberating experience, knowing yourself is not all good you get to see the things you do not like about yourself very clearly, but then you have a better chance to change those things.January 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm #157261One-Winged AngelParticipantQuote:I find this all extremely interesting, Ive only been on my Jedi path for 5 months now, and it is all getting a little confusing… letting go of my false reality, allowing the force to flow through me, stripping the limitations of myself, harmony and balance, totality and so forth… im not sure if im taking the path to quick, whether im thinking about it too much or just going about it the wrong way.
Ahh, I remember my early days in the Jedi Community – which “officially started” some ten years ago or so – when everything was new and exciting, and a little overwhelming & intimidating. The “spiritual high” which came from looking at the world with brand-new eyes, and perceiving it differently than I ever had previously.
I welcome you to the Jedi path, and if you ever find yourself getting confused or overwhelmed by anything you come across in your studies or practice, feel free to ask someone for help in sorting things out. This path can get fairly confusing, regardless of how long you’ve been walking it.
Brandel: Your view on the concept of Nirvana is more than a fair one. The idea that it is, in fact, transitory and impermanent once attained is not one that I’ve considered in the past and, I must honestly say, your statement here has caused me to start looking at things a bit differently – not necessarily a “change in views”, but looking at them from a different perspective; not many people manage to twist my brain around in such a way, so bravo! :meditate
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