NOTE: I originally wrote this piece in September, 2005.
The question of “who am I” is one of the most profound and persistent issues that we face, and must answer each moment and day of our lives. And guess what… we can go the bulk of a lifetime without ever addressing it. Essentially, we are told “who we are” from first breath, and others will continue to attempt to tell us “who we are” throughout our lives, until the last. Said attempts will often be made by people who, essentially, don’t know “who they are”. However, we will, of necessity and I suspect, by design, believe whatever we are told. That is, in the beginning. The question is how long will we live under that spell, and what does that way of seeing and being, do for us experientially?
So who am I? Who are you?
While it is correct to say that we’re human beings, we tend to not appreciate what that means. Or perhaps another way of putting it is that the meaning we give to the idea of being human is not generally sufficient as to allow us to activate, demonstrate, and exercise that which would be more consistently beneficial. Instead, we parse ourselves into ever smaller ideological “compartments” — of “races”, language, culture, nationality, region, city, town, neighborhood, economic and educational status, family, even ranking among siblings. By defining ourselves in this way, we tend to cut off and reduce possibility after possibility, until we think we’ve got a handle on What IS. However, when we find that What IS doesn’t exactly work for us, we often have no clue that it can be changed, or how. Yet, until we know that we can change, the ongoing change that we naturally experience throughout our lives will seem as though it were “the same” to us.
Demographically speaking, I am an example of Homo sapiens, an American male, born in Chicago, Illinois in November, 1951, of “Negroid” parents. In today’s terms, that would make me a “Baby Boomer” American citizen who is “of African American descent,” a Scorpio born in the year of the Rabbit according to Chinese Astrology. I grew up in a “broken home”, was raised by my mother and grandmother, and attended, but dropped out of college (University of Illinois). After living much of my life in California, I now live in Arizona.
This briefest of thumbnail sketches will lead many readers to form opinions about me and what I may have to say, which is okay by me. This is how each forms opinions about themselves as well… oftentimes these opinions go unchallenged, and unchanged.
Who I am; indeed, what I am, is a living, intelligent “unit” of energy; a spiritual being expressing through a human form. I am one who lives… who exists both in and beyond time. Beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes — both positive and negative — influence my words and actions to create my relationships and life experiences. I am the only one on this planet who will spend every moment of my life with me. Unwittingly, I have been my own worst enemy. I am now my best friend.
I existed before my body’s first breath, and will continue to exist after the last, for life — which I am — has no real antithesis… only that which appears to be. Love — which formed me — has no real antithesis, only that which appears to be. It is not hatred, but fear. God — of which I am an expression — has no real antithesis, only that which is believed to be.
In our beliefs we create that which appears to be real… even the idea of death. Our life experiences then reflect, very convincingly, these beliefs. We humans are that good, and powerful at what we do.
Perhaps you’re saying that you’re Presbyterian or Republican, and these are not your beliefs… or that you’re “working your way to being spiritual.” Perhaps you take exception to my expressing such an authoritative opinion concerning who you are. It’s okay. You’re free to disagree.
Like many, I have grappled with the question of God, who or what It is, and the nature of our relationship. I now see myself as God expressing as “Me,” and you as God expressing as “You.” It doesn’t matter (to me) if you see yourself or me in this way. You are using the same tools of experiential creation within this reality, this space/time continuum, as I am — beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes, both positive and negative. It’s all part and parcel of being human. All of these are changeable for you and me. That’s all part and parcel of being human too.
For much of my life, my conception of human beingness has been, shall we say, grossly under appreciated. My conception has been the commonly held perception of what humanity is, i.e., flesh and bone, “of sin,” alone, weak, vulnerable, disconnected from a very emotionally insecure God, and of questionable longevity in the Grander Scheme of things.
In these entries, I intend to explore these questions, filling in the answers that work for me now. That which rings “true” to you, will be for you too. The waters of possibility are buoyant and vast. I am okay. We are okay.