Who am I? It’s such a basic question. Yet how often to do you think about it? In my youth, I was obsessed with this question until I discovered the answer. Since then I have been raising awareness in others so that they might also find an answer. Without knowing the answer to the question, “Who am I?”, how can you really know anything else? In the absence of an answer, life becomes a meaningless sequence of events and is often clouded by anxiety and worry, anguish and delusion.
On the other hand, knowing who you are is like taking off tinted glasses. Everything becomes clear; you see things as they truly are without emotion or judgment. There is great freedom and peace in that clarity and from it is revealed true purpose. Knowing who you are means you also know why you are alive and what you want to accomplish with the gift of your life.
Two very effective ways to take off your colored glasses are breathing and meditation. These two intertwined activities place you in the present moment, in which your awareness is heightened and expanded. Instead of being focused on the events around you and your thoughts and feelings about them, consciously breathing and meditating allow you to simply be and be aware of that being. You don’t need to refer to a textbook or ask other people about that being because it simply is. You just need to be aware of it by relaxing your mind into yourself.
As you do so, the information that defines your life—your name, your occupation, your history—falls away. Anything that is not permanent, that is not the real you, can fall away. But the real you cannot leave. You don’t need to worry about letting “everything” go because you will always be there. You are self-existent consciousness; you have always existed, and you will always exist. The only thing you are letting go of are your illusions: the many stories and manifestations we use to express ourselves, to live and learn. Beyond them is nothing; there is zero. Zero and nothing are not emptiness. Rather they are fundamental existence and life’s creative force. In fact, they are even beyond existence and non-existence, being and non-being. All life comes from zero.
When you’ve subtracted everything until you’re left with zero, you reach a neutral state: the real you. This “I” beyond the “I” of all of the information that makes up your ego is an observer that watches the rest of creation with clear eyes. From within a neutral state, the experience of zero is one of stability and joy, as well as fundamental bliss and fundamental love.
At the core, you are zero. But your value is not zero. It is infinite. Your value cannot change regardless of your appearance, your actions, or other’s opinions. You are a precious being who is the very essence of life itself.