Enlightenment and Who Am I?
By Wallace Huey
Research studies at Warwick University in the UK suggest that higher animals have a primitive sense of self and decision making. The same research study also shows such self consciousness falls well short of the complex and sophisticated self awareness displayed by human beings, young and old. That’s because, unlike animals, human self awareness has one over-riding grand destiny - to blossom as enlightenment.
Throughout the ages, sages and masters have offered one question, above all others, to assist with this quest - that question is Who Am I?
Why is this such a potent question? There are two reasons…
It goes to the heart of what it means to be human.
It calls our identity into question.
Humans are the only animals with a self-created identity
Today I was looking amusingly at a card of the Muppets. I was fascinated with all the individual identities, a unique one for each Muppet displayed on the cover of the card. These distinct identities, inspired by the variety of human beings, were so distinct, that each identity could nearly pass as a distinct species.
You see each human being is on a unique quest to find their spiritual home. And each person’s quest gives rise to that person’s unique self expression. And this uniqueness is to be celebrated. This uniqueness reflects the variety of the quest and of the spiritual longing within each person.
So what is the purpose? What is the goal? Why this destiny?
In the early stages of the spiritual search, after the birth of self conscious decision making, these questions begin to occupy the person’s mind, but not necessarily their heart. Such questions are the life force supporting professions like psychotherapy, psychology and life coaching. The shortest journey for each human being, and the most challenging, is the journey from the mind to the heart. From the ego to the True Self.
This is the stage of life, for those that reach it, where letting go of the past and setting and reaching of goals is of prime importance. The human search for meaning, the will to action, the drive to succeed can, and in some cases does, become all consuming. This is the drive to understand, to build, to form and to shape ones self and the physical world. This is the drive to discover who I am and to make a difference. This is where the spiritual search begins in earnest. This is the drive that builds human civilisation, with all its variety ranging from magnificent to tragic!
- I am an influencer.
- I am a mother.
- I am a drug dealer!
and then for those who fall off the wagon…
- I am a loser.
- I am a nobody.
- I am a failure.
Win or lose its all I am …………..(fill in the blank).
So where does enlightenment come into play?
Enlightenment is I AM. No branding.
So by asking, living with and exploring this question - Who am I? - we get to uncover all the many layers of ego identity that run deep into each person’s psyche. Then as each layer is uncovered, a deeper identity is revealed. The driven businessman morphs into the loving husband, morphs into the devoted father, roles and responsibilities he may have previously neglected. And with it a new expanded sense of identity. Until the final layers of identity are let go and the person experiences a spiritual awakening and then enlightenment into the boundless I AM.
As the person’s sense of identity expands so too does the circle of his love. Whereas his love before awakening, may have been centered around himself, his family and for a few of his community, now his love has become boundless - without limit.
Wheres before he cried for his own personal tragedies, now he cries for the tragedy that is humanity when not at its best.
Whereas before he loved his family, now - in a very real sense - the world and all it contains is his family.
Believe me - when humanity falls short and the world is in distress, so too are the enlightened. And when the world celebrates, there in the background, cheering us on, are the enlightened.
So - Who am I? ……………… (You choose.)
Further your understanding...
The True Self Loves Presence (Companion article to The Ego Loves a Challenge)
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