Good morning. I hope all is well with you. We are back to warm weather again so come sit on the glider with me for a while.
Yesterday in our book discussion we started reading the chapter “Finding Who You Truly Are” in Tolle’s book A New Earth. He starts out his first sentence
Gnothi Seauton-Know Thyself. These words were inscribed above the entrance to the temple of Apollo at Delphi, site of the sacred Oracle.
People have been searching forever for the answer “Who Am I?” I’ve been asking that question for most of my life. I haven’t been able to Know Myself, yet that is the most fundamental question, according to Tolle, of my life. He says “Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind.”
He suggests we ask the question: What are the things that upset and disturb us? If small things disturb us, then we are small. I’ve seen people who I think are reacting to small things all the time. I sense that their reactions are grossly overreactions. What comes to mind is the current trend the past few years of Road Rage. How easy is it to be offended by seeing someone else rage and becoming a rager ourselves? Who are we are that point?
Tolle says knowing ourselves is being ourselves when we cease to identify with the content of our lives. Whatever we perceive, experience, do, think, or feel is content. That’s a pretty heafty list of things not to identify with. That is when we are supposed to identify with the inner space of consciousness.
I always thought there was something wrong with me because it takes so much to set me off. Now maybe I’m beginning to think I have it more together than I thought I did. He says “How we react to people and situations, especially when challenges arise, is the best indicator of how deeply we know ourselves.” He continues, “When we realize that what we react to in others is also in us (and sometimes only in us) we begin to become aware of our own ego.
Part of the biggest obstacle I have had along my path is to accept what our minister suggests we say when someone does something that disturbs us. We often call other people names, as in “That woman is such a b&*^ch. Or, that guy is reallly an a&*”. We are then to say, “Just like me.” We have to own up to the fact that what others do to irritate us is what is inside ourselves.
That’s about as far as we got in our discussion today. There is more to this chapter. I wanted to revisit a poem I wrote several years ago.
Who I Am
How many times can a metamorphosis occur?
Change, constant change, evolving
Baby, child, daughter, pupil, student
and then teacher, wife, mother
and again ex-wife, single mother, teacher
The flow of life revolves around what I am
not who I am
Caught in an unrelenting stream carrying me forever forward
Who am I morphing so many times?
Where am I going?
Does retirement mean the start of death?
How can I continue to evolve?
Stay in the stream and not be washed ashore?
How can I continue to live, leave Death wait?
The need to continue to grow beats furiously within my heart
I wish to morph forever
Until at last I have grown my wings
And flown into eternity
Finally knowing who I am
When I first started this journey, I identified with what I was. That’s what about 99% of our population probably does. People identify with what they do. Especially in this recession when people lose their jobs, they lose the sense of who they are. It causes a lot of heartache and soul searching. People lose their identities. In a way, that’s what happened to me when I had to leave nursing. My entire identity was wrapped up into my being a nurse. It took some time for me to let go of that identity. It was, like has been said, “WHAT I was,” not WHO I was.
When I retired and wrote the above poem I was once again concentrating on WHAT I was. I had been a teacher or worked in the field of education for thirty years. I once more had to deal with “WHO I was.”.
Tolle once again brings up staying in the present moment. Our egos can only deal with that which is past or that which is future. It is NOT an easy thing to do. It takes constant practice. I hope someday I will be able to come much closer to that state. I’m at least beginning to realize when I am NOT in the present. Maybe there is still some hope then of finding out Who I am.
Have a good day. Is anybody out there? I’m having a lot of visitors but very few people are commenting yet. Am I making any sense?
Namaste. Attic Annie