Some have even said that within the answer to this question lie the answers to all others.
If you haven’t sought to answer it, the world has probably attempted to answer it for you. But the only label that really matters is the one you give yourself.
Usually our label or identity speaks to the way our bodies look and the things it can do, or our minds – our personalities and ideas, and/or our relations to others.
In defining ourselves we rarely consider our spiritual identities. That's because it's just not practical. Or is it?
Unlike a body or mind-centered identity, which reinforces the idea of separateness and individuality, having a strong spiritual identity expands the notion of who we are.
Spirit has an ethereal quality that permeates the fibers from which the sense-based world is woven. It is the underlying essence of all that appears to be real.
Connecting with this makes us also feel more connected to each other and the rest of creation. It helps us to appreciate that some part of us is also a part of everything else.
Experiencing life through the lens of a spiritual identity helps us understand Ramana Maharshi, a spiritual luminary, when he said, “There are no others.” He is directing our attention away from our apparently separate existences to point out that we are just different leaves on different branches of the same tree of life. True separateness is merely an illusion.
What does this mean in day-to-day life? There can be no loneliness, even in times of being alone. There are no true adversaries. There is only unity in diversity, a common ground from which we’ve grown and are sustained.
If you want a rational, Western explanation of the Self as spirit, I highly recommend Fritjof Capra’s classic, The Tao of Physics.
Or connect with some of your contemporaries to learn their thoughts and feelings on the matter. TED Conversations: The Age Old Question: “Who am I?”
So who are you?
I’d love to hear how you answer that question.
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BODY – MIND – SPIRIT