Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Who Am I?” What comes up when you do ask that question? I imagine that most of us start with labels or descriptions of our life. For example, I could say, “I'm a 5’8” Asian-American therapist that weighs 155 pounds. I was born in Mountain View, California but now live in New York City.” But would that encompass who I am in any meaningful way?
I don’t think so. In fact, I think that description is mostly worthless because it says nothing about what is going on in my subjective everyday consciousness. So maybe we’re our thoughts and feelings? That would better describe our inner, subjective experience. But have you really examined your thoughts before?
I had a thought just no that I’d like to eat some dumplings. Does that say something about who I am? And where did those thoughts come from? The words used to describe my need for dumplings came from language. And language is something I was taught. But where did the desire come from? And for that matter who is writing these words on this computer screen? I had no outline or even plan for what I was going to write today. Yet somehow, deep in my unconscious, I’ve gathered the language to write several hundred (somewhat) sensical words. What exactly is happening here? As I type this now, I don’t necessarily even feel in control. I don’t feel like “I am” writing. It can almost feel as if I’m receiving diction from some miraculous place.
I wouldn’t blame if you thought I had descended a bit into madness ha. To some, I think this inquiry is nonsensical. But whenever I go down this line of inquiry internal, I am struck by how important it is to me. How can I go forward, how can I know anything if I don’t even know where I draw my living thoughts from?
I am a mystery even to myself. We as a species may know so much of the objective experience of the world, but the subjective, internal experience of human beings, of ourselves, is still imbued with the unknown. And from this inner, subjective world comes all our thoughts, feeling, terrors and inspirations, our creativity, our hopes and aspirations as well as our cruelty and evil. And I can’t but help but feeling how few us really pay attention to our subjective experience and really are aware of it, moment to moment. But in my experience, it is the site of all that is spiritual and meaningful in human being. And if we can be in touch with our inner experience, we can better able to encounter the outer world anew and with fresh eyes. It is here where we must reside. It is here that we can find the holiness of the mundane.