If you were not you, who would you like to be?
This is the topic for Indispire Edition #362. I don’t know on what premise the proposer poses this interesting topic for bloggers to express their views. But, from the wordings it is assumed that the author already assumes you are you. So, supposing you are not you what would you like to be?
First of all I would like to ask what makes you assume you are you? Let us go a bit deeper. Is there really something called you? Or, for that matter I. Even if it is there, have you found it out? Or, at least have you made any attempt to find it out? Because if you do not know what you are, how will you know what you are not?
The Russian spiritual master Gurdjieff used to say that inside you there are many Is. At a given point of time only one I dominates. The I that dominated in the morning is not there in the evening. That is how you promise something in the morning with all the earnestness but in the evening you discard it like a tree discarding its dead leaves. Your consciousness is like a house with many masters. Thus, as long as you are alive you do not know who you are. Hence you do not know who you are not.
Socrates used to say ‘Know thyself’. It was not a trivial statement. The whole concept of Yoga Vashishtha is based on how to get to the sate of ‘who am I’? Yoga Vashishtha is the ultimate book of adwaita vedanta. Just reading the book slowly from start to finish gives one the feeling of the state of non-dual consciousness. Shri Ramana Maharshi is said to have got enlightened contemplating repeatedly on ‘Who am I?’
Now coming to the mundane aspect of the indispire topic I think the proposer assumes that you are not satisfied with what station of life you have achieved or how your life has been till now. Because if you are satisfied with yourself or proud of yourself why would you even think of becoming someone else. The author also assumes that even though you tried to become the idealized person that you set out to be, now you are not capable of becoming one. Hence the craze to become someone else. If only wishes were horses.
East or west, philosophers say that the whole problem of humanity is because we want to BECOME. This craze for ‘becoming’ is the ultimate disease of humanity. Enlightened masters say, “That which you are supposed to become, perhaps, thou are already that”.
So, in order to find out if I am not I, what would I like to be, I am just making the knotty issue knottier. Hence, let me stop here without confusing the reader further.
4 thoughts on “how will you know what you are not?”
Even a nation of 1.3 billion people is unhappy with itself and wants to BECOME something else! What to say about individuals?
The post is about the Individual. What an individual feels does not necessarily is a reflection of what other individuals of the nation feel.
So even though it is out of context to talk about the nation in this blog post, let me say that I am not aware of what each of the 1.3 billions individuals are feeling. So why should I pretend to represent them?
There are precious takeaways from that amazingly philosophical take on the question. Fittingly, the first port of calling for such a quest has to be introspection, that very first stepping stones of philosophy. I wonder if it is our unrequited dreams and cherished goals that are at the heart of dissatisfaction from our current state of existence. It is important therefore to acknowledge one’s failures and frustrations as inalienable parts of one’s being, and therefore a key to the answer of Who Am I.
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The reality of our unrequitted dreams causing a feeling of being incomplete cannot be denied. That also is usually the starting point for self enquiry.
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