Excerpt About Who Am I

Investigating Our Beliefs About Our Identity

You may have had an experience in the past and felt, “That’s me.” Maybe you were right, maybe not. Even if it’s true that you recognized yourself then, perhaps now you have a different self. We want to know what you experience now. We want to be right here, right at this moment. Let’s investigate our beliefs, rather than taking them for granted. When you have experienced what you perceive as your true self, it’s not unusual to think, “I’ve experienced myself and that’s it, now I’ll be happy forever after.” Well, maybe, but we want to know right now. Can you answer the question definitely, you yourself at this very moment, when you say, “Who am I?” One thing that can help our investigation is to connect the feeling of “I,” the feeling of self, to what is called “identity” or “identification.” Finding out who you are is essentially finding your identity. You can see the connection between identity and identification, if you look at your experience of any moment, and see that at that very moment you are identifying with something, you’re taking yourself to be something in particular. You might not be consciously aware of what you are taking yourself to be, but at any moment you are taking yourself to be something, or someone. So we want to investigate what or who you are taking yourself to be at each moment and question it. Is that really who you are? At each moment there is an identification, there is, in a sense, a feeling of self: “I am watching,” or “I am sitting.” When you say “I,” that “I” is attached to something. Is what you’re attaching the “I” to really you?

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