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WHO AM I? GOD & BEYOND

Who
Who

It is said that by the year 2050, we will be able to download our mind into a machine, and artificial intelligence, in turn, will be able to compute all that the mind accomplishes. Then what is it that separates us from artificial intelligence displayed by machines? It is that spiritual energy that makes our mind aware and conscious of who we are to discover the ultimate nature of our reality.

Go within yourself; observe and explore to understand and experience the nature of your true Self and realize whatever you seek. You will fathom that you are just a part of that eternal universal aware energy that appears from nothing and disappears into nothing. The whole Universe connects us in unity and continuity, which science in Quantum Physics refers to as energy.

So, WHO AM I? One question – three words, yet so challenging to answer. From time immemorial, every curious human being, ranging from academics and scientists to philosophers and psychologists, has pondered the question, ‘Who am I? Am I the body and mind or something more?’ Yet, we have no concrete answer or scientific evidence concerning what I see before me in the mirror.

We all exist in this world without knowing the essential nature of our being. It may be easy to know ‘what’ you are from the crucial physical and mental characteristics one reveals, but observing that extract or the essence of ‘who you are’ is another topic.   

According to Indic philosophy, breath, and food sustains the body and mind. As long as the body and brain remain, both persist. What you eat affects your body and mind, and what you accumulate through information nourishes your memory. However, I am sure my physical and mental characteristics do not constitute my whole Self. They may be a part of what I am since I often keep claiming that body and mind belong to me and are simply mine.

One thing is also sure – ‘I Am’ is present in every thought I think, analyze, experience, and realize. It travels with my thoughts into the past, present, and future. It is because of me that my thoughts originate. So, how can I presume that the same thoughts I can see, read, observe, experience, alter, and command are the totality of me? They can be a part of me since my mind and body belong to me, but can they be the whole of me?

The above indicates that I am something beyond my sensory thoughts, limited to my five senses. They chatter randomly and remain restless until I command them to be silent. I often notice a deep, subtle voice within, telling me about my thoughts, especially when they wander. Therefore, who is this actual ‘I’? Is it my thoughts or the presence of some extract witnessing my thoughts? 

I agree the mind may be the essence of what I am, and thoughts are the media through which it expresses and determines. However, I will never allege that “I am body, nor mind,” but will always assert and say, ‘my body or my mind.’ Because both the body and mind belong to me, I am more than the mind, but again, the question arises: who am I?

Science and Spiritualism have made vigorous attempts to answer this question, but somehow and somewhere, they differ in their opinions. When it comes to pointing out its actual abstraction, it becomes challenging because there is no standard agreement for its proper definition and explanation. 

The reason is that the mind habitually accepts what is physical, measurable, and observable. It becomes challenging to convince the mind of any abstract reality that we are also subsumed under by impersonal aware energy called spirit besides the body and mind. Moreover, since I subconsciously give in to what my mind incessantly demands, I remain enslaved and bound to my mind.

I am exploited by my mind, which rules and navigates my life without my participation, despite being the captain of my body and psyche. This happens because the mind remains ignorant and unconscious about itself. The mind remains clueless about this until it acquires self-knowledge from the subject of Spiritualism, declaring you are a spiritual being going through human experiences.

Who

This spirit is vital to physical reality, which science cannot recognize. The words ‘to be, being, and becoming,’ although they are parts of the same existence, have subtle differences. To ‘be’ is that physical self, the presence of that being-ness is that core spirit, and the ‘becoming’ of something is the content in a totality of what you are, which reflects its presence from your consciousness.

If awakened to this knowing, a seeker begins to understand that the self, one knows from thoughts, emotions, and memories, fades with time; what remains is that spirit contained in the soul, which creates an aura of uniqueness through your consciousness.

The body and mind appear and disappear into the infinitude of the Universe. They may be temporarily authentic for the limited period they exist because what changes constantly cannot be taken as real. The ultimate reality is the spirit – non-changing, absolute, space-less, limitless, and timeless, the substratum of all, within which everything superimposes. Being is the force of energy of that individual spirit in awareness, and becoming is the field that radiates through consciousness spiritually.

Material becoming relates more to ego-consciousness, a temporary mechanical expansion, while the spiritual dimension imparts a certain evolvement and transformation from the force of its eternal aware energy. For this reason, we are considered spiritual beings going through the human experience. 

This awareness makes the mind conscious of becoming something – what you are or have evolved in the form of your consciousness. Therefore, the memory from your subconscious enables you to remember the temporary physical identity of that ‘thinking self’ consumed with a name and gender. Alternatively, the intensity of aware energy spontaneously without the help of memory or the intellect helps you to consciously qualify in the form of intelligence to know later all you learn from the subatomic to the stars.

Though these three components of life – body, mind, and spirit – are inherent and intrinsic to each other, being a part of the same indivisible absolute energy, they differ in their forms – gross, subtle, and core while they exist. We seriously need to ponder here the relationship between the subject in the form of spirit – ‘who I am,’ with the object – body and mind. Just as the object cannot be isolated from its subject, we cannot separate the spirit from the body, mind, and individualized soul.

In other words, the potential force of aware energy within any individual being is inherently creating its field of consciousness to become something through body and mind. From the subject arises that objective, being different forms of energy, maintaining an inseparable force/field relationship with each other, and yet remain in their distinctions. Hence, this being-ness or the abstract existent, which we call the spirit, is a part of the universal aware energy seated within our mind to kick-start its psychic operations. 

The mind is more of a central processing unit functioning within a network of neural pathways through neurons in an electromagnetic-chemical field, mainly comprising thoughts derived from various brain centers. These are waves of conscious kinetic energy vibrating in different frequencies. It characterizes the movements created by the potential force of aware energy, generating a field of consciousness for its master. Human beings are the only creatures who have this prerogative also to become mindful of the presence of their past awareness. 

The master of these thoughts is that observation, the witness or the presence, which enables the mind to become aware and conscious. Since most of us are not mindful of the presence of this master, none of us seem to know who we are. The real ‘I Am’ unconsciously escapes in most cases while we live in illusions, engulfed by chaos, misery, and suffering. It remains dormant or asleep as the master of your thoughts unless the mind is alert to self-observe, self-experience, and self-realize the same. Otherwise, the mind continues to function subconsciously in lower consciousness.

This state of aware energy determines ‘who you are,’ from which you can evaluate your mind, body, and the Universe. It triggers your aliveness, which is sustained by breath, expanded by food, evolved by the degree of consciousness, and transformed by elevating the standards of humanity in divinity for that divineness of who and what you are – “That Art Thou.”

Who

We observe every situation with awareness, becoming conscious of every moment, analyzing every factor with intellect, and discriminating between right and wrong through intelligence. I expand and evolve beyond the cognitive thoughts of ‘me and mine’ to become healthy, wealthy, and wise. I am composed of aware abstract energy subsumed in a body and mind; we give a name and identity.

Since most of us do not bother to know our actual Self as the spirit, we continue to exist, accepting and obeying unconsciously from the sub-conscious section, whatever the mind dictates, while functioning in auto mode through its memory and intellect. We remain in a vicious cycle of pleasure and pain, presuming the body and mind to be that actual self, which it is not. 

The presence of ‘I Am’ confirms my thoughts but remains aloof from space, time, and worldly objects. However, the moment I attach a separate name and identity to my false ‘thinking self,’ I enter into a mistaken persona called – ego. This altered awareness or ego goes on a roller coaster ride, where the mind separates the oneness of the spirit, relating and experiencing dualities of good and evil, positive/negative, etc., in opposites.

This unconscious thinking-self gets subconsciously attached to the body and mind, creating a temporary self-consciousness, which the mind presumes is the true Self, but it is not. Unconsciously, it merges with an illusory world of dichotomies, restlessly floating back and forth between happiness and sadness, right and wrong.

We should understand that this false ‘I Am’ is not coequal to the world but is only the source of our knowledge about this imaginary world. It is away from its actual reality, despite emerging from within the force of its altered field of consciousness, and unless checked, keeps revolving randomly in ego-consciousness.

The witnessing self or the soul represents the highest dimension of the mind, which also prevails within the realms of the mind within a limited space and time. It is that indirect subtle determinant, controller, and commander of the mind. It is the hub of that wheel on which the four spokes of the mind move in a restricted space and time, perceiving through sensory organs within its limitations of cause and effect.

The four spokes, as given by our scriptures, relate to intellectmemoryego, and consciousness. These are stabilized by the hub, meaning the actual self exists as the individual presence or being-ness we refer to as the soul with a certain degree of awareness. The hub of intuitive awareness is beyond the cognitive mind and remains still while the spokes of this wheel swirl and engage with the physical world. A spiritual aspirant, after awakening, becomes aware and conscious of this psychic wheel and synchronizes it as one unit. 

To know and understand the actual you, who is beyond perception and impersonal, you must first understand the nature of these four dimensions. Afterward, you must observe and witness them separately, focusing on your thoughts, speech, and actions. Your authentic self, the soul, will emerge as the primary source of manifestation through individual quality of awareness.

This centripetal force acting as the individual witnessing self can attract all three – body, mind, and soul – into one absolute unit. Initially, it witnesses through the cognitive mind. However, as the mind evolves and transforms, it is supposed to dissolve and merge in totality with awareness in pure consciousness. At this final stage, the seeker realizes they are no different from the sought; there is no seeking of the self since all that exists is eventually confined to a single unitary universal energy, the spirit comprising multiple interchangeable abilities.

Therefore, you are a part of the supreme ability of energy in the form of universal awareness covered in sheaths of physical and psychic energies, superintending and supervising through aware, conscious energy how the body and mind should expand and evolve. The state of your mind determines the ‘quality‘ of aware energy, and your consciousness is established by the ‘quantity’ of its awareness. How you expand and evolve through spiritual awareness determines the transformation of your true self.

In humans’ case, growth is not only in its being but in expansion, evolvement, and transformation from its being-ness. It is in that becoming something out of nothing permits humans to first become aware and then conscious of their reality.

The thinking mind is for the material world, and the intuitive, instinctive for the spiritual; both arise and retire in the mind. When both do not function in conformity, they wobble randomly without the stability of the hub. This is why most of us exist in an illusory state of self-deception. However, when all four spokes of your mind unite into one in totality, you experience the actual self.

The cosmic and cognitive minds are fundamentally aware and associate within the sphere of this aware energy. The cosmic mind causes the Universe to function in precision, and the latter plays in dualities, relating to things in opposites to experience what we call life. They exercise their respective minds in their style and manner, where the creator and its creation are none other than the presence of this indivisible unitary aware energy expressing diverse abilities.

It would not have been possible for the mind to discover any part of the Universe if it was not acquainted with such awareness. Hence, the highest faculty amongst all forms of energies is established to absolute awareness referred to by the sages as “Para Brahman.”

When atoms and molecules move randomly within the macro Universe or in the micro mind, there is entropy in destruction. However, there is creation when they are governed and regulated by this aware energy. This is how the cosmic and human minds have evolved. The Universe as the macrocosm and the human mind as the microcosm comprise aware energy from which the concept and nature of reality through perception is conceived. Therefore, without knowing such subjective experiences and their realization, one should not conclusively claim that salvation is realized only when we transcend the mind.

One cannot ignore the mind, the vital link between the cosmos and the Self, clearly revealing that the creator and the creation are one, not two. The Self can be realized only in awareness by the participation of all three – body, mind, and spirit – as one. The spirit is that ‘Transcendent’ residing within, which illuminates the mind to perceive, conceive, and conceptualize its potential Self, which we call God – “Tat Tvam Asi.” 

Who

Therefore, once you know and understand ‘who you are,’ you shall also know that there is no more spiritual knowing after that. You are a part of that God, a potentiality, the supreme energy, and the microcosm of that universal aware energy, which subsumes all that is to be known. It exists in this infinite, eternal space without beginning or end. Not knowing ‘who you are’ restricts the knower from knowing the known, which keeps you helter-skelter searching for God in temples and churches. The mind will always remain in flux from its uncertainty; it expands and evolves to become something we all inwardly aspire from our aware energy.

Therefore, ‘I Am’ is a part of that Universal Aware Energy, which comes and goes but leaves something behind in the minds of others for them to remember you, that individual Self when you are no longer there. 

We all have a role to play in life, and unless we comprehend the true nature of our existence, we will never be able to transcend all those psychic illusions to realize the truth that life wishes us to know. What I leave behind – good, bad, or ugly – please keep in mind is the essence of that flowering, the becoming of something out of that exclusive beingness. It allows me to endorse my unique signature, my individuality, while I am alive. I, while representing as a composite individual self, should make all effort to ponder deeply on this becoming, nurturing, and flowering to leave behind for others a particular fragrance, an eternal remembrance for now and forever.

  • Excerpts taken from the book ‘Spiritual Power – God And Beyond’ – by Gian Kumar

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