Who am I?
We are so conditioned to live within our identity—who we are, who our ancestors were, what is our lineage, where do we come from, what religious denomination do we belong to...
Why is it so important?
When we talk of identity, we refer to the physical, mental and emotional selves, and not the spiritual self. While the former three are transient in nature, it is the spiritual self that is a constant—it was never born, and it will never die.
Look at nature. It does not have familial bonds and, therefore, it is perfect. The Jarawa tribes in the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal haven’t had contact with the outside world for 15,000 years. People belonging to these tribes do not have familial bonds. All the babies born in the tribes belong to everybody. The island is their common property, and there is no sense of possessiveness either about people or land. It is an absolutely perfect society. The place resonates with peace and happiness, fun and laughter.
Not just we ourselves, but even other people relate to us on the basis of our identity. What really is that identity? And how does it matter? Where does it get us in the end? It is all but in the mind. Can we remember the last time we felt peace and happiness with our great identity?
Let us look at the reverse. What disturbs our peace? Our peace is disturbed when our identity is threatened. If we have no identity that can be threatened, we are at peace. The very people who we build our identity around—friends, family and relatives—are perhaps the same people who shake and disturb that identity the most. So it is better to have no identity. Being a nobody, we can be everybody!
That brings us to the point that we are all neutral. The mind will tell us that we are better than somebody else; the emotional self will tell us that we are deeper than somebody else; the physical self will tell us we are better-looking than someone else. It is the spirit self that will tell us that the matrix is one: we are all the same; we are all one. It is the oneness that is our true identity. The moment we have a separate identity or a sense of individuality, we distance ourselves from the oneness. And that leads to a sense of insecurity.