Who Am I?
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Who Am I?When change is the name of the game.
Consider how many bodies you’ve occupied since birth. Who is the I that continues to leave one body behind and then enter another? You know for certain that you—the person that you call I, the one attempting to figure out who you are—started out in a little baby body weighing somewhere between five and ten pounds. The I that is you fully entered and occupied that little baby body. Gradually you began to discard that baby body and move into a small toddler body that crawled, then walked, then ran, and took on an entirely new appearance. Your two-year-old self would find it difficult to recognize the baby body that you’d now completely abandoned. You lived in this toddler body for a while and then discarded it, too, including every cell that was in your body at birth. The subsequent body you entered was a prepubescent body that bore a similarity to your toddler body but was completely different.
The I in the question still hasn’t been discovered, but it’s become absolutely clear that you are obviously not your body. Why? Because the I has remained, though it continuously sheds the body that it occupies. This strange phenomenon of you being an I that continuously enters, discards, and reenters a new body has proceeded right up until this very moment.
I am currently in a 70-year-old body that’s nothing like the body I occupied 50 years ago. I remember well what that 20-year-old body I occupied looked like, what it could do, and what it knew and didn’t know, but I can’t find it anywhere—it’s simply an illusion. It is gone from this physical world, as is every body that both you and I have occupied in our lifetime. The I that I use to describe myself is not so obsessed that he insists upon staying only in one body. In fact, that I that is me finally recognizes the ancient spiritual truth spoken by Divine masters since antiquity: None of us are really doing anything, rather we (our bodies) are merely being done.
What is your body being done by? An invisible organizing intelligence that takes the cells of your body, changes them into new cells, and discards the old cells. The I that you think you are observes the entire process—for the most part, helplessly. The physical body that you think of as you is rearranged in a pattern designed by a formless intelligence independent of your opinions. This I that you use to describe yourself isn’t the physical form that you occupy and take with you everywhere. Quantum physics states that the body you’re occupying, which is reading this paragraph right now, is completely different from the body you were in when you read the previous paragraph. Such is the nature of the physical world in which we all live.
The ancient philosopher Heraclitus put it this way several thousand years ago, and it is true today: “All things are in motion and nothing is at rest. . . . You cannot go into the same [river] twice.” A river is a constantly changing phenomenon, as is a tree, a mountain, a goat, a human, and the physical universe including Earth. That which defines a thing, therefore, is not physical in nature; it is metaphysical. When asked “What is real?” an ancient spiritual avatar responded without hesitation, “That is real which never changes.” And since your body is in a continuous state of change, it is not real.
If you try to find that toddler body you once occupied, you realize that it is not real, since it no longer exists. Even while you were in it years ago, you couldn’t call it real, because the moment you pinpointed and defined it as real, it would be something else, something new. What you’re calling real would already have disappeared. Still, you know with all of this change taking place that there is a changeless component to who you are. The I in that toddler body hasn’t changed, it is in the body that you currently occupy. The I is your higher self, changeless and real. This higher self is who you are. When you make this discovery and consciously befriend the I you are, nothing is impossible.
You have a self that can look down from a more exalted position upon that lower, ego-dominated self. So begin to know yourself as something far greater than the ever-changing, ever-dying aspects that have dominated your picture of who you are. Who am I? is then answered with, I am an infinite being who originated not from my parents, but from a Source that is itself birthless, deathless, and changeless.