Dr. Seuss says “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is Youer than You.” So I ask ‘Who Are You?’. . . What’s your answer? What laundry list of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs will you use to describe the Who that is You? The Japanese say you have three faces: the one you show the world, the one you show your close friends and family and the one you never show anyone. This last one is the truest reflection of who you truly are.
There’s a Zen koan and interrogative process that asks the question: ‘Who Are You?’ It’s asked and answered until there are no more answers. Ultimately the response of “I don’t know” or more accurately “Not knowing” comes to awareness. This awakening opens the participant to the realization that all the other descriptors are simply impermanent labels that are attached to them for controlling personality identification, false security and differentiation. It’s all an illusion.
At the bottom of this ever expanding and amazingly peaceful space is an emptiness that is so full its’ center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere. In fact, we live within It and It lives within us. Once this space is truly experienced, the participant is asked to give it a name so it can be accessed at will. The Abrahamic spiritual traditions call it Heaven while the Buddhist and Hindu traditions call it Nirvana and Tao. I call it ‘Bob.’ When this name arose, I laughed uncontrollably at the cosmic joke of this Boundless Base of Being. I’m still laughing.
A couple years ago our grandson and ‘Gma’ were playing hide and seek in the back part of our house which consisted of two bedrooms, a study, music room and two bathrooms. Each room had closets and doors that closed to the connecting hallway. It was a big space to cover for a four year old. He came to me in the living room where I was reading to tell me he couldn’t find ‘Gma’ and asked for advice. I told him to go stand in the hallway and listen for clues and if nothing came, to search the rooms one at a time. A few minutes later I heard him loudly yell out to his ‘Gma’ with enthusiasm, fear and frustration: “SHOW YOURSELF!” He was serious . . .
This event became significant for me as I began to explore and ponder the insight, wonder and wisdom of this directive. What selves are we willing show each other and how conscious are we of the ego and the Divine Self that live in us? How aware are we of ‘Bob,’ the Boundless Base of Being that lives and moves and has its’ Being in us and the whole of creation? How often do we get caught in unconscious thoughts and feelings that cause difficulty for us and others? What would it mean for us and the world if we really showed the Self we never show anyone including ourselves, the One we’ve forgotten? Do you know this Who that’s Truly You?
Marianne Williamson says that “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. It’s that we are powerful beyond measure. It’s our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” The more I sit with ‘Bob’, the more I come to know what’s being seen and said here. When I merge with the calmness that’s the cradle of power I’m transformed; connected to an inner depth that accesses a Presence that ‘s beyond words. What parts of You do you really want to know and show?
- Drop deeply through your many selves into your Infinite Self and ponder who you were before your mother was born. Open and awaken to this ‘Not Knowing’ and feel it deeply.
- Allow yourself to flow in the ambient music of a gentle breeze and rest in the silence. Hmmm.