Who Are You?

By Jayden Kyryluk

How about I ask you this: who are you? Take a moment and consider this question. What makes you, you? Take a few minutes and reflect on who you really are.


For most of us, our answer is along the lines of our nationality, gender, the sport that we play, the school we go to or our profession. It may be our parents, friends, car, clothes, but most commonly, our body. They are the ingredients of our soup. What if you lost one of these ingredients, maybe two? How about all of them? What if you sold your car, quit your job, got some plastic surgery, renounced your citizenship, and lost all memory of your childhood and all of your friends? Yeah, that's dark, but if you lost these things - who would you be then? I mean, you'd still be living and breathing. You'd still be human. How can we be the things that we can so easily lose? These things, or attachments, then, cannot be who we truly are.

One question inevitably arises: Who Am I? 

When we refer to ourselves, we say "myself." What interests me here is the last four letters of that word – Self. But what is the Self anyway? Radhanath Swami compares the Self to a mirror. He says that when you are at one with that spark within you, the mirror is clean and clear for you to witness your true nature that is the One. The things you may have answered when I asked you who you are (nationality, gender..whatever that can be lost) fog and dirty this mirror because we so heavily identify with them and not the One. They block us from seeing what and who we truly are, and who we are is that which never dies. Our divine nature is so easily obstructed by the material attachments we identify with. But when you remove your identification with your false conceptions of Self; your car, family, body, house, style, name, friends, and nationality, to name a few, you clean the mirror of the Soul. You gain a clearer picture of who you really are, and in the process, develop an ever closer relationship with the One as It is who you really are. In doing so, you guide your habits and thoughts to oneness, compassion, and love. You form useful habits that act like a star offering warmth to its planets asking nothing in return. 

“The only thing we can offer another human being is our state of being” — Ram Dass.

But let us not get ahead of ourselves. This cannot be done at once. Spiritual practice is taken one step at a time and one lesson at a time. Our existence should not be counted with time but in lessons learned. A seed has a hard time blossoming on untilled soil and lessons are what till your spiritual soil. So don’t be so hard on yourself when you fail. They are just opportunities to find your blind spots. Opportunities for growth. That's how my writing helps me (and who knows? Maybe you too). It helps me conceptualize how I can till my spiritual soil so that I can come to know the One in this life or the next.


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