Who are you, really?

Filed in Consciousness, Emotions, Oneness, Thoughts by on December 12, 2014 0 Comments
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Here is a question for you all to ponder. And please share your thoughts. It was presented to me in a philosophy course a few years ago.

Two women, Sarah and Kim, are crossing the street when they are struck by a car and killed. Sarah’s body is destroyed beyond recognition, but her brain is still fully intact. Kim’s body is almost untouched, but she is completely brain dead.

In the hospital, the doctor’s use a new procedure and place Sarah’s brain into Jess body in an attempt to save one of their lives.

Who did they save?

When she awakens, the entire world sees Kim. Her husband and children look at her and see the woman they know and love. Her face, skin, hair and smell are all Kim. The same physical person that they’ve known. All the same DNA, cells and tissue that made up Kim before the accident.

But her memories are not of this family, but another. She remembers her life as Sarah. Her childhood, her family and friends… they are all of Sarah’s life, not Kim’s.

So who is she? Sarah or Kim? Are we the physical being the world recognizes or are we the collection of thoughts and memories from our life?

What makes us who we are?

My answer to this question is simple, but hard for many to understand. To me, the answer is we are neither of these.

We are not our body. Our body changes. We were once babies, tiny and frail. This baby is gone. We were once children. Small and full of energy. That child is not longer here. We will someday be old and weak. The body we are in now will no longer exist in its current form. How can we be our body? Our body has died many times, yet we are still here.

We are not our thoughts and memories. Our thoughts change over time. As we grow, our view of the world changes. Our thoughts are shaped by what we experience in life. Our memories are simply the collection of what that experience was. An imprint of electrical impulses in the mind that allows us to create a mental picture of something that once happened that we experienced. Our memories fade. If we are our memories, do we also fade?

The truth is, we are the silent witness to the dance of life. We are the watcher of the changes within our vehicle know as our body. We are the viewer of events that are stored in the mind and labeled as memories. We are the energy that can’t be labeled, judged or experienced in any other way than ‘being’.

That part of you that ‘feels’ like you did when you were small… not a memory of being younger, but the feeling of being younger. That is you feeling the energy of what you are.

Memories, the body, thoughts… these are all the things that make up the collection of physical ‘things’ that we label as us. But in time all these things pass. They were attached to us temporarily. They accompanied us on our journey. They helped us experience the beauty of this world and all those we share it with. But they are not us. They are here for us. They are tools.

They can be a source of great joy, or they can be a source of great suffering. It all depends on how well you know who, or what, you really are.


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