Who Am I? The legendry question! By Mourad Rashad

Who Am I? The legendry mystical question, the path of many sages such as Ramana, Nisargedata, Krishna Menon, Shancara …etc. All these sages followed the enquiry “who am I” to its end.

“Who am I?” is not really a question because it has no answer to it; it is unanswerable. It is a device, a process, a methodology and a meditation not a question. It is used as a mantra. When man constantly inquires internally: “Who am I? Who am I?” Man is not waiting for an answer. The mind will supply many answers; all those answers have to be rejected. The mind will say: “I” is the essence of life. “I” the eternal soul. “I” is divine,” and so on and so forth. All those answers have to be rejected: neti neti — one has to go on saying: “Neither this nor that.”

When man has denied all the possible answers that the mind can supply and devise, when the question remains absolutely unanswerable, a miracle happens: suddenly the question also disappears. When all the answers have been rejected, the question has no grounds, no supports internally to stand on any more. It simply flops, it collapses, and it disappears.

When the question also has disappeared, then man knows. But that knowing is not an answer: it is an existential experience. Nothing can be said about it, or whatever will be said will be wrong. To say anything about it is to falsify it. It is the ultimate mystery, inexpressible, indefinable. No word is adequate enough to describe it. Even the phrase “essence of life” is not adequate; even “God” is not adequate. Nothing is adequate to express it; its very nature is inexpressible.”

When Hui-k’o went to see Bodhidharma, this interchange took place;

“Peace of mind”, replied Hui-K’o.

“Show me this mind of yours”, said Bodhidharma, “and I will pacify it”.

“But when I seek my mind, I cannot find it”, was the reply.

“THERE!” said Bodhidharma, “I have pacified your mind!”

“YES!” said Hui-K’o, and laughed.

Now, what next after this revelation of knowing who you are?

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