Saturday, December 3, 2011

Who am I?

It was said that Bodhidarma (the first Patriarch of Zen) sat facing a wall for nine years listening to the ants scream. A Seeker came to Bodhidarma and begged that Bodhidarma give him peace for his soul. Finally, as a token of his sincerity, the man cut off his right arm and presented it to Bodhidarma as a token of his sincerity.

Bodhidarma said to the Seeker, “If you want peace of Soul, you must bring me your soul.”

To which the man replied, “That’s the problem. I cannot find my soul, much less bring it to you.”

“Then you see,” said Bodhidarma, “I have given you peace of soul.”

If the “I”, the “I am”, is not simply a noun, but is, in fact, a verb, if the “I am” does not exist as an “is” but as a being, then the answer to the question, “Who am I?” is simply snapshot in time, a retrospective look at who I was being at a given moment—a moment, however recent, from my past.

If the “I am” is an expression of being, then any answer to the question, “Who am I?” is, in reality, an answer to the question, “Who was I being?”. As Heidegger wrote, “Diesin (man as being) understands itself as its possibility to be or not to be itself.”

If the “I am” is an expression of being, then the more appropriate or empowering questions for us to ask ourselves may be, "Who am I being?" or “Who am I becoming?” or “Who am I as possibility?”

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home