People on a spiritual path frequently ask themselves, “Who am I?” It is an iconic question that has been asked for generations. The answers can only be revealed when we look within— but that’s not where we usually look.
We generally define who we are in the physical world by what other people see—our appearance, our occupation, or our possessions. But who we are on the outside always changes. I am a steelworker. Now I am unemployed. I’m dating a waitress. Now she dumped me for another man. We call this life.
If all our attention is focused on the image we want others to see, we will never discover the person on the inside that only we can see. Who we are on the inside never changes. It is our eternal being, the part of us that others can’t see. So when you ask yourself, “Who am I?” you need to clarify whether you mean the “I” that everyone else sees or the “I” that only you see.
In order to answer the question, “Who am I?” you must first answer an even more fundamental question: “Where am I?”
We need to ask ourselves “Where am I?” all day, every day. The more we commit to asking this simple question, the more time we will spend knowing who we really are instead of battling with the ego. When you silently ask yourself, “Where am I?” you are really asking, “Where are my thoughts?”
Use the same diligence to monitor your thoughts as you do to monitor your physical whereabouts. The more you ask yourself, “Where am I?” the closer you’ll get to discovering who you are.
From chapter 1 of The Three Rooms