Q: Some years ago, I saw a film which was a series of conversations between quantum physicists and mystics, which basically explored the question, “Who am I?” I was wondering if you could shed some light on that.
Sadhguru: You are asking me who you are? It’s all right to walk on the street, point at someone and ask, “Who are you?” But if you go to someone and ask, “Who am I”, that smacks of something else!
This happened in the Cincinnati Airport. A very important looking man rushed into the airport. There was a long line at the check-in counter. This man jumped the line, went straight to the counter and thrust his passport and his ticket. The lady at the counter said, “Sir there is a line, please stand in line.” He said, “No, No. I am in a hurry. I need to go.” She said, “No, please go stand in the line.” Then he said, “Do you know who I am?” She promptly picked up the microphone and said, “There is a man here who doesn’t know who he is. Can somebody help him?”
Nobody can help him because everybody is in the same state. Everybody is existing here without knowing the essential nature of who he or she is. Without knowing the very fundamentals of what this is, we are trying to make a life. That is the whole confusion.
Ramana Maharishi made this question very popular. But you must understand, he told you to ask the question to yourself¸ not to anyone else. It is a question that should be addressed within you, digging deeper into yourself every time you ask it.
“Who am I?” is the most profound question in your life. If you don’t know who you are, do you know anything else for sure? If you do not even know who you are, will you be capable of knowing who someone else or something else is? Once you don’t know who you are, it is one big joke. The only consolation is that the majority of the population is with you.
The first and foremost thing you should do with your life is to know the nature of your existence. If you do not know what the nature of your existence is, you live by accident. Everything is by accident, by assumption and by opinion. There is no reality.
“Who am I?” This question exists, screaming in your body and your mind. If you just remove the surface nonsense, it is screaming within you to know the answer. When you don’t clear the surface chatter of the mind, “Who am I?” is a mere question. If you clear up your surface nonsense, you will see “Who am I” is just the whole thing. Nothing else is there. That is the biggest thing.
“Who am I” is not really an experiment or a mere question of curiosity. This is something that tears you. Till it tears you apart, you will not know what is inside it. When the question screams – not you, the question screams – it will not be directed outside. It will definitely be directed inside. Then, the scream will naturally catch fire and find light. No one can stop it.
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