There are three questions a spiritual seeker must ask themselves. The first is: Who do I say that I am? The answer would seem evident until we look deeper. Most of us have created our personality, our character as a response to those around us. This includes roles such as: mother, father, brother, sister, partner, spouse, daughter, son, boss, teacher, healer, etc. Each role comes with a set of requirements, obligations, and expected behaviors so we often mold ourselves into what is expected growing eventually to feel that the role is who we are.
Another way we develop our personality or characteristic responses are what happens in life. Life has a way of presenting us with obstacles, challenges, disabilities, limitations, and crisis situations of one kind and another. In each of these we are likely to respond in the way we were trained to respond. This training may be of a formal kind, such as the crisis management training given to firefighters, police, medical or military personnel. However, most of us will respond to crisis from examples given to us early in life by the adults around us. We are also influenced by the movies we have seen, books that we read or had read to us, or other storytelling forms that give us a template of heroic (or not) responses to life’s vicissitudes.
When we enter a path of spirit or a search for Truth we have to examine the question of who am I not only based on our past conditioned responses or schooled reactions but from a spirit-centered core of understanding. Hence, the question Who Do You Say That You Are?
In an attempt to be spiritual, we might respond by saying we are unconditional love, that we have buddha nature, or christ consciousness, that we are an avatar of divine spirit, an enlightened being, a goddess, a god, or that we respond from a place of no self. All of those answers are well and good until we come to the second and third questions necessary for embodying what is termed, True Self.
The second question is: What do you want? The third is: What are you willing to do to get it?
If we have truly defined who we say that we are, what does that self want? The answer is simple enough- to be unconditional love, to be a Buddha or a Christ, a bodhisattva, a saint, filled with compassion, etc. In other words to be what we say that we are in a way that is obvious to everyone, a way that needs no announcements, flyers, or business cards. And then, if we are wise, we remember there is no destination and we will never arrive at the end. So, the journey of spirit is deciding who we wish to be and being that person to the best of our ability. This means we will remain part of an evolutionary unfoldment responding to life with as much grace as possible. If we are bit evolving we have reached entropy, true death, and the annihilation soul.
What is your concept of evolving what you want and what are you willing to do to get it?
In the world’s mind of power, prestige, and possessions the answer to this question is obvious. There is nothing that stands in the way of attaining those things, not children, not the earth, not the creatures, not the destruction of the environment, nothing matters except having more, and more, and more for the self, the company, the government, the corporation.
What is a spiritual person willing to do in order to be more compassionate, more generous, to live in loving kindness, and assuage the suffering of those we see in pain and anguish? Everything that is asked by Divine Spirit, and to hold nothing back. True Self sees life as it is, sees the suffering as it is, does not need to protect the heart with pat phrases such as: it’s all for the good, it must be his/her karma, or it’s all an illusion anyway. No! A person who is evolving lives in such a way that life can take no offense.
A being of spirit realizes it doesn’t take strength to give up and accept the shackles of circumstances, thinking this is what is meant by surrender to the will of The Divine. It’s easy to shrug, or give silent consent to events that make us feel helpless; it’s easy to sell out and remain comfortable. It takes strength and courage to affirm and live the highest, noblest directive of our Soul. Hence, we must continually ask ourselves three questions: Who do I say that I am? What do I want? What am I willing to do to get it?