Following our recent thoughts on how "I AM" is a complete sentence, we continue this theme asking "Who do you think you are?"
We kicked off our time together with two great songs...
The French philosopher, René Descartes, famously declared "I think, therefore I am." and this has been a hugely influential philosphy in the Western world, shaping our perspective of who we think we are, but as this video explains, we are not our thoughts, because we have the ability to observe our thoughts and this ability can help us manage our minds and find freedom from who we think we are.
As Chris brilliantly explains, our mind is the mechanism by which we create our suffering and our misery, but who were we before we had all these thoughts?
True individuality is found, not in who we think we are, but in our core being and it's only when we become aware of our thoughts and renew our minds, that we can simply be who we truly are.
One of the beliefs that we've held for too long in our minds, is the dualistic belief that God and humanity are separate, and this belief has led to our downfall, because disconnected from the source of all life, we all inevitably die. As we strip away the illusions of who we think we are and simply be the "I AM", we see that we are like a drop of water in the ocean, one with all things.
Many of our struggles in life are rooted in our mind's conclusion that love is conditional. I may have been through circumstances that left me believing that "I AM" is simply not enough and so I've formed an identity by adding something to that sentence.
It might have been...
"I am generous"
"I am organised"
"I am impressive"
"I am the best"
"I am quirky"
"I am knowledgable"
"I am useful"
"I am loyal"
"I am adventurous"
"I am powerful" or
"I am no trouble."
Whilst all these attributes can seem admirable, our true nature is beyond any label we can give ourselves and these qualities can easily become conditions that we believe are required for us to be loved and acceptable, when deep down, we all want to be loved unconditionally.
"Come just as you are to me, don't need apologies, know that you are worthy."
Sometimes, it can help to have a simple process to reveal who we think we are and help us find our true nature, that lies behind that identity. Ruth shared a practice that helps us take some steps to pull back those layers and know who we are is simply "I AM."
Jenny shared how we become aware of who we think we are, when our "I AM attachments" are challenged. She was refreshingly honest about her own attachments and how she's making the journey towards becoming free of them.
This clip from Chicago Med gives us a modern day parable of how who we think we are can inhibit our freedom and ruin our lives and how we have to acknowledge our false identities before we can find freedom from them.
A huge part of our identity can come from our families, our heritage and our history. Anth shares the incredible story of his family history and how the power of our past can be broken.
"We are all damaged people, committed to walking each other home."