Who Are You Really?

Who are we really? Are we our thoughts? Are we our circumstances? After all if I think I am the King of Sweden then from my perspective I am. Conversely if I am the King of Sweden and I think I am a barista at the Starbucks in Jersey City then I am. If I think I am healthy but I am really dying from a disease which is without obvious symptoms then I am having the same experiences as every other healthy person. If I am a hypochondriac convinced that I am dying but in fact perfectly well then subjectively I am dying.

This raises the question is there an “objective reality” which remains the same regardless of human subjective experience? That is a true reality as opposed to a perceived reality. Of course common sense says yes. This question is up for debate. Everything changes every nanosecond. The Grand Canyon seems like a permanent fixture yet it changes just as much as the river which formed it. How can something be real if it is never the same from one instant to the other? It is as the sage said we never step into the same river twice.

Finally, if there is an independent reality then so what? What use is this knowledge to us? The main use I suppose is that the closer our subjective reality is to this objective reality then the better we can navigate the external world. If a blind person cannot see the living room couch that doesn’t mean the couch does not exist. It is there. Now, what of the things we cannot perceive with our senses? They also exist. Yet everything which exists to us exists only within our brain. We take in sense impressions, process them and then build an image of this outer reality within our brain and use this to navigate the external world and we convince ourselves that this mental image is in fact reality when at best it is a flickering shadow.

Who are you then?

by  Saṃsāran

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