“Who am I?” is a question that is one of humanity’s nightmares. It is much more than a philosophical question because of the far-reaching consequences on our individual wellbeing, and consequently our future. Self-discovery is mandatory for full self-expression.
Who am I?- Humanity’s dilemma
This question has baffled great thinkers across the continents and across the ages. Yet, there is still no clear-cut, universally accepted answer to this otherwise simple question. The Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi with ruins dating back to the 4th century BC, had this inscription “know thyself”. It is intriguing to note that despite the tremendous knowledge that has accumulated over the years, this simple question remains a dilemma.
Why should it be so complicated to know who I am? We have accumulated vast knowledge of our environment and the universe, but still uncertain who we really are. Isn’t it interesting to know that one of man’s greatest ignorance is that of himself?
Make no mistake. This is not about your personality, or knowing your talents , likes and dislikes, etc. Your personality is just what it is, YOUR personality. It is not you. Same with your talents and likes.
An increasing confusion
The restlessness over this question is getting worse. Some people do not even seem to know who they are anymore. There are many out there still looking for the “meaning in life”. They get the education, the wealth, the fame and greatest family relationships they can have and remain dissatisfied about “something” they cannot lay their hands on.
…for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (Luke. 12:15 NASB)
The current gender confusion, where some are beginning to get confused whether they are males or females, is another subtle manifestation of the dire need for us to answer this simple question “who am I?”.
A mysterious question?
“Who am I?” is not a mysterious question. It is quite simple, and has a very simple answer. What makes the question seemingly complicated is because we DO NOT want the answer to be what it truly is, and thus we try to answer it in a way that we would want it to be answered. The result? Diversity and multiplicity of complex answers.
Who am I?-Want truth or theories?
There is a “little voice” inside all of our minds that is silent when we find the truth about this question. This voice is that which asks “am I still missing something? It is an indication that you are not certain of the total truthfulness of the answer you might have had. The answer to this question demands truth, and not brilliant theories or just facts. When your heart finds the truthful answer, it is assured, peaceful and has no desire to look any further for something else. It will want to know more about what it knows, not if there are other plausible answers.
Experts try to help
Experts from a wide range of backgrounds have weighed in to answer this question, including philosophers and psychologists. An array of personality tests have been developed to help us understand ourselves better. There is a plethora of life coaches to help us in personal development. Something still seems to be missing.
Who am I? The current error
The one and most significant error in answering this question today has been looking to get an answer from the wrong places. Man is being looked at as made up of his mind and his body that interact with his environment. Attempting to answer “who am I?” by looking at the mind and the body is the beginning of our error.
Man has a mind, and a body, but is neither of them in essence. There are many whose lives are shaped by how they feel or how they look outwardly. They have been made to think that because they “feel that way”, that is who they are. This is a grievous mistake.
More than mind and body
If you perform a quick online search about who man is, all of the theories will turn around issues of the mind, body and probably an interaction with the environment. Man will never know who he is or find meaning in life through the material world, from your job, family, community, wealth to pleasure and education.
There is more about man than our minds and our physical bodies.
Who am I?- A spirit
The greatest discovery, or rather acknowledgement, that man at this current age will ever make is to come to the knowledge that man is a spirit being. The “you”, that has a mind with its feelings, desires and thoughts, and has a body with its weight, shape, color and even health and sicknesses, is a spirit. This is not superstition or mysticism. In fact the very idea of mysticism implies there could be a world beyond our natural physical world.
An unwelcome guest
As mentioned above, this is not new knowledge. It is simply an answer that many probably do not want. It may even be nauseating to some, especially when they think about where this knowledge is coming from. Part of the reason this is not welcomed is because the implications are exponential, that many will prefer to leave the question untouched.
Furthermore, the subject of the spirit is not subject to scientific scrutiny. The world of the spirit is way out of the scope of scientific knowledge and does not lend itself to the scientific method.
Is this healthy for us?
What we have done in this age of scientific knowledge explosion is to look at man, see his mind and body, and cover his spirit and pretend as if it is not there. That will not work. The problems of the world are increasing by the minute, despite all the explosion of knowledge that has tremendously impacted our lives. Systems of communications are way beyond the imagination of Isaac Newton yet human relationship and communication are not getting better.
There are many things that seem to “slip between our fingers” signaling to us that there could be something we are missing.Ignoring or neglecting the subject of the spirit is not a good idea. Knowing the truth will bring freedom.
..and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:32 NASB )
WHO on the spirit
The World Health organization defined health as “is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
Look again at this definition and see the hesitancy science has to this “blurry and unknown world of the spirit”.
“Physical” refers to man’s body, “mental” refers to man’s mind or soul but the third part which in logical sequence should be a constitutional component of man is rather presented as “social well-being”. Of course “social”, is a result of the interaction of man and his environment, and not a constitution aspect of man’s being. They somewhat agree that there are three constitutional aspects of man, but missed the third by replacing “spirit” with “social”. Man is body, soul(mind) and spirit.
But it is a spirit in man (Job 32:8 NASB)
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians. 5:23 NASB )
As a scientist that believes in science, I see that one of the greatest deception of modern mainstream science is a hidden assumption that all that there is in life is limited to our physical universe which is subject to our scientific method. There is a spirit world, that is more vast, and from which this physical world originated. And man is part of that world.
I am a spirit, so what?
Many things will become evident. Not all of man’s problems are spiritual, but the ROOT of his problems are. As Adam and Eve, we have been trying to fix a spiritual problem with natural means for centuries. When they sinned against God and felt shame and fear, they made aprons from leaves to cover their nakedness and hide behind trees.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:7-8 NASB )
Today, there are many that are still trying to cover the “nakedness” and “emptiness” they sense inside not with leaves this time but with education, relationships, career, success or fame. Addiction has become an increasing problem where many seem to medicate their broken hearts in an effort to get relief.
The debate about the reality of the existence of God will slowly dissolve if we start with this simple knowledge that man is a spirit because it will generate the inevitable question of where he came from.
Three other questions
Once we know who we are as spirits, then the other questions in life become easy to answer-Where did I come from? Why am I here? And where am I going to? These and similar questions are beyond the scope of this article.
The knowledge of the spirit does not come from the scientific method. It comes by revelation. This is what “throws off” many scientist as it is “nonsense” to the one who does not know God. It does not make sense to the natural mind. I need not re-emphasize, that the spirit does not lend itself to the scientific method.
God’s revelation to us
God has clearly revealed to us what happened to man in the Bible. Sin came into the world by disobedience to divine commandments. Sin is a spiritual and not moral issue. We have also been told, because spiritual knowledge comes to us by revelation, n