Who am I?
“Who am I?” is important because knowing who we are is the purpose of life. The sages have been telling us this in many different ways since as far back as we’ve been recording their sayings.
The sufi sage Ibn Arabi expressed this truth when he said: “I was a hidden treasure and I loved to be known, and I created the creation so that I be known.” (1) God was a hidden treasure and longed to be known and so he (she or it – God has no gender) created this world full of living creatures to whom he gave the assignment of knowing their true identity – which is God.
And why did God do this? Sri Ramakrishna answers: “It is the Godhead that has become these two [God and devotee] in order to enjoy Its [own] bliss.” (2) God created life to know himself so that God could meet God and thereby experience his own bliss.
Sri Ramakrishna tells us that “the only purpose of life is to realize God.” (3) “Without the realization of God everything is futile. This is the great secret.” (4) My own teacher Mata Amritanandamayi tells us the same fact as well: “God-Realization is our life’s aim.” (5) The Christian mystic Jan Ruusbroec also reveals this to us: “[For] the rational creature to attain the sublime beauty of God and to possess it in [a] supernatural way … is [the] reason that God created heaven and earth and all that is in them.” (6)
Sufi Sage Hazrat Inayat Khan explains that:
“The purpose of life … is that the only Being makes his oneness intelligible to Himself. He goes through different planes of evolution … to make clear to Himself His oneness. And as long as this purpose is not accomplished, the one and only Being has not reached His ultimate satisfaction, in which lies His divine perfection.” (7)
The poet Rumi reminds us that, if we don’t know ourselves by the end of our lives, we’ve accomplished nothing.
“There is one thing in this world which must never be forgotten. If you were to forget everything else, but did not forget that, then there would be no cause for worry; whereas if you performed and remembered and did not forget every single thing, but forgot that one thing, then you would have done nothing whatsoever.
“It is just as if a king had sent you to the country to carry out a specified task. You go and perform a hundred other tasks; but if you have not performed that particular task on account of which you had gone to the country, it is as if you have performed nothing at all. So man has come into this world for a particular task, and that is his purpose; if he does not perform it, then he will have done nothing.” (8)
Therefore answering the question “Who am I?” is the very purpose of our lives and that is why this first question is so important. Knowing this is universal wisdom.
What do I want?
The second question, “What do I want?” is so important because God has structured life so that we get what we want. This design principle of life is called the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction is most often stated as “like attracts like.” So far, I have examined the first question by looking at the great sages and saints of Earth, but let me switch here and discuss the second question by drawing on the galactic and spirit teachers that we follow on this site.
Here is Matthew Ward explaining to us what the Law of Attraction is and how it works.
“The universal law of attraction, or ‘like attracts like,’ which is totally neutral and constantly in operation, will serve each individual in accordance with his or her perception of and reaction to personal situations.” (9)
“Just as everything else is being accelerated, so are the results of the universal law of attraction coming more rapidly and forcefully. We cannot stress too strongly how crucial it is to focus on what you want, NOT what you don’t want!” (10)
“Drawing to you the energy of souls in spirit whom you didn’t personally know but greatly admired and often think about is ‘like attracts like’ in operation.” (11)
“Remember that the universal law of attraction, ‘like attracts like,’ always is in effect—sharing what you have with those who have less will bring back to you what you need. The energy of giving from the heart not only adds to your light, thereby radiating out to all lives you touch; this starts a cycle of upliftment. Just as your heart feels lighter when you help others, they in turn feel grateful and hopeful, and the energy in gratitude and hope gives them more light to send out to all lives they touch, and so on and so on.” (12)
Here is SaLuSa:
“Like certainly attracts like, which is again why you need to be careful where you place your focus.” (13)
“Freewill is a gift from the Creator that is sacred and covered by the Law of Attraction. Human beings sometimes blame others or God for their experiences, but in truth they are attracted to you by your thoughts and actions. … Freewill is still your prerogative, but having agreed to a plan for your life you are drawn to those people and experiences that will help fulfil it. Your Guides are also very active in keeping you on track, but the final word is with you.” (14)
“Everyone will eventually reach an advanced level of understanding, and be naturally drawn to those souls that are of a similar vibration.” (15)
“Where you direct your thoughts is where your energy goes, and the more you focus upon it the stronger the link becomes for you.” (16)
Here is Atmos of Sirius: “Fortunately, those who are on Earth to lead people out of the dark work quietly and without drawing attention to themselves. As you seek, so you will be attracted to them [because] as you know ‘like attracts like’.” (17)
And here is Diane of Sirius: “Be of the Light and, by the Law of Attraction, more shall fill every cell within your body, and balance and harmony shall be your gain.” (18)
Because the Law of Attraction works, a sorting-out process is going on in the world, as a group called the Angels tells us:
“If all in the world could embrace the concepts that they are loved, [that] they are guided, and that their truth is valid for them, while others may or may not share the same, you would sort yourselves out into circles of like-minded individuals and be among those who see and share life as you do. You would be able to interact with those who don’t in peace and harmony. This type of sorting out is going on right now on your planet earth.” (19)
It is also the reason why we can forget about the dark, as SaLuSa tells us:
“Forget the Dark Ones and leave them to their own future, as no soul can remain in the lower vibrations and expect to go with those who have dedicated themselves to moving on to Ascension. That is simply impossible, and there you have the beauty of the Law of Attraction. What you focus on comes into your life at some time, whether it is really what you wanted or not. Thoughts and desires are powerful energies, and as creators in your own right you should guard against negative thoughts.” (20)
The Law of Attraction works whether we are aware of it or not, as he tells us:
“The fact that you are invoking the Laws of Attraction may not be something that you are consciously doing, but it will still bring the same results. It is therefore imperative that you continue to give power to your thoughts, by projecting your vision. How it will ultimately be manifested is something you leave for the energetic thought form to decide.” (21)
Matthew explains how it may work in the background unknown to us.
“Let me return to the law of attraction for a moment to mention another of its dimensions. If a spiritually-evolved individual feels uncomfortable or even repulsed when meeting a stranger, it is because their energy fields are so incompatible—there is no ‘like’ to attract ‘like.’ When that same individual feels strongly attracted to a stranger, it is ‘like attracting like'; without consciously knowing that the stranger has qualities of compassion, honor, helpfulness, honesty and a sense of justness, the individual experiences soul-to-soul recognition of those components in that person’s energy make-up.” (22)
If we see life negatively, we attract negative results to ourselves, Matthew tells us.
“The energy sent forth by those who see themselves as tragic victims will zoom out and draw to itself the energy of thought forms in the ‘universal soup’ that match the individual’s thoughts and feelings, and the energy combination will manifest ‘tragic victim’ circumstances for the person to deal with. Those who feel genuine gratitude for what they have will be provided with more to be grateful for, and the energy of sharing with an open heart has the same positive result.”(23)
Knowing these facts about how the Law of Attraction works should show us why we need to stay away from negative thoughts, SaLuSa says.
“Those who are out of balance bring adverse results to themselves, and that is the Law of Attraction at work.” (24)
“So you can see Dear Ones, why it is important to keep in your sight the beneficial changes promised to you. In so doing you are helping manifest them quicker than they might have done otherwise. Your present reality developed in this way and hence we say that you created it yourself.” (25)
However, everything I’ve said so far about our wants or desires and the Law of Attraction could be considered a junior discussion. The senior discussion, in my view, is different. Just as Rumi said that, if we end our lives not having realized God, we have done nothing, so we could also say that all our desires will produce little of lasting value, except one desire only. Krishna explains what that one desire is:
“I am all that a man may desire
The law of his nature.” (26)
Krishna is speaking here as an Incarnation of God. How many people in this world desire God? How many desire the perfect freedom that comes with the knowledge of God? Krishna asks:
“Who cares to seek
For that perfect freedom?
One man, perhaps,
In many thousands.” (27)
Swami Brahmananda puts the figure even higher: “Only one in a million sincerely longs for God and few sustain that longing.” (28)
So advising us to seek the positive rather than the negative is one, junior level of counsel to the wise seeker. But advising us to seek only God is another, more senior level.
Thus, I assert that the two most important questions in life are: “Who am I?” and “What do I want?”
Answering the question “Who am I?” is our assignment in life. Without answering it, we have accomplished nothing, as it were. Watching what we want is the second most important matter because life is designed to give us what we want, whether we know it or not. If we want only God and sustain that desire throughout life, then God is what we’ll get.
(1) Muhyidden Ibn Arabi, Kernel of the Kernel. trans. Ismail Hakki Bursevi. Sherborne: Beshara, n.d., 3.
(2) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 305.
(3) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 273.
(4) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 95.
(5) Mata Amritanandamayi, Awaken, Children! Vallicakavu, India: Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust., I, 2.
(6) John Ruusbroec in James A. Wiseman, John Ruusbroec. The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1985, 72.
(7) Hazrat Inayat Khan, Way of Illumination. Delhi, etc.: Motilal Banarsidass, 1988, 237.
(8) Rumi in A.J. Arberry, trans., Discourses of Rumi. New York; Samuel Weiser, 1977; c1961, 26.
(9) Matthew’s Messages, Oct, 22, 2008, at http://www.matthewbooks.com/mattsmessage.htm
(10) Matthew’s Message, Sept. 21, 2009.
(11) Matthew’s Message, April 26, 2010.
(12) Matthew’s Message, Sept. 24, 2008.
(13) SaLuSa, Feb. 5, 2010, at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm
(14) SaLuSa, Sept. 18, 2009.
(15) SaLuSa, March 19, 2010.
(16) SaLuSa, Feb. 5, 2010.
(17) Atmos of Sirius, Nov. 21, 2008, at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm
(18) Diane of Sirius, Feb. 2, 2009, at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm
(19) Message from the Angels, 9 May 2009 at http://www.visionsofheaven.com/AAngels/newsletter_2009_0509.html#AngelMessages .
(20) SaLuSa, April 6, 2009.
(21) SaLuSa, April 13, 2009.
(22) Matthew’s Messages, Oct. 22, 2008.
(23) Matthew’s Messages, Oct, 22, 2008.
(24) SaLuSa, 5 Nov. 2008.
(25) SaLuSa, Feb. 5, 2010.
(26) Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 71. (Hereafter BG.)
(27) Sri Krishna in BG, 70.
(28) Swami Brahmananda in Swami Prabhavananda, The Eternal Companion. Brahmananda. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1970; c1944, 194.