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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Emery

You are not who you think you are

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

You are not your body. Every cell in your body is eventually replaced over time. It was once thought all cells were replaced every 7 years, but this is no longer correct. Nevertheless, over time our body is completely rebuilt cell by cell, so you are not your physical body.

You are not your mind either. Your thoughts come and go, and our attitudes and feelings change over time. If you think back over decades, you can reflect on how much your ideas about life have changed. Your mind is not the same as it was when you were a child, an adolescent or a young adult.

You are not your feelings. Hopefully as you mature emotionally you are better able to regulate your feelings and become more personally responsible for your energetic body. You overcome the naivety, angst and rancour of youth.

You are also not your psyche – whatever that term means to you. We are continually growing, changing, developing and becoming more of who we are. Our experiences do change us.

You are not your background or your ‘story’. Although, we all have our distinctly unique and personal journey and story, it still is not who we truly are. Our background does often dictate our present, but it is certainly not the entirety of our being. We witness many marvellous stories of people who emerge from very limited backgrounds to achieve incredible success.

The most admired quality in human beings is that ability to triumph over adversity and become a more noble, stronger person.

You are also not your career or your family role such as mother, father, son or daughter and so on. Especially in this day of gender fluidity, you can no longer define yourself as male, female or whatever term takes your fancy at the time along the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Too often when we meet someone, we define ourselves by our career or our family role.

So how do you define yourself and who are you really?

One can say that one is a human being and leave it at that but that does not really answer the deeper spiritual questions about eternal life and whether one has a soul and so on. The ‘eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’ philosophy is a very shallow perspective that simply avoids the question and leaves the adherent often alone and lonely with no real meaning or purpose to life. The miracle of life is reduced to some biochemical accident that simply happened randomly on planet Earth and that is it.

As Shakespeare said in King Lear: nothing comes of nothing, and nothing comes from this shallow take on life except despair and emptiness.

Rene Descartes famously concluded: I think therefore I am implying that the thinking rational brain was the be all and end all of the human situation. I am able to think therefore I exist. But mere existence is not a qualifying or suitable definition of who I am at my core. Over the last 500 years, this accent on rationalism has led to far too much reliance and dependence upon the thinking part of the human brain to determine our reality. We still live within the rationalist paradigm or belief system.

Existence does not explain the nobility of the human psyche. A life well lived is so much more than mere existence. How do we account for the glory, the magnificence, the purity and strength of the human spirit?

You are not what you think because you are trying to define yourself by thought which is an extremely limited function with an equally limited vocabulary. Mere thinking alone will never lead you to the truth of your being nor allow you to glimpse the magnificence of who you truly are. Thinking is just one aspect of human consciousness and the egoic brain, which is the seat of rational thought, simply does not possess the capability of exploring the deeper nuances of life.

To discover who we are we need to go beyond thought. We need to go beyond the rational mind, beyond the background story of our lives, beyond our upbringing and beyond our physiology. For all these aspects are transitory and constantly changing at every moment of our lives.

We need to go deep into the stillness and silence of our inner being to touch that kernel of truth, the core of our being. Call it what you will – soul, higher self, spirit, divine consciousness – it does not matter, for at that level words are of no use and the rational vocabulary of the limited, linear mind is an impediment.

When you touch that spark; when you truly experience that reality, not in an academic or theoretic way, but in the core of your being you will know who you are, and your life will be changed forever. You can no longer go back to the superficial doctrines or shallow perception of the prevailing paradigm.

You will have found your own inner truth. You will become yourself. You will know your path.


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