Who am I?

Posted On: 30 May, 2017


Chogyal Rinpoche: If we went to a place to visit someone, the doorkeeper would question us: “Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you going? “The three seemingly simple questions are the ultimate questions in the history of philosophy in the world. Yet to answer “Who am I” is not an easy task.

We can try to answer this question from many perspectives. For example, in the context of Western philosophy, when someone asks, “Who am I?” The person himself who asks this question is the “I”, and the person who thinks about this question is the “I”. From the perspective of Buddhist philosophy, however, the “I” is “empty;”it does not exist; it is an illusion— an answer that is not easily or immediately comprehensible for most ordinary people… In psychology, the “I” is the combined total of the “consciousness” and the “sub-consciousness “that have been accumulated since one is born; it is the messages that we absorbed into our body, mouth and mind that constitute the “I”.


As a practitioner of Buddhism, I see myself as myself, and it is unimportant whether this “I” exists or what this “I” is. As long as one can breathe, feel and be alive in the present moment, it means that the” I” exists.

So, I think the more important question that requires us to investigate every day is “how am I?” rather than “who am I?” Are we good or bad? If we are good, we should contemplate on why we ought to be good and how to keep becoming even better. If not so good, then we should reflect upon the reasons behind and come up with some resolution.

Other questions for you to think about are: am I a good person or not? Have I behaved badly lately? And how about everybody else around me? If I have a good life, naturally I would have a positive impact on those who are around me.

I am I myself, to be the simply I myself. The simpler I am, the closer I am to the REAL SELF.