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Who am I?

A pure philosophical question. In a world where almost everyone interested to know about others opinion about you, did you ever look inward and see who are true-self? Are you the body? Are you the mind? Or something else?

The question of who you are has occupied Western thought for centuries resulting in a diverse tapestry of perspectives.

The Enlightenment era brought forth emphasis on the individual as a rational being capable of independent thought and judgment. This led to concepts like personal freedom, individual rights, and the pursuit of self-knowledge. Thinkers like Descartes with his famous "Cogito ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am") and John Locke with his ideas on individualism and personal identity solidified this notion.

Empiricist philosophers like John Locke and David Hume argued that our knowledge and understanding of the world are shaped by our experiences. Our senses and interactions with the environment form the foundation of who we are and how we relate to the world.

From Descartes' distinction between mind and body to modern explorations of consciousness by William James and Daniel Dennett, Western thought has continuously grappled with the nature of our inner world. Questions about the self, free will, and the relationship between our thoughts and our existence remain central to ongoing debates.

While some theories emphasize individual autonomy, others acknowledge the profound influence of social and cultural contexts on shaping our identity. Thinkers like Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim emphasized the role of economic forces and social structures in shaping our values, beliefs, and sense of self. Feminist theories further expanded this by highlighting the role of gender and power dynamics in shaping one's identity.

Modern psychology suggests that our identity is not static but a dynamic process shaped by experiences, relationships, and choices. Psychologists like Erik Erikson proposed stages of psychosocial development, while others like Carl Jung explored the role of the unconscious and archetypes in shaping our self-concept.

Recent perspectives challenge the mind-body dualism, emphasizing the role of our bodies and materiality in shaping our identity. Postmodern and feminist theories highlight the importance of considering factors like embodiment, disability, and race in understanding who we are.

There are countless other thinkers, schools of thought, and ongoing debates that contribute to western understanding of ourselves. Ultimately, the question of who you are remains a personal journey of exploration. By engaging with these diverse perspectives and reflecting on your own experiences and values, you can continue to build a richer and more nuanced understanding of your unique identity.

Eastern philosophies takes a different dimension compared to Western perspectives on the question of who am I.

Many Eastern philosophies consider the self as inherently interconnected with all things. In Hinduism, the concept of Atman refers to the individual soul, inseparable from Brahman, the universal soul. Similarly, Buddhism emphasizes the concept of Anatman, meaning "no-self," highlighting the impermanent and illusionary nature of individual identity.

Eastern teachings often view life as a dynamic flow of change, rather than a fixed and stable entity. Concepts like reincarnation in Hinduism and Buddhism emphasize the cyclical nature of existence, challenging the illusion of a permanent self. This perspective encourages detachment from ego and embracing the ever-changing nature of life.

Eastern traditions like Hinduism and Buddhism offer various meditative practices aimed at transcending the limitations of the ego and experiencing a deeper reality beyond individual thought and identity. Mindfulness meditation cultivates awareness of the present moment without judgment, allowing one to observe the transient nature of thoughts and emotions.

Many Eastern philosophies emphasize living in harmony with nature and the natural world. Taoism stresses the concept of Wu Wei, meaning "flowing with the Tao," encouraging alignment with the natural flow of the universe rather than imposing individual will. This perspective cultivates a sense of interconnectedness and humility within the wider ecosystem.

Eastern traditions place strong emphasis on ethical conduct and service to others. Karma in Hinduism and Buddhism highlights the karmic consequences of our actions, fostering a sense of responsibility and compassion towards all beings. Concepts like Dharma in Hinduism and Bodhisattvahood in Buddhism guide individuals towards a path of righteousness and selfless service, contributing to the greater good.

Eastern thought encompasses a vast array of schools and traditions, each offering unique perspectives on the nature of self and reality. Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shintoism all contribute to this rich tapestry, fostering diverse approaches to self-discovery and spiritual growth.

Eastern traditions teaches us that through embracing impermanence, cultivating awareness, living in harmony with nature, and engaging in ethical conduct, individuals can move beyond the limitations of ego and discover their interconnectedness with the universe.

So, Who am I? The external world see me as my body. Through the sensory system of the body, the mind perceive the external world and generates thoughts, emotions and experiences. Who is the thinker behind the thoughts? Who is the experiencer of those experiences? That is I am, the true-self!