Vanity thought #66. Who am I?

I’ve been told I’m not this body, and I sort of get it. I’m not my arm or my leg, arms and legs are MINE but they are not me. I’m not my mind and I’m not my emotions and desires, they are separate from me and I put MYSELF under their control.

But who am I anyway?

When I’m told I have to surrender to Krishna – what exactly is this “I”? I can surrender my body, I can surrender my mind, I can surrender my desires, in a sense that I can engage them in the service of the Lord, but how can I surrender myself if I don’t even know who I am?

I have absolutely no idea what that “I” really is, I’ve been told it’s a spirit soul, I’ve been told it’s an eternal servant of the Lord but what do I, the spirit soul servant know about this? Nothing.

As a soul I have certain qualities and attributes, I have a spiritual form, a spiritual body. Right now I’m not aware of any of it, I have no idea I have any spiritual senses, any spiritual shape, any spiritual identity.

How can I surrender this “myself” I an absolutely unaware of?

No wonder every time I try I find out I was doing something else for some other purposes.

After careful observation I found out that what I really mean by surrendering myself is engaging my material body, taking my mind and ego along the way because that’s what I feel I really am.

I expect to meet the Lord, if He shows me mercy, as this worthless sack of flesh, and I expect the Lord to reveal His spiritual form to this material abomination. No wonder it doesn’t work!

When Sri Hanuman met Lord Rama for the first time he changed himself to look like a brahmana and he didn’t recognize the Lord. Only when he returned to his original form he was able to see the Lord as He is. Lord Rama didn’t want to reveal Himself to a made up image but He was perfectly visible to Hanuman in his original form because it’s in this original form that Hanuman is His dearest devotee.

Could the same principle be at work with me, with the rest of us? We can’t see the Lord as long as we are wearing these made up bodies, pretending to be something else. We look at the Deities and we see nicely decorated dolls, we listen to the Holy Names and we hear sweet songs, and that’s all our bodies are ever be capable of perceiving.

I’d rather stop pretending to be my body right away but, actually, this thought is flashing only in my mind. I do not see the “I” that should stop pretending, and the “I” that I can perceive as me is not pretending at all, this “I” is absolutely convinced of its non-spiritual nature, and why shouldn’t it be? It’s a material element after all.

So who am I and how can I see my real nature? What does it mean to “see” my real nature? What senses are there to “see” it? None at all, none at all.

This is like a newly born kitten, blind and senseless, searching for his mother’s tit. He knows nothing of the world, he knows nothing of his form and shape, he knows nothing of what he is looking for, he knows nothing of what his mother looks like, he just tries to follow his instinct, and he can’t even hope for anything because he has no organs able to express hopes yet, but in due course of time his eyes will open and he will finally be able to see.

Just like that, I have to follow my instinct and search for the Lord no matter what, I’m totally at His mercy in this regard, that’s the only way to my dormant consciousness.

I, the soul, need His nourishment to see myself.

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