“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” ~ Lao Tzu

Who am I? Have you ever in your entire life asked yourself this question?

Was your answer, Bob Smith? I just meant your full name, your first name followed by your last name. My last name changed when I got married. My first name has a nice meaning but is widely mispronounced and misspelled since my childhood. The point I am trying to make here is, I am not what I am addressed as. My name belongs to me. It is not “me”.

OK, let me try again.

Am I my physical body?

I am already biting my tongue as I know that it is a lame guess. Do I ever say “I am my shirt” or “I am my ring.” Think of body as a costume that we are wearing. We drive it. If you are familiar with kids shows like Sesame Street or Barney, we are just like a person in a Barney or Big Bird costume giving life to the character. In many cases, the body gives us a clue to our character.

But sometimes people change their body and portray a look unlike themselves. The real person gets lost in the look. I was inspired by the thoughts of the Sikh girl, recently featured in Yahoo news, who accepted her body as it came to her.

It is very interesting to me that when I am myself, I have had people call me “sunshine”, which happens to be the meaning of my first name. However, having said all that, my description is not exactly “me”. When the living person takes off the costume what is left behind is just a bunch of colored cloth, feathers etc. When I leave my body, I will leave behind a mass of flesh, skin and bones. Oops..my body is not “me”.

I am going for Try #3.

Am I mind?

My thoughts come and go. I remember as a child I used to play cricket with boys. As I grew older I started to think of boys differently. Can you think of something that you used to do long time ago in your childhood. I bet you can. The mind has memory that strings the changing thoughts and emotions together. At this point I will venture to ask “What happens to the person suffering from Alzheimers’ disorder? ” She is alive. However, she is not able to remember many things in the present and past. Does that mean she has lost herself? This is debatable….

In conclusion, I have not completely answered the question “Who am I?”

The search continues…INSIDE.


Roshmi Bhaumik is writer at her site HAPPY LIFE –
You have a friend in you
and software developer at Ricoh Production Print Solutions in Boulder Colorado. She is married and a mother of two kids. She believes personal development is essential for a happy, meaningful life.


  1. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply October 13, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Thanks Roshmi for a lovely guest-post. :-)

  2. Comment by Roshmi

    Roshmi Reply October 13, 2012 at 5:24 am

    @Myrko: You are welcome!

  3. Comment by ZenPresence.com

    ZenPresence.com Reply October 13, 2012 at 6:46 am

    I used to have trouble following the reason behind statements like ” you are not your mind”. I was recently put in a very challenging position where a total stranger was yelling and calling me names. It was bizarre. I almost lost my cool; my head was racing and my thoughts out of control. When I regained composure I understood for the first time – that was not me, it was my mind. It was that little reptilian part of my brain reacting.

    Dan Garner

  4. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply October 13, 2012 at 8:21 am

    @ZenPresence.com: Good example. It was the gap between thoughts where you are aware of what’s going on.

  5. Comment by Roshmi

    Roshmi Reply October 13, 2012 at 10:18 am

    @Myrko: I agree Myrko and ZenPresence. Today my thoughts racing making me agitated. I consciously calmed myself down. The whole time my mind was something I was tackling :)

  6. Comment by siiddharth jain

    siiddharth jain Reply October 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I am soul.

  7. Comment by Arjun

    Arjun Reply December 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

    ‘Who am I?’ The physical body, composed of the seven dhatus, is not ‘I’. The five sense organs… and the five types of perception known through the senses… are not ‘I’. The five parts of the body which act… and their functions… are not ‘I’. The five vital airs such as prana, which perform the five vital functions such as respiration, are not ‘I’. Even the mind that thinks is not ‘I’. In the state of deep sleep vishaya vasanas remain. Devoid of sensory knowledge and activity, even this [state] is not ‘I’. After negating all of the above as ‘not I, not I’, the knowledge that alone remains is itself ‘I’. The nature of knowledge is sat-chit-ananda [being-consciousness-bliss].

  8. Comment by Ben van der Poel

    Ben van der Poel Reply December 19, 2012 at 1:16 am

    You are not your name, that is just a word, you are not your body, you have one, you are not your mind you have one. So who are you or anyone else for that matter? Yes you are a soul, you are a spiritual being, expressing itself through the body and mind. Now because we think in pictures we can only get proper reference to a subject when it is expressed as a picture. So I will give you a picture to the best of my ability.
    First let me explain there is only one Spirit, one Omni-potent God. Spirit is everywhere, there is nowhere where there is no Spirit, Spirit is 100% evenly distributed everywhere at all times! That means within you, within me! Spirit is a consciousness becoming more conscious of Itself through various ways of expressing Itself and thereby experiencing Itself.

    I know what I’m about to share with you may be processed by many of you as bizarre or weird but the more you reason with this information the clearer the picture of what Spirit really is.
    The expression of Spirit is in everything, the whole universe is God. Ah! I mean the consciousness in a star, planet or stone (object) is just about zero but it is a form, an expression of the creative ability of Spirit. The expression of Spirit through a plant (life) is very limited. An apple tree can only be an apple tree, in the apple seed lies the pre-programmed vibrational sequence (something like a cam shaft of a car engine) if follows and that pre-programmed process over and over again to attract from the universe everything required to be an apple tree.
    A dog does pretty much the same, it has more consciousness but is also pre-programmed with what we call instinct and here the expression of Spirit is better than through a plant.
    A human (irrespective of race, creed, colour and so on) is the highest form of expression we are aware of in the entire universe and the ultimate way of Spirit expressing Itself. You are the most advanced electrical appliance in the entire universe problem is it came without a user manual, ha-ha, ha-ha! Seriously in a human is all the expression forms, which is contained in a plant (the seed develops to become a body) A human also have instinct and a human has mind that can reason with free will. (The difference between animal and human.) This in effect means that expression of Spirit THROUGH the human has an almost unlimited variety or ways of expression and experiencing. To make this whole universe work and be in a state of “orderly chaos” there are rules or laws which is no respecter of person or thing and these laws apply nonstop, whether or not you know it, are aware of it or know how these laws work. They simply apply to maintain order.

    Now the picture, picture your hand from the wrist up as the entirety of God, now see your fingers as the people through which Spirit is expressing Itself and having a physical experience. The pinkie might be me, the thumb may be you. We are all expressions of the same thing having over 6 billion (world population) experiences all at the same time, an almost infinite variety of circumstances and conditions being experienced by Spirit through you as an individualised part of Spirit Itself.

    This has a profound meaning, it is that even the person you may hate, the dirty bum in the park you dislike, your spouse and children, the one you love are all expressions of one and the same Spirit. Therefore you cannot define me by calling me a name, judge me or anything alike, the only thing that you are doing when you do that, is to define yourself as someone who needs to judge. I always ask, if you would say or do the things you do unto others if you were in the presence of God and him standing next to you looking and listening to what you say and do. Well would you? I think not! Especially the nasty things we say and do unto one another.
    I know that most people have a picture or image of Spirit as being a person like me and you but that is not so, Spirit is everything there is nowhere IT is not!

    In conclusion, I often hear people coming from church say “we had a spiritual experience,” you cannot experience spiritual, you are spiritual. You are a spirit having a physical experience, you are not your name, you are not your body you are a Divine Spirit (soul) expressing through the body and experiencing physical experiences for God. Everybody is an expression of one Spirit – the Omni-potent God!

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