From the gathering of Greek philosophers to the congregation of great theologians to the inscription on the Apollo temple, “know thyself”, identity remains the most unknown and/or the most “unsure of” subject in the history of studies. It is a subject academicians have debated about, musicians have moaned about, artists have abstracted about and wise men have hypothesized about. All their provided answers have an iota of the revelation of truth but none truly answers the simple question, “who am I?“. Indeed, it’s the simplest questions in life that has the most complex and hidden answers.
Humanbeings have so many dimensions to the extent that some of the dimensions overlap and are still unknown. Therefore, knowing our identity in an unknown dimension becomes virtually impossible. We don’t even know for sure if the question, “Who am I?” is a philosophical one, a scientific one or even a theological one. Before you get to know yourself, you’re old enough to die. Such personal knowledge is of no or less use to a younger individual since he/she has to also go on a personal journey to “know thyself” exclusively. Thus, very little experiential knowledge of identity passes on from one generation to another.
Growing up, I believed the earth was a living being in and of itself because humans were just like planets. I saw humans as entire planets. We have millions of living things dwelling on us and within us. Thousands of pathogens, microbes and microbiomes. There are also entire systems within us that function outside of our consciousness. They each have an identity of their own and function accordingly. Not just the systems or the tissues but even down to the cells. Within each cell is the DNA
Also, growing up, standing beside my mother brought about an outstanding revelation. My mother gave birth to me but my present body would be too big to carry in her womb and deliver. Nicodemus, a great theologian, said it well, “How can someone be born when they are old? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” The body she gave birth to is not the same body I have now. Little by little, newer cells replaced each cell in the body I had as a baby until no cell in the body I had as a baby remained.
Every 7 to 10 years, our body replaces itself with a largely new set of cells. More or less, we have a “new body” every 10 years. In humans, as many as 100,000,000,000 cells die in each adult each day and are replaced by new cells. (Indeed, the mass of cells we lose each year through normal cell death is close to our entire body weight!) The DNA code within the newer cells mostly remain the same as the old but some go through genetic mutation. So who am I? Am I the baby me, the present me or the granny me?
According to the law of the Conservation of Mass, matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Since the beginning when everything was created out of nothing, everything that existed from then on continue to exist forever. Do you understand? Our bodies weren’t formed out of nothing in our mother’s womb. It’s the materials that exist that formed you. When you die, your material makeup doesn’t disappear into nothingness. It decays and forms the dust of the earth. It’s an entire cycle of matter changing forms. We are everlasting. Not eternal. Anything that has no beginning and no end is eternal. We have a beginning but we have no end, both physically and spiritually.
The source of all identities is the only Eternal One. That ought to mean that our identity, though found within us literally, goes deeper and further than our material makeup. The source of our identity springs from an immaterial world. As answered in the previous post, Who You Are Who You Are, right now, right here. You’re the same yesterday, today and forever. Just like the Eternal One, who we are, though always present, is not static. It consistently expands into eternity. Since our identity is engrafted in Him, the more we know Him, the more we know who we truly really are. It is not just a theological, theoretical or spiritual understanding. It’s an all-round multi-dimensional encapsulation. It is where all false identities fall off us like flakes and our innermost reality awakes.
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
I John 3:2 NKJV
Your journey of life into knowing yourself begins with a journey of walking into knowing Him.