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Syndicated Columns

Exploring Who You Are

Posted October 28, 2006

Q. How do I know who I am? -- N.U., Dublin, Ireland

A. Many of us define ourselves by our marital status, careers, personality, gender, religious affiliation and roles. This is only a small part of who we are. It behooves us to explore this question deeply and periodically throughout our lives.

The Perennial Philosophy constitutes the highest common factor in all major religions. Aldous Huxley believed: "There will never be enduring peace unless and until human beings come to accept a philosophy of life more adequate to the cosmic and psychological facts than insane idolatries of nationalism and the advertising man's apocalyptic faith in progress towards a mechanized New Jerusalem."

In answering this question, I offer insight into the elements that are common to all; regardless of faith, religion, beliefs, upbringing and spiritual orientation.

There are four fundamental doctrines within the Perennial Philosophy.

First: The world of matter and individualized consciousness is the manifestation of a Divine Ground in which everything has its being.

Second: Human beings are capable of experiencing Divine Ground, not just knowing about it. This immediate knowledge unites the knower with the known.

Third: Within each human being is a double nature: an ego and an eternal self, commonly known as the spirit, the spark of the divinity within the soul. Hence, "No one can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24).

Fourth: Life has only one purpose, to identify with one's eternal self and to become unified in the Divine Ground.

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