Two very simple words and yet, for anyone trying to actualize in fact what the intellect might embrace with gusto ... what a pisscutter! By even mentioning the words, I can see my Buddhist brethren scurrying like roaches in a light-switched-on kitchen, looking for the succor of some safer and more cozied realm. Nor do I imagine they are alone. The minarets of belief and discipline are not limited to a single thought corral.
But who am I? In good, plain English, who am I? Who am I before the minarets arise and the applause begins and the tears begin to flow ... before temple and text and marriage vows and office promotions and athletic prowess and adjusted gross income and academic degrees and changing the oil in the car ... who am I before the add-ons begin... and to what, exactly, is anything else added on?
Seriously -- it's a simple enough question, isn't it? Every day of the week I get up in the morning to take a leak and there is no doubt about it. But what is it about which there is no doubt?
I cannot be other than who I am and yet who I am seems to elude me. To sidestep the question with a cavalier "fuck it!" means that I am left running on the gasoline that others possess -- ideas, beliefs, intentions, hopes, wisdom ... and all the other borrowed stuff.
Years and years of effort can be applied to those two small words: Be yourself. There is no other choice but to be myself, but what, precisely, the choice is remains ephemeral. And then there's always the skittish question, "If I were myself (whatever the hell that means), would I have any friends?"
Deeper and deeper the rabbit hole goes.
Is it worth the price of admission?
I think so but I also think it is not my call.
It's your call.