Oscar Wilde once famously quipped, “Be yourself, for everyone else is already taken.”
But what does that mean, “Be yourself?” Be true to my ideals? Do what matters most to me? Follow my passion?
In order to be yourself, we must first be able to answer the question, “What am I?” And this is where all hell breaks loose.
We believe we are these bodies with certain characteristics, skills, and experience. We have a list of what we think we’re good at, areas we believe need work, and preferences we’d like met. The body (and brain) play a central role in our definition of self, as does our concept of soul when we consider the eventual demise or transcendence of the body.
At the core of “What am I?” is the strong sense of me-ness. I am me.
While we are so identified with “me”, our mind is split in two. One part knows the truth, and the other denies it.
When A Course in Miracles poses the question, “What is life except to be yourself?” it is challenging us to recognize our split mind, and particularly our strong association with the false self – known as the ego. That is where “me” comes from.
When we choose the part of our mind that knows the truth – otherwise known as the mind of love, spirit, or being – then we remember our true nature. We are one with everything. Me dissolves into We. And hell “disappears into the nothingness out of which it was made.”