Who Am I?

If your parents gave you a different name, raised you a different way, in a different place, you would think you were a different person. Who you think you are, your identity and your ego, is learned. Anything that is learned can be unlearned and relearned so besides asking “who you think you are,” you might also ask “who do you want to be” and “where can you learn to be that?”

We refer to computers as artificial intelligence because we modeled them after our own intelligence as human beings. All computers are the same when it comes to the hardware. They all have a keyboard, a monitor and some sort of structure to hold the components. They all have memory and a processor. If left standing with just the hardware, a computer would do absolutely nothing.

The difference between computers is in the programming, the software. If you take the program out of one computer and put it into another, then that computer can perform those functions, too. One computer can do something almost any other computer can do if it has the right program.

Human beings, whose intelligence is not artificial, though often questionable, are all the same, too. We have the same amount of gray matter and the same central nervous system. The hardware is the same. The difference, like computers, is in the programming. Therefore, if one human being can do something, anything, then almost any other human being can do it if they have the same program.

Perhaps this is an over generalization, but it is a useful one.

The question is who taught us and who programmed us? Many would say our parents taught and programmed us. To some extent, this statement is true. Our extended family of brother and sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins taught and programmed us, too. Our friends and their families taught and programmed us.

Each one taught and programmed us with the best they had and all they had. Each one thought what they were giving us was right. Whatever they did not give, they did not have. It is hard to be angry, mad or resentful to anyone who gives their best and gives their all. They deserve nothing but gratitude and appreciation, even if what they gave does not work for us. Many times, it did not work for them either, but they did not, and probably still do not, know it.

Thinking that we have to spend a lot of time going over the past is inaccurate. Yes, we learned a lot from our parents. Yes, some of those lessons continue to cause us problems. To be honest, we cannot change the past. Usually the problem with the past is we just do not want to accept it for what it was. There is no such thing as “unfinished business.” It is finished; we just do not like the way it ended.

Think of the things in your past that no longer cause you problems. Usually we accept them because they ended much the way we wanted them to or at least close enough to it. Now, think of the things we carry around inside our heads that cause us so much suffering. They usually are the things that did not end the way we wanted them to end. Therefore, we carry them around; repeatedly going over them, all in a vain attempt to get them to change and end the way we wanted them to.

This approach does not work though, does it? We may not have had the childhood we wanted, but we had the one we had. Most of us did not know that at the time it should have been different. It was just what it was. Later in life, we learned to make the comparison and began to feel bad. Usually if we feel bad, we think we have to change something. We do not have to change anything to feel better. We would feel better if we accepted the past for what it was, and stopped trying to change what we cannot change.

You do not have to go over your past to change your present and your future. We can certainly not change the ego identity we had yesterday. We can change the ego identity we have today. We stop ourselves from having what we want by using the learned programs from the past that we have taken as our ego identity, or who we think we are. What we have to do to have and be whom we want are the new learned programs that will lead us toward who we want to be and the future we want to have.

Who we think we are as an ego identity, is the sum total of yesterday’s programs and lessons learned. In many ways, we, as an ego identity, are the reflection of people who did not know much about us as individuals. They were all humans caught up in the struggles of the human condition. We accept and believe we are who they taught us we are. Is that who we want to be? Will we get what we want out of life?

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