Whatever happens or whatever doesn’t. Whatever works out in your favour or whatever breaks down. Whatever you end up winning or whatever you miss out on. It’s still the same you.
Whenever you’re up or whenever you’re down. Whenever it seems clear or whenever it’s all a haze. Whenever you feel driven or whenever you are at a loose end. It’s still the same you.
However you succeed or however you fail. However you make things work or however you struggle to. However life appears to hold meaning or however it seems to hold none. It’s still the same you.
Wherever the destination or wherever the road. Wherever life seems to take you or wherever it doesn’t. Wherever life flows effortlessly or wherever it gets stuck. It’s still the same you.
Whoever puts a smile on your face or whoever brings you down. Whoever thinks the world of you or whoever thinks you are scum. Whoever loves and cherishes you or whoever despises you and wishes the worst. It’s still the same you.
Whomever you place above yourself or whomever you place below. Whomever you admire and would fashion yourself after or whomever you abhor and would want to be nothing like. Whomever you value as being worthy of your love or whomever you value not. It’s still the same you.
Whichever path you take at the fork, whichever opportunity you miss. Whichever lens you use to look at the past whether with gratitude or regret, whichever lens you you use to perceive the future whether with hope or dread. Whichever thought consumes your mind, whichever emotion rifles through your body. It’s still the same you.
Whyever would you believe there is anything you need to justify, whyever would you think there is anything to prove? Whyever would you believe there is anyone to emulate, whyever would you think there is something left for you to find? Whyever would you believe you need to become “more” in order to truly “be”, whyever would you think that what you are worth is not enough? Have you ever been anyone but this very same you?
No matter the names you give yourself, no matter the identity changes. No matter the roles you play in your life, no matter the responsibilities you have or lack. No matter the myriad ways in which you suffer, no matter all the sophistications you use to escape it. It’s still the same you.
Yet, it is so obvious that it insults our intelligence for it to be so evident.
And so we invent the question: “what” am I? And lo and behold we create a world of infinitely complex forms.
We invent the question: “when” am I? And lo and behold we create a universe of time; with a past and future stretching on towards infinity and a present so minuscule as if it were meant to be completely ignored.
We invent the question: “where” am I? And lo and behold we create a world separated by great distances: physical, intellectual and emotional.
We invent the question: “how” have I come to be? And lo and behold we create a world of infinite cause and effect, reasons and rationalizations, theories and superstitions, science and religion.
We invent the question: “who” am I? And lo and behold we create layers and layers of identities and categories within which we box ourselves endlessly.
We invent the question: For “whom” do I exist? And we create the “others” in our lives to whom we are forever struggling to reach and relate.
We invent the question: “which” is my fate? And we create a world of good and bad, right and wrong, dark and light, suffering and liberation, samsara and nirvana that we are forever navigating as if standing on a tightrope.
We invent the question: “why” do I exist? And we create a world of language, belief, logic and reason in the hopes that if we invent just enough symbols and pointers they will lead us to where we are seeking to arrive.
Yet, no matter how many hoops you try and jump through, no matter how many twists and turns your life takes. No matter how complex you try and make things, no matter how much you try and simplify. No matter how enlightened you want to believe you are, no matter how ignorant you feel. No matter how many knots the snake ties itself into in order to find its own tail – the snake is still the snake.
And you are still the same you.