Who Am I Then?


A few days ago, I came across a video showing how Tibetans offer their dead to the vultures.

That’s right—Tibetans don’t bury their dead, because they don’t have enough suitable land. They don’t burn bodies either, because they don’t have enough trees, so they feed them to the vultures instead. The video was quite strange. These enormous vultures, which we’d normally find fairly scary, waited patiently for their food to be prepared. There is a similar tradition in Bhutan as well, but only for those who die before age five. They burn everyone else…

As I watched the video, I pictured myself as one of these recently deceased people. I then saw all my loved ones, one by one. We were all dead, being eaten by vultures. I felt restless at first, but then something came to me that I’d known since birth, something I’d never realized until suddenly that day:  My body and my identity are a part of this world, this planet, this nature, and the time and space they inhabit. I always believed I was Hasan Çeliktaş, and my entire life had been devoted to building and protecting this identity, yet I wasn’t Hasan Çeliktaş… I’ve seen so many past incarnations of myself. I’ve even seen myself in parallel lives. They all had different identities, but I mistakenly perceived them. I perceived myself in those lives as Hasan. For example, if I saw myself as a nun in a particular life, I regarded it to be Hasan, but it wasn’t. In a similar situation, Robert De Niro would forget himself and believe himself to be Don Carleone. So here comes a basic question: Who is really inside me? I believe myself to be Hasan Çeliktaş, but who am I really?

Now, there are several ways to reply to this question, and I know a stack of boilerplate answers, but actually feeling the realization of this is a completely different emotion. When we filmed Eternal Talks with Barış Özkırış, he said something enlightening: “We have 50 different defense mechanisms to protect our being.” At that very moment, it all came to me. So many things I consider to be “me” are actually mere mechanisms that were to construct and defend an identity that wasn’t actually “me.” I then considered something: So, what’s left once all these defense mechanisms are destroyed? In other words, what remains after the palace called “me” inside me, with its hundreds of rooms, collapses. Afterwards, during my Theta meditation training with Begüm, we meditated about being one with everything. I really felt ONE with everything right there and then. The “me” in me was something else, however, something completely different. That “me” believed himself to be Hasan Çeliktaş.

I think it’s time to explore “me” deeper and deeper with every passing day. I observe, and I do this often, because everything I see belongs to me, all of it. This includes the people around me, the events I see, the news I read, and whatever else. Every time I feel restless, I turn inside myself. I first give it a big hug. I identify what it brings to my life, how it serves me, and how I draw it into my life. I then send it to the Creator’s light inside me, filling that space with eternal, unconditional love. (Note: The Theta techniques really help me at this stage.)

As I continue this, I feel even the ironclad mountains inside me begin to melt. My toughest parts soften, and my most stubborn resistances relent. Yes, I still have my sharp edges, my tough parts, and my stubbornness, but as soon as I see them, I start to immediately observe them. I ask what they bring me as a gift, and then comes a great deal of hugs, love, and compassion.

This is my life nowadays. I just wanted to share it with you…

So, who am I then? I haven’t realized the energy of comprehension yet, but I feel we may experience it before we die…

Thanks a million for everything.

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