People use the word “I” referring to a particular body and mind with a particular life story and situation associated with it. “I” or “my” is concerned only with the dimension of stuff / material / matter—the shifting forms of the material realm.
While I recognize that there is a particular body, mind, life story, and situation associated with this temporary physical form, it is not who I am. “I am” refers to consciousness / life / spirit—which is not in the observable, material realm; rather, is of what the mind dismisses as “nothing”.
The paradoxical truth is that something is actually nothing, while nothing is really everything.
We are talking about identity, and there is a fundamental need for a permanent identity. The problem is that we attempt to build one up through everything we are doing in the physical dimension / external world. Here everything is always changing, and all life forms grow old and die.
For to be meaningful, it must be permanent. That which is not permanent / eternal is only a meaningless situation.
A person driven by ego does not fundamentally understand this. Until we escape from the ego trap, we exhaust ourselves in a vain attempt to build up an identity that is recognizable in the external world. We attempt to derive lasting happiness through particular life situations or outcomes, but reality is such that it does not obey our mind’s desires. Anyway, the mind cannot know anything about what you really need until it knows who “you” are.
To spiritually awaken is to humble oneself to the point of saying “I am nothing”, or “I am” without adding anything to it. This is the recognition of identity / truth / reality—which is unchangeable, or it wouldn’t be truth and reality.
Now you can observe the external world and take part in it—but in a way that you no longer want or need anything from it. You are free. You can express and handle truth. Only loving thoughts and expressions are real, and everything else is forgiven.
This is for the few who are willing to trade suffering and drama for healing and joy.