‹Who am I?› – That is the big question – perhaps the biggest. It stood above Delphi’s temple as ‹Gnothi seauton› (Know Thyself), belongs to the core of spiritual development, and is the driving force of a good story.
Presumably, everyone gives a new answer in the course of life and thus reveals oneself. «The longest path is the path to find yourself,» notes Dag Hammarskjöld. The question comes closer when we ask it our neighbor: ‹How do you see me?›, for the other often has the key to the door for this path to the self. Boyfriend and girlfriend are often able to see much more, to say more about how and who you are. The question goes to the deepest level when you ask it to your very neighbor: ‹How do you love me?› That’s what King Lear does. As deep as the question is, it is impossible because the ‹how› of love is beyond all assurance. «My love weighs heavier than my word!» he hears from his youngest daughter. For this, the heart must become an ear, and the king must first find this heart, the queen in the soul. He has to give everything of himself, his clothes, and his mind to arrive in the open air and find the answer to the self there.
Photo François Croissant
Translation Monika Werner