Your Prime Identity
and The Odds of You Being You
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Let’s start at the beginning.
Like every human ever born, you arrived here by way of the miraculous. This is not my opinion or a Hallmark card one-liner meant to spark warm fuzzies.
It is a mathematical fact that your birth is a cosmic event, a happening that is statistically impossible.
In 2011, Dr. Ali Binazir, a Harvard and Cambridge trained medical doctor and philosopher, calculated just how impossible. According to his math, the odds of you being born you are approximately 1 in 102,685,000. That’s a 10 followed by 2,685,000 zeroes.
I keep this infographic on my desktop as a reminder . . .
Over the years, other curious researchers and statisticians have also calculated the odds and arrived at the same conclusion: you are because the entire universe is.
Your existence is astronomically, incomprehensibly unlikely. The odds are so large, in fact, they are meaningless to the mind.
Yet, here you are reading these words, breathing, creating and living your life. Being you.
Let that sink in for a minute.
The fact is we are all, every one of us, miracles wrapped in skin and bone. That is the baseline, the starting point in our exploration of who you are and why you’re here.
But who am I talking about when I say “you” are a miracle? Who are “you”? A more precise question might be what are you? What were you born as?
If you ask ten people this question, you will get a variety of answers, most of which will be descriptions that range from gender and skin color to nationality, sexuality, or religious identity. These are all labels, but what is beneath them? What are they describing?
For now, let’s keep it as simple as possible and only say we are all born as human beings. Regardless of when, where, or to whom we were born, this much is true of everyone.
But what is a human being?
Let’s keep it simple and say there are two aspects to each of us: human and being. All the sages of history point to something similar, as do many modern scientists and philosophers. Like two sides of one coin, these inseparable aspects make us who we are in this life.
The Human aspect includes the physical “equipment” of the body. It is our sensory, bodily vehicle of perception, experience, and expression. Some would say it is your avatar for playing the Game of Life.
The Being aspect of our existence is pure awareness. You could also call it consciousness or presence. It is that boundless, aware intelligence which experiences and knows the world through the body. It is invisible, unmeasurable, and yet it is everything.
Descartes famously said, “I think, therefore, I am.” From the perspective of Being, the opposite is true. “I am, therefore, I think.”
Every culture has a name for this Being, the “I am”—soul, spirit, divinity, and the True Self are just a few. Whatever word you prefer, they all point to one thing: our Essential Nature.
The words themselves are not the reality. They merely point.
If you’ve ever been to a funeral, you may have a felt sense around this. I remember when my grandfather died. Standing beside his open casket, I had a deep intuition that the body I was looking at wasn’t him. In fact, it felt like I was looking at a stranger.
Whatever he was or had been during his life was no longer present. It was as if his body had merely been a glove and the unseen hand that animated it and lived through it—who he really was, his Being—had quietly slipped away.
What is the essential nature of a newborn human being, or any human being for that matter?
When you were born, you were the wildest and most free you have ever been. You were free of any thought, label, or judgment that could distort your view of yourself or life.
You had no language. Because you had no language, you had no thought because thought is language.
You were simply your Self.
Totally free. Totally wild.
But, like all of us, born in captivity.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because this is what we so easily forget.
It also what we’re all looking for in all of our pursuits, isn’t it? It’s not that we’re looking for the meaning of life as much as we just desperately want to feel fully alive and free.
You don’t have to go searching for miracles because you are one. Everywhere you look, they’re staring back at you too. If you could grasp this simple, mathematical truth for even a moment and experience a kind of Everyday Awe, your entire perspective would shift.
We’re all simply too distracted, rushing through life with our heads buried in our phones, trying to survive or conquer the worries of the day, that we miss this invitation to Everyday Way.
All that’s required to return to our Prime Identity is a pause, a shift in thinking. Taking notice. Paying attention. From that clear place, we begin to recognize our Essential Nature, our True Self. In fact, that’s where all rewilding begins: with recognition.
We’ll explore the Path of Recognition in my next essay and how it could be best understood as re-cognition, or re-thinking. If you want a workable, simple definition of awakening or enlightenment, it is simply that.
Changing your mind.
For today, let’s keep it simple. I invite you to take a moment and pay attention to yourself. Appreciate the incredible fact that you exist. Whatever your circumstances—whether you’re killing it and on top of the world right now or suffocating under a crush of challenge and questions—remember that you are because the entire Universe came together in an impossible miracle to make this very moment possible.
The Truth is simple in it’s enormity. It is also so simple it can’t be comprehended, but it can be experienced. You can feel it in your body if you give it a chance.
But, like with everything I tell you, don’t take my word for it. Try it and see if, behind the noise, you can sense your own Prime Identity—Who and What you really are. The background space within which everything else happens.
See if you can touch that today even for a moment. If you can, then you’re well on your way to knowing and understanding who you are and why you’re here.
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