Many spiritual traditions encourage you to ask the question: ‘Who am I?’ Perhaps most famously, Ramana Maharshi taught that this is all you need to do in order to experience your true self and enlightenment. Just keep asking yourself, honestly, from the depths of your heart, over and over again…
Who am I? Who am I?
By delving into this question, you’ll inevitably end up drawing a blank. For who you really are is hidden beneath innumerable masks: the roles and identities you’ve created and continue to create over the course of your life. (Of course, these are the masks created by your ego.) Consequently, the only things you’ll find are things you are not. Is the essence of who you are, for instance, a mother? A father? Is it the you who spends all day at your workplace? Or, on a deeper level, is it the you who is seeking who you are in the first place? On the one hand, yes, all these roles do express certain aspects of yourself, but on the other hand, no, they aren’t really you. As much as you may identify with and even love playing out some of these roles, none fully represents your fundamental and true being. For ultimately, you are the one consciousness underlying all these things.
As you become increasingly aware of your roles and identities – many of which are obscured by habits and addictions – it becomes possible to see them for what they are: masks you wear over your deeper self. In doing so, it becomes possible to let go of the given mask and see who you are without it. When you fully surrender yourself to this process, when you finish the monumental undertaking of unmasking yourself, you’ll finally experience the consciousness who has been wearing all these masks. You’ll know who you really are.
Water fasting can help you do this.
How? By taking away food, by seeing who you are without it, you expose one of the most deeply ingrained and primal masks of all. You’ll experience how your entire relationship with food has distorted and clouded your true being. You’ll realise that, ever since the day you were born, you’ve confused the biological need for food with pleasure, comfort, solace: all the emotions required to quell the fears and insecurities of entering this world. It’s unavoidable. For mother’s breast gives so much more than simply food… Yes, you’ve confused love with sating your hunger. As hard as it may sound, seeking the quick fix of love through food has made you comfortably numb. By losing yourself in mother’s breast, in the safety of warm flesh, you’ve also lost your true self.
When you free yourself from food, you also free yourself from illusion. Who are you? You’ll remember, you’ll re-experience that your true self, your soul, has no need for physical sustenance. You’ll glimpse behind the veil and catch sight of your full consciousness. You’ll know that you are an infinite being, connected with everything through unconditional love.