Who am I?




Ganesh H Shankar
Who am I?
A self portrait on a canvas of nature.

This leads to a question who am I?

All the answers available, I think, are opinions - both in eastern and western philosophies. This includes, David Hume to Kant to Vedantas. Mind, body, duality of mind and body to finding an answer in characterisation of consciousness, the chitta.

Is this a meaningless question to ask then?

While some of the western thoughts seem to oversimplify it to a questionable level, eastern thoughts seem to be very prescriptive and not amenable for reasoning. While Kant's observation about limits of reasoning is well within limits of our reasoning
we simply can't (wrongly) use that yardstick to anything that we can't reason about!

Probably I can live with the answer that the question itself does not make sense!!

#CNPPhilosophy #Philosophical-Nature-Photography
Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:54 pm
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Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Fine Art Nature Photography

Ganesh H Shankar  Joined CNP On 24 Apr 2008    Total Image posts 905    -   Total Image Comments 7740    -   Image Post to Comment Ratio 1:9    -   Image Comment Density 38     -     Total Forum Posts 956

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Commentby Ghanshyam Savani on Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:22 pm

Yes, Sir.... an eternal question that the humanity has been in search from the time immemorial and Science, Art, Philosophy and Religion are the different paths to go on search for the ultimate answer- the answer for the ultimate salvation.

Can 'Who am I? be answered through Science? Art? Philosophy? or by the Religion? Which one will be the right kind of path to follow? Or 'Is this Pathless Path'? What is it? Can 'Philosophical Nature Photography' lead us to solve this eternal koan of life? Can any form of Art give the answer of it? Can Meditation take us to beyond all this where there is no duality, no friction? Just I have meditating over this theme and trying to put this into my images.

The question is as huge and solid as a mountain. The crack in the stone is a portrayal of liquidity of abstraction with a hope to get the answer to the question- ‘Who am I?’ Right now, the answer is just like a shadow. Tfs.

Thanks and regards….

Ghanshyam Savani
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ghanshyam ... ?details=1

Commentby Prashanth Sampagar on Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:18 pm

Dear Ganesh,

I've scribbled few things that came to my mind. Tried to put it in words.

Does the I keep changing every minute? Today's I will not be same as tomorrow's I, right? Or, even the very next minute it'll not remain same. So I keeps changing. Or the so called I remains constant and the meaning of I for me keeps changing with time and experience. But when do I realise the existence of I. When I'm happy do I realise there is something called I. Or when I'm not happy do I start searching for who am I. Why I am not happy because I'm not happy with what I have. Why do I feel that what I have is not satisfying because I compare it with what others have. Or it starts within me feeling the true sense that I don't have anything.
Who am I?

Best regards,

Prashanth Sampagar

My Insta feed

» Last edited by Prashanth Sampagar on Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

Commentby Rajkumar on Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:26 am

Ramana's observation was "Who is asking this question? " "Who wants to know ?" Maybe it is a paradoxical question. "I" exists precisely because of "Who am I ?" if the answer is found at that moment the "I" ceases and asks no more questions and gets dissolved ......

Art is about what is inside rather than what is outside

Commentby Nevil Zaveri on Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:39 pm

A simple yet profound image to go with the eternal question!, Ganesh. I don't know/understand much, but feel there will never be an answer to this question. Here is my all time fav answer saying 'what I am not'! .. by Bulleh Shah @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTxZy32Fv_0

Nevil Zaveri

» Last edited by Nevil Zaveri on Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:43 pm; edited 3 times in total

Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:09 am

Thanks for that interesting video, Nevil. I embedding it down here if someone to want to watch it here itself.

Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Fine Art Nature Photography

» Last edited by Ganesh H Shankar on Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:10 am; edited 1 time in total

Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Sat Oct 29, 2022 12:31 pm

While discussing a related topic today with a friend of mine, I remembered this image I posted a few years ago. I just wanted to add gist of what I wrote to him here.

Who am I?

While I don't expect scientific dissection of these philosophical concepts I find some of the religiously views very elusive to understand. You listen to them for an hour and ponder over what was said, you tend to get confused because most of it is not amenable to reasoning and questioning. I think they make sense only if you are already
bought into them and you blindly accept them.

The two best answers I know to the questions like "Who am I?", "What is life?" are:

1. The question does not make sense
2. I don't know

I think I have no reason to believe I am very different from an ant or a crow on this mother planet which itself is an atom in this universe of trillions of stars. If the "liberation/moksha" does not make sense for an ant or an elephant, it does not make sense for me too. Of course, needless to say, I don't know what makes sense for an ant or an elephant. The so-called "higher order thinking" of us humans has only been endorsed by us, the humans. For all we know the so-called "laws of nature" may be a much bigger super set of the laws of nature that we humans know. To me the cycle of birth and death is not bad, it is just marvellous and beautiful. That is what I see everywhere in mother nature. If it is good for nature, it is good for me too. It is the law of Nature (or God). Who knows what the "truth" is? I think, if we keep aside morality and ethics, religious philosophy may be left with just views and opinions.

In this context these words by Einstein makes profound sense to me:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead - his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness - Einstein.

There may be something behind this magnificent construction which we (insignificant creation of Nature) don't understand. The best we can do is to wonder about it, during our lifetime.

Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Fine Art Nature Photography

» Last edited by Ganesh H Shankar on Sat Oct 29, 2022 12:32 pm; edited 1 time in total