Who Am I? The Knower Within

You will never trust your intuition until you identify with it. Self-esteem enters here. At the earlier stages of inner growth, a person is esteemed who belongs to the group and upholds its values. If the knower within tries to object, he is stifled. But the knower within can provide you with a new source of self-esteem. Find out how, here:

The word redemption conveys only a pale sense of how all-involving this whole expedition is. There is much more to the knower within than just being free from sin. Someone who still felt burdened with guilt and shame, however, would never embark on the voyage. You don’t have to be perfect to try to reach the angels, but you do have to be able to live with yourself and keep your own company for long stretches of time. A sense of sin hinders that ability.

The knower within has little to do with the five senses; it doesn’t care how rationality looks at a situation. The knower just knows. This mystery is the subject of a famous Zen parable: A young monk goes to his master, the abbot of the monastery, saying, “I must know the meaning of life. Will you tell it to me, sir?”

The master who was famed for his skill in calligraphy, picks up his brush and swiftly writes the word Attention on a piece of paper. The disciple waits, but nothing more happens. “Sir, I am determined to sit here until you tell me the meaning of life,” he repeats.

He sits down, and after a moment the master picks up his brush and again writes the word Attention on the paper.

“I don’t understand,” the disciple protests. “It is said that you have attained the highest enlightenment. I am very eager to learn. Won’t you tell me your secret?” But for the third time the master has nothing to say, only dipping his brush in the black ink and writing the word Attention. The young monk’s impatience turns to discouragement.

“So you have nothing to teach me?” he says mournfully. “If only I knew where to go. I have been seeking for so long.” He gets up and leaves. The old master follows him with a compassionate look as he takes his brush and with a single stroke writes the word Attention.

Adapted from How to Know God, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2000).


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago

thank you

Siobhan James
Siobhan James5 years ago

Your discovery of yourself is truly an inate process and differs for each individual.

Deborah F.
Deborah F5 years ago

I miss being in the country where I would sit outside at night and look at the stars and clear my mind of all that was troubling me by focusing on the stillness of the sky and trying to pinpoint one tree frog out of the hundreds who were singing. In the suburbs there is so much light pollution, it's almost impossible.

Ernestine Mettan
Ernestine Mettan5 years ago

This is like the Buddhist teaching of mindfulness. Of learning to be fully in the moment, and of seeing things as they are. I tend to see things through the filter of my conditioning, of my preconceptions and of my expectations. Through meditation where I have learned to observe my mind and see my passing thoughts for what they are, passing thoughts, I have started to learn how to be mindful.

irene fernandez
irene Fernandez5 years ago

Attention and being present, that is what one needs to practice on a daily basis if you want to really get to know yourself

John powers
John filipiak5 years ago

I've read several of Chopra's books, I feel better now that I don't read them. I think he's just a smooth talking fake on a big ego trip.

Carole R.
Carole R5 years ago

Thanks for the post.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Angela N.
Angela N5 years ago


Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

I believe the meaning of life individual and not universal at all.