You exist on many levels. On the most superficial level, you are your physical body. Some would say the physical body has attributes like consciousness, thoughts, emotions, feelings, etc.
On a bit deeper level, you are a personality that is beyond the body. The body is just a vehicle.
Some would define themselves by their work.
Some by their family and relationships.
Some by their thoughts, emotions, and beliefs.
Now you may understand all of this, but that is not enough. Take a moment to reflect and to be honest with yourself. Who are you? How do you define yourself? Do not answer based upon a philosophy that you hold true to. Do not answer based upon what you think you should believe or intellectually know. Answer based upon what you feel. Answer based upon how you live your life. Answer based upon what you feel and experience from within your own life, not based upon what you have been told. On what level of life do you put most of your energy? What level are you invested in? To find the answer, do not just think, but FEEL. Also, look at how you live your life. The term for that is IDENTITY. What level of life are you most identified with?
Now, there are many more levels to you than the ones mentioned so far. Your being exists beyond your thoughts and emotions. Take a moment to feel into that. Who are you? What are you that lies beyond thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and the “story” of your life? What part of you lies beyond all of that?
It is quite normal and healthy for your attention to move from one level to the next. Sometimes your attention is mostly on your body. Sometimes your thoughts, sometimes emotions, sometimes the activity you are engaged in. At each moment, your ‘self’ is related to on a different level. That is fine.
But there is a particular level that you identify with as ‘you’ most of the time and put most of your life force into. What level is that? Do ponder this, but do not think you have to have an exact answer.
The value of the question is in the pondering of it, not in the answering of it.
Now, there is a level beyond all the levels we have discussed so far. It is the Transcendental basis of all the other levels of not only you as an individual, but of all life and all things. Just as the earth is the basis and the essence of all the plants, the one Transcendent is the basis, the essence, of everything. It is who you really are. The eternal you. The you that lies beyond space, time, thoughts, emotions, the story. It is the source of infinite bliss, harmony, intelligence, love, wisdom, and yet it lies beyond all of those things. It is pure Is-ness. It is one with all that is. You sense it inside yourself, though you may speak of it differently.
In the state of enlightenment, that is what you know your self to be. That is what you rest into, like the idle of an automobile. The engine is always running. It is always there. But the awareness naturally rests into that.
It is who you know yourself to be. You can still act with passion on all levels of life. But you are no longer identified with anything. You are in the world, but not of it. This is not an attitude or philosophy or belief. It is a state of consciousness. You simply see the world as it truly is. The deepest mystery of life is simply self evident, obvious. You spontaneously and naturally live your life accordingly.