„I am what I am: an individual, unique and different“
„(…) There is something exceptional, unique, about the present event, which the previous, or the coming do not have. (…) What makes the present so different? Obviously, my presence. I am real for I am always now, in the present, and what is with me now shares in my reality.“
— Nisargadatta Maharaj Indian guru 1897 - 1981
„I know myself as mortal, but this raises the question: "What is I?" Am I an individual, or am I an evolving life stream composed of countless selves?“
— Charles Lindbergh American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist 1902 - 1974
Context: I know myself as mortal, but this raises the question: "What is I?" Am I an individual, or am I an evolving life stream composed of countless selves? … As one identity, I was born in AD 1902. But as AD twentieth-century man, I am billions of years old. The life I consider as myself has existed though past eons with unbroken continuity. Individuals are custodians of the life stream — temporal manifestations of far greater being, forming from and returning to their essence like so many dreams. … I recall standing on the edge of a deep valley in the Hawaiian island of Maui, thinking that the life stream is like a mountain river — springing from hidden sources, born out of the earth, touched by stars, merging, blending, evolving in the shape momentarily seen. It is molecules probing through time, found smooth-flowing, adjusted to shaped and shaping banks, roiled by rocks and tree trunks — composed again. Now it ends, apparently, at a lava brink, a precipitous fall. Near the fall's brink, I saw death as death cannot be seen. I stared at the very end of life, and at life that forms beyond, at the fact of immortality. Dark water bent, broke, disintegrated, transformed to apparition — a tall, stately ghost soul emerged from body, and the finite individuality of the whole becomes the infinite individuality of particles. Mist drifted, disappeared in air, a vanishing of spirit. Far below in the valley, I saw another river, reincarnated from the first, its particles reorganized to form a second body. It carried the same name. It was similar in appearance. It also ended at a lava brink. Flow followed fall, and fall followed flow as I descended the mountainside. The river was mortal and immortal as life, as becoming.
— Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and artist 1941
— Charlie Chaplin British comic actor and filmmaker 1889 - 1977
Context: I am not a political man and I have no political convictions. I am an individual and a believer in liberty. That is all the politics I have. On the other hand I am not a super-patriot. Super-patriotism leads to Hitlerism — and we've had our lesson there. I don't want to create a revolution — I just want to create a few more films. In response to journalist for comments on United States Attorney-General's announcement to revoke his re-entry visa, Cherbourg, England, as quoted in "Mr. Chaplin's Defense", The Guardian (23 September 1952)
— Edie Brickell singer from the United States 1966
"What I Am"
— Deepak Perwani Pakistani fashion designer 1973