For the most part, we're not facile with the use of am
ie be and all other forms of the gerund
being as an active verb as an act of
deliberation, as an act of intention, as an act of creation the way
Werner Erhard uses it. We use it instead somewhat imprecisely and
loosely to imply an equation. When we say "I am who I really
am" it's likely we say it as an offhand caricature, as a kind of
flip, trite answer. It's Popeye the Sailor's "I yam what I
yam". When I say it that way, there's no real depth or power or
precision to it. In fact, its rote, self deprecating humor deflects
and distracts from the point being made, from the
experience of being who I really am.
Popeye the Sailor
But if you ask instead "How can I ever not know who I really
am?", that's a much more powerful question which elicits many, many
answers, the first of which is the obvious (and clearly direct)
"because I don't live inside an inquiry into who I really am"; the
second of which is the less obvious (and more
"because I've not begun to distinguish what I believe automatically
from what I know, nor to distinguish what I don't know from what
I don't know I don't know".
Although I get lots and lots and lots of answers when I inquire
into what I don't know I don't know, none of those answers tell me
who I really am. Yet here's where an interesting thing happens.
It's in fleshing out what I don't know I don't know
that I find out who I really am.