Who Am I?

A Great Story Parable

by Connie Barlow

Please note that this is the core of a parable. Anyone who wishes to use it might embellish it with an introductory paragraph that establishes the characters and context (John Cock and Bill Bruehl each made this excellent suggestion). Also, some of the responses of the sage cannot be fully understood by a reader or listener without awareness of particular key moments in the Epic of Evolution, so if used with novices it will require some helpful explanation (Alan Tower pointed that out).

Because I received several suggestions for alternate endings, I have decided to post this parable with the last line blank, for YOU to fill in. Possible endings then follow. Choose, or create your own.

Click here for a SCRIPT version of this parable, for two volunteer readers, which you can download in PDF.

"Who am I in a school of a thousand students?" inquired the youth.

"Who are you in a galaxy of a hundred billion stars?" responded the sage.

"Who am I in a world of six thousand million people?" inquired the youth.

"Who are you in a cosmos of a hundred billion galaxies?"

* * *

"Who am I whose ancestors sailed away from their homeland?" asked the youth.

"Who are you whose ancestors crawled out of the sea?" replied the sage.

"Who am I whose ancestors learned to till the soil?" asked the youth.

"Who are you whose ancestors learned to breathe the air?"

* * *

"Who am I in a body made of mortal flesh?" implored the youth.

"Who are you as flesh made of immortal stardust?" offered the sage.

"Who am I with a mind aching for answers?" lamented the youth.

"Who are you ______________?"


  • as Universe delighting in questions?" [by Connie Barlow]

  • as Universe with questions and answers hidden within you? [by Mary Coelho]

  • as thought before mind? [by Mustafaa AbdulHaq AbdAllah]

  • created in the image of the Universe? [by Rev. Donald S. Brown]

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