What is me? Strange title for an article, I agree, but hopefully the meaning behind it will become clear. I’ve been trying to write this article for weeks. I’ve written, re-written it and now I’ve just deleted it again and starting from scratch. My thoughts on this topic are very clear but I’m having trouble describing them in words. I think I’ve got it this time. I hope you give me a few minutes of reading time to see if this makes sense to you and connects with you in some way.
We are all “me”
I think that I am “me”, and you think that you’re “me”. We all call ourselves “me”. We all have a special relationship with ourselves and feel that we’re separate from everyone else.
When we are born we are just new babies, but the differences start building up immediately. First we are male or female. Then we get a name and, by the time we reach adulthood, we have a very long list of definitions that relate to “me”. Sometimes we say things like we need to “define” ourselves, or “find” ourselves or “make our mark” on the world. We surely are asking ourselves “What is me?” and there is definitely a big push to defining a unique “me” during our lives.
But then, we also really don’t want to be unique either. At least not completely. We want to have a large group of friends who, for the most part, think and feel in a similar way to us. So, we want to be part of a group of similar people as well as being unique.
“What is me” after death?
When we get to the end of our life on Earth, what happens? There are lots of different opinions on this one, and I guess nobody knows for sure.
Some people say that there is nothing after death. Absolutely nothing. To me this a strange statement because, actually, the body is still there. The body that we’ve spent years looking after (hopefully), exercising, dieting, styling its hair, moisturizing its skin, tanning in the sun, adorning with clothes, tattoos, and jewellery, and on and on. Isn’t it ironic that this body, that was so important to us in life on Earth, is still there but the “me” is gone? Completely gone without a trace. Nothing shows me more clearly that “me” cannot be linked to the body.
Others believe that the spirit goes on after death and this also clearly shows that the body and the spirit, or “me”, are not inexorably linked. Essentially, the body is a disposable item for the spirit. Awareness and consciousness continues even though the body is “dead”.
Whatever belief we have, “me” is not linked to the body.
This is a big concept – the awareness of “me” and the body cannot be linked. That makes me start thinking about life in general.
What connects “me” and Life?
Really, the awareness of being “me” could be considered a prerequisite for life. As we saw above, at death “me” disappears (at least from the world we currently observe) but the body is still there. Death means the absence of life. So the absence of “me” and the absence of life seem to be the same thing.
What do we say when someone has been injured badly and they’ve lost the awareness of themselves? Often they are called “brain dead”. Even though their body is still functioning, we start calling them dead.
So it’s easy to say that an awareness of being “me” and life are the same thing. Does this go for all living things? Are animals aware of being “me”? There’s no reason why not. Are plants aware of being “me”? There’s no reason why not. In fact, recent research shows how plants warn other plants when pests come to invade – there’s more to plants than we might think.
Maybe the thing that connects all living things is a thing called “Life”. Sounds like a stupid statement, but it means more than it seems. What if the fundamental force behind everything in the universe could be called Life? This makes a lot of sense because if it wasn’t for Life, there would be nothing to be aware of anything anyway.
Remember that philosophical question “if a tree fell in the forest but nobody was there, would it make a noise?” ? Well, in this case, if there’s a universe that contains lots of amazing things, but there are no life forms of any kind, how would anybody know?
Fairly simple really. Life provides the ability to be aware of oneself and everything else. Without the ability to be aware, nothing matters. So without Life there can be nothing.
Life and “what is me?”
If Life is behind all the “me’s”, then we’re all connected. There can only be one force behind the universe, only one Life, but there are countless “me’s”, so we must all be connected by this same force, Life.
Some might ask “why can there be only one Life force?”. Let’s consider that. First, a Life force provides awareness. It’s the force that allows something to be aware of itself and what’s around it. But awareness is simply that. Just awareness. There can’t be different types of awareness. Some may say that the awareness of person X and person Y are different, but that’s not true. The two people may be different, but the ability to be aware that they contain is the same. Some people might call awareness by the name consciousness, but here I prefer to use awareness as it is a much simpler concept.
We’re all fundamentally linked by our capacity of awareness. Wow. We’re not isolated and separate. We’re all connected in an important way. We all come from the same source.
Now, one more big step. What we see in this world could just be Life expressing itself in many different ways. What do you do if you are Life? You live! And you probably do it in very grand ways. What if this universe is Life’s playground. Each one of us (and every living thing) is Life enjoying itself in this playground.
Let’s take this concept a little further. There is only one source, Life, behind all the “me’s”. Just one consistent thing. What if this world is Life’s way of pretending that Life can be separate. It has split itself up into untold “living things” (or “me’s”) and allowed them to think they are separate things. They’re not, because they are all a part of Life, but they certainly feel separate in this world.
Could Life be just having fun, splitting part of itself into apparent pieces, pretending to be an enormous amount of separate things, and just waiting for the joy of the pieces to realise (remember) that they really are all the same and part of the source called Life? I wonder.
Final words on “What is me?”
It’s time for us to remember. We (all the “me’s”) are the same. We’re not just connected but, in a fundamental way, we are the same. We look and feel different, but we’re not. It’s like we’re wearing costumes to a party.
When we see any living thing, we can see what it appears to be at the moment, or we can look beyond that and see Life. We can see beyond the costume and gaze at the holiness (one-ness) of Life.
Now that surely changes my perspective of the world.
We are not our bodies. We are Life. And Life continues everywhere, for all time. We are all in this together, one for all and all for one. Let’s respect each other and have fun.
So when you think about your identity, when you think about what it means to be alive, when you think about why you deserve to exist, you’re not your thoughts, because you think them. And you can’t be your feelings, because otherwise, who’s the you that feels them? You’re not what you have; you’re not what you do; you’re not even who you love, or who loves you. There has to be something underneath all that.
Here I’ve been talking about that something underneath all that. Life. And it’s what we all share together. All of us. As one.
Therefore the answer to the question “what is me?” is “we are Life!”. A very collective answer to a singular question because we are all one.
Related Links – What is Me?
- Just for fun here’s a really pleasant song from Slik Tiger called “What is you, What is me” [link]