Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

What Is This ME?
Monica Alderton

flower picture

(From a post to the satsangdiarygroup Egroup Jan 2005.)

When you asked the question "What is this me? " my hand shot up in the air: just like wanting to tell teacher. You see I first met Me in the playground at school. Nothing gave way to something and hey presto Me appeared. Me seemed such a poor reflection of the source that Me replaced and it was full of the fear of feeling separate. A mist of sweet sadness filled a space of new territory, that of here and over there. It was inhabited by Me and others.

Me had climbed into the driving seat.

Me sees the particular and ignores the background. It appears to go out and grab a part of the creation to maintain its own existence; like you might grab the hanging strap on the tube to stop yourself falling over. Its favourite space is inside the head; its favourite food is thought. It whines continuously. Every now and again it seems to move out of the way, gives up playing the main part. But it quickly notices its absence and bounds back in again.

It offers choice; it promises it will cease one day and this keeps Me on its toes. Each day when I get out of bed Me binds my hands and I meekly sit and watch the shadows on the wall; then low and behold next thing it offers to lead me out of the cave!

It repeats itself - endlessly. This can take forever because it changes shape and form but keeps enough of itself the same to ensure I believe it exists. It can't be seen, touched, heard or tasted. It has been known to lay down quietly during meditation and with the occasional stroke of affection sleeps at my feet revealing the wonders it strives to conceal in its world of enchantment. But it wakes up to claim the wonders and wants to repeat them. At Christmas I tried to drown Me with champagne and distract it with presents but Me is never satisfied.

If there is a hierarchy of concepts then the Me is the worst one. Right at the bottom of the pile furthest from truth. But hey this is only a judgement made by Me so we can discount it right away.

In another classroom some years later in Suffolk Street, London (i.e. SES), I actually did see a picture of Me. A "tutor" was standing in front of a blackboard drawing a circle with a heavy wooden compass. He then drew dots inside the circle with chalk: "tap- tap- tap" until the circle was filled with these Me-s. The circle was the source, the totality, and inside were these little troublemakers. I hadn't realised there were quite so many. Now I could see the enemy and battle would commence.

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