concept of ‘me’

From: Shekhar Kapur, 30 Jul 2001 09:17:47 EDT To: Piet Hut
I agree that all sages have said that we have to know who we are – and unless we break free form the concept of the self and Maya – we are never going to understand the unverse and our relationship to it. And again the word ‘our’ comes into it – what does that mean ? But how do I get out of that gradually. Do I HAVE to come to that knowledge first – or can I go the other way


Can I try and distance event from time – or can my mind do that – without first answering the question ‘My’ ? Can I try and distance space from time ? –
Perhaps that is the way for me. Because I find it really difficult to go the other way – except theoretically – do I believe it ? Yes I do – that there is another reality outside the concept of ‘me’ – but there again it is a thought that emmates from my mind – the same vehicle from which the other thoughts about cause and event emmate from.
shekhar

23 Responses to “concept of ‘me’”

  1. Alok Kapur says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    That’s what the sages do, get us caught up in words. In my mind the way it plays out, the game is not about words because you would need some form of expression to express yourself. So whether it is “I” or “me” or “ours”, it does not make a difference. It is the state of being that needs to be experienced. Once experienced you want to keep going back to it again and again.
    Don’t know if you tried this, the sudarshan kriya by Ravi Shankar ji, it’s rythmic breathing excercises. Its an experience which I find very hard to express. Try it if you already haven’t!
    cheers
    alok

  2. Deepak Srinivasan says:

    hmmmm….
    struggling with the same thing again…apologised in the last post for sounding too philosophical but bumped into other posts that make me want to retract the apology and actually jump with joy at the forum created here…
    I was asking questions about consciousness and been trying to understand rigorous approach to spirituality the eastern way…even chastising myself for sometimes being unable to descipline myself enough to go thru the rigors which will help me understand the oneness, dissolve the maya…but I also have felt that a battle will cause distress because again, one creates another. So something about the rshis and their comments is not coming thru…or since apparently our world is structured in duality, the message is getting split and hence people understand one beam one way, and the other group another way…and they both think that the philosophies are clashing.
    ideally, no-thing needs to be done…no-where to go, no other world to discover, nothing!
    and that centering will give only the seeker the answer…
    lol
    again, sounding too esoteric…
    but as a neuroscientist i keep an open mind and experiement with tangible, and as an artist I try to experiment with belief…its been a strange journey…now need to get back to some work…so will end this abruptly …

  3. sachidandhan says:

    Dear Shekarji,
    “Your thoughts are not your thoughts
    Your body is not your body
    Your mind is not your mind
    Your self is only a concept”
    and so it cannot be achieved by your own
    It has to be given to you.
    Any amount of sadhana or thinking or philosophy
    or psychology or teaching
    is like “running to stop”.
    Its like “a blind man searching for a black cat
    in a dark room which does not exist”.
    Feeling of separation is the Highest of all
    human imagination and suffering
    The Truth is that You are One and the untruth
    is that you are trying to become One.
    with lots of love
    sachidanandhan

  4. Sanjay M says:

    Dear Shekar, been an occasional reader of your very fascinating and thought-provoking blog… but since you have asked, I write something based on my experience.
    You have hit the nail on the head when you’ve said: “there again it is a thought that emmates from my mind”
    Einstein has said that no problem can be solved at the same level that created it.
    Everything we know is through our thoughts. One needs to explore beyond the known.
    So I consider myself a researcher – also an explorer and an adventurer.
    Like Einstein has remarked “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?” – we can be clear that research involves going from known to unknown.
    After having extensively explored different places on the planet from Swiss Alps to Welsh Mountains to forests and pilgrimage places in India, I’m now looking at new kinds of exploration… simply sitting in one place 🙂
    It is a well known concept in science as said by Issac Newton “If I have seen further it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”
    We can leverage the contribution of the great Indian scientist Gautama Buddha (who many may have misunderstood to be more a God-man than a scientist). He had investigated exactly the same fundamental question.
    “I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” said Edison on creating the lightbulb. Similarly, Buddha after enlightenment declared: “For countless births have I passed through this cycle of births and deaths, seeking the builder of this house, but in vain. Sorrowful indeed is this cyclic repetition of births.”
    He had finally discovered an effective tool Vipassana which means “to see things as they are” (and not how they appear to be, how we’d like it to be, etc!). We needn’t again reinvent the basic concept of the light bulb from scratch – just switch on the bulb and do something useful, as per our own individual potential, using the light. Similarly, we can leverage on the result of Buddha’s findings as well.
    So Vipasanna of course isn’t the end in itself, but a beginning, A beginning which inspite of its simplicity – is a thoroughly refreshing and invigorating one. Each individual illuminating his own life using
    it, and beats his own path 🙂
    The analogy with light bulb is only an analogy and has its limitations – with constant evolution in technology, it may make sense for a light-bulb-inventor to create a new bulb from scratch. However, Gautama Buddha discovered Vipassana – it was not invented, it was already there – the same fundamental timeless and eternal truth of unconditional love, which is expressed again and again in different means by religions, saints
    and mystics.

  5. Rajdeep says:

    HI Shekhar….
    Please let me know aht you think of this….
    Me….What is me????
    Is it this body we live in. I mean is it even right to say…We live in the Body. Is the Body not Me? But if the Body be Me….which body is me…the one that was 10 years ago, the one now, or the one in future. The body chnages every moment. So is the body me?
    Is it my thoughts and mind then. But that also keeps changing. Then ?But Me , couldn’t “I”
    be an ever-cahnging thing as well?
    Or is it our ego, our sense of Identity that is the real me. But how do we determine our Identity???
    We determine our Identity in realtion to Others. The World that is not Me. We arrive at the decision that “this is me” from the realization of What is not Me. Its like a Circle drawn on a white page – The part inside the boundary of the Circle – is called the circle, while the part outside it is the Background. We think of me in the same terms. The part within my body, within my heart that is Me, the rest is the Outside universe, which is not me.
    But tell me, taking the example of the circle given earlier….is it possible to conceptualize teh Circle without the boundary/background. Is it ven possible for the circle to be peresent without existence of the Boundary(the part outside). Actually just a Circle is an Impossibility. Its always a Circle in a paer…as they say in Physics – a Circle in SPace.
    So this I guess is waht the Rishis called maya. Our ilusion that the Circle is only the part withing the round line. ACtually the circle is the part inside along with the part outside. Same for us.
    U cannot exract yourself from he rest of the Universe. Its an impossibility. Coz the two things are NOT different. That we see ouselves asonly that part residing INSIDE, that to me is the MAYA. Please tell me what u think.

  6. Nupur Choudhary says:

    saw ur interview on ndtv,just by chance. and then i waited for every re-telecast of it. i truly loved ur idea about passion and death,whatever u said was,asusual, simply great.I just love hearing or rather listening your talks.

  7. I am really amazed at you people – and I kinda pity u guys as well – sometimes i really feel like sitting with all the Directors – Holly,bolly,Tolly…and give them a Counselling session – u know !
    Being an astrophysist – have you not yet been exposed to the ‘primordial Energy’lying asleep in all of us in the sacrum bone !? bole` toh ”Kundalini Shakti’?…and the ways to awaken it …and the fact that you can actually feel the divine vibrations in the form of cool waves – not IMAGINE mind you – FEEL it !
    visit – http://www.sahajayoga.org for more details – of course if you like.
    ps : I liked you in a teleserial that was released long back – i was in school that time – something to do with ‘Yaksha’ – how he came to your life and how you started becoming dependent on it – u are great as an actor too.and i spcially liked the andaaz with which you addressed him as ‘ Hey Yaksha ! – that was cool !!…maybe i am the real life Yaksha in your life …you never know !

  8. Meghana Shah says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    What you seem to be seeking from this thought is more on experiencial level rather than a theory. What you think to be ‘another reality outside the concept of ‘me’ ‘ is more to be experienced by an spiritualy evolved soul. Merely putting these concepts into words will keep the reality as an information and cannot turn it into knowledge.
    One has to come to that knowledge by personal experience of the Self. The Self that experiences distance from the events and the time. This can be experienced wherever you are…even in the room that you are sitting in right now. There may be same people around you, you may be doing the same job that you have doing since years,you may be going through certain emotions and millons of thoughts would be shooting your mind. BUT you experience that you are a WITTNESS/SEER to everything that is happening around you and within you. That is the time one realises the reality outside the concept of ‘me’. That is the time one realise that you are beyound the concept of ‘me’.
    To reach this level I beleive one needs purity of the body and the mind. My experience says that it come effortlessly to a meditative state of mind. As many of the comments above mentions some form of meditation that can make you experiencs the level of the Self. I can say from my experience that Sudarshan Kriya is THE most effortless technique to take one to an experiencial level of the SELF.
    Love
    Meghana

  9. K G Misra says:

    Physical universe is produced by an act of enlightenment of pure knowledge with material. For a laymans’ understanding, a material is a candle. When it is ignited, ‘matter’ i.e. wax gets converted into light (‘energy’). Light is moving at a speed ‘C’ by which it flows in all directions, and thus creating the ‘space’; and the rate of change at which this space is created is called ‘time’. Matter -energy- space -time are forms of convertibility, by the ignition of a candle. But the one who ignited the candle is neither of the four. He/she is independent of the candle and its 4 forms but he/she looses the independence by his/her own act, and gets trapped in the time that he/she has himself/herself created. ‘physical existence’ is a created problem and incomprehensible. Time has no end, and is infinite, and so is the space; and so is matter and energy. But this infinite itself is imaginary because it did not exist before a candle was ignited. In the end, it proves that time is imaginary and so is the entire universe, infinite and exists only in voluntary reality. When we sleep or die, our volultary actions are ceased and thus it is also end of all dances of time, space, energy and matter. This is ALL. Physics is imaginary reality and not a way to truth.

  10. Breaking Free From The Maya
    First Maya is a vague concept and it means different things to different people. Let’s just say it is some form of illusion or human misunderstanding.
    “We have to know who we are” – so say, apparently, all the sages. Are they really sages or did they just have a good PR team alongside them? Did Mahatma Gandhi say it? I believe he was more interested in living auspiciously in the present moment than trying to catch any glimse of the future that might pass by.
    And John Lennon said this: “Life is what happens when you are busy planning something else.”
    So you are going to miss out on reality and your place in it, if you chase after the unreal.
    Carl Jung wrote “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
    I put it to you that it is a maya to believe that you need to escape from any maya. It is a wholely psychological problem, created from nothing real.
    What is true about you is the nature of your eternal spirit and it already knows itself and its own nature very well. Just your waking consciousness is creating the trouble, with overactivity in the left and right hemisphere’s of the brain. It is the unstable attention that decides it needs enlightenment. The thinking mind and its capacity to feel emotions has a well developed habit of taking itself too seriously. It thinks that its ideas and objectives are paramount. They are not.
    On another level, even if I say that your spirit knows itself and so the activities of your limited mind should be treated with caution… no matter how true it is, there is also more Maya. In the universe and beyond there is only one spirit, one consciousness, one doer and one enjoyer of the action. The apparent plurality is itself an illusion. I believe the technical term is ‘advaita’ meaning something like ‘only one’. Is this your blog or our blog or my blog?
    Kabir’s take on this: “O servant, where dost thou seek me? Lo! I am beside thee. I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash: Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation. If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see me: Thou shalt meet me in a moment of time.”
    So, there you have it. If you seek reality or God or Enlightenment, just wait for that! Any path you try to follow is a diversion towards unreality.
    Here’s another precedent: Did Shri Krishna go around telling people to get out of the Maya? No.
    Shri Krishna lived for many years. If he had wanted to start a yoga school, or something similar, he would have done so!
    But on the battlefield, when Arjuna was having an emotional and intellectual crisis, he decided to give Arjuna some psychological programming. “So you need to be a Yogi!” said Shri Krishna and then he tried to explain, to his still confused disciple, how a Yogi perceives things and how a Yogi acts and why he can kill the enemies without committing a sin. At that stage there was not time for Arjuna to worry about any Eightfold Paths, or breathing exercises, etc. And Shri Krishna did not say a word about how to achieve the state of being a Yogi. It was like a Zen trick that was played on Arjuna. Arjuna believed in the objective of living life as a transformed person, as declared by his master, but his brain had no time and no technique or plan available to achieve that goal. Eventually reality took over and the Maya in his head vanished. He just put aside all his doubts and got on with the job of the battle. Finished, battle won, job done.
    Many people have missed the point about the purpose and the subtlety of Shri Krishna’s psychology and they tried to take all the information in the Bhagavad Gita literally and analyse it and then to guess about the structural details of the paths to enlightenment, details that Shri Krishna had somehow, inadvertantly, omitted.
    What does this have to do with Calcutta’s astonishing young lady tabla player, Rimpa Siva? I don’t know but I want to mention her next. I met her briefly at the weekend in England and watched a performance.
    I am new to your blog, so this is the only page I have seen. You make films. I can read that. Will you film Rimpa? It is a good idea.
    Now, here, I can just about see the connection with the debate above. You will be lost if you worry about the ‘me’. Who am I, what is the ‘me’, etc? I hope we have now disposed of that ‘me’. Only the ‘you’ remains valid. So listen to Rimpa play. Meet her. Ask her who or what are ‘you’ or better, what can I do for you? Or what can we do?
    Shri Shiva is the source of Tala, the rhythm in both music and life. Rimpa Shiv and her tabla playing are giving an inside view, if you can see and feel it, of how amazing is reality. But going and listening is not a spiritual path. You will already have walked that path when you have had the desire in your heart to go.

  11. don’t say “never” – it doesn’t suite you mate — we had Buddha then Mahatma and then “yet to find” may be Steve Hawkins to give us some insight?

  12. s.vishwanathan says:

    Dear Shri Shekhar,
    You are a great intellect and genius. Please read Dr.Wayne W.Dyer’s “Getting in the Gap” and some of his other writings. You can get fuller detail from http://www.drwaynedyer.com
    I wish you all the best. Since you are inquisitive to know your “self” and I know you are capable of seriously pursuing this objective, you are bound to get it soon

  13. manish rai says:

    look u all just do one thing i am not found of speaking more and also this concept can not be explained by words but by actions only so u all try this practically.what ever you do or what ever happens to u try to just ask your self patiently what had u done or what had happened consideing that u had not done what ever u did eg.suppose i did some job than according to rule i should consider that some shekhar had did it or ramu and ask my self what had he done.after asking about 1000 times u will see god ,really believe me!being free from eternity is not so easy yaar thats all idiotic damm!

  14. manish rai says:

    you know what did socrate say he said any one who consider him self wise is fool .that is why i consider my self fool so that i can be wise for socrates shit yaar i again said that i am a fool

  15. Shekhar says:

    ‘me’ is just a two-lettered word. Nothing else.

  16. manav says:

    Hi Shekhar:
    Interesting puzzle isn’t it?
    How about trading the word ‘me’ with the word ‘becoming’?
    A little reflection will reveal that somewhere in the ‘process’ of ‘becoming’, the ‘me’ ends up being irrelevant.
    Do I speak from personal experience? Not really! But I can claim, however improbably, to intuiting it from time to time.
    ‘Becoming’! Strange word isn’t it? Much stranger than ‘me’!
    Cheers!

  17. Sunit says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    I suggest read J Krishnamurti. For truth is a pathless land. Every path will take you a-way from what is. 🙂
    Love,
    Sunit.
    ps http://www.kinfonet.org/

  18. Jagruthi Shiladhar says:

    Rather than trying to use the mind to overcome the ego, just be in thoughtless awareness (nirvichara). The plant of ego can only be destroyed at it’s root. The root of ego is thought – particularly the thoughts “I” and “mine”.
    The thoughtless state can only be achieved through Kundalini awakening. I recommend Sahaja Yoga for effortless and safe Kundalini Jagruthi.

  19. K G Misra says:

    Dear Shekhar
    Time is a recognition of the rate of change. When a person is dead, he or she does not recognize the rate of change and is freed from concept of time (and changes in perception) as well. Time is therefore observer dependent, and not on the clock, motion of celetial bodies, speed of light and other references of measurement.
    Our problem is that we try to understand time by using measuring tools, and it is a same case as a tailor tries becoming an expert of humanity by his/her skills of taking measurements of cloths. I therefore say, that measurement and external references are only hurdles in understanding the nature of time and getting free from measurement relieves one from bondages and that reveals the truth.
    In state of sleep, we because of not recognizing the change, are timeless, but when awake, we relocate ourselves in past and future, and therefore memory becomes culprit in error in concept of time.
    In the final analysis, those living like dead are the only true observers or awake persons, released by the concept of time and space and, measurement and memory are two wheels on his/her wheelchair apon which he/she roams every where.
    It will please me if you can certainly make a fllm on relativity of measurement and memory as a cause of illusion in the world called Maya.

  20. Subodh Deshpande says:

    hi,
    depends upon you basically, in any of the way practice is the key..I feel..:)
    thanks and take care..subodh

  21. I think we all want continuity of happiness.Sages approaches were simple by breaking the barrier between mind and soul.Until we stay attached to the mind focusing on physical aspects of life(desires) the journey of life and death will continue.You as an intellectual Shekhar possibly wants the answers and nothing else can satisfy you until you know who you are? May be in past 8 years there may be lot of progession in you and may be you can share it with us as well.

  22. Mani Jayakumar says:

    Sir , u mean dissolving the self constructed by maya, this subject is vast , but we can watch all its movements ,all the disguises it takes ,using every excuse to be selfish , its a difficult task of discriminating between false hood and truth , we can start honestly , and with some effort find the self dissolves when we understand its movements , then there will be something worth the effort standing like a rock in all its glory

  23. Mani Jayakumar says:

    i ve not said anything previously and whoever detected it is makin a terrible mistake

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