Happiness appears as desire when it is veiled; desire is revealed as happiness when it is fulfilled.

I Am Me

Because 'I am' is real the mind wants to go there. However, because it is not objective, the mind cannot.

Hi Rupert,

I would like to hear your perspective on an experience I had as a young child, maybe 3-6 years old. It is impossible to describe the experience, but I remember very clearly that it revolved around contemplating the notion “I am me.” These words kept repeating themselves, and following that thought would always be another thought/feeling that said “no, no, that’s not really what I mean, what does that even mean?” like I was trying really hard to explain something, and the closest I could ever get was “I am me.” There was an underlying attitude of “No, you don’t understand! I actually am, this is really real. I remember this keeping me up all night a few times, completely enthralled in the unexplainability of…...... ?????.

It seems to me that this was the first time that my thinking tried to turn toward its source, and what it found was total confusion. Maybe this was the first time I considered the possibility of there being something other than me. Because if I am me, then what’s up with all this “other stuff?”

Anyway, I just thought that this early experience is a good illustration of this mechanism of identification, as I just happen to have a vivid memory of what seems to have been a shifting point of paradigms if you will. I really don’t know, but was hoping maybe you might have a clearer perspective on this experience I’ve described regarding the mechanism of forgetting/remembering or anything else you might wish to comment on.

Thank you very much,



Dear Kevin,

Thank you for your email.

I think these types of questions are fairly common in childhood - my 5 year old French nephew recently asked his mother, “How do I know that I exist?”


In the experience you describe you were spontaneously looking for your self, for ‘me.’ The mind is frustrated when it turns towards our self because it cannot go there. Hence the next thought that appeared to you, “No, no…”

This was the mind’s recognition that anything it came up with in answer to the question “what am I?” was incorrect. And yet, we know that I am. Hence, the best the mind can do is to say something like, “I am me!”

Yes, it is enthralling, as you say. The experience of our self is real. I am! There is no doubt about that. And yet ‘I’ cannot be found. The mind wonders how something that is real, that is ‘known,’ cannot be found? If it cannot be found (as an object) how do we know it is real? And yet we know it is real, that is, we know beyond any doubt that ‘I am.’

Because ‘I am’ is real the mind wants to go there. However, because it is not objective, the mind cannot. Hence it is enthralling and frustrating inequal measure!

You are blessed in that this question was not extinguished and shines in you now as your love of truth.

With love,