What Is the Difference Between Me and the Inner Me?

Question

What is the difference between me and the Inner Me?

—S. Prabhakar, India

Answer

Dear S. Prabhakar,

We experience our normal “me” as a personality, as a man, woman, with certain talents, weaknesses, with a character, a body, a mind. That’s our ordinary state right now.

The “inner Me”, or real Self, or soul (atma), is none of this: it is pure being, a spark of God, timeless, full of bliss, full of God. Its essence is God.

Our real Self unfortunately identifies with our body and personality (the human me we are stuck with right now) and suddenly thinks: “This is who I am”. And so we suffer, then rejoice, have our constant ups and downs, with all our thoughts, feelings, and sensory perceptions. We (our soul) is now caught in the web of karma (action/reaction). The whole spiritual path is to shift our identity back from our little self (“me”) to our true Self, our “Inner Me”. That’s the goal: Self-realization.

You read it in Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi: “Man is a soul, and has a body. When he properly places his sense of identity, he leaves behind all compulsive patterns. So long as he remains confused in his ordinary state of spiritual amnesia, he will know the subtle fetters of environmental law.”

All the best on your path to Self-realization,
Jayadev