Well they can’t really, can they? Words, that is. They can infuriate, frustrate, annoy and yes – even hurt. But they can’t hurt “me”.
The me that I am isn’t affected by words or sticks or stones. The body the me that I am inhabits can be hurt. The ego and sense of self through which the me that I am gains perspective on place and position in a social environment, can be impacted. But can it be hurt?
If the body that the me that I am inhabits were to lose a limb, is the me that I am any less for the loss? Not really.
If the me that I am were to be subject to persecution, abuse, bigotry, oppression, hurt or pain in whatever and whichever forms such angst should occur – is the me that I am any less for the woe undergone? Not really.
If the me that I am were to be shorn of dignity, pride, position or power, is the me that I am any less for the loss? Not really.
“Not really” because after all that physical and emotional hurt and suffering, the me that I am still exists. The me that I am still thinks, still filters and sifts experiences of taste, touch, smell, sound, perceptions, memories and expectations as it always has. Lose any individual or range of senses, and the me that I am remains. Shorn of input at some level but continuing never-the-less.
If my body, my ego and my sense of self can be battered and bruised but the me that I am still exists – then who is the me that I am?
If life is suffering in some Buddhist sense then how is the me that I am related to this life that suffers?
The me that I am gained awareness of my existence at some nebulous and undefined point or combination of points in time, so I wonder what the me that I am was doing before then?
If a disease can bring on forgetfulness, and take away a sense of place or time – then where is the me that I am while all this is going on? If a radical treatment could suddenly cure full blown dementia, what memories or experiences would the me that I am now hold? Would that restructuring of “something” (“mind”, perhaps?) bring about a new me that I am or would the me that I am simply hold extra perspective or information?
Who is the me that I am?