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Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton

 
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Posted By Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton

Myth America #5: The Illusion of Self


Perhaps the biggest myth/illusion we SUFFER from, especially in the rugged individualism culture --Yeehaw!-- of The US of A, is the sense that we are an  INDEPENDENT and SOLID "ME".  Buddhist teachings say that this grasping after the illusion of a solid and independent SELF is the root of all our suffering as human beings. It is based in ignorance of the true nature of reality. After all, each one of US started as two cells. IS THAT WHO WE ARE? Are we still the baby we once were? Are we the the WE that we were yesterday? Or even a moment ago? WE are constantly changing, shifting, never solid but dynamic and as ephemeral as the track that a flying bird leaves in the sky. We grasp at a concept of SELF that is not there. And then fearfully stare at our empty handedness, while reaching for the TV remote.

 

Me  Gazing Ball

                                    ME?                               ME?

 

Birth

ME?

Will the real me please WAKE UP?

 

On the eve of the 4th of July, where residents of the US of America celebrate "INDEPENDENCE & FREEDOM" by getting drunk, making lots of noise, and grilling dead animals (as Dr. Phil says, "How's that working for ya?"), why not consider our INTER-dependence. The Dalai Lama says:

[It] is quite clear to me is that the moment you think only of yourself, the focus of your whole reality narrows, and because of this narrow focus, uncomfortable things can appear huge and bring you fear and discomfort and a sense of feeling overwhelmed by misery. The moment you think of others with a sense of caring, however, your view widens. Within that wider perspective, your own problems appear to be of little significance, and this makes a big difference.

 

Why not further loosen your self-clinging, and become an ANTEVASIN (Sanskrit for "one who lives on the border") like our forefathers.  "You can live on the shimmering line between your old thinking and your new understanding, always in a state of learning. This is a border that is always moving as you advance in your studies and realizations.  That mysterious forest of the unknown always stays a few feet ahead of you, so you have to travel light in order to keep following it." 
--
E. Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love

 

 

 
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