An 8-year old girl, pointing to her arm asks: “Daddy, where is my ‘self’? Is it in my arm?”
Category Archives: Observation
Truth is an acquired taste. Its easier to spend your whole life honing your skills in proving yourself to ‘be right’ and to put truth firmly aside. Work hard enough and you could become a Grandmaster of self-deception. But even then there will always be small gaps in your armour …
It sometimes takes communicating a thought in writing or speech, to realise how wrong it was. Unexpressed, there’s no reality-test.
Three ways we attempt to deal with objects of desire/addiction (two more traditional, one more modern):
1) Banish or ‘cover up’ the object of desire e.g. ban alcohol, force woman (and men) to hide most of their bodies from public view,
2) Remove or distance oneself from the object e.g. become a monk in a monastery, keep no alcohol or junk food in the house,
3) Permit oneself to be in the presence of the object of desire, and rely on self-discipline or mindfulness to engage with this object in a ‘responsible’ healthy way.
This last way seems to involve the most ‘freedom’ and yet so many of us are hooked on at least *something* e.g. overeating, smoking, alcohol or other drugs …
To say that you are ‘spiritual, but not religious’ could simply mean: “I am good and not bad. Please approve of me”. But it could also mean something deeper e.g. “I am willing to undermine/let go of the beliefs I already have, as an alternative to continually reinforcing old beliefs and adopting new ones” or “I am willing to try ‘wanting what I get’ (accepting) as an alternative to ‘getting what I want’ (striving)”.
With the relaxing of just one rarely-doubted but firmly-held assumption – that we have a separate ‘self’ – the seemingly incoherent and mundane utterances of certain spiritual teachers can become meaningful, significant and perhaps even scientifically tractable.
So you think your partner is high-maintenance? Try getting an ego.
Worry expands to the problems* available
* Or: ‘work’
Something absolutely terrible could happen, and you worry. Fortunately that thing doesn’t happen. You are convinced that after that – nothing small will bother you any more. You are not going to ‘sweat the small stuff’.
A few weeks later – you are in a situation where something slightly serious could happen (but not in any way ‘terrible’). Nevertheless you find yourself worrying quite a lot anyway.