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17 March 2008 @ 09:21 am
Tao of the Day - Long  
Sometimes egolessness is called no-self. [...] As a student once asked, "Doesn't experiencing egolessness make life kind of beige?"

It's not like that.

Buddha was pointing out that the fixed idea that we have about ourselves as solid and separate from each other is painfully limiting. It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character we play. That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem for us.

We feel justified in being annoyed with everything. We feel justified in denigrating ourselves or in feeling that we are more clever than other people.

Sel-importance hurts us, limiting us to the narrow world of our likes and dislikes. We end up bored to death with ourselves and our world.

We end up never satisfied.

- Pema Chödrön, The Places that Scare You
 
 
Current Music: "The King is Half-Undressed" - Jellyfish
 
 
 
bitterfun on March 17th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
"It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character we play."

The story/theme of my life.
Kburgunder on March 17th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
Today a Smurf, tomorrow a Dog Daddy, Thursday a Neighbours Dancing Diva? ;>
bitterfun on March 17th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
"Thursday a Neighbours Dancing Diva?"

Who you kidding?

I'm never gonna dance again
Guilty feet ain't got no rhythm
Though it's easy to pretend
I haven't put on 30lbs too
I shoulda known better than to tempt the fates
And waste a chance that I've been given
So I'm never gonna dance again
The way I danced like a fool.


what?
(Deleted comment)
Kburgunder on March 17th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
I don't disagree with your assertions (I might even argue it's a more Taoist approach to a Buddhist precept). And actually, Pema Chödrön goes on to say something very similar about not trying to fix yourself out of existence, but instead of accepting you as is. And perhaps there's a fundamental difference between accepting yourself and asserting yourself...?

I think what I'd say is - egolessness is a good goal, selflessness not so much. I think referring to egolessness as "no-self" might be semantically misleading.
Cassandrakasiandra on March 17th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem for us.

We feel justified in being annoyed with everything. We feel justified in denigrating ourselves or in feeling that we are more clever than other people.

Self-importance hurts us, limiting us to the narrow world of our likes and dislikes. We end up bored to death with ourselves and our world.

We end up never satisfied.



Nothing makes me feel quite so old and wizened as the encountering of that very attitude. You've described every Friday master class that I've attended this school year. I can only shake my head and chuckle at their youth and inexperience knowing that I too was once in the same space. ;)