John Snelling

A Quote by John Snelling on not self, ego, and attachment

Central to the Buddha's teaching is the doctrine of anatman: "not-self." This does not deny that the notion of an "I" works in the everyday world. In fact, we need a solid, stable ego to function in society. However, "I" is not real in an ultimate sense. It is a "name": a fictional construct that bears no correspondence to what is really the case. Because of this disjunction all kinds of problems ensue. Once our minds have constructed the notion of "I," it becomes our central reference point. We attach to it and identify with it totally. We attempt to advance what appears to be its interests, to defend it against real or apparent threats and menaces. And we look for ego-affirmation at every turn: confirmation that we exist and are valued. The Gordian Knot of preoccupations arising from all this absorbs us exclusively, at times to the point of obsession. This is, however, a narrow and constricted way of being. Though we cannot see it when caught in the convolutions of ego, there is something in us that is larger and deeper: a wholly other way of being.

John Snelling

Source: Elements of Buddhism

Contributed by: David

A Quote by John Snelling on ego, suffering, duality, non duality, delusion, mind, i, and self

A primary cause of suffering is delusion: our inability, because of a subtly willful blindness, to see things the way they truly are but instead in a distorted way. The world is in fact a seamless and dynamic unity: a single living organism that is constantly undergoing change. our minds, however, chop it up into separate, static bits and pieces, which we then try mentally and physically to manipulate. One of the mind's most dear creations is the idea of the person and, closest to home, of a very special person which each one of us calls "I": a separate, enduring ego or self. In a moment, then, the seamless universe is cut in two. There is "I" -- and there is all the rest. That means conflict -- and pain, for "I" cannot control that fathomless vastness against which it is set. It will try, of course, as a flea might pit itself against an elephant, but it is a vain enterprise.

John Snelling

Contributed by: David

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