The Gordian Knot of preoccupation


I am thankful for my ego.  Having had the circumstances in life that allowed the development of a healthy sense of “self”, is the very reason I can look beyond that self.  Developing a healthy ego is a gift, allowing me to function in what often seems to be a crazy world with all its normal stressors and joys.  And like all steps in development this evolution serves a purpose and foundation for the next level.  I would not be able to see that there is something beyond my ego if it were not developed in the first place – the same way I would not be able to think in abstract terms had I not first learned to think concretely.  I would be a mess (ok, more of a mess) if I could only think in concrete terms – I would be so limited in life.  I’d also be limited if all I understood about the self was merely egoic in nature.  The journey towards “beyond self” begins with first knowing the self. It is why I breathe, it is why I cultivate mindfulness, it is why I understand the profound power of compassion. So today anyway, I give thanks for my ego.
The following are the words of John Snelling, from Elements of Buddhism.  May it move you towards your own enlightening. With open hands, John

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, Elements of Buddhism

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Live'n Aloha on Maui.
Lately just posting pics, artwork, vids, & music with just a headline (less seems to be more).
Into Wilber, Beck, Zen Stuffs, Spiritual Concepts, Philosophy and Humor (kinda geeky humor).
Currently attempting to strengthen my meditation skills (this has been a 20 yr process).
Thanks for stopp'n by and please leave a comment. Poz or Neg, all comments welcome.
"I don't like Spam" (said with a British accent)

January 2009
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