Friday, March 28, 2008

Ownership and Suffering

" 'Why does that obstinate little voice in our heads torment us so?' he said, looking round the table. 'Could it be because it reminds us that we are alive, of our mortality, of our individual souls - which after all, we are too afraid to surrender but yet make us feel more miserable than any other thing? But isn't it also pain that often makes us most aware of self? It is a terrible thing to learn as a child that one is a being separate from all the world, that no one and no thing hurts along with one's burned tongues and skinned knees, that one's aches and pains are all one's own. Even more terrible, as we grow older, to learn that no person, no matter how beloved, can ever truly understand us. Our own selves make us most unhappy, and that's why we're so anxious to lose them, don't you think?' "

Donna Tartt - The Secret History

Ownership of self (ego) leads to suffering. This is one of the most basic principles taught by the Buddha.
Here we read that ownership of suffering leads to the development of ego.

In the Sanskrit language there are separate terms for ego, soul, spirit, and Self. In English, both the illusory ego and Universal Self are referred to as 'the self'. This of course leads to a lot of confusion.
The Self is who you are, who you have always been and will always be. Attempts by the mind to conceptualise It are utterly futile. The Self is as It wishes to be from moment to moment.

No comments: