Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Problem of Self

It is our ignorance which makes us think that our self, as self, is real, that it has its complete meaning in itself. When we take that wrong view of self then we try to live in such a manner as to make self the ultimate object of our life. Then we are doomed to disappointment like the man who tries to reach his destination by firmly clutching the dust of the road. Our self has no means of holding us, for its own nature is to pass on; and by clinging to this thread of self which is passing through the loom of life we cannot make it serve the purpose of the cloth into which it is being woven.

-Rabindranath Tagore, The Problem of Self. One of a series of lectures delivered at Caxton Hall, Westminster, 1913.

As Tagore points out, in the rest of his lecture, ridding ourselves of ego does not mean destruction of personality or uniqueness. Once the illusion of ego is removed the universal Self illuminates a person, and their true personality and uniqueness shines through.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Rose said...

We spend so much time and effort building up the self, financially, in terms of physical appearance, status, or possessions. Indeed, the self is of critical importance. However, we have been so far off the mark. It has always been the eternal spirit self that needed the work. Elizabeth Rose