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Showing posts from June 24, 2014

the strategic self

Throughout the dharma, the Buddha made clear that the search for a permanent, fxied identity, or "atta," is a waste of time, creating needless speculation. Why? What we construct self from—thoughts, feelings, body sensations, perceptions, sensory consciousness—are constantly changing, a ceaseless flow that doesn't solidify into something we can contain into a solid entitity. We are in flux.

Yet the Buddha did talk about 'taking care of one's self' (in the dhammapada and elsewhere). He makes it clear that a sense of self needs to exist on a moment by moment basis, as we all need to have a sense of identity to interact with others and achieve goals. And so we let of conceiving our identity not as something that lasts, or consider our core personality 'pre-established;' there is no true self to 'find.' Self is something we skillfully construct from our natural, harmless, beneficial impulses. What follows is a reflection on this topic; it will prob…