Sunday, January 5, 2014

no self, so to speak

Strange to think that no one in their right mind would ask a blue jay to be a robin and yet, for those who concern themselves in this way, a person who has lived a whole life with something called "self," might struggle mightily to rearrange his or her feathers.

For those concerned, it's really an enormous, wracking effort. Imagine: A whole life infused and circumscribed and wounded and ecstatic and ... filled to the brim with self and then, upon self-ish investigation, this self is encouraged to change gears because crediting the self leads to so much discomfort and sorrow and inaccuracy.

Great dollops of spiritual observation are brought to bear: Attachment and compassion and clarity and emptiness and selflessness and ... well, fill in your own blanks. Years and years and years of practice. Years of encouragement. Years of falling down and getting up. Moments of brightness and moments of blackness. Swooning and despairing and all the other times and places and conditions ... Jesus! what an effort. It's all as heroic in some eyes as it is idiotic in others.

But when you stop to think about it, what else could there be besides this blue jay self. Isn't self the nature of all things? A blue jay is a blue-jay self; a maple tree is a maple-tree self; a spiritual aspirant is a spiritual aspirant self. It's the nature of the beast -- no big deal. Why would a jelly bean strain to be a lollipop? That would be silly, wouldn't it?

So maybe it's an easier point of entry -- taking this self that has been around in every second of a whole life and stop picking your nose about it. Stop fretting and fidgeting. Yup ... this self is all there is. Relax. Correct mistakes. Get on with it. Enjoy.

There is nothing but self.

The only trick to it is that there is no self.

And anyone who claims that there is no self has missed the mark by a mile.

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