Saturday, August 22, 2015
THE SELF, DECONSTRUCTED
I have known all this stuff. It's not like it's news to me. But there's always a certain point at which what I "know" becomes more than just "knowledge." It becomes a real part of my experience.
I have known, for example, something of what the dharma teaches about "fabrication"--simply put, the way the mind makes things up and convinces us that they're real. I have "known" that the self is one such fabrication. But it's only just now that I've converted that knowing into action.
If you've been reading the past few entries, you'll know that I've having trouble, in meditation, with this self. Then I realized/remembered that the self is, of course, nothing more than a fabrication. The body part of the self is no more than a constantly shifting assemblage of molecules, a galaxy of cells that are constantly being born and constantly dying. The body I "have" now has very little in common with the body I was born with; with the body that took me off to school as a little boy; with the young man's body I abused with abandon, believing it immortal; not even with the middle-aged body that began to understand its limitations. The body I have now is not even the body I had yesterday when I went to bed...
And so, too, with the little mind--with "my" mind. It, too, seriously considered, is a fabrication, an assemblage of passing memories from the past and aspirations for the future, of fleeting thoughts and soon-abandoned beliefs, of ephemeral sensations and emotions that appear and evanesce into the ether as if they never were.
And all this conspires to be what I call "me"!
When looked at this way, not casually, but with serious intent, the self simply deconstructs. It goes poof!--leaving behind it a sense of glorious liberation. Until, of course, it reconstructs itself again and becomes "real."
I return to my favorite of all mantras: this is not me, this is not mine, this is not who I am.