Friday, May 16, 2008

How To Find Self? (Comment)

Have you found your Self? Below is my comment:

Thank you for asking the question. I shall do my best to share with you my views on how to find self. It is an irony, actually. This is the simplest question and the answer seems so simple and direct. Go look into the mirror! Just joking! Or just give yourself a pinch, and if it hurts, you've found your self! Another joke!

Now the serious stuff. The Buddha's mission was actually to find the self. He wanted to fully comprehend the nature of this self as well as the world. He wanted to find peace and truth. When we want to find something, it is usual to go look for it. We always look outwards to seek things. As for the self, the farther you look, the more you are lost. The whole of the Buddha's teachings centred along the understanding of this self. For once we understand this self, then we understand the cause of all our problems.

In our daily activities, we are actually confronted by 2 opposing forces. The first is "I Want". The 2nd is "I Don't Want". Because of our ignorance in this self, we succumb to the whims and fancies of these two opposing forces. Whenever pleasant things come our way, we respond in pleasant pleasures. The more we are pleased, the more we want, and the happier we are. On the other end of this continuum, when unpleasant things hit us, we cringe with apprehension. The more the nasty things hit us, the more negative we become. The more this happens, the more hateful we become, and also more anger. This in no time will degenerate into fear and aggression as a natural defence mechanism to strike back. The catch phrase these days is "preemptive attack"! How horrible and barbaric! We gradually become slaves (assuming we haven't yet) of these dichotomy of forces. We react each time these forces strick us. We become puppets on the strings being manipulated by the craftsmen of good and bad. So long as we are ignorant of the Buddha's revelation of the universal truth of life, we will danggle like the puppets.

The cause of our problems is the 3rd factor "I Don't Know". Not knowing the self. So we have this trichotomy: I Want, I Don't Want, I Don't Know ......Ignorance of the Buddha's teachings is the "I Don't Know". Once we decide that enough is enough, then we can tell this self to listen to us and to do the things that we command it to obey and follow. We take control of our "self". When good things or bad things come our way, we no longer succumb to unmindful responses. We now understand that the nature of this world is both good and bad. We cannot expect the perfection of this world, because the very nature of this world is Imperfect, and in the final analysis Suffering. If we can come to terms with this imperfect world, we will be able to come to terms with this imperfect "self".

You may find this an unusually approach in answering your question. I hope you get the message. Please feel free to let me know whether you are satisfied with my answer. I will try another approach if you so desire. And God bless you also!

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