Wednesday, November 12, 2008
hello my friend, Im back again to ask another question. I have read a lot about how it is the concept of "precious self" that keeps people feeling trapped in desire and consumed by their egos. It would seem that because people feel "precious" to themselves they have their own interest and happiness as a priority. I have noticed that it is very difficult for me to sometimes not take the mean words or actions of others personally. I try to remember that they are really only hurting themselves through negative karma, but it is hard to not feel "precious" sometimes. Is the ego and the "precious self" the same thing according to your understanding? Thank you again my friend, I hope you are well.
Thank you for dropping by. I am very well, thank you.
The Buddha's concept of "no self" or "no soul" is quite often misinterpreted. As you very aptly put it, according to my understanding of the Buddha's explanation, the concept of Anatta or "No self" is as follows.
The underlying concept of Anatta is that in the final analysis, there is nothing in this world which we can call our own. Please not the phrase "in the final analysis". Right now I am a living person, a Self, with feelings and consciousness, likes and dislikes. I am a very imperfect individual.
Without any knowledge of the Buddha's teachings, I will not gain anything in life, except eat, sleep, having sex, getting angry, being happy, being sad, getting sick, getting old, and die. Just like any animal. But with the knowledge of the Dhamma, the Buddha's teachings, my life is not lived in this stereotyped manner. I come to understand this life. That this life is very brief and in the end I will die, and the cycle will start again, et infinitum. Having this life right now is to understand that while I am living I must not abuse my body and mind.
As a normal living being , I will be subjected to likes and dislikes, pleasures and displeasures, love and hate, happiness and sorrow, and a myriad of other feelings. All these are natural, but not all natural feelings are beneficial to me. So, I must be mindful to be prepared for unforseen circumstances. Having this precious knowledge, I will now practise the Dhamma. I will not over-indulge in sensual pleasures. I will lead a life of moderation. When it's time to be happy, I will be happy. When I can't help feeling sad, I will feel sad. I will flow with the tides of life. Neither complaining nor feeling too elated with events.
In short, my friend, live a normal life. Follow the flow of Dhamma. Live a noble and harmless life. Always be mindful that we are just a miserable mortal. Right now you have this "Self", live it with wisdom of the Dhamma. For in no time there will be "No Thing", "No Self". As you said, it is this Ego that is hurting. Let "Itgo" and you will be free. Live this life but not live with the Ego.
Well, that's my understanding of "no precious self".
See you again, smile from me :-)