Love for the sense of self

 

I notice two shifts happening, mostly as glimpses and a slight change in orientation…

First, a noticing of what I am as that which awakening and mistaken identity happens within and as.

And as an expression of that first shift, a love for that sense of self, the images of a doer and observer.

There is even a love for identification with those images, in the midst of recognizing the shrunk world and suffering that comes along with it, and a love and compassion for that suffering.

Another way to talk about it is appreciation. Appreciation for that sense of self, and even appreciation for what happens when it is identified with. When a story says “that is what I am” and that is taken as true.

There is a funny middle ground here with love and appreciation for the sense of self and even identification with it, coming from recognizing that reality is the ground of both and free to appear as either, and this love and appreciation is leaning towards a wanting for it to stay as is. And yet there is a recognition that identification tends to evaporate within that love, even if it doesn’t need to.

The love says stay – stay as you are. And yet identification is of such a substance that it tends to evaporate within that love.

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outline….

  • love for the sense of self
    • shifts: (a) notice am what awakening & mistaken identity happens within and as, (b) love for that sense of self, the images of a doer and observer.
    • one phase: wanting to get rid of it, then: a genuine and sincere love and appreciation for the sense of self + identification with it (along with a recognition for what happens when it is identified with, and love and compassion for that suffering)

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One thought on “Love for the sense of self

  1. I appreciate this message of compassion (love, even) for the unenlightened self, poor misguided creature that I am.

    It reminds me of Alan Watts’ description of “turning into the skid,” in his essay “Zen and control”:

    “… For what is important is not the particular things to be done but the attitude–the inner feeling and disposition–of the doer. What is needed is not a new kind of technique but a new kind of man, for as an old Taoist text say, ‘When the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way.’ And the task of developing a new kind of man is not as difficult as it seems once we are disabused of the idea that self-change and self control are no more a matter of conflict between higher and lower natures, of good intentions against recalcitrant instincts. The problem is to overcome the ingrained disbelief in the power of winning nature by love, in the gentle (ju) way (do) of turning with the skid, of controlling ourselves by cooperating with ourselves.”

    I offer this with compassionate understanding for the sexist language. (The essay was published in 1958.) Although I want to get rid of the references to “man,” doing so would change the idea, which arose from a particular history. It is well said as it is, and an appropriate expression of the suffering caused by dividing humanity and identifying with one half.

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