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July 20, 2009


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Is there a "true" self? How can "false" self crave that which is not true self, or anything at all, for that matter? If the false self is seen to be false, the craving is also seen to be false. Seen by whom or what? No-self. How is this possible? No idea. At some point, maybe every point, nothing makes sense. Literally. In a dualistic universe, without the ego (or sense of segregated self), there's no point, so ego is the "good guy". In reality, there is no problem at all, nor ego, nor suffering, nor pleasure, no cause, and no effect. Of course, this doesn't go over real well in most circles. (This isn't nihilism, as there is no self to annihilate. What is it then? Don't know, don't care. It just seemed like an interesting topic.) Vive l'ego!

Modern Western society tends to confuse ego with narcissism (e.g. "He has a big ego"). Still, I think the basic idea of craving is expressed -- in this case, as represented by craving for identity through recognition, acquisition or validation.

I agree that many teachings suggest that "forgetting the self" is the way to free yourself from suffering. But I also think that this is an attempt to homogenize individual expression by reducing the "self" to a malady that must be "cured".

BTW my favorite quote from Freud -- who based nearly all his theories on the examination of a handful of neurotic Victorian-era women -- is "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." ;)

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