Tackling the Self

The analogy is mostly what comes to mind when dealing with what we conventionally call the “self”. When we start analysing very deeply what this “self” is, or where it is, it seems to elude us, like a bull avoiding the forcados. But if you start being more aggressive, and insist on looking at the “self” and figuring out what it is, then the “self” fights back. It becomes aggressive in return. It will kick and scream and attempt to defeat any attempts at being so closely scrutinised. And the closer you get, the more it will kick and scream, so our natural reaction is to get scared and give up the attempt.

But like the forcados can train and learn to defeat their own fear of a charging bull, and tackle it, calm it down and finally stop it, we can do the same with our selves. There is just a slight difference: when the bull is subdued, there is still a bull — albeit a very calm one — in the arena. When you examine the self as closely as you can get, you will eventually find something quite surprising: there is nothing there that you can actually call a “self”.

Let’s put some perspective on this, and switch over to Second Life®.

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