Revaluation of Values 1: Three False Values

1. Karma ('Action') must surely be active, not passive. It is not ours, rather we are its. We are corks in a turbulent eddying stream of karma; karma is the force-field to which we are subject on the plane of phenomena.

2. The 'I', 'Me', 'Self', whatever term we encounter or use to describe our reality, is misleading. All these terms suggest a being, yet the Buddha stated again and again in the Diamond Sutra that there is no such being.
Our reality is a state, l'etat sans ego, a state not a person, the I-less state. It is always present, and it alone is present.

3. The 'me', 'ego', 'self', 'personality', the personal pronoun 'I' as we use it every moment in thought and word, is just a mistake, an error of judgement, like a shadow mistaken for its substance on a moonlight night. Though there could be no shadow if there were no substance, nevertheless the shadow remains unreal (unsubstantial) - and when the moon is hidden by a cloud the shadow no longer exists.

Every time we say 'I' we are making a mistake, mistaking something that isn't there for something that is. Every such time the I-less state has been misinterpreted as something personal.

If we were to perceive the shadow as such, and thereby recognise its substance, the I-less state for what it is, the whole 'cave of illusions' would collapse and vanish for ever. Reality would lie naked before us - and we should be it.

Yet expression of the I-less state takes the form 'I am' on the plane of dualism, but no qualification is possible: it is the 'I am that I am' of the Bible which may be described as a personal expression of the Impersonal. Rather is it just 'Am', i.e. Consciousness.

(© RKP, 1960)

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