Turning the Other Cheek

That was something that particular force-field had to do. What a clown I would be to praise or blame that force-field on account of it - as though it were an act of free-will on the part of an independent entity! The Self of which that force-field is a manifestation is immutable and does not 'act'. Neither the reality of that force-field or of this one is involved. Were I even to smile at the incident, that would indicate that I still retained some trace of the notion that an individual entity 'did' something that pleased or annoyed me.

Poached Eggs (all of us)

Arguing about transcending the I-concept, 'reducing' the 'power' of the ego, or what-not, is merely evidence of continued belief in the reality of that which, being merely a concept, is totally unreal.

It is like a man saying, 'I am perfectly sane: I know that I am not a poached egg, instead I am busily engaged in unpoaching myself and soon I shall not even need a piece of toast in order to be able to sit down.'

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Have we ever wondered why the Zen Masters, on the rare occasions on which they refer to the I-concept, only do so indirectly in some such terms as 'the dirt on your face'?

It is enough for them to show us that concepts are inevitably unreal. Any attempt to 'reduce' or 'transcend' or 'discipline' what is only a concept can only affirm its illusory appearance of reality. When all concepts are seen for what they are, that is, are recognised as such and nothing more, the ego finds itself in the waste-paper basket with the rest.

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From the 'Physics and Metaphysics' angle of vision we have seen clearly enough that there could not possibly be such a thing as an I. The notion is as ludicrous as attributing individuality to the sound made by reeds stirred by the wind.

(© RKP, 1960)

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