Why do we feel the need to rid ourselves of our selfish nature?
Most of us begin practice because at some point in our lives, we found we needed to resolve perceived issues in ourselves. It seems that the “self” creates alot of our suffering…… Jealousy, anger, self-defensiveness, need, all seem to spring from this self-centeredness. In some ways it would seem best if, before we began some form of practice, we clearly see what it is we wish to resolve and what our perceived issues are.
Unfortunately, when most of us began to feel uncomfortable inside our skin, the feeling was simply vague, unpleasant, perhaps lonely, or a sense of separateness, and not at all clear. Often it began at an early age. So how to deal with it was not at all clear,…….. but there were always a chorus of voices around us, telling us that if we “do this” or “do that”, the sense of separateness will go away.
Most folks will go the route they were brought up with: church, or synagogue, or mosque. But many will find that the route they have chosen to resolve their inner anguish, is mostly talk, and not enough walk. In that case, they will try to sort out “what is the real issue here”, and “what do i need to do to resolve it”. For myself, after looking for years to something outside myself, and finding no resolution, Zen seemed to offer some ways to effectively search for answers inside myself.
When i was young, i noted a sense of deep dissatisfaction developing within myself. Perhaps it was the way i was treated by other people, perhaps it was just the general malaise of being a self-aware human being….. i know when it started, as we often moved when i was a youngster, and i can remember the room i was in, having sensations of spinning, falling down a “vortex” (is what i called it). i became a very needy child, and also became quite naughty, creating no end of stress for my parents.
It was the beginning of the separation between a “myself” and “the rest of the world”. The “central figure” in this movie…. “me”…. was feeling out of place or out of sync with everything around “me”.
It is interesting that this seems to be a “species wide” issue. Pretty much no one escapes this separation. And as we age, it only gets worse…… some folks call it “I” “Me” “Mine”
So do other species have an “I” “Me” “Mine”, and what is it about this “I” that creates so much suffering for me?
It seems almost all “mothers” of all species have this sense.
When we were young, my oldest brother climbed a tree to a crowsnest, and took two young crows. He built a cage, (back in the days when one could do this sort of thing without being trolled) and placed the two young crows there. Well, it wasn’t long before their mother found them (maybe heard them squawking?) She (i guess i am assuming it was mom and not dad 🙂 ) would come swooping down on us each time we went out of the basement door of where we lived. It abruptly stopped when we let the young crows escape……
Depending on the definition of “I” “Me” “Mine”, it seems to be pretty widespread, and it also seems to have some good uses, like taking care of “my” children.
The “good” and “bad” of this self-centeredness is perhaps what needs to be up for question.
Per my universe graph, the sensory apex, which is the place where all our senses converge, and all the data which the senses gather is stored and correlated, is located in a persons brain.