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Knowing Yourself…

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There have been blogs, by others, wherein they write all about themselves.  They write about their likes, special preferences (such as favorite foods, books, and movies), social relationships, and so on and so forth.  Others write about the need to love oneself; they write about the beauty of really caring about oneself (first and foremost).  

What is oneself?  Most of us, one suspects, were educated to see the self as we were all programmed to see it.  This education is often very similar to the education that other countries have stuck to in the past, even the one which Adolf Hitler emerged from (who, by the way, loved himself dearly and who passionately encouraged others to adore him too).   

So, what is the self?  Is the self an autonomous entity separate from the environment, the whole, the rest of mankind, the animals?  When a person says that he knows himself, what does he — actually — know?  Is such knowledge a lot of recalled patterns of bygone preferences, tendencies, opinions, images, and methodologies that have occurred in (and “as”) the past?  Recalled patterns (of the past) are from the storehouse of memory.  Recollections, from (and “as”) that memory, are always old (i.e., of the past), limited (i.e., snap-shot-like), partial, and (therefore) incomplete.  Those recollections of self, additionally, are heavily influenced by the past education and culture in which one was raised.   One’s fundamental conceptions of self were poured into one (and absorbed) during one’s youth.  Recollections and labels “about the self” are always of the past.  They are images or linguistic symbols from (and about) “what was.”  

Many people feel empowered by an elevated sense of self.   Many are enamored about themselves and they write about themselves a lot (either positively or negatively), or they are very obsessed about their physical appearance.   However, the self may not necessarily be what society has had each of us accept and take for granted.   There is a very good chance that a lot of primitive miseducation has taken place for many years.  

Unfortunate is the man or woman whose self is a fenced in, segregated, walled-off conglomeration of past images and symbolic thoughts convinced that a special space isolates what they are (or what “one is”) from the rest of life on earth.  Being walled-in is a surefire recipe for depression, no matter how financially fortunate one’s life has been, no matter how wonderful one may (superficially) think one appears physically.  To have private dominion apart from the rest of life, as something special and separate, is no cup of tea that real perception is interested in sipping.   It may be that real liberation does not come from coddling and worshipping the isolated self, as so many immature and egocentric people tend to do, but (instead) comes about when the self is understood and joyfully transcended.   The circumference around an egocentric mind is always limited, primitive, self-concocted via absorbed patterns… and is standardized, mediocre, and regimented.  Most people are very immersed in (and “as”) such a circumference; very few of them will care anything whatsoever about prudently going beyond it.  A limited, walled-in circumference inevitably brings sorrow.  All of the psychological therapy and superficial entertainment in the world will not put an end to that sorrow.

Instead of coming up with notions about “oneself,” go out (for an enlightening change) and perceive without the separative boundaries and isolated perspectives that were implanted in (and “as”) the past.  Is the perceiver so very separate from the perceived?  Walls of delusion may experience a lot of things; however, walls of delusion will never understand and see the uncontaminated truth and the eternal.   Real understanding, bliss, and balance are not of dead limitation, stale recognition, and segregation.

From the poetry of Stephen Crane:

 

The sage lectured brilliantly. 
Before him, two images: 
“Now this one is a devil, 
And this one is me.” 
He turned away. 
Then a cunning pupil 
Changed the positions. 

Turned the sage again: 
“Now this one is a devil, 
And this one is me.” 
The pupils sat, all grinning, 
And rejoiced in the game. 
But the sage was a sage. 

 

 

Super Thin Model (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Super Thin Model (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original mindfulness sayings and/or poetry that deals with mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: tom8pie.com (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

18 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. I was particularly struck by this phrase: “Being walled-in is a surefire recipe for depression.” It’s true in every sense, isn’t it? In the most concrete sense, it’s what underlies the cabin-fever so common in winter, and the gloominess and depression that people experience after long stretches of bad weather. Of course the phenomenon is broader than that, as you point out, but after days and days and weeks of clouds, cold, fog, and rain, cabin fever was the first thing that came to mind!

    Reply

    • That is a very interesting correlation (i.e., with the cabin-fever winter thing). 🙂 Seasonal affective disorder is often related to the lack of light that people are getting. However, it goes much deeper than that. If one is full of inner light, for instance, one is not as easily influenced by the gray winter weather. So many of us depend on things in order to be happy. It’s very good to have interesting hobbies and such; however, there are also periods when one need not depend on (and acquire) things. The mind need not always depend upon experience. The mind can be its own light… but not if such light is a mere reflection of what others have poured into one.

      Reply

  2. Intriguing post and fun photos. Love this line “Is the perceiver so very separate from the perceived?”

    Reply

  3. wonderful and profound – as usual -. I totally agree with you, that people think too much about themselves, Thomas. Have a nice day, regards Mitza

    Reply

  4. Good post!
    INDEED: “a very good chance that a lot of primitive miseducation has taken place” … we are somewhat at the mercy of perceptions, of recollections, and (if we bother to look inward) of recognition of patterns – these arrive, unsolicited. They arrive as part of the ongoing growth that is life … my goal is to be open to what comes and patient for its value to show up, and perhaps later evolve to a totally different value. Nothing is fixed/permanent within self or “out there”.

    Reply

    • The recognition of things/patterns is largely habitual and deeply ingrained. Psychological evolution is based on time. Profound insight is not merely of time and is not dependent on psychological evolution (if one is not an infant any longer). Thank you, Jazz! See what was written to Shelley, above. 🙂

      Reply

  5. You have very deep thoughts about the common man (and women). Most, probably all of us are indoctrinated into who we are and how we think by well meaning parents who are just passing along how they were brainwashed and on and on. Great piece

    Reply

    • Yes, one realizes that, Francis… by well-meaning parents who are just passing along how they were brainwashed… and on and on. My parents were nuts and uncaring; many of the nun-teachers that i had in parochial school were nuts and uncaring. So, very early on, one questioned everything. It was around when i was in the fourth grade that i realized that there was something magically special that existed beyond the realm of “thinking,” in silence. I never heard of “meditation” and never labeled it as anything, but went through it often. It’s never too late to realize the value of real silence and the superficiality of clinging to the “limited known” that others have poured into us.

      Reply

  6. This: “Instead of coming up with notions about “oneself,” go out (for an enlightening change) and perceive without the separative boundaries and isolated perspectives that were implanted in (and “as”) the past.” So difficult and so necessary.

    Reply

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