Belief in a self isn’t what gives force to judgement, it’s what blocks it

The West seems to  find it very difficult to understand how recognizing that the self has no true existence doesn’t stand in the way of determination, strength of mind and action in the slightest.  Instead it opens our eyes wide to the causes of happiness and suffering.  It’s a recognition that makes action very precise.  Belief in a self isn’t what gives force to judgement, it’s what blocks it.  If our actions aren’t always clear-sighted, courageous, lucid and effective, as you say, it’s because we are the plaything of our attachment to the self.  It’s said, ‘the viewpoint of the sage is higher than the sky, and his discernment in terms of cause and effect is finer than flour.’  You can’t rebel against what you’ve sown yourself, but you can build the future by knowing how to distinguish between what leads to misery and what liberates you from it.  That’s very different from fatalistically espousing an inevitable future.  ~ Jean-Francois Revel and Matthieu Ricard, from  “The Monk and the Philosopher”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s