No-Self

Illusion of the Self

We think there is an entity; an I, or a me. We create the notion of self. It is an illusion. There is nobody living our life; nobody controlling our every action. You aren’t separate from what you do. The do-er is not separate from the deed. Without the deed, the doer does not exist.

Every second we are immersed in the ebb and flow of all that is around us. Nothing exists in a permanent state of being. Everything, including us is subject to change, decay and destruction. We are intimately linked into the flux of the Earth.

Our bodies exchange particles constantly with our environment. Every seven years or so we have completely replaced every cell in our body. Despite this we still retain the assertion that we are the same person as we were in our youth. There is a cohesion of life experience which deludes us into thinking we are, at our very metaphysical core, the same individual who once scraped his knee falling off a bike. We may have the scars to prove this assertion. But are we truly the same, or something else? Some alternate perception? It is a paradox we may never understand. Is an object which has had all its component parts replaced still fundamentally the same object?

The Ship of Theseus

“The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned [from Crete] had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.” ~Plutarch, Theseus

Our bodies self regulate. You do not consciously think about breathing, digesting or the myriad other processes that keep life sustained in your body, because the body is in sync with the natural balance of the Earth.

Attempting to see ourselves as separate entities, distinct from the balance of nature is a misconception. We are a part of the intricate system of balance; the ebb and flow of life in the universe. We cannot exist without it for without, we are not whole. Our bodies and minds are merely a piece of something much more monumental.

Even at the pinnacle of what we know about evolution, science and the physical nature of the Universe, we are still so far from the truth behind the great mystery.

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