The Daily Dharma – July 8, 2021

The Illusory Self (continued)

Oil painitng of a young boy living in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India in a bright red sweater looking upward.
Young Neighbor Painting Seamus Berkeley

And so as the child grows up, the original I-thought attracts other thoughts to itself: It becomes identified with a gender, possessions, the sense-perceived body, a nationality, race, religion, profession. Other things the “I” identifies with are roles – mother, father, husband, wife, and so on – accumulated knowledge or opinions, likes and dislikes, and also things that happened to “me” in the past, the memory or which are thoughts that further define my sense of self as “me and my story.” These are only some of the things people derive their sense of identify from. They are ultimately no more than thoughts held together precariously by the fact that they are all invested with a sense of self. This mental construct is what you normally refer to when you say “I.” To be more precise: Most of the time it is not you who speaks when you say or think “I,” but some aspect of that mental construct, the egoic self. Once you awaken, you still use the word “I,” but it will come from a much deeper place within yourself.

Eckhart Tolle
from A New Earth; Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose