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So Who Are We, Really?

January 4th, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

Children learn the unreal mindset that is called western civilisation and learn to fit in with it from an early age. They learn many things, they learn that people lie to them and hurt them and call it love. They learn they must eat their meat, then one day learn it is the “moo-cow” in the field they are eating. They learn they must do what bigger stronger people tell them or they will suffer.

They start picking up on the whole charade and facade by the age of two or three and they fit in and behave in these unsatisfactory ways. They learn to supress the truth which they know: that all people are equal and no-one deserves to be hurt and that such power when used is wrong. And they learn to do all these things, anyway, because you have to fit in.

These things become habits, much as the way in which we conceive of time and space are habits, or the way we rise from a chair is a habit or the ways I think when I write these pieces are habits. Habits pile upon habits and eventually you end up with an adult human being: a collection of habits. Habits of body, habits of feeling, habits of percieving, habits of thinking and … there’s another one … I’m in the habit of forgetting.

The Buddha spoke of this. He described how these heaps (”skhanda’s” in sanskrit) of habits are what we are indulging when we act from ego, from the habitual sense of “me” from which the inner monologue or dialogue stems. These meta-stories we tell ourselves are just more habits. They are not who we really are, or so the Buddha said. So who are we, really?

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