• Welcome to droqen's forum-shaped notebook. Please log in.

picture of the self

Started by droqen, January 23, 2023, 05:29:30 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


As I was throwing away years and years of memories ("memories", memorabilia of my life, paraphernalia of the past, nothing I have any attachment to as my present-day self) it occurred to me that that twinge of sadness I had often felt before, when giving up things I thought of as 'part of my self,' was weaker than ever. It was there, but I let go of those things almost effortlessly. Almost.

What does it mean to consider a thing part of your self? When a person drives a car and gets into a collision even if they themselves were not hurt they may say "You hit me." Me. Is it more than just a semantic trick? Do we accept our tools into our sense of self, does it become harder to let go of things once we have let them in? When I play awake I am the eleven-eyed thing. Even when I cannot see myself I am me.

So then what happens to me when I die? When I stop playing awake I let go of that eleven-eyed facet of my self. What happens when I stop owning my body? It is supposed that the brain is the source of consciousness, of sentience, and if that is the case, if I am born locked into my own skull, then it would be foolish to dissociate from my brain. But what if the brain is merely a tool too? My body an avatar?

Writing on a whiteboard, I can even think somewhat differently than I can without it. What if that is all the brain is? An elaborate, beautiful whiteboard. A calculator. A hook into sensory organs. What if without the brain I am still me? What if without the body I am still me?

Think of the self as something other than the body, other than the brain. Think of the body and the brain as a vessel. A powerful, wonderful, beautiful vessel.

What then would a picture of the self look like?


P. 367


. . . the list of centers --- even before it serves to make a building --- must be judged according to the likelihood of its creating life. This can be done. You can often tell just from looking at a list of centers that it may not produce life, because you can tell that it has obvious gaps, or problems, or misses the main point in some essential way. . . . I have to ask myself, first, What is real life in a person? What kind of thing will produce real, deep life in an event? What will bring real life to the conditions of a building, or garden, or street, or town[, or game]? What kinds of events* make us feel close to our own wholeness? . . . which kinds of centers will do the most to produce real spiritual life in people: which things, events*, moments*, kinds of centers, will create a spiritual awakening in a person or a person's life.
     Finally, then, I am in the state of trying to see, like Bashō, what will most concretely reveal the most translucent inner being in a person.† . . . the sandwich eaten on the back of the truck . . . the sun's rays on the bedroom floor . . . [those aspects of sight, sound, smell,] which will illuminate existence and make a person come in touch with his eternal life.


*When I walk around the city I think about the events that have taken place in the city, especially in that place. I think about the events that might happen in the future. This is of course not the entirety of what the city makes me think about . . . but it is a part of the wholeness. Its past events, its future events.

†Alexander's footnote: ". . . I should like to refer perhaps especially to THE NARROW ROAD TO THE FAR NORTH, a book of prose and haiku on Bashō's journey, in which the ordinariness and concreteness of existence is illuminated."