🌕 Angela’s Reflections:
Craving for existence is eternalism. We want to exist. This “I” wants to be. Because we want to be, there is a sense of “self” arising, and because there is a self, there will be the “other” who is not self, and not I. This is the start of dualistic thinking. We protect what is I, me, mine and myself. We either acquire (greed), or push away (aversion) what is not I, not me, not mine, and not myself.
Craving for non-existence is nihilism. Since we are wired dualistically, we may think that non-existing is therefore the answer to liberation. But Buddha taught that this view is nihilistic and is not liberation. Buddha taught the non-dualistic middle path that is neither eternalism nor nihilism. We learn to transcend duality of I/not I, either/or, this/that. This is awakening to reality as it is. This is the great freedom and great liberation.
🌱 Journal Reflection Prompts for You:
- 📝 Go deep. Examine how you continually create a sense of who you are. Who are you? Are you really those aspects? Who are you without those aspects? Keep peeling the onion.
- 📝 Examine your life and everything that is happening in our world. Can you see that it fundamentally boils down to a strong, solid sense of I, me, mine and myself, including my family, my identity, my resources, my feelings, my memories, my experience, etc.
- 📝 Have you ever experienced the “fading away of the subjective sense of selfness“? What was that like? What does that tell you about you and about what you hold onto as you?
- 📝What is mind, if it is neither existing nor non-existing?
Featured image, an AI-generated artwork, by Angela Ho.