Theme 4 – Not-self

Theme 4 – Not-self

Letting go of ego, of the sense that we are a unified, enduring, consistent, independent identity that doesn’t change with circumstances. Letting go of the idea that there is a fixed ‘me’ that needs defending and promoting and that will endure, even after death. Instead, seeing 'me' as a dynamic process that arises each moment dependent on conditions both inside and outside of ourselves.

Title: If
Author: Rudyard Kipling
Relevance: the poem describes a vision of how someone might act if they had largely let go of ego, of ‘self’.
Non-relevance: Perhaps the idea that this is the definition of a man. More accurately probably an awakened person.

Title: Departures
Relevance: Japanese Oscar winner for best foreign film 2009. Wikipedia says that the film is loosely based on an autobiographical book about a buddhist mortician. The letting go of ego and the practice of compassion are obvious in this film. It the most moving film I’ve seen this year. Just stunning.
Submitted by: Candol, Australia
See also Theme 9, Movie, The Parrots of Telegraph Hill

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