Jung Myung Sa
Buddhist Temple

"Be no-self rather than be yourself"

by Dec 25, 2018JMS Blog

“Cunda, as to those various views that arise in the world associated either with doctrines of a self or with doctrines about the world: if [the object] in relation to which those views arise, which they underlie, and which they are exercised upon is seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self,’ then the abandoning and relinquishing of those views comes about.”

M8:3 Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

“be yourself” seems to be the mantra of psychology for happiness. Yet, we are often confused with the answer to the question, ‘who am I’, and further, ‘what am I.’ No one including yourself can exactly answer to the questions. The mantra of psychology encourages people to ferret out and find ‘self’ and I wonder how many people have been successful in it

Many would agree that self is too mysterious to find it well. In the passage quoted above, the Buddha seems to tell that self is mysterious because there is no-self.

Based on our belief or perspective toward life, we will decide either whether we relentlessly try to find ‘self’ or stop the searching and be in the moment.

What the Buddha taught is “Be no-self rather than be yourself”


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