08x | CR Book III, Chapter 5

'This is not my self' [1941]

It is now possible to give a further explanation
of 'this is not mine, I am not this, this is not
my self'.

Prolonged practice enables us to see 'mine' not
as a real relation, but as a mere manner of speak-
ing. Its hollowness is shown when its grammatical
nature is emphasised. 'Mine' (meus) is, literally,
nothing but the genetive of 'I'. All the emotions
centering round the 'mine' are wasted on a genetive.

The 'I am not this' part is explained in book viii
ch 2.

In 'this is not my self', the word 'self' refers
not to a particular thing, but to directions, and
lines of action. 'Selfhood' is a term for the (i-
deal) aim of both the process of isolating abstra-
ction (by the logical or analytical method), and
of the process of casting off everything extran-
eous to 'self' conceived as the saviour of man from
oppression (salvatical method). Apart from logi-
cal isolation we can have isolation in a salvat-
ional sense - from the unworthy, which is coupled
with completion by the worthy (by what Christians
might call 'the grace of God'). This kind of iso-
lation is prepared by Renunciation (nekkhamma),
and aimed at by Mindfulness and Concentration
(samadhi). As a salvational factor, the self is