17a | CR Note on liberty [1941]

[later Book XI, Chapter 6 - This self and the self by itself]

If self is taken as a salvational concept,
complete self-activity can act as a norm with
reference to which we reject anything we may
tend to appropriate. Anything in us falls short
of this standard, and is thus seen as not-self.
These considerations can be worked out into a
meditation on 'This is not nine, I am not this,
this is not myself,' by applying the following
17 points to events [/ any of the 198 items
into which the 'Patisambhida magga' classifies our
properties] (see table b).

1' Emphasize and watch its independent power,
its movements independent of your will.
2' Watch it follow its own course; watch
its rising, abiding, breaking up.
3' Call into consciousness your fear of its reversal
(/perversion), and the fear that it may turn opp-
4' See it as liable and exposed to danger,
and tribulation, - as a target.
5' It is no safe shelter; also no way out,
and it does not solve the most urgent problems
of my life; it even postpones their solution.
(My inner self is here, as a state, opp-
osed to outside causes, which cannot reach there.
As the basis of my dignity it is that where no-
body can get at me. No outside agency can pen-
etrate so far. In it I am shut in an impreg-
nable shelter.) (see bk i ch 1)
6' I am its. Possessions possess you.
See its coercive power, either in its actual
state, or when I look forward to its possibil-
Then (7'to 11') follows the disintegration
of the supposed self to which it is preferred, as
to a being or 'one thing'.
7' The experience is dissolved into its el-
ements (18 dhatus), thus dispelling reification
and weakening the sense of ownership.
8' Sometimes it is seen as shared by many.
9' The experience and its object should be
dissolved into its conditions, and the co-oper-
ation of other units stressed.
10' With reference to the element of striving
in the experience (/sancetana, tanha, sankhara),
the inner self is seen a multiplicity, divided
against itself, as shown clearly in temptations,
self-defeating actions, etc. In an incomplete-
ly integrated person conflicting impulses point,
where they are more or less permanent and organ-
ized, to different centres of control in himself.
11' It is not even inside the self, and there-
fore not a fruit of its inner activity. In
giving itself over to it, the self is estranged
from itself (parate, vivittate). As food is
just passing through the alimentary canal, so
everything should be seen as excrement. The
estrangement is easily manifest in the case of
temptations, and of certain bodily sensations
which can be treated as foreign, as objects re-
sented and wished differently. It can be seen
in everything.