29 | CR Book X, Chapter 2

are a masterly caricature of the dhamma. Then there are those who, in a
possessive rush which they call "love", get hold of objects, take them in
as their own (I love you as if you were me), drown their terror in untidy
confusion of object and subject, pretend with frantically closed eyes that
there is no difference, and lack in respect for the relative otherness of the
object. Genuine self-extinction* is distinguished by ability to accept,
sameness as sameness, and otherness as otherness

Chapter 2 - The self-negating attitudes all spring from an original
self-negation, from self-deception. Everything in ourselves which is not
the ultimate reality, is rooted in that original split of self-deception which
causes all other divisions. Constitutional limitations of sense, memory,
intellect, interest, keep us in ignorance. As we discover in our more lucid
moments, the passions, issuing from a deceptive self, have at their
disposal many instruments by which to distort reality, to disguise it, to
make it appear as different from what it is - projection of parts of oneself
on others, projection of a negative image of oneself on others, self-
blinding, overcompensations, hypostasations, fetichisms, anthropo-
morphisms, hasty and false appropriations, and assignments of respon-
sibility, voluntary limitations of the field of moral vision, and of
sympathy, illusions of personal and social perspective and associations,
etc., etc.

The interplay of anxiety and self-deception creates the world as we
know it. Many people are blind even to the matter-of-fact world of
socialised experience. They live in a (sentimental) world of their own
make. Two trends, or streams, of thought go on alongside one another
in each one of us - the one guided by a respect and concern for the
matter-of-fact world, the other inspired by a desire to escape from it.
One part of the personality tries to keep in touch with the world as it is;
another tries to get away from it. When people are terrified, or disap-
pointed by objects, the impulse to rush away from things is strengthened
considerably. The terrified and disappointed may find their wishful
dream world so much more interesting, satisfying, and important that it
overshadows the matter-of-fact world. Terror can throw the adult back
into a childish neglect of reality, and into a state of mind in which he is
inclined to see as real that which he wishes to be real. He shirks reality
by closing his eyes to it, replaces it by wish phantasies, or obscures it
by rushing blindly into reckless action.

If we compare our world of half-socialised experience with reality as
, we all live in a world of our own make. Under the influence of
strong anxities, people become unable to bear themselves, and life as it
is. They continually run away from themselves, and from things as they
are. They become continually insincere. With long and continual
counterfeiting and with oft telling a lie, they themselves are turned into
what they seemed to be, and from liars into believers. From anxiety, we
hate reality, and derive an immense satisfaction from seeing it sup-
pressed. Very few people dare admit either what they want, or what they
are or what actually exists. Too frightened to face reality as it is, they
become false persons.

Self-deception distorts the self in at least four ways: (1) One denies
oneself, and to oneself, the longing for nothingness. One substitutes
something for the original nothing. This is the basis of the original

*Book VII, Chapter 2