Selflessness and Doglessness

Here is a passage about selflessness from the book Ruling Your World by Sakyong Mipham.

Even when we speak of selflessness, the mind goes to “me.”  We think, “I’m selfless,” but everything is selfless.  Saying “everything is selfless” is like calling that stone “dogless.”  It might give the impression that a dog was there at some point, but it never was.  It was our idea of a dog that was there.  Similarly, we say everything is selfless, but the Self was never there.  There was only our idea of a self.

~~Sakyong Mipham

I’ve had trouble wrapping my mind around the concept of selflessness, but the analogy of saying a stone is “dogless” got me to look at it from a different angle.  He is trying to get us to see that the word “selfless” itself is revealing our bias or assumption.  He is saying we are starting from a manufactured place of “self” and then creating the term “selfless” to point back to the state of being without self, but that “self” was something we made up to begin with and “selflessness” is what truly is.

A bit of a mind bender, but I have noticed that people very  often start with an assumed belief and view the world from that position, and then they pronounce other things false not realizing how much of their perspective is based on manufactured beliefs.  I was certainly guilty of this.  And still am, no doubt.

Is it possible for the human mind to be completely assumption free?  To experience life and our reality without any projections?  I suppose that even if we progress to the point of being selfless, like the Buddha, the very way our brains interpret the vibrations around us to form our experience of physical reality creates blind spots in our view.  But that’s okay, I think.  That’s what this journey we call life is all about.  And I suppose every being other than Source, no matter how advanced they seem compared to us, will have limits or boundaries to expand. 

So, can I make the leap to selflessness?  Do I even want to?  Reading Sakyong Mipham’s book I can certainly see the deep value in attaining the state he describes.  But I also feel that it is my old idea of self that I want to free myself from, not every idea of self.  Maybe releasing those old definitions brings us to a new state of self that is so unrecognizable to the old belief system that from that perspective it seems as if there is no self.

Or maybe I’m still missing something.  🙂

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