From time immemorial we have been addicted to the self. It is how we identify ourselves. It is what we love most dearly. It is also what we hate most fiercely at times. Its existence is also the thing that we work hardest to try to validate. Almost everything that we do or think or have, including our spiritual path, is a means to confirm its existence. It is the self that fears failure and longs for success, fears hell and longs for heaven. The self loathes suffering and loves the causes of suffering. It stupidly wages war in the name of peace. It wishes for enlightenment but detests the path to enlightenment. It wishes to work as a socialist but lives as a capitalist. When the self feels lonely, it desires friendship. Its possessiveness of those it loves manifests in passion that can lead to aggression. Its supposed enemies – such as spiritual paths designed to conquer the ego – are often corrupted and recruited as the self’s ally. Its skills in playing the game of deception is nearly perfect. It weaves a cocoon around itself like a silkworm; but unlike a silkworm, it doesn’t know how to find the way out.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist
Read a random quote or see all quotes by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
Further quotes from the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist:
- Today is the death of yesterday
- Clinging to our hopes and fears
- Primordial purity
- Where will they scatter my ashes
- A simple, scientific fact
- Being a Buddhist
- Our true nature is like a wineglass
- What is in the mind of a Buddhist
- Pride and pity
- Living fully
- Your own ignorance betrays you
- Shielding ourselves and others from the truth
- Not a buddha yet
- Like monkeys
- Appreciating the whole cycle of impermanence
- The spiritual path is a temporary solution
- Enlightened beings may seem insane
- I don’t give a damn
- What is life?