Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Many Faces Of 'I'

As soon as you want to change the following may be observed:

1. I am not satisfied with my behaviour. I want to change.
2. I cannot change. Something resists this impulse.
3. I do not want to change. Why would I! Even if I want to change, I won't.

Already there are three faces of the 'I'.

Examined further one can note:

1. The 'I' that represents the old pattern of behaviour and clings to it, however unprofitable or injurious it is.
2. The 'I' that aspires for a new pattern.
3. The 'I' that observes and reports on all this.
4. And perhaps the 'I' that decides.

There is conflict between these four. The resultant of these determines the actions. To be aware of and experience these different aspects is a great step forward. And helps in the recognition of the fifth 'I'  that  presides over the resultant action.

Therefore when you say 'I', it may mean any one of these 'I's.

But the highest 'I' is that which says:
I do not know all this philosophy. I am not bothered if there is one 'I' or ten 'I's. I do not want to be a liar talking of things I have not felt or seen; I do not want to be a librarian collecting ideas and books about them.  All I know is  that I want to change - just as clearly as I want coffee instead of tea, or as I want to be an engineer and not a barber, and I want to change, for my present behaviour is not satisfactory. And just as I cannot become an engineer or a barber without learning how to do it,   by merely    saying I want to do this or that, I must also learn carefully how to change myself. It is for my well being; or let us even say it is just my personal whim or wish. And I desire this so much, that I shall use all my patience, intelligence, skill and persistence, and I will go on trying till I get somewhere with this personal desire of mine: and this body is the plastic clay given to me, belongs to me, and I want to make it into the image of something better and better, and I have the desire of an artist, painter or jeweller or explorer, and I shall go on till I change and change till I and my world become better and better...

Well, that is the highest determining 'I', this 'I' that takes responsibility for its desires. The jeweller has to learn his trade. If you want to make yourself something better and different you have to learn the trade, and all that is required for the learning of any other profession.

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