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Who Is Jack? Quest For Identity?

Once a master made a big pile of random items. An umbrella, a shoe, a coat, a pencil and many items.

Then he turned to his students and declared. “This is Jack. I am naming this pile Jack”

Then he took out the shoe and said “Is it still Jack?” Mostly people said “Yes.”

Then he took out the pencil and asked again “Is it still Jack?”

Every time the number of people answered yes became less and less. At one point there were hardly any items left and no one said yes.

Then he started adding items and asking “Is it still Jack?”

After end of the demonstration, the master declared “We are all Jacks”

We are all a flow. Our body cells are dying regularly and new cells being formed. Our thoughts are changing, habits are changing. Memories are changing. Yes, memories change too. Every time you access a memory, it gets rewritten with some new face lift. Our looks are changing. Nothing is constant in the body. From the time you were born to the time you will die, nothing would have remained the same, except awareness of this change.

At what time we say something is same? Say at 50% ? If Jack changed more than 50% he is different.

But 50% of what? 50% of weight? 50% of volume? 50% of color or visual appearance? 50% of functionality?

You can take a decision. But that will be only a subjective judgment, a convention you suggest. You can have 10000 people agree with you. But that is a convention agreed by 10000 people. That does not make it a reality.

Identity is not an illusion. Thought that “Identity is a reality, not convention” is an illusion.

This is core message of Buddha.

About Mind

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Funny thing about mind, is that there is no mind.

Idea of mind is just a thought. Does the thought not occur in mind?

The idea that there must be something in which the thought occurs is also just a thought.

Thoughts energize one another. Sometimes there is a pattern. Sometimes it’s random.

Thoughts are often self referential. A must be black in color because A is black in color.

Just random neurons firing electric pulses. All one large cloud.

Your thoughts about your dog affect your thoughts about your sports team. Every thought affects others. No matter even if connection is not apparent.

You think “I think, therefore I am.”

But “I think” is a thought, and so is “I am”, and so is relation between them.

Not me, Alan Watts says so.

We tie our self image to our ability to think. Only when our mind and bodies are in motion, we value them. We think of them as bicycle.

But when we are still, we realize “I exist, and I choose to think.”

For Buddha, No Such Thing As Death

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The tree leaf that enjoys being green and hanging on the branch,

as much as

being yellow and flying on wind,

has no reason to love spring but hate autumn.

The souls that enjoy expression of free will as being,

as much as

the bliss of the formless void as non being

has no reason to love life but hate death.

The stories of heaven and hell are just that, stories. Humans don’t die and go to heaven. The idea of being a living human, death and heaven, all are formed within consciousness.

The idea of eternity is a thought that lasts only one moment.

When Buddhas is enlightened, no one is left in him/her to die.

Like water flowing through the river, life flows through Buddha. Effortlessly.

Don’t worry about dying. Nothing can pain you at the moment of death.

Your fear of dying will die before you do. All the reasons for you not to die, will die before you do.

From this life what you think of afterlife, is what you may think in afterlife about this life. Like boat alternating between shores of the river, souls alternate between afterlife and life, until they become Buddha.

Then there is no crossing, just drifting in water.


When Buddha stops breathing, it’s just that stream A stopped feeding stream B and now instead feeds stream C instead.

Nothing of real value is ever lost.

Nothing of fake value is worth preserving anyway.

Spiritual Economy

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We live in the world that measures GDP, and treats all growth as positive.

About GDP, it is only capable of measuring transactions. It does not measure harmony.

A mom cooking food for her family does not add to GDP, but a restaurant cooking food does.

A grandpa taking care of grandkids does not add to GDP, but a hired caretaker caring for kids does.

A tree standing upright and giving oxygen does not add to GDP. But it does when people breathe oxygen and cut it down down for logs.

This oversimplified measures of prosperity give fodder to ambitions of megalomaniacs.

If we stay on this path, some day Dow Jones will reach 100,000. But there will be 100,000 beggars in front of the stock exchange.

Currency is wealth only when it can be converted to experience. Without that, currency is piece of paper, same as toilet paper.

This ability to convert comes from harmony in society. Sadly we take it for granted.

All growth is not good. Else people would celebrate having cancer. Cancer is exactly growth without harmony.

Ironically harmony is hard to measure. More harmonious a relationship is, more hard it is to spot as a relationship. Two just look like one.

When lovers are in love, they hold hands. Holding hands does not make noise.

When they hate each other, they scream at each other.

The best things in your life, you hardly know exist. They often don’t give you anything tangible. They just make you harmonious with surroundings.

Buddha said “I gained nothing from Supreme Awakening. That’s why it is called Supreme Awakening.”

Buddha’s supreme awakening did not contribute to GDP anywhere. But yet it remains essence of economy, and life, everywhere.

Are You Happy?

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“Are you happy?” This simple question often trips people.

The moment you ask, you can see them struggling.

A part of them wants to say no. But that’s like admitting failure of their pursuits. So they don’t say no.

A part of them wants to say yes. But they cannot push out the memories of all the things they want, but don’t have.

So they just fumble.

That simple question forces to take you side. Are you the mind that is being analyzed, or are you the mind that is the analyzer? Are you happy? Or are you the one who decides it?

Until there is this sense of two, real happiness is not possible.

When someone asks a wise one whether they are happy, and when the answer is “I don’t know”, you can be sure they are at peace.