Elastic Self > No Self

Venturing into the depths of my own experiences, I’ve stumbled upon a realization that echoes the Buddhist idea of Anatta – this notion that there isn’t a fixed, unchanging ‘self’ at the core of our being. This insight didn’t hit me like a lightning bolt from a philosophical textbook; it was more like a gentle unfolding, a curtain being slowly drawn back to reveal a more fluid and dynamic concept of self.

This ‘self,’ or what we often refer to as the ego, isn’t a rigid, unbreakable entity. Instead, it’s more like a river – always flowing, always changing. It’s not about losing yourself or your ego but understanding that it’s not set in stone. There’s a certain freedom in this, a release from the need to strictly define who you are at every moment.

Let’s talk about this whole ‘illusion’ thing. Sure, in a way, the self is an illusion – a construct we create and recreate as we go through life. But that doesn’t make it any less necessary. Without this sense of self, how do we make choices, form relationships, or chase our dreams? Without it, we’d be like actors on a stage, constantly changing roles without ever really knowing who we are offstage.

For someone young, like myself, who’s trying to make their way in the world, it’s more about shaping and reshaping this sense of self. Think of it as being like clay – malleable and ready to be formed into something new as situations change and grow. It’s not about losing your ego; it’s about keeping it flexible, so it doesn’t break under the pressures and changes life throws at you.

In my own life, I’ve found it’s about striking a balance – being firm in your convictions but open to new experiences and perspectives. It’s about being like water, flowing and adapting, rather than being a solid, unmovable rock. This way, your sense of self becomes a tool, a way to navigate through life’s twists and turns, rather than something that confines you to a single, unchanging identity.