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Buddhadharma : Fall 2018
GESHE LHUNDUB SOPA 53 than you,” our sense of self rears up and angrily objects. We have an innate attitude that “I” have a special kind of existence, an identity that is almost different from the aggregates making up the body and mind, which feels solid and absolute. Likewise, when we consider “my body,” we usually grasp at the self of phenomena; we have an underlying assumption that our body possesses an inherent char- acteristic of bodyhood that is substantial and unique. What is the body? When we look at it carefully all we can find is hair, skin, flesh, bones, muscles, blood, an upper part, a lower part, inside and out- side, and so on. There is no actual “body” existing from its own side. Usually we do not analyze things this way. We naturally hold things to be inherently and absolutely existent. Simply seeing that they exist, we feel that they exist from their own side. This is called self-grasping. Every ordinary being has self-grasping. Even animals have it, though they do not have the language to express it. They recognize danger, experience fear, and know how to protect them- selves. Even little animals that live underground will stick their heads out of their burrows and glance in every direction before they come out. I do not think they are trying to exercise their necks! They are checking to see if it is safe to leave their holes. They recognize when an enemy comes close, then they run and hide or attack in order to defend themselves. They are attached to themselves, to their friends, and to their offspring. They have a robust sense of self and a strong self-centered attitude. We need to differentiate between the self that exists, which is dependently imputed on the aggregates, and the self that is held to exist from its own side, which does not exist at all. Only by means of the analytical wisdom realizing selflessness can we understand that there is no such thing as the latter kind of self, the object of opposite | Kalachakra, 2016 PHOTONINAHUH