The self arises from a multiplicity of causes and conditions.
The illusion we usually think of as the self cannot be distinctly identified as a separate entity apart from all other conditions. Like a city with one name, such as Boston, we know that from this one city comes much good and much that is not so good. We should not let the singular name, Boston, fool us into thinking the city is homogeneous. Similarly, the “city of the self” is a multiplicity. Our food, friends, health, genetics and countless other conditions work to affect the ever-changing manifestation we call the self. If we realize this clearly, we can more easily forgive for we know that the wrongs others may do to us have to do with so much more than simply others own singular, intentional actions. When someone commits a crime, we could look deeply into the childhood of such a person and possibly see crimes committed again him. His parents also may have been affected by things such as poverty, malnutrition or neglect. The stream of being is endless! The crimes and virtues of each being become the responsibility of us all at some level.
From this realization, compassion may arise. Yet, still habit energy may hound us! We still may be impatient, rude, fearful, angry and so on. Through persistent practice on the path to self-realization we begin to bring the “pieces of the self” together into one luminous whole. The 10,000 things become one and duality falls away bit by bit. No longer are we struggling desperately to appear consistent, unified and ideal.
In union, non-duality, all is settled. Nothings has changed, yet nothing has stayed the same…
These are the things I have thought to write in this moment. Quick! What are you thinking this instant?!