Self and Other and Neither

Buddha did not assert that you do not exist. He asserted that you have wrong-view about the way you exist.


As I sat in clear mindfulness, in front of Amitabha and his retinue, a complete package was opened in my mind.

I call it a package because it all came together, as one thing.

It opened up and many things were clear at once. It was a deep realization that is difficult to bring down into words, but in essence, the package contained a teaching on self, other and neither self nor other, nor collective selves, nor collective others, nor universal selves, or other multiversal selves or others.

It is a far flung and potentially useless, distracting, revelation for those who do not feel their heart’s warmed by the words I’m offering. So, in short, stop reading if you have problems with ‘nonself’. Or, if you hate me already, please move along. There are endless words to be read on this vast ocean of notions we’re calling the internet.

Deity, Bodhisattva, Buddha: Identification.

I sat there and saw that Avalokitesvara was no different than my most compassionate actions. I attained the gnosis that she is inside and outside and everywhere that there is deep, intense, mindfulness, and listening– he is there (she and he are useless distinctions, I’ve gone beyond, beyond, further beyond, completely beyond). The miracle of mindfulness heals all ailments.

When I am listening deeply, I am ‘The One Who Listens Deeply’.

Furthermore, it is not only Avalokitesvara that we may identify with. There are pleasurable and painful personalities that may be taken on by an individual. Be careful.

Like I said earlier, this was a complete package and I am not yet able to completely unpackage it for you– maybe you shall receive the same package? Maybe you already possess that package?! I’m sure you do.

Rather than dig into intellectual word-craft, I’m just going to urge you to consider the role of non-self and it’s relation to our ability to assume parts of other identities.


Our ‘self’ is just a funny story. Lots of people are helping you tell that ‘self’ story. They say, “Nguyen Giac is like this” and you believe “I am like that because they say so.”

A wise thing was said by someone (don’t remember who, I think it was Kierkegaard):

I am a non-entity existing only in relation to others.

So much of our concept of self is socially constructed.

Our Western Individualism (born of Judeo-Christian assertions) has taught that we are isolated actors in a chaotic environment. The necessary conclusion is that we must subdue all that stands in the way of what many call ‘ego’. Progress is always Progress toward further subjugation of what stands in the way of greed, hatred and delusion– for these are the ultimate end results of ego-delusion.

This is enough.

What will you take from this?

Take this:

You are a fluid personality, you are capable of bringing in and taking out elements that do not lead to the increase of wholesome states. Be aware of the story you’re telling about yourself. Be aware of the external personages that you have invited into your ego-complex. Prune the tree. Remain on the earth, with the people, transcendence is an ego delusion.


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