I can grasp the truth of the false self. That what I think of "me" in my mind doesn't exist . But I'm scared of giving it up after 45 years of it. Im like the guy in the matrix. Nero?

  • 1
    His name is NEO!
    – user13064
    Jun 16, 2018 at 18:22

3 Answers 3


An awakened mind no longer has any desires, ambitions, fear, anger and so on.

I do understand the fear. It is quite normal and natural. And functional in the sense that the mind won't let go. So long as you fear you are attached to what you are used to. Basically there is no need to worry. You won't suddenly wake up, not knowing how to react or something like that. The mind only lets go when it's ready, and that means that there will be no fear.

Practice is, in my humble opinion, key. Intellectualising and thinking and reasoning can get you only this far. Only by experiencing will fear subside, because your mind get's used to new experiences. It will familiarise itself with the yet unknown. And understanding and wisdom will grow... and so on.. and so on.

  • These two comments above seem to contradict each other. Is ambition good or bad? Does an awakened person have ambition or not? Jun 16, 2018 at 23:15
  • 1
    An awakened person has no ambitions. I wouldn't necessarily define ambition is terms of good or bad. I think it is much more helpful to look at the outcome: will the result be wholesome or not (as far as one can guess). Getting rid of suffering is an ambition that gets one started. But along the way one will realise that that ambition is also a hindrance one has to give up. Every ambition with whatever assumed result is, in the end, a desire. But an ambition can get one started and inclined towards the right/wholesome direction. Hope this helps.
    – user13579
    Jun 17, 2018 at 6:48
  • Yes, but the important bit is that person awakened goes beyond good or bad in the way that his actions cannot lead to heavy karmic effects after extinguishing Self. It is still the case that one will “desire” to do things selflessly and so Buddha didn’t classify all kinds of desire as bad, only the selfish desire / craving. Mahayana has different sets of views on that but let’s stick to the basic notion without later non duality addons.
    – user13383
    Jun 17, 2018 at 11:10
  • by Ajahn Jayasaro: amaravati.org/skilful-desires
    – user13383
    Jun 17, 2018 at 11:20

Intellectually perceiving concept of Self is not how entirely you should realise the notion. Yes, you need it in order to understand why you practise but its only one side of the coin.

Prefer experience over reasoning, the insight and wisdom will naturally arise after some practise.

Don't try to push it though it might only create internal conflict and doubt. It might become hinderance. You need to have constant recollection of these ideas, but don't try to religiously employ them like doctrine.

Do good, refrain from evil, understand that we are all interconnected.

What you are extinguishing when you lose Self is great deal of suffering that you inflict to yourself on daily bases. Where you are aiming is total freedom, peace, joy and liberation.

It's always worth it no matter if its 15 or 45 years of age!

  • Thank you for replies. It's a bit scary if that makes any sense? What happens to ambition in an awakened state ? Desire ? Jun 16, 2018 at 16:04
  • Desire is not bad at all. Desire might be wholesome and unwholesome. Desire that is a wrong type of desire is the desire is for example to have sexual intercourse with a really hot neighbour while having a great, successful family. You are aware that this selfish desire can ruin your relationship and make you suffer but nonetheless you dive in to this and then yield consequences, as Self typically doesn't follow common sense, wanting to satisfy your desire as fast as it can, without considering cause and effect factor. That stands in stark contrast to selfless desire made out of compassion.
    – user13383
    Jun 16, 2018 at 22:14
  • But what if I dont get caught with the really hot neighbour! Jun 18, 2018 at 16:41
  • Effect isn’t only external; It will plant more selfish lust in your habits, and lust if indulged too often cannot be suppressed, for it only grows and it’s craving has no end. That leads to a terrible amount of suffering and dissatisfaction.
    – user13383
    Jun 18, 2018 at 17:06

It is important to realize that there was no self to begin with. Knowing this, you can see that there is nothing to fear losing. In fact, awakening has nothing to do with gaining any sort of attainment; but it is simply the loss of incorrect perception.

  • Im aware of the false self and aware of my bad habits but some of them I keep falling into. How does one avoid them ? I'm dealing with addiction issues. Im able to keep them at bay but other bad habits make their way through. Not as dangerous but bad all the same Jun 19, 2018 at 13:56
  • Welcome @Nuthman and very good answer!
    – user13375
    Jun 19, 2018 at 14:09
  • @Barryseeker perhaps that would be better stated as another question rather than a question in a comment? I can give personal experience how I've been able to abandon my bad habit of anger or at least curtail it to a degree I'm quite happy about! But the answer would better fit as answer to a proper question and not as a discussion in comments.
    – user13375
    Jun 19, 2018 at 14:10
  • @Barryseeker, Addictions are blind reactions. They manifest as a sensation on the body, followed by a thought such as "I like it!" or "I hate it!", followed by a reaction. Suppose there is an addiction to cigarettes. Notice when there is an urge to smoke. Observe the feelings of that urge objectively without reaction. Notice that the desire lingers for a bit but is ultimately impermanent. Most importantly, if you fail - forgive yourself and repeat the process. Over time, the craving will weaken and eventually disappear. Non-reaction changes the habit pattern of the mind!
    – Nuthman
    Jun 21, 2018 at 17:44

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