Significance and Self

September 10, 2004

Who did you meet today? What did you see? Usually we
answer these questions by mentioning the most significant
incidents of the day.

When we are out walking, we meet many people but only
a few of them, if any, do we remember later on. The same
applies with all the details and items on our way. Why do we
not register most of the activities and items? Why do we “see”
only a fraction of the whole picture?

The most fascinating point is to realize that by getting a
reaction we have already stated something. If there were no
“self,” it would mean that all the occurrences would be indif-
ferent. There would not be any better or worse incidents—
they would all be the same. But everyone gets different
reactions from the same (or different) occurrences (i.e.,
impulses, actions, events, and so on).They bear a meaning for
the self, and only for the self. Objectively, nothing bears any
meaning. Things just are, like a rock or bird. No statements at
all—just pure existence.

Having reactions or feelings proves that there is a self,
something that sets relative values for impulses it receives.
This insight clarified, at least for me, the point of selfness. For
example, when a human being looks at you and intends to
approach you, he or she has defined some significance to you
that is stated by his or her actions. The opposite happens
when you are totally ignored or ignore others. We just do not
see most of the people at all while we are out walking. They
neither exist nor bear any significance for us.

How about those people who register most of the actions
and details around themselves but lay no significance to the
occurrences.(Don’t confuse these people with those discussed
previously who do not “see” most of the world around them.)
This is the state of being selfless. They recognize and are
aware of the things around them, but these items do not res-
onate (i.e., bear any significance) anything for the person.
This is existence in its purest form. And in this state, we are
able to recall the details and events later on. So it is not a pas-
sive state like the “blind” case in which a person does not rec-
ognize or see things around him or her. This situation can be
verified by asking the person to recall the incident.

So, we are selfish as long as we have significant things in
our lives. And this means that we have to bear the conse-
quences as well. When one is selfless, there is nothing that is
interfered or reacted to. And when there is no action, a reac-
tion is not created either. Then our existence is very rich and
instant—and more meaningful than ever before.

This is the original text, and an edited version can be found in the Fragments of Reality -book.