Sunday, January 25, 2009

Why do we cling?

A few things happened this past week which forced me to have a closer look at my "self". The one that was afraid that something might change, the one that was clinging to what is known and comfortable and the one that was hell bent upon insisting on its own definition of itself. Wow!! What a reality check it was! So, this topic has been in my mind for a few days now. You know how you feel like you understand something, you feel like you are walking the walk and boom!! - something happens which makes you realize how much more you need to practice!

So, why do we cling to ideas, things and people? Why cannot we flow with life and let the Universe do its thing? Why is it so important that things go our way only? The "self" believes it is endowed with certain qualities, has certain characteristics and believe it or not - it does believe that it is the creator of these attributes. We tend to think - "I am beautiful, I am intelligent, I am hardworking, I am etc etc. I know what is best for me and I want such and such to happen because that is in my best interest. I am in charge and I am in control of my own life. There is nothing impossible". We surround ourselves with everything that helps us in this definition of myself and my identity, we cling to these because they help us support this definition. They justify our existence, make us feel important, valuable, different from others etc etc.

If we look deeply, the attributes that we exhibit are a result of coming together of so many causes and conditions, where is the self that could control any of it? We get angry when something hurtful happens to us and become happy when something pleasant happens. Can we not see how mechanical this response is? If there is a true self that is in control, it would be able to manipulate responses. We behave as per our conditions and as per natural laws, our nature being one of them -- our patience or lack there of, laziness or lack there of, sharpness or lack there of. Where is the self to be found which has been insisting on its existence all along and yet, it is as inseparable as the shadow. This whole process just amazes me, absolutely stunning!!!


  1. Found the link to the "Preachings of Buddha" blog.
    A very nice find!


  2. Yeah, I was very happy to find it. Chintan is doing some good work there..:)

  3. Taru--
    Thanks for this wonderful post. I love to hear other's insights as we all move along the path. Yes--the clinging, craving, aversion. That is what we are doing here, huh? I have decided this human realm is the realm of suffering and that is what we are here to do. Practice ourself right out of the self.
    With Much Metta,


  4. yes, probably everyone has such type of problems & and here comes the role of mindfullness which relies on important charaterstic of awareness, awareness by itself which does not judge , resist or cling to anything .

  5. If there was indeed a 'true self', one that does not react but just watches life, then i imagine that such a person would not be emotionally involved in materialistic goods or emotional situations. A high degree of awareness and realization automatically, in my opinion, tunes one to a more independent, detached way of life. 'Good', 'bad', 'happiness', 'sadness' cease to exist as only a state of equilibrium exists.

  6. Thanks Molly and Chintan. That is the beauty of awareness - takes away the suffering atleast in the moments when we are aware.

    Quite right anonymous -- and that is where real peace comes,when "I" is removed from the picture.

  7. hi, i have been interested in buddhism for some time now but have not seen or read buddhist blogs before. i suspect i will come back. thanks for the food for thought.

    "If there is a true self that is in control, it would be able to manipulate responses." very interesting. I know people think being manipulated or being with a manipulative person (in relationship) is so bad and horrible, but really, we are all manipulators. I think we should embrace that and not regard it as such a bad thing.