Updated: Feb 19, 2020
We rely on the concept of Self to define who we are and how we understand the world around us. For if there is no Self, why should there be reincarnations (rebirths) and Karma? If the Self does not exist, what does? To us, it is unfathomable to imagine life without Self because we see and relate to the world through the Self. We presume many achievements in life will be impossible without Self, and no future can be realized. But what if this is the wrong view? What if there is really no Self? What if the concept of Self is the cause of all unenlightened rebirths? Will it be worthwhile then to seek the Truth to lead to our enlightenment?
What if we are the emotions that arise through the sensations and feelings we have accumulated in our interactions with people; our perceptions and experiences from present and previous lives? What if we sense and feel, as we lived and died before, and we store emotions as if memories, that we unknowingly let out in the present - displayed, uninhabited but none the wiser; as we continue to sense and feel, accumulating as we live and breathe; scarred but not scared.
It is perhaps easier to see this by imagining we are blind. Blindness brings about heightened senses naturally, which we rely on to map our surroundings. The sensation of someone near, the sensation of presence becomes undeniable. But what if that person reaches for our hand, we will immediately feel the touch and warmth of the hand, and our sensation of presence will become subdued as the touch and warmth allow us to feel the presence. But as soon as we felt the presence, emotions arise from within us - emotions of anxiety (who?), fear (friend or foe?) and concern (safe or danger?) will overflow our conscious mind. We may choose to smile - unconvincingly (display of emotions). What if the person squeezes hard on our hand? Immediately we will feel the pain; anger (emotion) arises. We scream and shook off the person’s hand (display of emotions); the pain subsides. We feel relieved. Fear (emotion) arises and we turn to run (display of emotion).
So what is Self if we can be described by our sensations, feelings, and emotions? What if, we are just simply a collection of sensations, feelings, and emotions accumulated in this and previous lives? If so, what is worth grasping for in this life? If we know Karma relishes on sensations, feelings, and emotions, what will arise if we neutralize our sensations, feelings, and emotions?