Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Helping the "self"

The Self in Self-Help, by Kathryn Schultz, Jan 6, NewYork Magazine

I just read this, today, and very much like how it fits into/ contrasts with the Master and his Emissary posts, and how it compares to how I have helped my "I" illusion through depression all my life, by taking ownership, responsibility, and changing context as frequently as required, even though another part of me hates being having to be uprooted. 

"The journalist Josh Rothman once wrote a lovely description of what a cloud really is: not an entity, as we perceive it, but just a region of space that’s cooler than the regions around it, so that water vapor entering it condenses from the cold, then evaporates again as it drifts back out. A cloud is no more a thing, Rothman concluded, than “the pool of light a flashlight makes as you shine it around a dark room.” And the self, the Buddhists would say, is no more a thing than a region of air with thoughts passing through."


"I have no idea how I got over my depression. I spent a year doing the things one does: I read Feeling Good, went to therapy, got exercise, tried to eat well in the utter absence of appetite, and routinely forced myself into sympathetic company when every particle of my being—or, I suppose, every particle but one—wanted to curl up alone in the dark. I did all these things not out of any real hope that they would work but because the failure to do them seemed like it would cede more ground to the awfulness. And then some moon in my inner universe set silently, and the awfulness went out like a tide...  

"...In other words, as scientists would say, this method of self-help is an uncontrolled experiment. But so what? Life is an uncontrolled experiment: confounded, confounding, and, above all, completely impossible to replicate—tragically so, and wonderfully so. I try to remind myself of that as often as I can. Sometimes it helps."

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