From The Wisdom of No Escape:

The problem is that

the desire to change

is fundamentally a form of aggression toward yourself.



  1. Which is, sadly, why I make no effort to change. All my aggression toward myself I expended early in life and into middle age. Now I ask very little of myself. I wish to live out my days at peace with myself. No more self flagellation, no more punishment. Acceptance is now my last challenge.

  2. Ben Varkentine says: "...the desire to change is fundamentally a form of aggression toward yourself."

    I don't know. It'd depend, I suppose, of what the circumstances are. Still, the premise sounds flawed to me:

    It implies at the base, the notion of some static "self," that would be fix and immutable.

    Clearly things are more complex than that.

    "Conscious and unconscious have no clear demarcations...
    rather, the psyche is a conscious/unconscious whole.
    ---C. J. Jung

    What would the Buddha dancing with the Dragon say?

    These fleshy sensoria which we call self are ephemera withering in the blaze of infinity, fleetingly aware of temporary conditions which confine our activities and change as our activities change. If you must label the absolute, use its proper name: Temporary.
    ---Frank Herbert

    Furthermore if there is a "desire" to change that is part of yourself, where is the aggression toward yourself?

    And who is the aggressor the "self" aspiring for change or the "self" obstructing change?

    In my experience, the kind of violence you describe---of oneself against oneself---usually happens the other way around when people repress their inner desire, including their desire for change: people living inauthentic lives.

    I want to unfold,
    I don't want to stay folded anywhere,
    because where I am folded,
    there I am a lie...

    ---Rainer Maria Rilke

  3. Nausicca you're a most engaging writer and thinker. Your lovely education is showing. What a delight to have said something as banal as my tossed off comment and come round to see you've made something magical out of almost nothing. Your quoting Jung and Rilke turns my head and makes me want to dream of you. Maybe following you around will change me with no effort at all on my part.

    For the time being I find myself merely decaying, slowly. Head filled with the words of a few thousand books and no one to talk to who gives a damn. So much useless knowledge goes to waste in my small world.

    I am slowly gathering the disparate children of my heart together. I'll put my affairs in order, have one last grand adventure, and then poof, I'll change into a useful corpse for an anatomy class to study. Now there is change for you.

  4. Or, to put it yet another way:

    Man is in love, and loves what vanishes,
    What more is there to say?


    The Hindu have a religious hymn that sums it all up rather well:

    All creation is the sport of my mad Mother Kali;
    By Her maya the three worlds are bewitched. . . .

    Now there is change for you.

  5. The same hymn (by Ramprasad, the famous Kali mystic) also says:

    It is She the scriptures say that is the Inner Self
    She that of Her own sweet will, inhabits every living thing.

  6. Just to correct the record, I was quoting from this book:

  7. Perhaps once passed I will be loved in a way I was not loved in life. But then I will no longer need to be loved at all.

    I once wanted desperately to believe in an afterlife. And it was durning this search for a religious life, I did a great deal of reading by philosophers. It was during this period of my life that I focused my longing on Buddhism and Hinduism. I thought it would be lovely to be reincarnated as a well loved cat.

  8. I know what you mean. There tend to be in the Western World in general, and in the United States in Particular, a tendency toward a New Age decontextualization of a variety of traditions, especially where Eastern traditions are concerned. It can be a good thing (bringing together what appears to be best in various traditions), and not such a good thing (promoting a certain shallowness often present in the New Age movement).

    Actually one of the most fundamental premises of Buddhism is the notion of anatta (no soul or no self), meaning that there is no permanent essence of an individual self that survives death.

    Hinduism is different. But let's not forget that Hinduism consists of thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE, and Ramprasad (the Kali mystic I was quoting above) comments in many of his songs how Kali is indifferent to his wellbeing:

    Can mercy be found in the heart of her who was born of the stone?
    Men call you merciful, but there is no trace of mercy in you. Mother.
    You have cut off the headset the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck.
    It matters not how much I call you "Mother," Mother. You hear me, but you will not listen.