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You tell me what a marvellous person I am.

You tell me what a marvellous person I am.

From Public Discussion 2, Sydney, 19 November 1970

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You tell me what a marvellous person I am. I like it; I have already built the image that you are my friend. You say something I don’t like, and I have formed an image. So the image pattern is built through pleasure and pain, of liking you because you say something pleasant and not liking another because they are not nice to me. This is based on the pleasure principle; please watch it in yourself. I have built an image because you have said something pleasurable or not pleasurable, and I carry that image when I meet you next time. I am that image. Now, can this machinery stop? That is, when you insult me, to be completely attentive at that moment. Attentive in the sense I listen to you totally, without any reaction, neither accepting nor rejecting your insult, just listening completely, which means complete attention. The same when you flatter me: to listen so fully that nothing leaves a mark on the mind. So the machinery that builds the image has no vitality, so the mind, listening to the insult and to the flattery, doesn’t leave a mark, therefore no image. Therefore for the mind that is so sensitive, alert, watchful, the ‘me’ doesn’t exist, because the ‘me’ is the image.

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