If I Had No Concept about Myself, What Would Happen to Me?

Why have I, who have lived forty, fifty, sixty,or whatever number of years it is that one has lived why have I gathered this store-houseful of what I think, what I feel, what I am, what I should be, this accumulation of experience, knowledge? And if I had not done that, what would happen? Do you understand? If I had no concept about myself, what would happen to me? I would be lost, wouldn’t I? I would be uncertain, terribly frightened of life. So I build an image, a myth, a concept, a conclusion about myself, because without this framework life would become for me utterly meaningless, uncertain, fearful: there would be no security. I may be secure outwardly; I may have a job, a house, and all the rest of it, but inwardly also I want to be completely secure. And it is the desire to be secure that compels me to build this image of myself, which is verbal. Do you understand? It has no reality at all; it is merely a concept, a memory, an idea, a conclusion.

— The Collected Works, Vol. XV”, 193, Choiceless Awareness

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