The dialogues have now ended, and an examination of the source of “I” begins. Here Rinpoche explains how we can explore the emptiness of self, which we habitually view as independent, demonstrating how this way of thinking is the root of all suffering. We are, in these following verses, required to examine our physical body and investigate whether or not it truly can be called “I” or “me.” When I hold my body or my body parts as solid, I feel protective and fearful of their being damaged, I become anxious at losing them and my energy is spent trying to keep them safe, and so “I” retain the sense of “myself.” But this is a mistake and will not free us from suffering, because this fearful holding on is actually the source of our suffering.
This, Rinpoche tells us, might be easy to understand intellectually, but experientially it is harder. If someone berates or demeans us we cut that person off and isolate ourselves, nursing our bruised ego, but this behaviour is not the path to freedom. The path to freedom is first recognising that there is no self to feel harm, be angry or anxious about, so we begin the journey by investigating the notion of “I.”
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