Our sense of self

The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”   Bill Bullard

 A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute and yelled to the passengers that they better jump, and he himself bailed out.

Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining.

The doctor grabbed one and said “I’m a doctor, I save lives, so I must live,” and jumped out.

The lawyer then said, “I’m a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live.” He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.

The priest looked at the little boy and said, “My son, I’ve lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace.”

The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, “Not to worry Father. The smartest man in the world just took off with my back pack.”  🙂


Our ego can get us into all sorts of trouble.  A false sense of self is intimately connected to our problems, and if we want to be free from them, we have to work on letting go of this limited version of self.  This is difficult to do, because who am I without the story I have always told myself and others?

Practising stillness and being present each day, helps my mind to be as it is, it keeps my mind open and free and allows less time entangled with identities from the past or the future.

The mind itself is not dysfunctional.  Dysfunction sets in when we seek our self in it and we mistake it for who we really are…. just like the lawyer!  🙂

52 thoughts on “Our sense of self

  1. The Master Game – finding out what there is behind the stories of me and you, without concepts, without percepts, without here and there, past and future. An enigma, and a paradoxical one at that. Still, the only game worth playing that I know of. H ❤

  2. Haha! That’s fantastic – the joke and what you wrote about it. Wise as always Karen. Thank you!

  3. Separating ourselves from our stories is so important and yet those stories feel like they define us. I have found, though, when looking for miracles and a new way of being, they limit us. Great post!

  4. Yesterday I practices stillness for the first time in a very long time. I sat in a boat in an estuary with a man whose language I do not speak. The only sound was the lapping of gentle waves.Perfection.

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