Sunday, June 11, 2017

(I am large, I contain multitudes.) –Walt Whitman

(The student) ought to succeed in ... noting that nothing of all that is from him, is him.
He, physically and mentally, is a multitude of others.

This "multitude of others" includes the material –the ground, one might say– which he owes to his heredity, to his atavism, then those which he has ingested, which he has inhaled from before his birth, by the help of which his body was formed, and which, assimilated by him, have become with the complex forces inherent in them, constituent parts of his being.

On the mental plane, this "multitude of others" includes many beings who are his contemporaries: people he consorts with, with whom he chats, whose actions he watches. Thus a continual inhibition is at work while the individual absorbs a part of the various energies given off by those with whom he is in contact, and these incongruous energies, installing themselves in that which he considers his "I", form there a swarming throng.

–Alexandra David-Néel
The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects


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