There is a big pitfall on the contemplative path that I have been lucky enough to have good friends point out to me, some times making me feel a little dumb and by dumb I mean a little more wise.
One of the big ones is what I call, being all in my head. I am sure someone somewhere has come up with a more eloquent way of expressing it, but I am not always so able to be eloquent.
What I mean by this is I think pretty straight forward. We get caught up in the reality of our philosophical theory and can come up with some pretty lofty ideas that sound great!
But they just totally fall apart in practice.
The theory of “No-Self” comes to mind pretty heavily on this, and a lot of wonderful people have gone on and on about No-self. But theory doses not make a law. Practical application is the best way to test a theory. Go out side and find a large rock and drop it on your bare foot, but be careful not to damage your “Non-Self” too badly. That hurts doesn’t it? If there is “No-self” than tell me what it is that is hurting? Ah! There is a self.
Now, pay attention to the pain. From the first moment the pain starts follow it. The pain arises and passes away. That “Self” that existed when that pain began though the time when the pain subsides is also arising and passing away moment to moment and there is only an impression remaining.
Conclusion, there is a self when the self arises, and no-self when it passes away. With a note that this arising and passing away is happening so quickly that to say there is one or the other is impractical.
Now, please stop dropping rocks on your foot. That is just silly behavior.