|by Georgia O'Keefe|
But the ssself is particular. It's all yours. The one thing you own. But a lot of it goes when memory goes. Even before dementia, personality can be changed with a stroke or tumor. My mother lost something like her work ethic with her first stroke at age 63, and became someone who mostly just wanted to sleep, smoke, and watch TV. (Don't take retiring to do the things you love for granted.) I know of other elders who got rude, mean, or downright violent with age-related dementia.
I was thinking about this when I noticed a blue sticky note I'd put on the newspaper the other day, so I looked at that page and, behold, here was the sssself again, this time in an article titled Good News Beats Bad on Social Networks. I knew that - I've been unfriended for my realism, which translates to some people now and then as pessimism or cynicism. But enough about me. This is the paragraph I'd circled:
...Social consciousness comes into play when people are sharing information about their favorite subject of all: themselves. This [sharing] is intrinsically pleasurable and activates the brain regions associated with rewards like food, as demonstrated in a study...[that] showed it's so pleasurable that people will pass up monetary rewards for the chance to talk about themselves.Monetary rewards - that's money. People will give up money to talk about themselves. But you knew that. We pay therapists of many descriptions to listen to us.
|another Georgia O'Keefe, because I like it.|
Abrupt dismissal can hurt if you've been thinking deeply about your ssself and your desperate desire to have someone tell you you're enlightened; or asking for a kind of help no one can give you; or studying a koan and positive you're right this time. These things can really disturb ssself, and maybe that's not bad; the project in Zen is to get less attached to that constructed batch of delusions, preferences and, oh yes, standing resentments - in brief, to your stories.
I'm not a scholar, but that's how I see Zen practice. You sit quietly on a little raft and hope to drift far enough from the elaborate castle of self to see it. and therefore not be constantly traveling its hot and windy maze and playing with its treasures when you should be paying attention to the cat. It sounds good, but does seem to take a lot of work. No matter how bad Wun's self-esteem, we can be very attached to our delusions.
And here I am, talking about myself again. That's blogging for you.