Is it not the self which performs deeds?

Question: I do not feel that I have a great deal of ignorance. I know

how to do my work, how to drive a car or how to cook.

Answer: We have ignorance of realities such as seeing, visible object,

hearing, sound; all the realities which can be experienced through the five

senses and through the minddoor. They appear only one at a time through

one of the six doorways. They appear only for one moment and then they

disappear. We are deluded about these fleeting realities and we take them for

the world or the self. We mix up all the six doorways and we join the different

realities together instead of realizing realities as they are, as only fleeting

elements which appear, one at a time. We think that realities can stay on.

We have ignorance and wrong view. Would you like to understand that there

is no self? Nothing belongs to you in reality.


Question: Is it not the self which performs deeds, which decides to do this

or that? Is it not the self which makes the effort to achieve the goal?

Answer: Intention is a mental reality; it arises when there are the

appropriate conditions. However, there is nobody who possesses intention. It

is the same with effort. It is a mental reality which arises because of

conditions. There is nobody who can make an effort, who possesses effort.

When one develops the Eightfold Path there is right effort; this is a factor of

the Eightfold Path. The right understanding of the Path conditions the arising

of right effort, there is nobody who can make it arise.

Topic 165