The Master becomes the Slave

Another reminder for this quote

"Think of the old cliché about “the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.” This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master."

from...On May 21, 2005 David Foster Wallace took the podium at Kenyon College and delivered the now-legendary This Is Water,


I see this as somehow connecting to another yet to be posted reference on how Habit rules our existence and "WE" are not really in control of anything. But that is another post

But I read this on Brain Pickings and didn't want to lose track of it.

Ref #4: We like to think we are our mind/brain and action comes from that. The inference is that we are in control of ourselves, or at least we control who we are. But just because one is free of self destructive habits doesn't mean the mid is in the driver's seat. Rather we simply have more productive habits.

I think there are extremely few people who are truly free of habit, conditioning, fear or whatever. I see the Zen master example as the most likely true model. But even then you can read of Zen teachers who fall victim to tradition human failings, so maybe not event that.

1 comment:

bloftin2 said...

More and more, science reveals that our actions are based on genetic predispositions. The notion of free will is becoming more difficult to defend. Good post.