Once an experience is appropriated by a feeling of ‘I’,
the experience ceases to simply be;
it can now be thought about, evaluated, and judged,
joined with memories of past experiences
and complicated by conditioned associations.

All of these factors become instantly integrated;
then, since ‘I’ own this complex integration
of thoughts, feelings, memories, associations, and so forth,
‘I’ need to act on it –
to change it, use it, accept it, reject it, control it.

Like an executive responsible for the welfare of a corporation,
the ‘I’ takes charge of the situation
and must respond.

When sensations produce discomfort,
there is no longer a simple experience of discomfort,
but the notion:
“‘I’ am uncomfortable;
‘I’ have to do something about it.”

If the experience is pleasant,
there is not simply pleasure,
but the concept:
“‘I’ am happy;
‘I’ want to continue being happy.”

Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Knowledge of Freedom


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