What am “I” without my problems? | Meditative Diaries



What am “I” without my problems?

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Michael, an FB friend, opened the issue of why people find it necessary to maintain at least a good deal of problems during their life course and we had some really interesting findings. This is a really important question to ask if someone  is serious at all.

So what is the connection between the Self, the “I” and the Problems? It seems like the Self creates problems and problems breed the self. We could say that all psychological problems we are facing are actually an important content/part of what we call the Self. Once self approaches a fact as a problem, he creates an image in order to deal with this problem.. let’s say thousands of refugees arrive at Chios.. instead of acting spontaneously, the self perceives this fact as a problem that needs to deal with by means of a specific tactic/strategy.. so self creates images like “its not my problem” (tough), or “it my responsibility to help” (compassionate), or “i should help but i’d rather have some fun, though i am not proud of that” (guilty) etc. It becomes clear that the self creates a fresh set of features/images from each new problem, like being guilty, compassionate or cruelindifferent etc, thus strengthening itself.

So all these imagined problems breed the self.  The self works pretty hard to solve them,  not seeing this will necessarily create new problems, because its the self’s approach, the self activity that creates problems, not the mere facts. And these new problems will strengthen the self even more. It seems that the content of the problems is not really important, its only the existence of some problems that will lead to new problems that make the self stronger and stronger.

Now what happens if there are no problems at all? If somehow all our problems are erased? The self has nothing to deal with, because the only function of self is to protect itself against problems. Without problems how self will survive? Now the images like “compassionate”, “kind”, “cruel” seem to be useless.. but the thing is that the self still exists even if the problems somehow cease. And its existence will soon invent/create new problems of simple facts, exactly like we described before.

So if the self exists, if its content is not totally emptied (from all images, hopes, fears, problems, desires etc), if self doesn’t cease to exist completely, its necessary that this vicious circle of creating problems <-> strengthening the self will never end. Its urgent to see, to observe, effortlessly, naturally the whole movement of the self so as the whole building collapses, or we will live a life of everlasting, everchanging problems till the day we die!

PS: Don’t misunderstand.. there are some physical problems we need to deal with (in our example, how to feed the refugees or give them clean clothes), there is nothing selfish on that, but this diary refers to psychological problems!

PS2: Nobody should accept the previously mentioned as right. It could be just a silly idea of the writer. One, if at all serious, should investigate in order to find if there is truth on what was communicated here



Jorge Kapa

The speaker is never important but you may examine the message, if you wish


  1. Sir you will have to die!! JK talks of “what does it mean to die?” “and dying to the past”. I initially have thought this to be light exercise, where you can die and still continue your existence. I now think that there has to be a total death!! An act as close to the ending of our existence, that it is in fact the ending of the individual, and the ending of the self. The mind has to be prepared to go to the ends of the earth to find the point that it ends itself!! This will mean death to the whole of our mental structure, which is so closely linked to the physical that it will in fact be a total death!!

  2. I would probably say that it is physical death. The mind is prepared to die a mental death, a death to all its imagery and past, the body is also part of its imagination and it’s images. And these will also die!!

    • still don’t perceive the truth of what you say. physical memory still exists and physical memory still acts, no matter if the self is dead… once i see the poisonous snake i will run away. Once i am hungry i will eat, but i will not eat..

  3. when thinking (psychol.) stops,there is no “thinker” , no “observer”, no self…then there is total,complete attention…so there is no fear,no sorrow,no confusion,no identification ( what also Michael Bollman said)…there is “Nothing” ….stop with giving commenst and LIVE LIFE my friends…………………………………………

    • Hey Jos :) We spoke about that in Michael’s post and we found (unexpectedly) that once i see the problems are not separate from the problem maker (this moment there is a crystal clear seeing of the truth of that) i cease to act on the problems anymore, don’t bother with them.

  4. Jorge, the answers I’m giving now are a response to my experience and how I feel at the moment. These of course may change with more accumulated experience. But having sat down maybe last night there was a feeling of approaching an end, but becoming element and desire to gain still lives on. The understanding was intellectual, that, if one is going to do this thing, the mind has to drop it all, including the mental construct, and the attachment to the body….hence a total death.

    The body may and perhaps will survive. But it may not be quite the same.

    The above is how i feel, the below is also an interesting take on it….in The Matrix the physical body/reality is outside the matrix and everything inside the matrix is a mental construct of how everything looks and feels, including the body. Morpheus at one point says if you die in the matrix you die in real life. But this doesn’t happen to Neo.

    Neo: I thought it wasn’t real.
    Morpheus: Your mind makes it real.
    Neo: If you’re killed in the Matrix, you die here?
    Morpheus: The body cannot live without the mind.


  5. Jorge there probably is not a truth to what I say, it may be very misguided. We must find for ourselves. Otherwise the blind like myself will be in front if others as blind as myself 😉

  6. but we should see that the concept of ‘self’ itself is the problem, an aberration. The concept of self in itself means ‘separate from the universe’. as creatures evolved a larger brain, i believe they suddenly became ‘aware’ of their separation from the universe and this moment is the creation of the ‘self’ and i suppose this happens to children as well. Imagine, if a rock in a stream suddenly becomes self aware, it will call the stream of water as the problem. I have understood this concept of the self, but i haven’t realized it yet. I dont know if realizing it will help.

  7. Needs always exist, otherwise there is only death. But it’s in our perception of the needs, as problems, as things to worry about that the ego is involved. But there is no point trying to drop all your problems and trying to be pastless, that will be the ego trying, and this will become a problem for you. If you look very closely at exactly where you are now, you may be lead through grace to a deeper perspective on the problem and therefor problem maker

  8. Michael, your response starting with “the idea” is very much what I mean to convey to Jorge. For me a psychological death allows one to make more and more ideas about it, and it gets postponed. However if one adds into the mix the reality that one will also have to drop the associations between thought and the body, and that in a sense a physical death will occur, then what we are talking, and the dedication with which one has to be approach this becomes more so real rather than talking of a psychological death only :)

  9. there is a fear of physical death because thinking, through separation has created the “me”, and then identified itself with the me, and the me has identified itself with the body, it is THINKING that will end, but thinking as the me sees no difference between thought as the me ending and the physical me ending, this is thinking that is in disorder, identifying itself as the physical entity, thinking as the me, as the ego, will end, and living as the human being will continue – One needs to see the fact that the division of thinking into the thinker and the thought is the fundamental problem, the original problem, and problems will re-occur until this fact is seen, not as an intellectual concept or conclusion, but seen as an actual fact, one actually sees the process and in the seeing, the separation ends – there is only thinking

  10. As a child the verses of Nanak were often repeated in our house. I doubt anyone knew the meanings. I recall a particular one which I now understand its significance.

    Jao to prem khelan ka chao
    Sirr dhar tallee gallee merino

    If you want to play the game of love,
    Come with your head on your palm.

    (ie. if you want to play this game, everything goes!! :))

  11. Umesh fro J Krishnamurti said this which makes sense:

    “Problems keep the mind occupied with trying to resolve them. Without these problems mind is frightened to be as nothing and so the problems continue. Life throws challenges and when mind takes time to resolve these psychological challenges, it convert them into problems. The only way to meet a challenge is to understand it and resolve it immediately so that it doesn’t become a problem.”

  12. Κατα την ταπεινη μου γνωμη και για την περιπτωση της δημιουργιας αυτο ωφειλεται: 1. Αγωνια για το αποτελεσμα (θα αρεσει το τραγουδι στους φιλους, θεατες η κριτικους ?) Ειναι πολυ ποιο ευκολο για καποιον να δημιουργει με ηρεμια και χαρα οταν ειναι αναγνωρισμενος η καπως ασφαλης εσωτερικα η εξωτερικα . 2. Βιασυνη (πολλες δημιουργικες ασχολιες παιρνουν χρονο και συνηθως δεν ειμαιστε προετοιμασμενοι για αυτο, η απουσια γρηγορου αποτελεσματος δημιουργει κουραση, συγκρουση, απογοητευση ). 3. Love for the wrong thing (ισως το τραγουδι να μην ειναι ο χωρος μας αλλλα σπρωχτηκαμε σ’αυτο για καποιους ευκαιριακους η εξωτερικους λογους).

  13. Spyros Stefanou υπάρχουν χιλιάδες πιθανές εξηγήσεις.. όταν λέω “εξετάζω” εννοώ εξετάζω αν είναι δυνατόν να μην φτιάχνω ψυχολογικά προβλήματα από ένα γεγονός..

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