Where does the self disappear

Where does the self disappear

Not in a very good mood today, and thus didn’t want to do anything. So I went to Grassroots Nonviolent Resistance to Israeli Apartheid in Palestine. Of course I think this is an important event. But I don’t feel I can learn anything since I was quite familiar with these things in China.

I couldn’t understand much of the two presenters’ English. They just showed some pictures and videos. So there is not much I can say. But today’s event became very dramatic because several pro-Israel people also came to the event and had a big clash with the other side. A Jewish girl even lost control of herself and cried out loudly. Security was also called in to draw out a guy who kept asking about suicide bomber. People on both sides were very emotionally charged. I was just sitting behind three pro-Israel people and witnessed all the drama playing out. What interested me is to see those people who appears to me seems to be on the right side cannot treat those pro-Israel people fairly and nicely. I saw all those small self playing there. People are so self-centered. A guy who sat besides those three pro-Israel people seemed to want to play nice, giving those three pro-Israel people space to speak. But his small self always stood in the way. He thinks he is morally superior to those three pro-Israel people. He constantly tried to hurt their feelings, treating them like idiots. That, to me, is very racism. When the Jewish girl stood up to ask questions, another guy even shouted out: put some clothing on first. Then another lady called the Jewish girl bitch. Too far. Are they just trying to show they are more moral, more knowledgeable? They just made things a lot worse. All those illusory selves!!!

But those two presenters are indeed great people. They didn’t hold hatred against those pro-Israel people. They didn’t feel themselves morally superior. As one presenter said, he was not there to argue against something. He was there to WORK ON something, WORKING with the other side together to find a solution to stop the circular violence. Yes, when you live in a situation like they do, you don’t argue, you just WORK ON it. (I talked with one presenter after the event. He indeed is a very humble person. He has heart for people on the other side.)

Leaving the event, I went to Grand Sichuan to have some food. Two young Chinese came in and sat at the table besides me. Their presence there was so beautiful because I could feel there was no illusory self there. After all these days of seeing people’s stinking illusory self, it is really nice to be around some people who are not that self-centered. They both grew up in US. Both are artists. The guy is 26. The girl is 19. Listening to their conversation is like watching Before Sunrise/Sunset. Beautiful people. Beautiful conversation. He asked the girl what makes her happy. He talked about how Asian family usually stress too much on success, racing from beginning to end, without ever pausing to think what is the thing they really want for their lives. Many of his friends work now in big corporations. But he felt they lost their freedom of life. He talked about how Asian parents normally try to dominate their kids’ lives and how he fought back and tried to get their understanding that although he wouldn’t be the exact person his parents want him to be, he is becoming a better person.

Listening to them talking about their reflection on their lives and arts, I felt that it was like myself expressed in English except that I cannot express myself so well in English. It reminds me of my younger brother. He used to be quite different from me. But now he is more and more like me. I really don’t see how big difference people have between them. As long as people work hard, they seem to share very similar experiences. What is the difference?

Today’s fortune cookie: You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.

Yes, keep trying.


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