Know Yourself

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by Taisen Deshimaru:

You once said that we must be ego and we must be beyond ego. What does this mean? Master: Contradiction. But you must have both. To have a strong ego and to have an egoistic ego are not the same. You must have confidence in yourself. You must find your true ego-and at the same time abandon it. Yet, you must not forget yourself. Continue zazen and your true ego will become strong, and you will find your original self. You are not interchangeable with someone else. You are only you. A man is not just hair and organs. You have a speciality, an originality of your own. But if you wish to find it, you must abandon ego. Abandon all, and only true ego remains. Everyone has karma, everything has it-dust, mud. But clean your karma and you can find your true originality. To abandon your ego, you abandon your karma. Abandon egoistic ego and you become true ego. This ego here is very important. Socrates said, “Know yourself.” You are not another. You must find your true self.

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