Now the third stage. My personality. I think well, you know, I’m made like this. I have a lot of joy in me, or I have a tendency to block, or I have anger, or a bad temper, or there’s something disagreeable in me, or I have a lot of beauty. Whatever it is that one thinks is one’s personality, that’s me. Now that’s me and you can see I’m different from that person because that person has a totally different personality. That’s what I am, and at least, I’m not that body, but at least I’m my personality.
And when you realize that this personality that you say you are has been inherited, in fact it’s a continuation of the personalities of your parents and your grandparents that derives from the past, how can you say this is me?
It is even continually growing and changing, changing by its interfacing with personalities of other people. It’s just the product of the impersonal forces of nature.
As a matter of fact, I have some action upon my personality just like I have action on my body and my mind. I can encourage certain features in my character, my personality. I can even soft peddle other qualities in my nature. And so all of a sudden, it’s very clear. You are robbed of your sense of identity. When you see things clearly, you are robbed of your sense of identity with your personality.
You watch you personality acting, reacting rather, because that’s what it does. It reacts. For example, if you get upset when somebody insults you, and then you see, you can just watch yourself reacting.
It’s just that you’re built in such a way, you’re programmed in such a way, that you get annoyed when people insult you. It’s a reaction. It’s like the body has reflex actions. It’s been programmed to have such reflex actions. And so you look upon your, even your personality, as a kind of vehicle that you are using, but it isn’t you.
It gives you a tremendous freedom. You know how people say, “Well, I can’t help this, this is how I’m made.” One gets caught in one’s personality and one assumes that one is one’s personality.
So Buddha gets free from his personality and that’s the reason why he becomes the nameless and the formless. It’s a wonderful feeling to be free from identity with the body, with the mind, and with the personality.