„Disciple: Lord, what is true detachment?
Truth: Take note with careful discrimination of these two words: oneself and leave. If you know how to weigh these two words properly, testing their meaning thoroughly to their core and viewing them with true discernment, then you can quickly grasp the truth.
Take, first of all, the first word -- oneself or myself -- and see what it is. It is important to realize that everyone has five kinds of self. The first self we have in common with a stone, and this is being. The second we share with plants, and this is growing. The third self we share with animals, and this is sensation. The fourth we share with all other human beings: we possess a common human nature in which all are one. The fifth - which belongs to a person exclusively as his or her own - is one's individual human self…
Now what is it that leads people astray and robs them of happiness? It is exclusively this last self. Because of it a person turns outward, away from God and toward this self, when he or she should be returning inward. Thus they fashion their own selves according to what is accidental. In their blindness they appropriate to themselves what is God's. This is the direction they take, and they eventually sink into sinfulness.“

—  Henrique Suso, The Exemplar, The Little Book of Truth
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Henrique Suso
1295 - 1366

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„This Self or this self-existent Being is the one supreme reality, and all things else are either only appearances or only true by dependence upon it. It follows that self-realisation and God-realisation are the great business of the living and thinking human being. All life and thought are in the end a means of progress towards self-realisation and God-realisation.“

—  Sri Aurobindo Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru and poet 1872 - 1950
Indian Spirituality and Life (1919), Context: The Infinite alone justifies the existence of the finite and the finite by itself has no entirely separate value or independent existence. Life, if it is not an illusion, is a divine Play, a manifestation of the glory of the Infinite. Or it is a means by which the soul growing in Nature through countless forms and many lives can approach, touch, feel and unite itself through love and knowledge and faith and adoration and a Godward will in works with this transcendent Being and this infinite Existence. This Self or this self-existent Being is the one supreme reality, and all things else are either only appearances or only true by dependence upon it. It follows that self-realisation and God-realisation are the great business of the living and thinking human being. All life and thought are in the end a means of progress towards self-realisation and God-realisation.

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„i>Traffic with one's higher self. Everyone has his good day, when he finds his higher self; and true humanity demands that we judge someone only when he is in this condition, and not in his workdays of bondage and servitude. We should, for example, assess and honor a painter according to the highest vision he was able to see and portray. But people themselves deal very differently with this, their higher self, and often act out the role of their own self, to the extent that they later keep imitating what they were in those moments. Some regard their ideal with shy humility and would like to deny it: they fear their higher self because, when it speaks, it speaks demandingly. In addition, it has a ghostly freedom of coming or staying away as it wishes; for that reason it is often called a gift of the gods, while actually everything else is a gift of the gods (of chance): this, however, is the man himself.“

—  Friedrich Nietzsche, livro Humano, Demasiado Humano
Human, All Too Human (1878), Helen Zimmern translation, Verkehr mit dem höheren Selbst. Ein jeder hat seinen guten Tag, wo er sein höheres Selbst findet; und die wahre Humanität verlangt, jemanden nur nach diesem Zustande und nicht nach den Werktagen der Unfreiheit und Knechtung zu schätzen. Man soll zum Beispiel einen Maler nach seiner höchsten Vision, die er zu sehen und darzustellen vermochte, taxiren und verehren. Aber die Menschen selber verkehren sehr verschieden mit diesem ihrem höheren Selbst und sind häufig ihre eigenen Schauspieler, insofern sie Das, was sie in jenen Augenblicken sind, später immer wieder nachmachen. Manche leben in Scheu und Demuth vor ihrem Ideale und möchten es verleugnen: sie fürchten ihr höheres Selbst, weil es, wenn es redet, anspruchsvoll redet. Dazu hat es eine geisterhafte Freiheit zu kommen und fortzubleiben wie es will; es wird desswegen häufig eine Gabe der Götter genannt, während eigentlich alles Andere Gabe der Götter (des Zufalls) ist: jenes aber ist der Mensch selber. Section IX, "Man Alone with Himself" / aphorism 624

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„Self, person, living being, and life span are four notions that prevent us from seeing reality.
Life is one. We do not need to slice it into pieces and call this or that piece a "self." What we call a self is made only of non-self elements.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh Religious leader and peace activist 1926
The Sun My Heart (1996), Context: Self, person, living being, and life span are four notions that prevent us from seeing reality. Life is one. We do not need to slice it into pieces and call this or that piece a "self." What we call a self is made only of non-self elements. When we look at a flower, for example, we may think that it is different from "non-flower" things. But when we look more deeply, we see that everything in the cosmos is in that flower. Without all of the non-flower elements — sunshine, clouds, earth, minerals, heat, rivers, and consciousness — a flower cannot be. That is why the Buddha teaches that the self does not exist. We have to discard all distinctions between self and non-self.

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