Thoughts without a thinker
by Mark Epstein, M.D.
Via Mark Epstein: "A landmark contribution to the field of psychoanalysis, Thoughts Without a Thinker describes how Buddhist teachings in particular have reshaped understandings of our minds and behavior. Drawing upon his own experiences as a psychotherapist and meditator, New York-based psychiatrist Mark Epstein lays out the path to meditation inspired healing. Now with a new preface by the author, Thoughts Without a Thinker offers a revolutionary understanding of what constitutes a healthy emotional life."
Via The New York Times: "The problem with the ego, according to Mr. Epstein, is that it wants so badly to know. 'The ego comes into being when we’re two or three or four years old,' he said, 'just feeling our own separateness and how difficult it is to navigate the external pressures from parents and teachers, and the internal pressures of one’s biology, one’s drives and so on. The ego wants security and stability and coherence. It’s rooted in the intellect, so it tells stories. It fastens on to the first stories that start to make sense, both positive and negative.'
We then incessantly repeat these stories to ourselves 'under our breath,' as Mr. Epstein writes in the new book. The classic stubborn story dealt with in therapy, he said, can be summarized in four words: 'The problem is me.' And the low self-esteem reinforced by such stories 'is as much ego as the puffed-up, I’m the best, competitive, American way we ordinarily think of the ego.' "
Via Wikipedia: "Epstein has been a practicing Buddhist since his early twenties, when he traveled to Ajahn Chah's forest Buddhist monastery near Bangkok, Thailand together with his American Buddhist teachers Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, and Richard Alpert.
He is a contributing editor to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and his books include Thoughts Without a Thinker, and Going to Pieces without Falling Apart. Both books deal with the difficult and counter-intuitive Eastern teachings of non-self."
Thanks to Nina Juric!