In Pali, the language of the oldest written Buddhist teachings, the belief in some core notion of self is called sakkaya-ditthi; this is sometimes translated as ‘personality belief.’ It’s said to be the most dangerous of all the defilements, more dangerous than greed or even hatred, because these are rooted in this mistaken belief. This wrong view of self is central to how we go about in the world, and all kinds of unskillful actions come out of it. The aim of the practice, central to everything we’re doing, is to free the mind from this misconception.
– Joseph Goldstein, “Everyday Meditation”
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