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the crafty use of labels

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  • Louis-Dominique Dubeau
    Hello everyone, I am going to write a little bit about something I have noticed recently. I have started seeing how I use labels about myself as way to
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 17, 2008
      Hello everyone,

      I am going to write a little bit about something I have noticed recently. I
      have started seeing how I use labels about myself as way to explain my
      behavior. What I'm talking about are excuses like "yeah my desk is a mess
      because, you know, I'm lazy" or "I can't help having more cake because, you
      know, I just love sweets". It is not whether the statements are
      conventionally true or not which is the problem here but how I found myself
      using the labels like "lazy" and "just love sweets" as means to keep habits
      intact. (It would be possible to say that I used the labels to justify my
      behavior but it is not really a matter of being justified or not.) These
      labels just provide a way to solidify the self: if my behavior is such and
      such, it is because there is a set of static properties which are such that I
      behave this way. In other words, by using the label "just love sweets" I am
      claiming that when I have another piece of cake, I could not possibly behave
      otherwise. It is not a matter of choice because the static property "just
      love sweets" is responsible for my behavior. The use of labels like this is a
      neat way to exclude some behavior from the eye of awareness because the
      conclusion about the origin of this behavior is foregone.

      It seems to me it is possible to acknowledge a situation "yes, my desk is
      messy", "yes, I'm having more cake" without having to provide a pseudo-
      explanation in the form of "I'm lazy" or "I just love sweets". And if there
      are no labels to explain the behavior, whence does the behavior arise?

      With Metta,
      Louis
    • Jeff Franks
      hi yea! thank you for shaking my mind may i post this to the buddhist meditation group i attend mudita j Louis-Dominique Dubeau wrote: Hello everyone, I am
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 17, 2008
        hi
        yea! thank you for shaking my mind
        may i post this to the buddhist meditation group i attend
        mudita
        j

        Louis-Dominique Dubeau wrote:

        Hello everyone,

        I am going to write a little bit about something I have noticed recently. I
        have started seeing how I use labels about myself as way to explain my
        behavior. What I'm talking about are excuses like "yeah my desk is a mess
        because, you know, I'm lazy" or "I can't help having more cake because, you
        know, I just love sweets". It is not whether the statements are
        conventionally true or not which is the problem here but how I found myself
        using the labels like "lazy" and "just love sweets" as means to keep habits
        intact. (It would be possible to say that I used the labels to justify my
        behavior but it is not really a matter of being justified or not.) These
        labels just provide a way to solidify the self: if my behavior is such and
        such, it is because there is a set of static properties which are such that I
        behave this way. In other words, by using the label "just love sweets" I am
        claiming that when I have another piece of cake, I could not possibly behave
        otherwise. It is not a matter of choice because the static property "just
        love sweets" is responsible for my behavior. The use of labels like this is a
        neat way to exclude some behavior from the eye of awareness because the
        conclusion about the origin of this behavior is foregone.

        It seems to me it is possible to acknowledge a situation "yes, my desk is
        messy", "yes, I'm having more cake" without having to provide a pseudo-
        explanation in the form of "I'm lazy" or "I just love sweets". And if there
        are no labels to explain the behavior, whence does the behavior arise?

        With Metta,
        Louis

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