Blogger’s note: It’s not too late to join Rabbi Steinsaltz this coming Monday for a few days of Talmud study:
“Even though the question of the self is one that has since the beginning of time been contemplated by many profound minds it is not really a philosophical problem.
Philosophical, psychological, or scientific treatment of it only provides different frameworks and forms of expressions for answers that are in any case continuously being proven inadequate.
Philosophy, psychology, science, all merely isolate the basic problem within an observable small field where it can in turn be broken down into secondary problems, every one of which may, by itself, be important and certainly interesting but, taken together, nevertheless seem far removed from any truly satisfactory response to the question of one’s place in the world.
Such a response can come only from within.
It cannot be supplied within any other frame of reference or merely by ideas or symbols.”
From “The Serach for Oneself” in The Thirteen Petalled Rose by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz