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Rabindranath Tagore Thoughts on Self

The self of mine that limits my truth within myself confines me to a narrow idea of my own personality. When through some great experience I transcend this boundary I find joy.

The negative fact of the vanishing of the fences of self has nothing in itself that is delightful. But my joy proves that the disappearance of self brings me into touch with a great positive truth whose nature is infinitude.

My love makes me understand that I gain a great truth when I realize myself in others, and therefore I am glad. This has been thus expressed in the Isopanishad – He who sees all creatures in himself, and himself in all creatures, no longer remains concealed.

Rabindranath Tagore

(Source: from the Forward by Rabindranath Tagore to The Philosophy of the Upanishads by S. Radhakrishnan)

The quote - the negative fact of the vanishing ….nature is infinitude - reflects a philosophical perspective on the nature of self and its relationship to joy and truth. Let's break it down and expand on its implications: 

Vanishing of the Fences of Self: This refers to the dissolution or disappearance of the boundaries and barriers that define the self, such as ego, personal identity, or individualistic concerns. 

Nothing in Itself That is Delightful: This suggests that the process of shedding the limitations of the self may not inherently bring joy or happiness. In fact, it might initially feel uncomfortable or disorienting to let go of the familiar constructs that define one's identity. 

Joy as Proof: Despite the initial discomfort, the speaker experiences joy as evidence or confirmation of something significant. This joy serves as validation that the process of transcending the self leads to a positive outcome. 

Disappearance of Self Connects with Positive Truth: The disappearance of the self is not seen as a negative loss, but rather as a gateway to a greater truth. It aligns with a positive reality or insight that transcends individual limitations. 

Nature of Infinitude: The positive truth alluded to here is characterized as infinite in nature. This suggests that the realization of the interconnectedness of all things, or the recognition of a universal truth beyond individual perspectives, is vast and boundless.

Expanding on this statement, we could delve into various philosophical or spiritual perspectives that explore the nature of self, the pursuit of truth, and the relationship between personal identity and universal consciousness. It invites reflection on the nature of joy and fulfillment, and how they might be found through experiences that transcend the narrow confines of the self.