When someone tells you, “I love you,” and then you feel, “Oh, I must be worthy after all,” that’s an illusion. That’s not true. Or someone says, “I hate you,” and you think, “Oh, God, I knew it; I’m not very worthy,” that’s not true either. Neither one of these thoughts hold any intrinsic reality. They are an overlay. When someone says, “I love you,” he is telling you about himself, not you. When someone says, “I hate you,” she is telling you about herself, not you. – Emptiness Dancing, Adyashanti
This quote hit my brain like thunder and has been rolling around for the past two weeks. From where I look I cannot spot a fallacy with it, and that brings several things into question.
If it is true that whatever anyone says to me is about them, is their opinion and describes only their world view, then it follows that anything I have ever said to anyone else is actually about me, and is my opinion and describes only my world view. So, essentially, I have never said anything about anyone else, and no one has ever said anything about me.
I grew up the fat kid, and was the butt of a great many jokes, teasing and pranks. I developed an obsessive concern over what others thought about me, and what they said when I was not around. The above line of reasoning throws that whole process out of the window, and replaces it with a radical new world view empty of shame or concern. It is not necessary to take other’s expressed opinions personally, because they can’t possibly be taken personally. They are not about me. They are information about the speaker only, and how the world is currently occurring for them. The only way for their words to have an impact, over here, is if I change my opinion to match theirs.
The above also nicely puts in a nutshell the contention of the realized sages that Realization must, and can only, be done for oneself. If everything said is said about the speaker, then it is not possible for the Buddha to say what realization is for you. He can only say what it is for him. We must each get to that place, which they all say is the same, for ourselves. And, once there, we cannot actually talk about it.