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The ending of agitation is for one who sees the difference between appropriate and inappropriate attention to arisen thoughts. Inappropriately attending, one thinks: How did self and world come to be? Did I or did I not have a past life? What and how was I in the past? Shall I or shall I not have a future life? What and how shall I be in the future?

In unnecessarily attending to these thoughts, various views of self arise. These range from Self is identical with the body, and thus will cease to be, at the demise of the body to My self is constant, never-changing and eternal. This is being caught in a fetter of views, since the origin of self/world and the precise formulation of the law of Karma cannot be thought about to a completion.

                           Excerpt from The Sabbasava Sutta • The Middle Length Discourses of The Buddha • adapted by Pankaj Seth