“In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of “non-self”, that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in living beings.” -“Anatta,” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatt. In the Zen tradition, coming to that awareness is called the “Great Death.” In western, psychological terms we would describe it the death of the ego. Ridding oneself of the fallacious “self” is considered as the only one, true death in Buddhist orthodoxy.
Knowing at Fifty
Everything stems from a certitude that time is running out
…You use hourglass metaphors without a hint of irony
Cleaning electric razors upset you because there’s only white stubble
…You actually choose one side of the bed over the other
Sex is a rarely-visited, exotic destination
…you buy a selection of colognes as consolation.
Women don’t look back at you when you walk past
…so dogs become a sudden and unanticipated blessing
Your attention is directed to leaves,
…fallen, veiny and brittle
You pick up other people’s trash the flotsam/jetsam of more earnest (read “younger”) people.
You’re good with your hands in your pockets
…and fondly remember telegraphs you once received.
Younger People indulge you, each one of their smiles a charitable gift
…and so you smile back, gratefully.
Your wife doesn’t come to you when you call for her
…but yells “WHAT??!” from the other room.
Blessing to know that “You” are, after all, a lie
… so good to die the One True Death.