331. Suppose a king or royal minister has never heard the music of a lute. But one day he does hear it and he says: “Good man, tell me what is that sound so enchanting, so delightful, so intoxicating, so ravishing, with such power to bind?” Then they say to him: “That, Sire, is the music of the lute.” So he says: “Go, bring me that lute.”
So they bring it to him but he says: “Enough of this lute. Bring me the music.” They say to him: “Sire, this lute consists of various and many parts: the belly, the skin, the handle, the frame, the string, the bridge and the effort of the player. And it speaks because of them. It speaks because of these various and many parts.” Then the king breaks the lute into a hundred parts, splinters it again, burns it, puts the ashes in a heap, and winnows them in a draft or washes them away in water in order to find the music. Having done this he says:” A poor thing indeed is a lute; whatever a lute may be, the world is led astray by such things.”
In the same way, one investigating the body as far as the body goes, investigating feeling, perception, mental constructs, investigating consciousness as far as consciousness goes, find no “I”, no “I am”, no “mine”.
Samyutta Nikaya IV.197
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