I live in Norfolk, UK, and I'm thinking of starting a Buddhist group up on the North Norfolk coast, studying the teachings of the Buddha, and going for refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. It will be a support group for people who take the Buddhas teachings seriously and wish to live according to his recommendations to "live a life unfettered and free from remorse".
Self-image is a problem for me and the more I look into it, the more I come to believe that body-image is at the core of relationships, and emotional processing, for without body-image, what can have compassion for what? I think that everyone who is born is given an "earth body", and of course, these come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, have different things happen to them, and so on. But there is something similar in all of the bodies: they are subject to death and have the appearance of that which gives us compassion for others.
the thoughts we have effect our consciousness (Byron Katie, Almaas, that's not my theory, but that's what I believe)
the further your self-image goes away from seeing yourself like others: physically existent, etc
the more distorted your feelings about yourself
the less you can function emotionally
If we make sub-egos up about our earth body - and I think that clinging to the idea "I'm clever" is just a subset of this, the less insight we have into where we fit in, and how to relate to our own suffering.
the good thing about identity fragmentation is that it breaks through the illusion of control.
the bad thing is i get depressed when i can't remember things and feel i can't fit into the pace of society anymore.
my mind processes require effort. nevertheless other parts of my mind have developed greatly, like the ability to debate and think things through logically.