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The self is something we have to be able to operate our mind and body. You couldn’t live without one, it’s what separates you and makes you work as a person. I think there’s a kind of bigger self, but it’s only there to make us relate to other humans and in extension other animals and recognize living beings as living beings.
But I don’t think we’re part of anything bigger in this world. Anything bigger would be in a “world” beyond this one, where our spirits came from if such spirits exist. In this world, we are distinctly separate. All you’ve really got here is you, the world around you isn’t you, neither are other people. We’re all alone, this is an individual journey.
@Manimal If you don’t understand what nirvana = samsara means then don’t try to correct me. Also, please investigate your motivations for entering every discussion on HE, implying fact with your style of reasoning, since I can’t help myself but to think you have a huge discrepancy between what you say and what you do.
@Renee I would highly recommend a retreat. I did a month long one myself and it changed my life. Maybe do a secular one just in case. :)
Or I suppose describing the individual is an “illusion” works better than that it doesn’t exist. We can feel that we as individuals exist because we are only experiencing individual realities. Individual realities exist. Individual journeys exist, but at our core, we all remain the same.
@Martijn Well, you mentioned that Samsara is Nirvana, and so on. Did I pull that out of context? Because that’s how you used it. And when you say I’m strawmanning, aren’t you, per automatic, strawmanning by doing so?
And when you say that I’m trying to state the truth, you’re doing it again.
Just because I stand my ground it doesn’t mean that I’m discreting what people are saying (then why would I be discussing?) or claiming my understanding to be fact. What’s the point in discussing if we aren’t going to “correct” eachother like we’re doing now? Are we discussing to reach something, or just to entertain our ideas? The latter sounds very pointless to me, and that’s all the discussion will be if we’re gonna adapt like you tell me to do.
I don’t sugarcoat my stuff or make pointless apologies in advance, that doesn’t mean I’m a bag of dicks who thinks he’s right.
I believe that thinking you are seperate is the fundamental delusion. The ego, personality, the anthropocentric world view is more like the stomach, it digests information. While it thinks it does lord over our being, in actuality it doesn’t. It is there to serve, not to rule. It came very late in evolution, and the constant dualistic interpretation of the world by it and the insistence that that seperation between you and everything else is the fundamental human infection.
While the stomach tries to digest everything that enters, the brain analyses everything that enters. If it can’t digest it, it doesn’t get taken in. If it can digest it but doesn’t fit the already existent, very fixed in most people, world view, it alters it so it does fit.
When you look outside you are looking at yourself. And there can;t be an invididual journey since there is no individual.
Jesus had it right in describing the Holy Trinity. The Father represents the global (higher) self, the Son represents the incarnation of the Father – Man; or Self, and the Holy Spirit represents consciousness – the witness of the duality of external and internal.
The All, The Self, and the Duality between them. But three in the same. To say any of the three is less prominent or important than the other two is folly. It is a perfect triangle and can only function as a triangle. We reason linearly, not triangularly, so we cannot grasp it – we only live it.
In more scientific terms; the Father is simple energy, probability and the laws of physics – these make up the form of the physical self, including the entirety of the mind. And they ultimately govern our distinct environments and societies. Creation. Excitation. Male Energy.
The Holy Spirit represents existence and consciousness. What IS. What happens. The harmony among all things. Pure experience of reality. . or, Nothingness. Laxity. Female Energy.
The Son represents the individual, the being that is detected by the ego. It is not actually the self because the self cannot have an absolute definition other than an imaginary algorithm of infinite complexity, it only hints at what the self is by relating to its environment, pretty primitive. It nevertheless plays the role of controller, because neither of the creation energies alone would be suitable to do it alone. If it identifies with itself, though, it will rob itself of consciousness and thus become vulnerable to its environment and therefore become off balance and not something of its true nature. SELF ABSORBED.
These are also defined by psychologist Carl Jung in regard to the nature of our personal psyche, which models itself after the universe. Three parts; the Animus, Anima, and Shadow. Father, Holy Spirit, and Son, respectively. His work is worth looking up if you haven’t familiarized yourself with it.
Alignment between Male and Female leads to enlightenment. I see error in the majority of eastern spirituality practice, as they prefer the Female over the Male and waste their humanity in solitude and laxity. And the error in the nihilistic self-righteous view is that it prefers the Male over the Female and waste their lives in excitation, over-involvement with stimulus of their daily lives. TRUE alignment will lead to true expression of self. Life as bliss and beauty. A few known geniuses of ancient times and of the renaissance achieved this state of being and perhaps many of our prehistorical ancient ancestors. And of course Jesus and the Buddha. This explains their nonsexual or bisexual preferences.
Is it healthy? Maybe not. I think certain people need to be born into these roles though in order to guide the race. But in general maybe Dudes should stick to the Male role (as defined by our society) and Chicks should play the Female role. Or maybe evolution means to shift the paradigm into such that we would be creatures who express both sexualities and are either naturally immortal/non-sexual or still mortal but bisexual and therefore, in both circumstances, be more grounded with reality. Intelligence is the product of our species, so this makes a lot of sense; but the human conscience (conscious identification with the Son, Shadow) is interfering.
To me, it’s pretty clear that there is no self.
At one level, there is space, time, matter and if we start from these assumptions, it’s clear the universe is on autopilot. We are the universe manifesting itself. There is no separate individual who came out of somewhere else to experience this universe. It’s cause and effect all the way. But in this case, you have no answer to the question of where does the universe exists?
At a higher level, remove these silly assumptions that there is space, time and matter and what you get is consciousness. There is seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, tasting etc. that all take part inside consciousness and there are at the same time consciousness. Timeless, spaceless consciousness. It’s not a person, it’s not a self, it’s not a soul. All is consciousness, whatever that means.
See how easy it is? :) Now let’s go back to the discussion. It’s the universe/consciousness that tries to figure out what it really is.
Sure we are all our own individual being, maybe only in existence to experience itself. Which is great, and our body vessel is a constant paradox to our being self, which creates the contrast between the two and encourages the realization. But now that more and more people are becoming conscious of their own self being, it seems as though people are “waking up”, more so now then ever. So great we are all becoming conscious of our self beings, letting it guide us a little more then before, and becoming refreshed and feeling fulfilled in doing so.
The more i experienced and researched this, i keep hearing of a “group consciousness”, and that there is a shift that has just recently started in mankind. Talking about a larger self in this thread, i wonder if humans as a whole are experiencing and living as one big organism. And as more and more people shift into a new consciousness, it seems as though this “one big organism” is ready to evolve into something new or improved.
@ Alex, I disagree. Yes, guys tend to be more rational and girls more intuitive; but, all thought, whether conscious or not, is electrical. It’s all synapses. Chemical reactions by themselves can’t derive intuition, they are chaotic. I think you mean emotions are chemical reactions, which are not to be confused with thoughts. And yes girls tend to be more emotional but it isn’t because they have more chemical activity, they only tend to associate with their emotions more.
I will go all “Men in black” on you. Perhaps we live on an electron orbiting an atom that is part of a cell in the body of a being not unlike us, who lives on an electron orbiting an atom that is part of a cell in the body of a being not unlike him….etc…..etc….
@Dan Deep stuff, and it makes a load of sense. I love the trinity-logic.
I agree fully about the extremes of eastern and western culture, but extreme poles are needed for magnetic attraction, yin and yang make balance by being opposites. We’ve reached far on both ends, and now it’s starting to fuse together.
Similarly, you can be über-manly/womanly and still have a good balance between masculine and feminine. I would go as far as to say that balance is really a necessity to be just that. The more you cultivate one, the more you attract the other, so it balances out. To master the form one must cultivate both. How manly or womanly you are then, is more about core alignment. Males are males and females are females.
Also, there is no masculine role for ordinary people in western society, only feminine. Similarly, there is little room for the feminine in the east, although it’s not as extreme.
Manliness is defined by it’s context. It just so happens that a lot of western culture is completely rubbish and material minded. I like to think of manliness as a mindset derived from the values of a cross between spartan warrior, medieval knight, renaissance man, Odysseus straight from Homers Odyssey, and of coarse James Bond. We have good role models out there, you’ve got to dig a little.
I agree it’s definitely important to have a solid balance between masculine/feminine energy and traits.
@Dan, your post made it seem like being present is a feminine quality, is this true?
@Cam7´s Individuals have gone through that development through the ages, but now more people are starting to do it. And there was (probably) a time when all people were going through it, but things always change and they stopped. It seems to happen in cycles.
There is a group “consciousness” of sorts, definitely. But I don’t see how it would be anything more than just that.
@Martijn There is no individual you say? Do you not have a body of your own, and thoughts of your own? If there was no individual, you wouldn’t. We are clearly separated individuals, but this is just our forms.
If we weren’t distinct individuals, we wouldn’t be able to operate separately. Like rc cars operating on the same frequency, one remote control would steer us all. We would all move through our day in an identical pattern, at the exact same time. That’s not happening, now is it? We’re individuals, we are separate. That’s our forms in this world.
Beyond this world, I doubt a self exists at all. But we are in this world.
@Manimal The triangle, it’s a really sturdy tool for navigating spiritual confusion.
Now that you point out that you can be extremely masculine or feminine and it indeed yields a balanced individual, which is totally true, I am doubting my previous musing about a paradigm shift in evolution. I guess what the real problem is is that superficial manhood is now the norm and as a result, femininity has been disassociated from by the masculine-drawn population in general. Seen as weak. In the West anyway.
I would argue that existence exists… simple Being is not an illusion. The illusions start when we conjure up ideas of the “way things are”. Nothing that can be discussed or intellectualized can ever be anything but interpretations of reality. Words are just symbols. If human beings weren’t around to call trees “trees”, a “tree” would not exist at all. I am not trying to discount words as useful, because they allow us to communicate, obviously… but I think they often cause unnecessary borders or bastardize pure existence.
As for motion not existing, I can definitely see how that would be true. If time doesn’t exist then it is never the past or future, only now… and each split nanosecond that passes, there is no motion. Motion only comes with a sequence of seconds.
@ devon, Under my understanding yes, definitely true. Look at the two prime forms of meditation as a perfect example, Shamatha and Vispassana. They are the strengthening of the Male and of the Female energies respectively. Shamatha is focus on exactly something and Vispassana is focus on exactly nothing. The present moment is where one will find nothingness.
Train the powers of focusing on subtleties through Shamatha and truths will begin to manifest themselves to the observer during Vispassana. Train in letting go of perception through Vispassana and your Shamatha meditation will be more immersing and therefore more beneficial. These two forms are a feedback loop. Just like Male and Female are. Figured this out last night.
@ Martijn There is a lot to soak in here. Thanks you so much for addressing so many of my questions, that helps greatly and I know I will have more. I’d like to attend some Buddhist retreats in the future as well; would you recommend them? I feel a very deep connection to Buddhism, though I hesitate to identify myself with any one idea because I know any answers only lie within life itself and that all these ideas are simply another tool on the journey. I’m very much on the spiritual side of all this, but I hesitate to say that it nears religion, though many will beg to differ. I am not believing in any idea, it’s more like the self that would or can believe in anything is disappearing and melting into experience. Or to believe that that is what’s happening is the belief itself? I’m turning in circles.
@ Everyone: What do you all think the difference is between a belief, and experiencing the realization of something you take for deep wisdom? Like those moments of mindgasm where it feels like that great feeling when you remember something, but it’s like remembering X 100000, and it’s as though my entire core being has been lit alive and changed forever, and I could never forget it again? What are these moments as opposed to simple beliefs? No difference? Just another case of each persons reality being so true to them that they can feel it?? But what if these moments of wisdom hold nothing to believe in but the very essence of life itself? When I think about these wisdom, it doesn’t feel like a belief. It feels like I become life, a little bit more. The ultimate truth lies within there being no ultimate truth? Where does believing in a higher self, one consciousness, and all being connected cross into the line of spirituality and religion? I am getting frustrated with myself because I can’t seem to find the right words for the question that’s nagging. Any responses to this would probably still help, but I gotta stop babbling. I think bottom line is that when I begin to use labels and beliefs and goals with myself, I am limiting the process, the journey of stripping away my ego self? Those very truths I gain by stripping away the ego are just something else by which to distract my thoughts? OK BABBLING DONE FOR REAL.
I am very interested in this exchange. I have been reading about Buddhism a lot lately and they mention the “illusion of dualism” quite often. Sometimes it makes sense to me but it’s also confusing since we are obviously individuals, a lot of whom are run by their egos(which do the separating) without even realizing it.