The nature of self

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by pickledpie, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. As is our nature, as human beings, we both consciously and unconsciously recognise a self. There is an experience of reality in which there is a definite understanding of a self and other. Yet an issue arises in trying to pinpoint what and where this self really is. We each are aware of the characteristic experience of the self, but can never definitively verify that source.

    In a simple sense, perhaps we can call this physical body our self. Do the range of our senses, their limits, determine what is self and not self. It's easy to say they do not. Plainly speaking, we lose parts of our body all the time, yet do we lose our self? The fact is, there's nothing permanent about this body. Though the body may look very similar over a period of time, it is not the same body. The components of the body are not the same, yet the pattern holds with relatively minor changes occurring over time. The eyes? We are so attached to our sense of sight and consider it a vital part of our self, yet we can pluck those out. You would still be you...? This holds true for the other senses. Remove them all and then what are we?

    Some say we are the brain. How accurate is it to say that the brain is the self? Yet again, the brain is constituted of parts, some of which we are able to remove without significant effects on the body or the perceived self. From where does this self emerge? If it finds it's home in so many various parts that work as one system, does it have a particular home? A centre that is the true self? No!

    There's nothing permanent, there's nothing particular and prominent in regards to a self. You, what you believe to be you, is a product of dependent causation. Your form is one of communication, which when it ends, you cease to be.

    The fact is, it seems we exist as something solid and corporeal, but our existence is entirely reliant on several transient interactions of energy/matter producing our experience. The experience is entirely reliant on the way the universe has organised itself.

    What's the nature of self? There's nothing to point at and call the self! Not even your ideas! They are rooted in the limited. There is nothing permanent or ultimate about them. They are like bubbles, coming and going. Do not identify with a single thing and then you will see the true light of self. Then there is no self and other. The distinction is illusory.
  2. There is at least one type of cell that permanently remains.. the lens in your eyes. You're born with them and new cells only get added as your grow up, but none get replaced. There are also nerve cells that only ever replace inner parts, but the bulk of its body stays throughout your life. So there are things permanent about your body.. should take that into consideration with your belief.
  3. Were you reading what I wrote? Do you attribute yourself to these things? If they alone existed, would you have an experience at all? Where would you be?
  4. Sorry, wasn't really interested in discussing anyone's personal view on self.. just pointing out a factual error. There are parts of your body that are permanent unless manually removed. Not a big deal, but I personally would want to remove a misconception from my personal view once I found out..
  5. an interesting belief system that i tend to lean toward, but where is the proof? the fact is there is no evidence that has yet definitively shown the mind as separate from its parts. you remove the eyes, and you may remain more or less the same person, but the same cannot be said for all parts.
  6. Sounds like The Power of Now.

    I think the simplest way to think of it is when someone gets amnesia and they ask "who am i?"

    Who is "I"? And who is asking the question 'who am I'?

    There are 2 entities in this situation. Self and I.

    I believe this theory and I have experienced glimpses of dissociation from self.
  7. Ah but that is not my belief. The mind is not separate from anything and it doesn't have any parts. The mind is the totality of experience. Mind is everything. Literally every single thing. Can we describe the nature of the mind with mind itself?

    It is possible to see without a self. It is possible to experience without being attached to the experience. To do this, to see the mind, is to attain the highest perfection. The enlightenment of Bodhidharma and the zen patriarchs. The enlightenment of Buddhism and Sikhism.

    One should not identify with even one aspect of reality! Then what is yourself? No self! no self! Neti neti!

    To become attached to it is to love by it's rules. The mind entreats us to falsehood once we hold hands with maya. In duality we are struck down and we stand in the fire.
  8. Much deeper. We unconsciously associate our "self" with so many various aspects of the incoming experience. What's personal?
  9. Incoming knowledge is absorbed like the water absorbs the raindrop. Also, I knew this in the back of my mind, but it's ultimately irrelevant to my point.
  10. mind is subjective to describe it poorly, and so i would answer to that question no. 
    \nis dualism not the nature of our being? to reach a transcendence from that which keeps our thoughts heavy and bound, there cannot be neglect or rejection of matter which is fundamental. this may be the goal, but it is not the path. 
  11. #11 pickledpie, Oct 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2014
    No. The idea is neither aversion to certain states, nor attachment. To dwell in duality is to judge right and wrong and pursue what you think is right while avoiding what you think is wrong.
  12. are you referring to enlightenment? that is the goal as i was saying is a transcendence from duality, but would you deny that duality is the hand we are dealt? 
  13. Hand we are dealt... our
  14. #14 pickledpie, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2014
    Hand we are dealt... Our karma. We grow up in duality, it's the nature of our society and culture. An animal has just about 0 chance of overcoming duality. Human beings do.
  15. and so i ask again, how can you conclude "in duality we are struck down", it is the nature of our existence and what fosters the chance
    Do you have an opinion about whether genocide is right or wrong?
  17. Maybe our body are like pixels and it is the energy that makes us live.
  18. Samsara and nirvana are the nature of our existence. One is without suffering, the other is with. Struck down is because the awareness is obstructed, distracted. It's the awareness of limited vs unlimited.
  19. No opinion.
  20. #20 Account_Banned283, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    EDIT; Is this what Buddhism teaches?
    As a follow-up, if you had to be the one to carry out a genocide, would you still be indifferent? :mellow:.

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