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OfflineCleverName
the cloudsshould know meby now...

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1,121
Loc: red earth painted with mi...
Last seen: 11 years, 16 days
Dialogue on non-self
    #2023473 - 10/19/03 08:51 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

i thought this was an interesting read...

By Shenpen Hookham

Summary: A dialogue in which a student examines the concept of
personal not-self and Shenpen replies.

A student’s ear was cut by a thorn while he was picking berries
– he uses this to examine his experience in relation to the
idea of ‘not self.’

He says:

> "…that which was sensitive to pain and bleeding must be called
> ‘I,’ a human being labeled David."

Shenpen replies:

Correct. So the labeling as 'I' is not in itself a problem. It
is intelligent!

David replies:

> "The fact that the baby David, the school boy David, the young
> man David no longer exist; the fact that the majority of my
> physical body is replaced every two years; the fact that my
> thoughts about life, myself and others change from moment to
> moment is self evident."

Shenpen replies:

Correct. But this does beg the question of why we are so
concerned about ourselves then, doesn’t it? Why should anything
matter? Nothing remains the same from moment to moment anyway.
There is something fishy here, isn’t there? This observation is
not leading anywhere is it? You could say it leaves one feeling
'so what?'

David:

> "Nevertheless, there is a stream of consciousness that connects
> all of these events and experiences that, in effect, make me,
> ‘I’, a name, a discreet entity. There is a thread that connects
> the events, experiences and thoughts that ‘I’ recognise as
> providing a continuity that is maintained through memory as a
> part of consciousness."

Shenpen replies:

And this is where it gets interesting. If it were only
maintained through memory it would not be anything real would
it. It still wouldn’t be anything of any significance, unless
of course the phenomenon we call memory is something other that
what we suppose. Incidentally, what do we suppose? If memory is
thoughts, what are thoughts?

David:

> "It is understood that ‘I’ am a part of a larger process called
> life, that ‘I’ and all else are
> interdependent"

Shenpen:

I wonder if this is true actually. We would have to identify
the ‘I’ first, in order to be sure of this. Have you moved away
from the idea that ‘I’ am a kind of dimensionless
thought-instant between past and future, somehow aware of them
both and making a story out of them without in myself being
more than an instant of now? What could such an instant of now
depend on in order to exist?

David:

> "…that does not prohibit ‘I’ being an individual in the sense
> that ‘I’ have a greater degree of control over my life process
> than that of any other."

Shenpen:

True. This is what makes one feel there has to be more to it
than just a passive stream of thought instances, don’t you
think?

David:

> "‘I’ am the only one to recognise my particular thread of
> continuity."

Shenpen:

I guess you mean from your own particular point of
view.

David:

> "Even in the stream of consciousness, there is distinction
> otherwise ‘I’ could think your thoughts."

Shenpen:

Quite right, there is something going on here that is very
interesting and not obvious at all.

David:

> "I am at a loss to grasp the concept of personal
> not-self."

Shenpen replies:

That sounds good. There is no point in grasping a concept of
personal not-self, so I am glad you are not doing so!

The idea of this kind of investigation is to wake us up. Make
us notice that we are unclear about the way we understand our
experience and make us notice what it is that we habitually
think and do that is actually not true, and yet causes us all
sorts of problems. Noticing that all our suffering comes from
fear for the self – yet we don’t even know what we mean by self
or what it might mean not to have this idea of self – we can
become much more subtle in our meditation and daily life
awareness.

The subtler we are the deeper we can penetrate the truth and
the deeper we penetrate it the more it can reveal itself. But
nothing can reveal itself if we insist that we know already. So
this kind of investigation is good because we end up in a state
of clarity and not knowing. It is not the 'not knowing' of just
switching off and assuming there is nothing to know. It is the
'not knowing' of having the courage to just be there in that
space of absolute honesty, the intelligence of absolute honesty
and having to admit to not knowing – opening to that, letting
go into that, and letting some kind of genuine response emerge
from that.


--------------------
if you can't find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

this is the purpose


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Offlinefireworks_godS
Sexy.Butt.McDanger
Male

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 24,849
Loc: Pandurn
Last seen: 10 days, 9 hours
Re: Dialogue on non-self [Re: CleverName]
    #2024688 - 10/20/03 07:01 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

The common thread, consciousness, the energy powering us and therefore experiencing this Creation...

It is important, I think, to keep one foot in maintaining the idea of self and our own life and advancing in this life, while keeping another foot in the idea that we are a collection of energy, basically consciousness, being hooked up to a machine, a collection of senses, in order to learn about this Universe and the lessons it has to offer...

Keeping both ideas constantly in mental awareness is necessary for truly experiencing life. Let us never forget that we are breathing...
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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Offlinesirreal
devoid
Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 1,775
Loc: In the borderlands
Last seen: 9 years, 7 months
Re: Dialogue on non-self [Re: CleverName]
    #2024813 - 10/20/03 08:57 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

CleverName said:
The subtler we are the deeper we can penetrate the truth and
the deeper we penetrate it the more it can reveal itself. But
nothing can reveal itself if we insist that we know already.
So
this kind of investigation is good because we end up in a state
of clarity and not knowing. It is not the 'not knowing' of just
switching off and assuming there is nothing to know. It is the
'not knowing' of having the courage to just be there in that
space of absolute honesty, the intelligence of absolute honesty
and having to admit to not knowing – opening to that, letting
go into that, and letting some kind of genuine response emerge
from that.





This is exactly how I feel lately! It feels good to admit that I do not know while being open to knowing at the same time. I can't wait to see what happens.


--------------------
I may not always tell the truth, but atleast I'm honest
-----------

I see what everyone is saying. It is so hard to form an opinion when you see both sides so clearly!


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Offlinefireworks_godS
Sexy.Butt.McDanger
Male

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 24,849
Loc: Pandurn
Last seen: 10 days, 9 hours
Re: Dialogue on non-self [Re: sirreal]
    #2025236 - 10/20/03 01:12 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

sirreal said:
This is exactly how I feel lately! It feels good to admit that I do not know while being open to knowing at the same time. I can't wait to see what happens.   




I think you will see some of the finer truths unveiled before you.. and when they do appear, it will seem as if you already knew it before and just forgotten it... (at least it always happens to me in that way). :grin:
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Offlinesirreal
devoid
Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 1,775
Loc: In the borderlands
Last seen: 9 years, 7 months
Re: Dialogue on non-self [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2025458 - 10/20/03 02:17 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

fireworks_god said:
Quote:

sirreal said:
This is exactly how I feel lately! It feels good to admit that I do not know while being open to knowing at the same time. I can't wait to see what happens.   




I think you will see some of the finer truths unveiled before you.. and when they do appear, it will seem as if you already knew it before and just forgotten it... (at least it always happens to me in that way). :grin:
Peace. 






Hopefully! :crazy2: 


--------------------
I may not always tell the truth, but atleast I'm honest
-----------

I see what everyone is saying. It is so hard to form an opinion when you see both sides so clearly!


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
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