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Featured Another OP about the self

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Conscious thoughts, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    Since there is multiple OP about self, I found it interesting to put it out there, the understanding of self seen from a Sufis P.O.V (of course you are allowed to disagree with these views :)

    The concept in Sufism of the ego (the self or the nafs). The ego is a part of our psyche that consistently leads us off the spiritual path, a part of the self which commands us to do evil. ... The ultimate state of happiness for a Sufi is the annihilation of the individual self.
    It means that even there are individual humans we are inter-connected in some form, so what many call self is not something actually real (not that I understand it fully yet)

    In all the vorld views that exist the way Sufis understand it is of course not the only way that humans will understand the self, And I am not here to convince you that Sufis are the only one correct :)

    Have you, yourself thought of what self actually is?
    Are self and ego the same?
    Are humans inter-connected in some way?
     
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  2. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
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    Yes.

    It depends on what "self" you're referring to. If "self" points to the body/mind complex, then yes, ego is a part of self. However, one's true nature, the Atman (Self) transcends ego.

    Yes.
     
  3. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    That was short and informative :D
     
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  4. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
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    I edited the post...like 30 times since you quoted it. ;)
     
  5. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    Seen from a Sufis P.O.V there is a lower self (ego) and a higher self (the spiritual self) So the self in this OP form would be speaking of the lower self :)
     
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  6. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
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    This "lower self," in my view, is avidya (incorrect knowledge) to one's true nature resulting from Maya. I tend toward agreeing with what Sufism says about leading off the spiritual path, only I would say it's closer to keeping one in ignorance of what they truly are.
     
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  7. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    If or when ignorance does enter our being, that arises a problem for sure. Ego does have a tendency to pull the ignorance forth
     
  8. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    You cannot annihilate the individual self, and still be a functional human being. As long as we live in the body, we have to have an ego to function in the world.

    However, the ego can be and should be tamed and not rule the day, like housebreaking a pet. We can overcome being ruled by the needs of the ego by transcending it as the center of gravity of our self-identification. We are more than the ego.

    For instance I have a body, but I am not my body. I have thoughts, but I am not my thoughts. I have an ego, but that is not who I truly am. We are Spirit, in form. But as form, we are defined by the egoic self.

    In states of transcendence, we recognize we are not just the ego. And that is liberation from the confines of the separate self. But then we have to live in the world, even with our transcendent Awareness.

    Think of it like Jesus Christ. Jesus is the human, Christ is the Divine. Both existed in the individual: the Divine and the small self. Same with all of us. We are all Divine, but few are Aware of that. We only see the small self, the egoic self, and identify only with that. Jesus said, "I and my Father are One". That's the nondual.

    So true happiness in this world, is knowing the Self, the Divine in us, and taming the small self, the egoic "me", to live functionally in the world as an individual, with eyes wide open to our true Identity.
     
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  9. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Yes. :)

    Nothing has inherent selfhood. To think of having a self is useful. Ego is a psychological construct - that sense of "I" in the world.

    Yes, cos it's just one big universe maaaaaaaan. :):)
     
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  10. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    I do find a lot of wisdom in your words :)
     
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  11. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I have and I have found my answer. Whatever exists is constituted by/made of Brahman, the basic substrate of the universe. (God being an imaginary entity)
    'Self'/'ego' is a product of brain and mind. It lasts till the brain thinks and lasts. After that there is no self. There is no eternal self.
    Since we are all constituted by/made of Brahman, whether it is a living being or some non-living substance, we are all the same.
    Individuality is only an illusion, mirage.

    Secret Chief said: "Ego is a psychological construct - that sense of "I" in the world."
    I wholly agree with that.
     
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  12. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Sigmund Freud also dreamt up (see what I did there :D ) "id" and "super-ego" but these haven't become used in common parlance, the way "ego" obviously has.

    - Id, ego and super-ego - Wikipedia
     
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  13. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    I know you are an atheist, and that is of course no problem, but there is one question that arises when I read your answer.
    Can you be sure there is no eternal self?
    Now, of course, you can counterattack me and ask: How can you be sure it there is an eternal self :p Actually right now on the understanding I do hold, I can not fully know, but I do believe in the teaching being true. but have I experienced the true eternal self on my own? No, not yet :)
     
  14. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Poor ego... everyone's favorite scapegoat... :oops:
     
  15. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    [​IMG]

    Wut :confused::p
     
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  16. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Yes, and quite recently in an email regarding free will. I was discussing the question, "How do we know that we really could have chosen differently rather than it just seems like it?," but felt a need to define the self as I meant it in that discussion:

    First, let me make a distinction between "me," my thoughts, and my brain and body. In a sense, they're all "me," but in another, only the observer of the conscious experience is "me," even the contents of the mind being not self, but what self experiences. Another way of formulating this is, how much of ones mind and body can be removed and it still feel like me. If I lose a leg, what's left is still me. If I lose color vision or even the will to live, what's left is still me. The question of free will might ask whether that "me" is the source and author of my desires, or whether "I" am a passive observer receiving those desires from outside the mind - from neural circuits that create my desires and the urge to fulfill them. It's a fine distinction, but an important one. If I'm asking whether I have free will, I must be clear not only about what I mean by free will, but also what I mean by "me." Because if "I" am not the source of my desires, can I still call it free will? Whose will? Not mine. I'm not free to change those desires. Even if I feel free to act on them or not (and we mustn't jump ahead and assume that we are even if it feels that way), I don't choose what to want, which is what my will is - what I want.​

    Your formulation of the concept of self includes at least some of the urgings of the reptilian mind, what Freud also excluded from his formulation by making a distinction between the ego, which is essentially the observer, and both a lower self (id) comprising animal urges, and a higher self ((superego) capable of empathy, altruism, kindness, justice, etc..

    My formulation has neither Freud's higher self nor his lower self included in the self. Both of these other things inform the self of what it wants, sometimes in conflicting ways, as when we feel both the urge to smoke and the desire to quit smoking and resist. I've depicted this as the self observing a battle being waged between limbic and cortical brain tissue before the self like an emperor watching two gladiators do battle. Does the self decide which urge will win the hour? Not as I've described the self, but perhaps as you have defined it. If one identifies with some but not all of that as the self as you have done incorporating base urges into its definition, urges that need to be suppressed ("killing the self"), then yes, the self made the choice. Or if you identify with the cortical circuits as self, and see the battle as you against unconscious urges, then yes again.

    I want to keep the discussion about your OP, the self, and not my topic, what is the self when considering the problem of free will, but there is a little more I'd like to add, so I'll hide that.

    This other discussion was about what the phrase free will means when asking do we possess it. That was with regard to theological and criminological considerations that when one sinned or committed a crime, he could have chosen otherwise, which is a form of the question of whether we merely have the experience of wanting something and then fulfilling it, and calling that free will, or whether we are the authors of our desires, that is to we will what to will. This might be part of a discussion of the legitimacy of calling homosexuality a sin (or once, a crime), which might underlay the conclusion that damnation or hard labor are justified. Many expect others to will away the gay, as if that were a choice made by the observer rather than a discovery. After all, isn't the gay person whose passion is for the same sex and his teaching to resist this in the same position as the quitting smoker with an urge to smoke, neither knowing how it will work out with any given struggle, sometimes the higher mind containing the baser urges, and sometimes the other way around, as when the would-be quitter has the cigarette.

    The topic is also relevant when addressing the matter of whether we are robots in the sense that the Christian apologist means when he says that God gave us free will so that we would not be robots, but freely choosing God when it was possible to do otherwise. If we view conscious experience as an observer witnessing the phenomena of consciousness derived from outside of consciousness and itself, which is in the center of the theater of experience taking it all in but not necessarily authoring any of it, then we are robots happily living with the illusion of free will, feeling that we are the authors of our will and our choices when really we're just watching the movie.

    It's clear that you mean something different that what I mean by self, since as I frame it, the self is merely the observer, who at times tried to subdue urges and habits that his higher centers instruct him to attempt to do. I also want to tame the harmful impulses (or more properly by my formulation, my cerebral cortex informs me that that is what it wants). Fortunately, the team I root for, the Cortical Neurons, has the better pitching, and generally defeats its down-brain rivals, the Limbic Synapses. I used to think I was on the Cortical team, but now I see myself more as a fan in the stands watching the rider struggle with the horse.

    Incidentally, this architecture of consciousness has also been framed as a passionate horse with a thinking rider, as Apollonian reason attempting to direct the Dionysian passions. Here, Freud's ego and superego, or what I call the self and the reasoning cortex, are joined as the rider, also different from you joining the observer to the passions and wanting to annihilate the latter at least some of the latter.
     
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  17. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    Thank you for taking your time to write a longer reply to my OP :) And yes as you said yourself, my understanding of self is different than your understanding :) Not that it is a big issue.
    For me the annihilation of self means that what a person sees as I, me, mine, and so on belong to the ego of wanting or needing physical objects to be satisfied, or that the ego leads to selfishness. that is the lower ego of this physical world. wanting more what is objects, money, fame, and so on.
    Whereas the spiritual self or higher self only looking for God from within, and the physical world becomes unimportant, no clinging to objects, money or fame. But selflessly seeking the connection with God

    So the annihilation of ego is the annihilation of clinging to this physical world (actually not that far from Buddhist way of thinking)
     
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  18. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Before you believe one should consider what proofs any belief provides. Belief without proof is the problem.
    That is the Hindu thought also. The only difference is that Hindus say "till you are alive, fulfill your responsibilities and engage in righteous action, though you should not cling to the things of the world. Just as annihilation of 'ego' is necessary, performance of your duties also is equally necessary.
     
    #18 Aupmanyav, Sep 14, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
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  19. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    Very true :) That is why Sufism is more than a belief, even the teaching say we should not take everything as blind faith, investigation is needed (for a Sufi, that is often inward, but yes it does also mean in to the physical world)
     
  20. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    So, then, what is your proof for Allah and his messengers?
     
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