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Featured In Buddhism, am I an individual, and do I need to let go of self?

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by osgart, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    If I let go of self am I still an individual?

    Or

    Is the individual an illusion?

    Or

    is to let go of self and individual a process of discovery about a deeper reality?
     
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  2. Srivijaya

    Srivijaya Active Member

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    More this than the others.

    The first task is to discover what 'self' is and most people never investigate this, so most assumptions are well off the mark. Then it's a process of awareness of it and natural relinquishment. It's not metaphysical in any way, it's tangible and visceral. The deeper reality (anatta) is exactly this process. It's not a doctrine, theory, philosophy, tenet of faith, belief or any object of the discursive mind.
     
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  3. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Yes & no.

    Yes & no.

    Yes & no.

    Glad I clarified that, right? ;)

    Dharma is hard to first understand, and yet when it is understood, it's all rather simple. Extreme positions are typically off-base.
     
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  4. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I see identity as an illusion. Name, job, relationships, race, gender. These are concepts you attach to yourself to create an identity for yourself. It's like a fictional role you've created so you have an identifiable existence in this world.

    It provides certainty in an uncertain world. It's like a rock that anchors you in place. It's pretty scary to try to go through life without an identity.

    It's also a prison, one you're afraid to escape. You let go of your rock and there's no telling where you might float off to.

    Having an identity is not really the problem, being attached to it is. This identity is temporary, fleeting. There will come a time when you lose part or all of it. This loss will cause you to suffer if you remain attached to it.

    I think what's important is that you realize this identity is not you. It's existence is not necessary for your being or your happiness.

    I don't know if there is a deeper reality, but that's not what's important. What's important is to realize in this reality what is temporary and what is not. Then let go of your attachment to temporary things so you will not suffer at their loss.
     
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  5. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Hm.
    There is no self (soul/spirit/identity) to hold on to. An individual is an illusion of having a self. When you realize that the "individual" changes on a second to second moment. So, I guess you are an individual but one that keeps changing identity not a fixed spirit/soul/bring.

    Yes.

    Yes. I personally dont use deeper. You just recognizing you believe about life isnt fixed. When you realize reality is not fixed you live more adaptive to what you cant control without the illusion of that which you hypothetically can. Not a loss. An awareness to reality.
     
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  6. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Try looking at it from a more Hindu point of view. You're not extinguishing the self, but expanding it; accreting many "individual" shards of consciousness into a single, universal Consciousness.
     
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  7. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    I let go of everything, I am left with the essentials.

    Drop all the painted pictures , and contrivances of the mind. And

    To me this isn't easy. Yet I see a simplicity, and benefit to this .
     
  8. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    It's fine & dandy to have some attachments, but not to the point of obsession, distraction, or causing harm to one's self or to others. You can love someone, for example, but not to the point whereas it hurts one's self or others. It's really the more harmful attachments that are the problem, but even "good" attachments can become "bad" if one obsesses over them.

    And "self" exists or you wouldn't be reading my post, but "self" does not exist independently, nor is "self" an unchanging entity.
     
  9. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Just find out what and then who it is that is asking these questions and there is nothing left to know.
     
  10. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Actually, approaching it from this angle will lead to the development of a thicket of views that becomes a hindrance to doing the real work: observing within: "this is dukkha, this is how dukkha arises, this is how dukkha ends. This is a path of practice for the ending of dukkha."
     
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  11. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Is that a buddhist answer. I find individuality inescapable
    In ending dukkha what do i gain?
     
  12. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Where would you go?
     
  13. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    I would end up right back where i am.
     
  14. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    It's like ringing a bell. "Ding"

    "Self" is the sound ego makes.
     
  15. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Yes but there still is a me without the ego
     
  16. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    For how long?
     
  17. ben d

    ben d Being

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    It is true that the 'I' can never transcend duality, but the cosmic source of your being does not disappear at the death of the body as does the ego consciousness because it exists beyond the conception of 3D space and time.

    There is THAT which was never born, nor created, nor did it evolve, if it were not so, there would never be any liberation from being born, or created, or evolving. - Buddha saying..
     
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  18. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Yeah. It's likened by which the unaided eye cannot see itself yet sees none the less, and the koan asking the question, "What is your original face"?

    I think the Heart Sutra adequately addresses this by which "self" remains empty as the thoughts that bring it up from time to time, bringing about that appearance of solidity and permanence by which it's illusionary nature rises and falls each time I fall asleep even!
     
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  19. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Under extreme humility, me without ego lasts and lasts like the energizer bunny.
     
  20. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Buddhism doesn't advocate for either accepting or denying the self IMO. The self is a sense produced by the faculties of the human animal. What Buddhism acknowledges is there is some falsehood in the way self is typically approached. In example: one may think they make their decisions alone, so feel really powerful and puffed up.

    Buddhism says this is wrong, because our consciousness is inseparable from certain external factors that play upon us. Like any external factor that made us act in a way directed by it- clearly there was not a self acting. There was a blurring of the lines between self and other.

    Buddhism doesn't take things like this lightly, and offers a radical way of rethinking cognition. Pun intended.

    However, Buddhism doesn't deny a self. It attempts to get us off the question. Historically, my school has taught that the sense of being a self is neither true or false, as we experience it. Don't fight against it, but neither cling to it as true.

    You need your self sense to pursue Dharma and practice, so there's nothing useful about denying it. However, that doesn't mean you see things clearly because of this sensation.
     
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