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Thread: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

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    Default The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Ah, so in an attempt to shine-a-light (so to say) on the difference between Eastern and Western concepts (very generally) of what the "self" is I'm going to quote a passage from a Buddhist source and a passage from the Law-of-One (channeled material) ... But why you may ask ?

    Well, perhaps given the current state of our Planet, I don't think it is unheard of for "people" to begin questioning "who they are", "where we are we going", "what seems to be happening" ?

    Now to the Western Mind, I'd say the "self" is a given, it's like the underlying substance of our Cultures and Society ... we each are individual Entities, it's a wholly unquestioned assumption, it's at least as "real" as the truth that "Day follows Night" eh ?

    OK, but why the "Law of One" ? Well, because it seems to be a well regarded Tradition that many "Spiritual Folks" are kind of using as their "Bible" (or Religious Scripture), at least, this is, from reading through these Avalon forums with regards to the daily "battles" of who is telling the truth and who is merely a Pretender, or a Fantasist, a self-proclaimed Guru or a Cult Leader etc etc

    The Law of One Search Results for ‘nirvana’
    Quote 18.5 ▶ Questioner: Thank you. I have a question here from Jim that I will read verbatim: “Much of the mystic tradition of seeking on Earth holds that belief that the individual self must be erased or obliterated and the material world ignored for an entity to reach ‘nirvana,’ as it’s called, or enlightenment. What is the proper role of the individual self and its worldly activities in aiding an entity to grow more into the Law of One?”

    Ra: I am Ra. The proper role of the entity is in this density to experience all things desired, to then analyze, understand, and accept these experiences, distilling from them the love/light within them. Nothing shall be overcome. That which is not needed falls away.

    The orientation develops due to analysis of desire. These desires become more and more distorted towards conscious application of love/light as the entity furnishes itself with distilled experience. We have found it to be inappropriate in the extreme to encourage the overcoming of any desires, except to suggest the imagination rather than the carrying out in the physical plane, as you call it, of those desires not consonant with the Law of One; this preserving the primal distortion of free will.

    The reason it is unwise to overcome is that overcoming is an unbalanced action creating difficulties in balancing in the time/space continuum. Overcoming thus creates the further environment for holding onto that which apparently has been overcome.

    All things are acceptable in the proper time for each entity, and in experiencing, in understanding, in accepting, in then sharing with other-selves, the appropriate description shall be moving away from distortions of one kind to distortions of another which may be more consonant with the Law of One.

    It is, shall we say, a shortcut to simply ignore or overcome any desire. It must instead be understood and accepted. This takes patience and experience which can be analyzed with care, with compassion for self and for other-self.
    In reading the Law-Of-One quote, do you see the implicit assertion that there is an Entity that can "progress" if it wants to ? Perhaps this is why the Law-of-One seems to be so popular because it dovetails very easily with Western Psychology / Philosophy ?

    Aren't all of us Westerners educated (conditioned) to accept the reality of the "self" from a very early age ?

    . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : .

    So now to an Eastern perspective :

    Emptying out Misconceptions – Making sense of Madhyamaka
    Quote Early Buddhism centered around the radical idea that at the core of the person there is no fixed, eternal self. In a time and place where the culture orbited around the believe that atman – a true self was the answer to the spiritual journey, the Buddha’s teaching suggested that clinging to fixed concepts of self is actually the driving force behind dissatisfaction.

    Instead, the world as we know it is entirely relational, made up of interrelated parts. No person exists apart from all the factors that have made up that person, including the components of the individual, the input from others, and the dependance on others to live and thrive. We are all made up of each other in a network of interdependence. We are made up of a matrix of causes, conditions. Even our thoughts did not originate from an independent space, they arise from a culture, dependent on a language and learned patterns. Recognizing this interrelatedness is a key to the wakefulness, knowledge and love that is possible.

    From the perspective of the great perfection teachings of Buddhism, discovering our “true self,” could be supplanted by the more present moment goal of finding our “true state,” our a way of being that is not constructed or contrived, but is naturally present. Instead of looking for “true self,” we could look for the “natural state.”
    How different eh ? But does it feel more or less Realistic to you ? Are our "problems" of our own making with our Culture's seeming obsession with the "self" (I, me and mine) ?

    . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : .

    Please understand I'm not trying to start a fight, point the finger, assign blame or tell you what to believe and who not to listen to ... LOL

    If anything I've put this mini-essay together as like a "record" (of how things stand) so that I can come back to it in say a years time and see whether or not our World has got more or less Sane / Insane, more or less Unified / Fractured, more or less United / Polarised etc etc

    Just my two-cents !!!


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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    The book "Perfect Brilliant Stillness" by David Carse is your friend. Or perhaps a good book on Dzogchen. The self is a mental construct that appears in the unawakened state. Upon full awakening the self is seen clearly as a construct that is no longer needed, so it falls away.

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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Quote Posted by Clear Light (here)
    Ah, so in an attempt to shine-a-light (so to say) on the difference between Eastern and Western concepts (very generally) of what the "self" is I'm going to quote a passage from a Buddhist source and a passage from the Law-of-One (channeled material) ... But why you may ask ?



    The reason it is unwise to overcome is that overcoming is an unbalanced action creating difficulties in balancing in the time/space continuum. Overcoming thus creates the further environment for holding onto that which apparently has been overcome.

    All things are acceptable in the proper time for each entity, and in experiencing, in understanding, in accepting, in then sharing with other-selves, the appropriate description shall be moving away from distortions of one kind to distortions of another which may be more consonant with the Law of One.

    It is, shall we say, a shortcut to simply ignore or overcome any desire. It must instead be understood and accepted. This takes patience and experience which can be analyzed with care, with compassion for self and for other-self.

    Emptying out Misconceptions – Making sense of Madhyamaka
    Quote Early Buddhism centered around the radical idea that at the core of the person there is no fixed, eternal self. In a time and place where the culture orbited around the believe that atman – a true self was the answer to the spiritual journey, the Buddha’s teaching suggested that clinging to fixed concepts of self is actually the driving force behind dissatisfaction.

    Instead, the world as we know it is entirely relational, made up of interrelated parts. No person exists apart from all the factors that have made up that person, including the components of the individual, the input from others, and the dependance on others to live and thrive. We are all made up of each other in a network of interdependence. We are made up of a matrix of causes, conditions. Even our thoughts did not originate from an independent space, they arise from a culture, dependent on a language and learned patterns. Recognizing this interrelatedness is a key to the wakefulness, knowledge and love that is possible.

    From the perspective of the great perfection teachings of Buddhism, discovering our “true self,” could be supplanted by the more present moment goal of finding our “true state,” our a way of being that is not constructed or contrived, but is naturally present. Instead of looking for “true self,” we could look for the “natural state.”
    How different eh ? But does it feel more or less Realistic to you ? Are our "problems" of our own making with our Culture's seeming obsession with the "self" (I, me and mine) ?

    . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : .

    Please understand I'm not trying to start a fight, point the finger, assign blame or tell you what to believe and who not to listen to ... LOL

    If anything I've put this mini-essay together as like a "record" (of how things stand) so that I can come back to it in say a years time and see whether or not our World has got more or less Sane / Insane, more or less Unified / Fractured, more or less United / Polarised etc etc

    Just my two-cents !!!

    [/QUOTE]


    My view tends towards the second excerpt in your OP. I deleted anything in the Law of One quote which I felt had either no relevance to your point, or was part of the distortion coming from the channeling modality. I find it interesting that this excerpt points out the inevitable introduction of distortions in order help "apparent entities", (my attempt to convey the relative truth of individuality within the greater truth of what is), move to a state of lesser distortion.


    I found no need to remove any of the second quote because the only distorted concept I see conveyed in it is the idea of a "natural state", I think that that wording is close to the real truth, but the word state is still tied to concepts which are all outside of the truth. The conceptual mind gets simplified by falling away till it is no longer needed.

    I find your last remark to be very interesting because you say that you want to create a record to come back to. I would call that a snapshot of understanding. That snapshot has a timestamp, and because I have run into a lot of pieces of the law of one material my timestamp for that is rather fuzzy. But I think it was delivered over a period of decades, through channeling, so there is a wide variance of clarity/distortion in that material.


    The Buddhism quote seems to be a distillation of things handed down over centuries. The thing about that is that there were practices of direct contact with the truth left in eastern cultures that have an enormous variety to them , but they all seem to produce the same final result, a view without a viewer(this doesn't seem to happen that often though) .


    Cultures seem to be founded on the idea of a right view, coming from some version of a perfect viewer.

    On the governance side there is always a king,queen, or emperor, a very human ruler. On the religious side there is usually a human teacher turned into a lord, God, or Goddess, in order to serve as a bridge between the human culture and it's ultimate source.

    The actual uses of these things down through history produce all sorts of results including wars, genocides, wonders of the world, medical breakthroughs, and the relative gifts of sciences. The higher the purity of understanding of the source of the apparent self the better the human individuals lives seem to be. So I consider this thread as I understand it to be a good tool. I think a consideration of the cultures and groups that these ideas are showing up in has some value as well perhaps another thread?


    John
    "I am fascinated by religion. (That's a completely different thing from believing in it!)" Douglas Adams

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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    A little more clarification. The self, or ego, is real. It exists in duality. As long as non-duality remains in the unconscious, or hidden, the self persists. It is the brain's attempt to make sense of what is seen and defend the body if necessary. As soon as non-duality becomes conscious the self is seen in its true nature. Now, however, from the perceptual perch that comes with non-duality infusing duality, the self (or ego) is seen instantly as no longer needed. So it simply falls away like an old snake skin.

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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Ah, the following quote is from the book "Perfect Brilliant Stillness" by David Carse (as mentioned earlier in this thread) ... and in keeping with this thread's "theme" I am posting it as a sort of "Reality Check" for those-of-us who are perhaps attracted to the New Age "Love and Light" variety wherein it "seems" the "belief in separation" continues unabated eh ?

    Quote In spiritual circles there is great value placed on personal growth, personal improvement, becoming a better person, becoming more aware, teaching others how to become better, making the world a better and more enlightened place. The hope for a better future, the belief in an upward spiritual evolution that carries the whole race with it, is like the belief that there is something wrong and something that needs to be done. It seems hard-wired into the human mechanism but is in fact the device by which the 'divine hypnosis' operates, keeping the dream characters motivated and occupied in the dream. This belief is an illusion, and it is what creates suffering.

    In Truth, in the Absolute, in All That Is, there is no evolution, no progress, no becoming better, no becoming. All is as it is. The idea that the world is in bad shape and that the present point in history is pivotal and that something has to be done, is as old as the human mind; it has always seemed thus, at every point in 'human history' . In truth everything is in perfect balance; the world never gets better and never gets worse, although to the apparent individual instruments it may seem that it does.

    Teachers who draw on these recurring themes in the dream to appeal to the ego's hopes and dreams and to popularize their message are deluding themselves and others and have not seen beyond the dream.

    This belief in ongoing evolution, the dream of becoming a better person, the goal of improving oneself and others and society and making the world a better place: all these and more certainly seem to be noble beliefs and goals by any standards. Our cultures value them as ideals and it is believed that these high goals are what keep individuals and the human race from descending or regressing into chaos. And of course it is the 'divine hypnosis' itself that allows these beliefs, because without them the dream would not go on.

    But as Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche has noted.

    "Enlightenment is the great and final disappointment, the dissolution of all our egoic fantasies and grand hopes."

    This is true seeing, and it will never sell in the revival tents. What is being said here is not a politically correct message, or even a spiritually correct message. It is not a comforting message, and it will never in any culture be popular. It is only the truth, as near as can be told. All is as it is.

    The ego seeks fulfilment, and if awakening is marketed as satisfying that need, then what is being offered is bogus. True awakening is awakening to the annihilation, the dissolution of that which seeks fulfilment.

    “Transformative spirituality, authentic spirituality, is revolutionary. It does not legitimate the world, it breaks the world; it does not console the world, it shatters it. And it does not render the self content. it renders it undone." (Ken Wilber)

    And of course, as you may perhaps intuit at this point, the wonderful aching beauty is that in this annihilation every longing, hunger and thirst that any mind/body apparatus ever felt is resolved and dissolved, perfected, healed and made forever irrelevant. The ego seeks fulfilment, but what is Understood in this annihilation is so huge that no mind, no ego, no heart could ever possibly hold it. The human race has no idea what fulfilment truly is.
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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Goes without saying--we are on the same page Clear Light.
    So much talk of oneness without a clear realization of what that means.
    Sounds very nice the Truth is even better---it is.
    "One without a second." Only consciousness-- silent awareness. "I am That"
    There is no--other--no subject and or separate object.
    Enlightenment is also referred to as waking up--rightly so.

    When we dream there is a multitude of people and events--all happening in one mind.
    On awakening the dream is seen for what it is.
    Enlightenment is also called Self Realization---the One true Self, which we have been unaware of, is revealed.
    Mystics on awakening have been known to say "I am the Totality --all of it"
    That takes some believing but any enlightened being will confirm this.
    As set out here.
    Chris

    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...l=1#post456904
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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Quote Posted by greybeard (here)
    Goes without saying--we are on the same page Clear Light.
    So much talk of oneness without a clear realization of what that means.
    Sounds very nice the Truth is even better---it is.
    "One without a second." Only consciousness-- silent awareness. "I am That"
    There is no--other--no subject and or separate object.
    Enlightenment is also referred to as waking up--rightly so.

    When we dream there is a multitude of people and events--all happening in one mind.
    On awakening the dream is seen for what it is.
    Enlightenment is also called Self Realization---the One true Self, which we have been unaware of, is revealed.
    Mystics on awakening have been known to say "I am the Totality --all of it"
    That takes some believing but any enlightened being will confirm this.
    As set out here.
    Chris

    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...l=1#post456904
    Oh, but with respect to "one-ness", I'd suggest that it is perhaps more helpful, or realistic, or even practical to investigate HOW such one-ness is or is not actually always the case for all "us" seeming separate-ones eh ?

    And on this note, with regards to such "Duality", I've pulled out a few sentences from Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's "The Crystal and the Way of Light" to hopefully illustrate what is being considered here :

    Quote But if we are caught up in dualism, the first thing we need to do is to discover exactly how we are so thoroughly conditioned, and how our limitations confine us in the cage of dualism.

    So the first step towards getting out of this self-created cage is that we must become aware that it is there, and this can only be done by observing ourselves all the time.

    But it's not enough just to know that the cage is there; one must sincerely want to break out of it, and then actually begin working to that end.

    A bird that has lived in a cage all its life may not even know of the possibility of flight.

    But one must know for oneself what kind of bird one is, and what kind of cage one is in. And then, one must really want to come out of all cages, because it's no good just making one's cage a little bigger or more beautiful by, for example, adding some fascinating new bars made from some 'exotic' Tibetan teaching. It's no good building a new crystal cage out of the Dzogchen teachings. However beautiful it might be, it's still a cage, and the whole purpose of the Dzogchen teachings is to take one out of all cages into the expanse of the clear sky, into the space of the primordial state.

    [...] the illusory separation of subject and object collapses of itself, and one's habitual vision, the limited cage, the trap of ego, opens out into the spacious vision of what is. The bird is free, and can finally fly without hindrance. One can enter and enjoy the dance and play of energies, without limit.
    Click image for larger version

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    Now of course this is just one approach to "self-realisation" (not forgetting Anatta) but I'd say it at least gives an indication that merely repeating Absolutist Spiritual Platitudes such as "We are all one" (or "there is no other") does not, at least as far as I am concerned "cut-the-mustard" (so-to-say) eh ?



    Just my 0.02$

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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    As per my view, the ego falls gradually away by:
    • granting others to be
    • taking more and more responsibility for one self and others without taking away their attempt to take more responsibility for self and others
    • and thus, be the other person (without negating one's own state of being)
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."
    -- Benjamin Disraeli

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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Advaita Vedanta covers oneness well.
    It accepts differences as in duality--however it sees all as one consciousness which they call Brahman.
    The food is Brahman, the act of eating is Brahman--there is nothing outwith experience--consciousness--Brahman

    One without a second could be compared to an ocean--the wave rises and falls but only because exits because it is water. All is water regardless of the size and shape of the individual wave
    We dream and in the dream many situations, people perhaps but all occurring in one mind and oh so real.
    In duality there is apparent separation but all things are contained in our mind--"out there" enters the brain and electrical responses give us the picture, the sense of other.
    Its a very deep subject--but strangely simple--Only Brahman is and I am that.
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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Best way to find your real Self|

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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Quote Posted by Clear Light (here)
    Aren't all of us Westerners educated (conditioned) to accept the reality of the "self" from a very early age ?

    . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : .
    This applies to many Eastern traditions in the same way, see the video above -- the illusion of "self" means that "Best way to find your real Self" makes no sense.

    Either there is a "real Self" or "the Self is an illusion" -- you can't have it both ways.

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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Quote Posted by silvanelf (here)
    Quote Posted by Clear Light (here)
    Aren't all of us Westerners educated (conditioned) to accept the reality of the "self" from a very early age ?

    . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : .
    This applies to many Eastern traditions in the same way, see the video above -- the illusion of "self" means that "Best way to find your real Self" makes no sense.

    Either there is a "real Self" or "the Self is an illusion" -- you can't have it both ways.
    Oh, but as far as I know (and I haven't watched the video) in general terms your "ultimate nature" (such as it is) is called Rigpa in Buddhism and Turiya in Advaita Vedanta

    But, to be clear, neither of them refer to some kind of personal consciousness, or some sort of expanded improved upon "self" ... thus in Buddhism there's the idea of self-less-ness or ego-less-ness which really does mean the cessation of the false, conditioned "self" eh ?


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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Its easier if you use capitals as in Self or self---self is the egoic me--Self is free of desire concepts ego etc.
    The ego thinks its going to be an enlightened person--smiling.
    All one to me--- smiling.
    Chris
    Ps
    You are always Self always enlightened.
    Enlightenment is the removal of ignorance the ignorance being that you are identified with the story of me---as a separate person.
    "Events happen
    Deeds are done
    But there is no individual doer there of."
    Chris
    Last edited by greybeard; 27th November 2019 at 18:55.
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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Quote Posted by Clear Light (here)
    Quote Posted by silvanelf (here)
    Quote Posted by Clear Light (here)
    Aren't all of us Westerners educated (conditioned) to accept the reality of the "self" from a very early age ?

    . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : .
    This applies to many Eastern traditions in the same way, see the video above -- the illusion of "self" means that "Best way to find your real Self" makes no sense.

    Either there is a "real Self" or "the Self is an illusion" -- you can't have it both ways.
    Oh, but as far as I know (and I haven't watched the video) in general terms your "ultimate nature" (such as it is) is called Rigpa in Buddhism and Turiya in Advaita Vedanta

    But, to be clear, neither of them refer to some kind of personal consciousness, or some sort of expanded improved upon "self" ... thus in Buddhism there's the idea of self-less-ness or ego-less-ness which really does mean the cessation of the false, conditioned "self" eh ?

    Ah, you used the words "self" and "Self" as two different concepts -- without mentioning the difference explicitly. I didn't pay attention to the difference, because I prefer to avoid such fuzzy wordings.

    On the other hand, if you interpreted the Law of One in the way that the word "entity" (quote: "the proper role of the entity is in this density ...") means the same as "false self" or personality, then I think that you are misreading the Law-of-One quote.

    Quote In reading the Law-Of-One quote, do you see the implicit assertion that there is an Entity that can "progress" if it wants to ?
    The Law of One did not claim that "an entity can progress if it wants." These words make no sense, as in the same way as a statement like "an individual can get enlightened if it wants" makes no sense either.

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    Default Re: The illusion of "self" vs The assertion of "self" / entity

    Quote Posted by Clear Light (here)
    The Law of One Search Results for ‘nirvana’
    Quote 18.5 ▶ Questioner: Thank you. I have a question here from Jim that I will read verbatim: “Much of the mystic tradition of seeking on Earth holds that belief that the individual self must be erased or obliterated and the material world ignored for an entity to reach ‘nirvana,’ as it’s called, or enlightenment. What is the proper role of the individual self and its worldly activities in aiding an entity to grow more into the Law of One?”

    Ra: I am Ra. The proper role of the entity is in this density to experience all things desired, to then analyze, understand, and accept these experiences, distilling from them the love/light within them. Nothing shall be overcome. That which is not needed falls away.
    Quote Posted by silvanelf (here)
    The Law of One did not claim that "an entity can progress if it wants." These words make no sense, as in the same way as a statement like "an individual can get enlightened if it wants" makes no sense either.
    Oh, now of course it's all words (and thus concepts) and invariably, I'd say, each Mind will come to its own conclusion about what is actually being indicated by such combinations of letters ... nevertheless it's because the word "reach" is used that I inferred there may or may not be some form of "progress" ... can I ask therefore : What do you understand by the word / concept "Entity" ?

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