Nibbana tangent part 1 (Agnosticism)

by xeno6696 @, Sonoran Desert, Thursday, May 30, 2024, 23:00 (55 days ago) @ dhw

MATT: I applaud overall your description of the self, and on most things we're closer that maybe it seems, but again, as above, you're confusing the 'self' for the 'sense of self.' One goes away and the other remains.

DHW: That is precisely what I am saying, but let’s not exaggerate. The ‘self’ will no doubt continue to retain many of its attributes (which helps us to maintain our sense of self), but you will notice that in my summary, I specified that it is the total of our attributes at any given time. Some may go away, and may be replaced, but the sense of self remains.

For the sake of time, I'm going to take the microscope here in the hopes that this is the lynchpin of the potential controversy.

What I want to focus in on here is that post-meditation, I'm fully conscious, but there's no 'sense of self'. The sense of self is like an emotion that only exists for brief moments. It's a state of consciousness where when I return to the five senses, there's enough distance between mind and senses that you can trace the threads, you can find the exact moment where your mind wraps a sound or a touch into something positive or negative, neutral is harder to feel. At that moment you can locate the precise part of you responsible for 'self-izing' your experience of phenomena.

I think what's becoming clear is that we are drawing the lines of 'self' at different places. I brought up memories because they're concrete, but as a mental structure, the self is little different than any of the rest of your memories. If you don't put energy into that memory--which we tend to do instinctively--it maintains itself and it remains firmly entrenched and lodged into the psyche.

But that doesn’t mean the self is not there!

Again, the conflation. I originally used the term "concept of self" in terms of its disappearance. As I've tried to show here, that 'sense of self' has more in common with an emotion or a thought--a concept. The error that MOST of us make is in mistaking that sense of self, AS the self. You don't like me drawing the line between that sense of self and that bare-awareness or "right now" attention of consciousness.

On your last bit, I still have a sense of self, I can just point to it more clearly when it's in my mind. If you complimented me right after a meditation, I wouldn't apprehend it in the same way as you suggest however. Typically when in that state there's more of a reflexive desire to share and reciprocate. It takes a good 30min for even a weakened buzz of thinking to resume. It's a very clear state. You can sense thoughts and emotions as they bubble up. It's raw awareness, the sense of future and past isn't there. Which is part of the reason Buddhism places emphasis that where the 'self' lives--is right now in the present moment.

\"Why is it, Master, that ascetics fight with ascetics?\"

\"It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics.\"

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