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Where is the self? How can dualism stand if it's just a fiction?

 
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 03:19 pm
@fresco,
Thanks for that fresco but...

I'm saying that if we want to look for the self then we could proceed in this way (see my previous post).

I'll try again to explain:

I’m not saying after critical thinking the self ‘is’ singular, permanent and autonomous. Or what a particular philosopher decided the self is after critical examination. I’m asking if we ‘look’ for the self, each person, before they search, needs to decide on what characteristics that self must have. Then they look to see if such a ‘self’ could possess these characteristics.

The average person conceives of him/herself as being singular, permanent and autonomous e.g. ‘I’ is a singular pronoun; Also e.g. I was born, I am alive now, I will die someday (we think we are permanent in this sense without critical examination); e.g. I decide what to think, I decide where to go, what to do, when to do it and why I should do it i.e. we think we are autonomous.

So, if we decide to look for the self what characteristics should we look for and if we can’t find anything inside or outside or in between the body or somewhere outside the body that is singular, permanent and autonomous then we can begin to doubt that there is a truly existing self and begin to suspect it is just an imaginary construct useful for communication but not worth going to war over etc…
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 03:26 pm
@Bennet,
Quote:
What are your thoughts on that?
Manji might have some insight

Quote:
Manjushri says:……….all your explanations are themselves dualistic.
My feeling Ben is that we can't pinpoint any absolutes since everything is partly something else while nothing is entirely anything

For what it's worth, not much hereabout, I kind of lean Igm's way, dualism like creation involving all sorts of contradiction and paradox. I see a kind of Unity, which I can't adequately describe, and call it Her

There, I setled the whole argument didn't I

Quote:
…..useful for communication but not worth going to war over etc…
Well put, couldn't have better expressed it
Berty McJock
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 03:30 pm
trying so hard to follow this, but i'm a bit confused.

is this about the difference between a singular conscious entity and the collective conscious? or have i totally misunderstood?
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 03:32 pm
@Bennet,
Bennet wrote:

I personally think there is a subject/object duality. Non-Duality it seems to be a slippery slope because this idea seems to make a reference without a referent. My general thoughts here on the above quote: Is silence an outer expression of fear of getting it wrong? Is silence a outer expression of disbelief that people have been able to realize these things, an expression of cynicism? If silence is the answer then do we end up with the duality of silence and non-silence, one enlightened the other deluded?



Bennet, thanks for that i.e. on the ‘Sloan’ reference and on the quote and your interpretation of it or at least musings about it.

If you have time could you read this:
http://www.the-philosopher.co.uk/buddhism.htm

After reading it does it clarify anything for you. I’d be interested to know.
I won’t attempt a reply to what you’ve said until you’ve either read it or you say you aren’t able to.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 03:33 pm
@dalehileman,
Quote:
Thus whether it exists depends upon just where you draw that line


Draw it wherever you want to, Dale. I will still not be saying "There is a soul" or "there is no soul."
0 Replies
 
Bennet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 03:34 pm
@dalehileman,
If you are attempting unity, isn't 'non-duality' a clumsy attempt at unity? It is seems to be a unity via the sense spheres rather than unity via wisdom & understanding. But aren't all perceptions dualistic? Sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touch and thoughts presumes a perceiver and the perceived.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 03:36 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
Re: igm (Post 5248393)
Quote:
The self seems to me to require three fundamental characteristic, it needs to be: singular, permanent and autonomous. Anyone disagree? What would the individual ‘I’ be if it didn’t have these characteristics?


Once more I am prompted to quote G.I.Gurdjieff on "Man's major misconception"...

Quote:
Man has no individual I. But there are, instead, hundreds and thousands of separate small "I"s, very often entirely unknown to one another, never coming into contact, or, on the contrary, hostile to each other, mutually exclusive and incompatible. Each minute, each moment, man is saying or thinking, "I". And each time his I is different. just now it was a thought, now it is a desire, now a sensation, now another thought, and so on, endlessly. Man is a plurality. Man's name is legion.


Gurdjieff was an esotericist in the first half of the 20th century with many intellectual followers including Frank Lloyd Wright and Katherine Mansfield.
His system of "work on self observation" still flourishes both under his name and in offshoot organizations such as the globally ubiquitous " School of Practical Philosophy". The aim is to "awaken to higher states of consciousness" in which an enlightened "permanent I" can be realized.


I am tempted to ask: How does G.I.Gurdjieff KNOW this...or is he/she just guessing, but in the endless litany of names to whom Fresco points in his relentless appeals to authority...all I ever see is guessing.

Like the Buddha...Fresco...asserts he is sharing knowledge...rather than just passing on guesses.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 03:38 pm
@Berty McJock,
Berty McJock wrote:

trying so hard to follow this, but i'm a bit confused.

is this about the difference between a singular conscious entity and the collective conscious? or have i totally misunderstood?


Hi Berty, who are you asking and about what in particular... sorry I'm just not sure, you'll need to clarify... :^)
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 03:40 pm
@igm,
Quote:
The average person conceives of him/herself as being singular, permanent and autonomous e.g. ‘I’ is a singular pronoun; Also e.g. I was born, I am alive now, I will die someday (we think we are permanent in this sense without critical examination); e.g. I decide what to think, I decide where to go, what to do, when to do it and why I should do it i.e. we think we are autonomous.


I like to think I am an "average person"...and I KNOW that I have no idea of what the REALITY is. I am willing to acknowledge the non-dualists have the right guess; I am willing to acknowledge the dualists have the right guess; I am willing to acknowledge that the REALITY may be so far beyond our comprehension...that we are like ants contemplating the universe.

0 Replies
 
XXSpadeMasterXX
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 04:11 pm
@Bennet,
Quote:
But aren't all perceptions dualistic? Sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touch and thoughts presumes a perceiver and the perceived.

Yes, they are...including a wordless experience...= a God...Or Buddha has found God or an afterlife....And that may be why one can have a wordless experience in finding no self...because in a w.e. they are seeing that no self is unity...And no self is dualism Not Equal fiction...but they can not explain it, as it is wordless...And that is why Buddha is looking for one to show it to him...But the problem is it can not be found wordlessly...And the moment that one attempts to show Buddha in a non-wordless way is when he will find it and be pleased...but no one has because every Buddhist thinks it comes wordlessly...
0 Replies
 
Berty McJock
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 04:13 pm
@igm,
anyone, and about self/ego etc. i should google it really, but i can't pull myself away from A2K lol. ignore me. Razz
Berty McJock
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 04:16 pm
@Berty McJock,
i only ask because i've read (admittedly not enough, and without the maths) about the collective conscious in quantum theory stuff i've read. which to me questions the notion of "me" if i am part of "us".

is this thread along those lines? or am i waaaaay off?
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 04:23 pm
@Berty McJock,
Berty McJock wrote:

anyone, and about self/ego etc. i should google it really, but i can't pull myself away from A2K lol. ignore me. Razz

Just read every post and ask every question perhaps one at a time until you get your answers... no problem from my side... responses can take time so then there's Google.. what do I know... but definitely read every post... just in case you've missed some definition or salient piece of info. Hope this doesn't sound preachy it's not meant to. Oh, and … apologies if you’ve read every post.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 04:24 pm
@Berty McJock,
Berty McJock wrote:

i only ask because i've read (admittedly not enough, and without the maths) about the collective conscious in quantum theory stuff i've read. which to me questions the notion of "me" if i am part of "us".

is this thread along those lines? or am i waaaaay off?


Sounds like that might not be way off.
Bennet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 04:43 pm
@igm,
After reading, it seems Nietzsche understood only in terms of his own cultural situation and historical orientation and came close to some basic doctrines found in Buddhism, but failed to transcend rationality to become enlightened and reach Nirvana. Interestingly, I wasn't aware that Buddhism lies at the center of any attempt to understand Nietzsche's thought in its entirety. This theoretical fictionalist view of the self by Nietzsche stands in conflict with the conception of the self that seems presupposed by his practical philosophy. To tell you the truth, I am mystified by the problem at hand. So then what accounts for the presence of the experience of willing if it is a fiction that plays no incidental role in the production of action?
Berty McJock
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 04:47 pm
@igm,
ok thanks. going through all the posts again, what's confusing me is all the different words for "self" that are being used. are they all the same thing? something can be self aware but have no soul, depending on how you define these words.

basically i think what's confusing me is if you are debating the existence of the notion of oneself, and how we define consciousness and self awareness, or the notion of individuality as opposed to part of a sum.

*edit: or is it all these things? i.e. if we are conscious and self aware, we must be individuals.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 04:51 pm
@Bennet,
Quote:
If you are attempting unity,
More meditation, contemplation, speculation, rumination

Quote:
isn't 'non-duality' a clumsy attempt at unity?
To be sure

Quote:
It is seems to be a unity via the sense spheres rather than unity via wisdom & understanding.
If that were the case our two cats would be wiser than I. Maybe they are

Quote:
But aren't all perceptions dualistic? Sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touch and thoughts presumes a perceiver and the perceived.
Doesn't quite match what I think of as dualism. I'd suppose the perceiver and perceived to be on one side and the perception on the other. But maybe again it's a semantic issue
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 05:01 pm
@Bennet,
Bennet wrote:

After reading, it seems Nietzsche understood only in terms of his own cultural situation and historical orientation and was very close
to some basic doctrines found in Buddhism, but failed to transcend rationality to become enlightened and reach Nirvana. Interestingly, I wasn't aware that Buddhism lies at the center of any attempt to understand Nietzsche's thought in its entirety. This theoretical fictionalist view of the self by Nietzsche stands in conflict with the conception of the self that seems presupposed by his practical philosophy. To tell you the truth, I am mystified by the problem at hand. So then what explains the existence of the experience of willing if it is a fiction that plays no causal role in the production of action?


Insightful and may I say swift critique.

I would say actions arise in the enlightened due to the request of the unenlightened for advice on how to transcend the notion of self and other and then the one who rests in the non-dual state but had formally made the vow to help those trapped by their dualist view, acts.

The problem I have is that I have to try to explain, obviously, using language which is dualistic. But maybe you get my drift. Buddhas have to act when asked due to the coming together of causes and conditions that must give rise to action. Should that not be the case then the enlightened being acts to maintain the causes that will make him/her ready to act… i.e. indirect actions. So eating, sleeping, etc…

This state (Buddhahood) is no different to our reality the difference is that Buddhas are free from viewing it as dualistic. They are happier and their happiness is unconditioned.

Added later:

Of course the reposte would be ‘prove it’.
Berty McJock
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 05:05 pm
ah ok...mind/matter dualism, not yin/yang or good/evil dualism.

i'd only ever heard of "dualism" as good vs. evil, or yin and yang before.

can't believe i didn't figure that out, it's been pretty obvious through the entire thread lol. i was wondering how good vs. evil or yin and yang fitted into this. doh! ok i think i'm getting somewhere.
0 Replies
 
Berty McJock
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2013 05:22 pm
ok i think i get it.

is there a separation between the spirit, and the physical body, and what are the implications of this?

am i on the right track?

*edit: sorry to butt in on a thread i don't know about, but i enjoyed learning about absolute truth through frank and igm's (amongst others) posts on that thread.

i like to think, i like to learn, and i like to think i'm learning.
0 Replies
 
 

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