Non-self but no Non-Self

Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 11:01 am
The concept of a non changing identity or the idea that a self persists is not real. Some like to hold to this idea that the self is eternal, that it was created and it will continue to exists after the body dies. This is the notion of an eternal self which is an illusion. Also some others hold to the idea that the self perishes when the body perishes. This too is an illusion. Both are true and both are false. But how can this be, that seems odd.

Both are true only in parts of what is held to be true. And both are false in only parts of the idea that are held to be true. I'll attempt to explain this by using an anology.

If you examine the characteristics of a river what determines its existence? The water in that river is never the same water. It constantly is new water. Also the channel the water flows down also changes from erosion. Rivers change course over time. So how can you compare a river to itself if it is in a constant state of change where each moment it is different?

This is exactly how the self is. It is in a constant state of change. Just like you can't compare your current moment with the moment you were at age five years old. These two are not equal at all. In fact the you now reading this is not the same you yesterday. Its an illusion which persists due to memory. We take memory as a linking persistence of current self to past self which assumes a future self that is the same.

It seems counter intuitive to say there is no self. If there is no self, then who is explaining this and who is reading this? It is simply the mind stream of experience of non-self that explains this and reads this. Nothing else. A mind like the flow of water, ever changing and completely devoid of permeance. Just a make up of parts coming together to give rise to a mind stream.

But what is this mind stream? Surely it is the self then. Like the characteristics of a river, if you remove one characteristic, the river ceases being a river. If a river has no water, why would you call it a river?

The same is true of this mind stream. It isn't that the mind exists. It is a combination of parts which when these parts assemble the mind stream results.

From moment to moment there is constant change, the mindstream assembles and dissipates and reassembles. There are conditions which cause the arising and ceasing of this mind stream.

So it is true that there is a self however; it is never the same self from moment to moment. There is no permanent self. The self which continues after the body dies is not the same self that arises with that body before it died. You will not continue after the death of the body. However the mind stream will arise due to conditions and a future self will arise. It is not the same "you" though.

This is how the held beliefs of existing self and the death of self are both true and false. The self dies every moment and every moment the self arises based on conditions for its arising. When the conditions for its arising cease then the self will not arise.

This idea is very difficult to grasp. People also don't like to discus this truth. It scares them or makes them uneasy because they cherish the self and don't like the idea that there is no persisting self. The self loves the self and wants to hold onto self. If you examine this deeply and thoroughly you will discover that it is true. Its not a dogma that should blindly be accepted. Its a fact even if you dont like it.

So if there is no persisting self why explain it? Because once this truth is realized true freedom from the negative effects of holding onto self will arise. But why is that even important? Because when you hold onto self it leads to selfish persuits which lead to unfavorable results. This understanding can alleviate those results. It becomes a powerful solution to the imperfect experience within this stream of mind.

True freedom arises. Its a secret which is difficult to grasp but worth understanding. Even as you read this your self will reject it because you are attached to the self which believes it persists. If you are uneasy or annoyed by this explanation it shows this attachment because this idea is the solution by which the attachment of self is transcended. True freedom is within this explanation.

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Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 11:14 am
A nice bit of reinforcement !...I nearly said 'self reinforcement' Laughing ....but it is perhaps worth heeding the advice of those who claim to be 'enlightened' that words connot convey transcendental truth. On the contrary, attempts at verbal expression are an impediment to enlightenment.
Fil Albuquerque
Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 11:19 am
You word it quite well...I guess you are far from enlightenment then ! Wink
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Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 11:55 am
The self, Krump, in its usu supposed form, doesn't survive. However, some maintain instead that the soul is everything about the self except possibly its body
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Reply Mon 19 Dec, 2016 12:01 pm
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
Fil Albuquerque
Reply Wed 21 Dec, 2016 06:33 pm
edgarblythe wrote:

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Yours sounds pretty short. Mine for most has been dull n grey...long no doubt !
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Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2017 04:45 am
The idea of me is simple, the idea of the mind stream is complex. The latter is born of the first. If there were no me there would be no stream of mind.
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Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2017 01:20 pm
But this raises some obvious questions, for if the self is like a river which neither gives rise to itself, but rather is formed from something else. Nor chooses its own path, but is guided in its course, then what gives rise to the self, and what decides its path?
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Reply Fri 15 Sep, 2017 11:18 am
is life
it flows thru
the death of me
like a river
of becoming
the sea"
Gregory Corso
Reply Fri 15 Sep, 2017 11:21 am
"Birds make their nests in circles,
for theirs is the same religion as ours."
Black Elk
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Reply Fri 15 Sep, 2017 10:54 pm
Lets see. Self is like a river.

If the river has no water, how can you still calling it a river?


1)- Waiting for the next raining season. Then, self is like a river in raining season.

2)- The leftover is a canal. Them self is a river in raining season and a canal in dry season.

The thought of self with the analogy of a river is valid and invalid.

The reason is because implies a certain dependence of the physical environment.

The falling of ground is almost horizontal, then self is calm. The falling of ground is about 45 degrees angle and self is turbulent.

Acid rain will cause self to be mean. Crystalline rain will cause self to be nice.


This is a good point for religion thoughts. The individual dies and his self must stay somewhere. And must stay somewhere because if resurrection happens and the body is reconstituted to a physical entity with life, then self will return back or, perhaps self dies and the resurrected body will obtain a new self.


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Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2017 12:58 am
The signal to noise ratio on this post ain't great. Try modulating your feedback...right now it's just word salad...
Reply Mon 18 Sep, 2017 02:56 am
my bad, didn't realize that this was a dead thread.
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Reply Mon 18 Sep, 2017 07:29 am
I used to concern myself with this sort of stuff as a young man. I believe it is relevant for many, but in my case, I no longer care.
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