Author Topic: Self and emptiness  (Read 645 times)

Offline bahman

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Self and emptiness
« on: May 02, 2017, 10:25:04 am »
 So to my understanding emptiness means that things are empty of a self, or of one permanent thing. Self on the other hand means one single permanent thing that is the essence of someone or something and which distinguishes it from any other thing. We however cannot directly experience self (we simply deduce the existence of self by experiencing our actions). In another word, we have no access to self. Could Buddhism be wrong on no-self concept?

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 12:28:30 am »
Hello again bahman,

In my experience anatta or no-separate-self cannot be approached through analysis and concepts. There is no intellectual path into it. While the experience can come like an unexpected gift, it is usually fleeting unless there is long practice of meditation to stabilize and refine it.

Of course there are self-concepts, but they are just that -- concepts or mental formations and habits of thought. We each have out own separate movie (most of the time) and that is what is mistaken for a permanent, separate self. However the notion of a separate self is just another part of that movie.

Bah! It's useless to talk about it. http://www.frogzen.com/meditations/
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 02:11:11 am »
Of course we have access to self. We have too much access. It's all we have to experience the world with, but, ironically, it is the very thing that keeps us from seeing things as they really are: zafrogzen's no-separate-self. Self is like a wave on the sea which looks to have an identity of its own, but is really just part of the whole. We are waves for a little while, but can't see beyond being a wave unless we follow the Buddhist path, and develop a meditation practice that changes this view.

Self is actually continually changing; not permanent. It changes from day to day, from second to second. It is only a sense of continuity that gives us our mistaken sense of a fixed self. I guess this is a device to stop us from going mad, or one that encourages us to keep surviving as an individual. Which is why we follow the path; not that we can't get insight without it, but that it keeps us sane when we do. It places insight experiences in a context that explains what is happening to us, and gives us the confidence to cope with a reality that hits us like an express train, full on.

To go back to your post, bahman, we only experience self until such a time as we let go of it, and experience the world as a creature of no-self. Which is when we get beyond our misunderstandings and see things as they are for the first time.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline bahman

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 08:45:58 am »
Hello again bahman,

In my experience anatta or no-separate-self cannot be approached through analysis and concepts. There is no intellectual path into it. While the experience can come like an unexpected gift, it is usually fleeting unless there is long practice of meditation to stabilize and refine it.


 I think otherwise. There is either an self/experiencer or not. Experiences are local events in the second case. I can easily without meditation reach to the state in which only experiences without a sense of self exist for me. But that doesn't mean that experiencer does not exist since we might not be able to experience self alone because self is only experiencer.

Of course there are self-concepts, but they are just that -- concepts or mental formations and habits of thought. We each have out own separate movie (most of the time) and that is what is mistaken for a permanent, separate self. However the notion of a separate self is just another part of that movie.


 How could you be sure that self does not exist if you cannot experience it in life or through meditation?

Bah! It's useless to talk about it. http://www.frogzen.com/meditations/


 Thanks for the link.

Offline bahman

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 08:57:57 am »
Of course we have access to self. We have too much access. It's all we have to experience the world with, but, ironically, it is the very thing that keeps us from seeing things as they really are: zafrogzen's no-separate-self. Self is like a wave on the sea which looks to have an identity of its own, but is really just part of the whole. We are waves for a little while, but can't see beyond being a wave unless we follow the Buddhist path, and develop a meditation practice that changes this view.

 I think you are not experiencing the self/experiencer. There is self constructed by brain which provide a framework that we could perform our activities. I invite you to listen to the following talk in here.

Self is actually continually changing; not permanent. It changes from day to day, from second to second. It is only a sense of continuity that gives us our mistaken sense of a fixed self. I guess this is a device to stop us from going mad, or one that encourages us to keep surviving as an individual. Which is why we follow the path; not that we can't get insight without it, but that it keeps us sane when we do. It places insight experiences in a context that explains what is happening to us, and gives us the confidence to cope with a reality that hits us like an express train, full on.

 We might not have access to real self/experiencer.

To go back to your post, bahman, we only experience self until such a time as we let go of it, and experience the world as a creature of no-self. Which is when we get beyond our misunderstandings and see things as they are for the first time.

 How our experiences could be local if there is no experiencer? Why are our experiences coherent instead of being scattered?

Offline philboyd

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 08:48:11 pm »
Is pure awareness possible? Awareness without bias, comparison, influence, anticipation, possession, rejection, indifference ... If so, could that be a no self/self?
Peace

Offline francis

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 01:51:46 am »
I think you are not experiencing the self/experiencer. There is self constructed by brain which provide a framework that we could perform our activities. I invite you to listen to the following talk in here.


Hi bahman,

Thanks for the link.

People like Jill Bolte Taylor can be pretty convincing, but the reality is Out-Of-Body Experiences are just more illusions created by the brain.

It’s well documented that these experiences can be induced by brain traumas, sensory deprivation, dissociative and psychedelic drugs like K and LSD, dehydration, sleep, and electrical stimulation of the brain.

Scientists Unlock Mystery Of Out-Of-Body Experiences.

Major breakthrough as scientists confirm out of body experiences are REAL.

Out of body experiences.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 02:07:34 am by francis, Reason: link trouble »
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 02:21:33 am »
Hi bahman. Sorry, but I couldn't understand much of your reply, if you are indeed arguing against my view.
1."I think you are not experiencing the self/experiencer. There is self constructed by brain which provide a framework that we could perform our activities."
Yep, this is the self constructed by our brains, which is what I said.
2."We might not have access to real self/experiencer.."
Again, this is what I said, that we have to get beyond this constructed self to see things as they are.
3."How our experiences could be local if there is no experiencer? Why are our experiences coherent instead of being scattered?"
Of course there's an experiencer, if that is a word. We experience things, but we don't see them properly until we become enlightened. Our experiences seem to be coherent, because we continuously construct our reality, our sense of self.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline bahman

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 09:47:15 am »
I think you are not experiencing the self/experiencer. There is self constructed by brain which provide a framework that we could perform our activities. I invite you to listen to the following talk in here.


Hi bahman,

Thanks for the link.

People like Jill Bolte Taylor can be pretty convincing, but the reality is Out-Of-Body Experiences are just more illusions created by the brain.

It’s well documented that these experiences can be induced by brain traumas, sensory deprivation, dissociative and psychedelic drugs like K and LSD, dehydration, sleep, and electrical stimulation of the brain.

Scientists Unlock Mystery Of Out-Of-Body Experiences.

Major breakthrough as scientists confirm out of body experiences are REAL.

Out of body experiences.


 I understand that OBE is requires brain activity. But how that is possible in absence of any sensory input?

Offline bahman

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2017, 10:02:22 am »
Is pure awareness possible? Awareness without bias, comparison, influence, anticipation, possession, rejection, indifference ... If so, could that be a no self/self?

 That is a good question. I would formulate it as following: How could you not have a self if you are detached from everything?

Offline bahman

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2017, 10:07:49 am »
Hi bahman. Sorry, but I couldn't understand much of your reply, if you are indeed arguing against my view.
1."I think you are not experiencing the self/experiencer. There is self constructed by brain which provide a framework that we could perform our activities."
Yep, this is the self constructed by our brains, which is what I said.
2."We might not have access to real self/experiencer.."
Again, this is what I said, that we have to get beyond this constructed self to see things as they are.
3."How our experiences could be local if there is no experiencer? Why are our experiences coherent instead of being scattered?"
Of course there's an experiencer, if that is a word. We experience things, but we don't see them properly until we become enlightened. Our experiences seem to be coherent, because we continuously construct our reality, our sense of self.

 So you are saying that you are able to experience no self with meditation?

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2017, 11:47:23 am »
Quote
So you are saying that you are able to experience no self with meditation?

I'd say so. Although there are numerous other, more haphazard, ways to experience no-(separate)-self, I think meditation is unique.
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline bahman

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2017, 11:56:21 am »
Quote
So you are saying that you are able to experience no self with meditation?


I'd say so. Although there are numerous other, more haphazard, ways to experience no-(separate)-self, I think meditation is unique.


 Do He/you know the answer to this question?

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2017, 06:26:43 pm »
philboyd asked but no one responded --
Quote
Is pure awareness possible? Awareness without bias, comparison, influence, anticipation, possession, rejection, indifference ... If so, could that be a no self/self?

No self/self? I think that could be "making something out of nothing" or maybe "pouring from the empty into the void."

My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Self and emptiness
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2017, 02:07:49 am »
Hi bahman. Sorry, but I couldn't understand much of your reply, if you are indeed arguing against my view.
1."I think you are not experiencing the self/experiencer. There is self constructed by brain which provide a framework that we could perform our activities."
Yep, this is the self constructed by our brains, which is what I said.
2."We might not have access to real self/experiencer.."
Again, this is what I said, that we have to get beyond this constructed self to see things as they are.
3."How our experiences could be local if there is no experiencer? Why are our experiences coherent instead of being scattered?"
Of course there's an experiencer, if that is a word. We experience things, but we don't see them properly until we become enlightened. Our experiences seem to be coherent, because we continuously construct our reality, our sense of self.

 So you are saying that you are able to experience no self with meditation?
Yes of course. Why else would I write a reply like that? Exploring no-self was the whole point of meditation for someone like me, so I experimented with vipassana meditation for a number of years. The other stuff, the stuff that makes Buddhism more than mere meditation, is there to help you when that kind of meditation works as much as when it doesn't.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

 


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