Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Meditation on the illusory nature of self - where are you EGO?

anatamananataman Who needs a title?Where am I? Veteran

No matter how many times I investigate my idealogical self I conclude that 'I' does not actually exist. Buddhism, which is the path of liberation from suffering guides us with the 4NT's. And the conclusions are sound and in my opinion - irrefutable. I inevitably find myself in a position, however, where 'I", the symbol of me in the world that I project fails to disappear or be removed. Have any of you completely eliminated your self, AKA Ego, and if you did, what was left, or not right?

Earthninja

Comments

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    It sounds like a neat trick or a sales pitch -- eliminating what never existed from the get-go.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Exactly @genkaku - but can you eliminate it?

  • Yes but do you not feel buffeted by the 8 worldly winds?

    anataman
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited February 2015
    If I had then there would be no typing this post.

    Another neat trick is concluding against a concluder (as fleeting as the concluder is/was)

    Without the ideological self there is no way to witness the absolute.

    Don't shoot the messenger.
  • In brief, without being mindful of death, whatever Dharma practices you take up will be merely superficial.

    ~Milarepa

    pegembara
  • @anataman said:
    No matter how many times I investigate my idealogical self I conclude that 'I' does not actually exist. Buddhism, which is the path of liberation from suffering guides us with the 4NT's. And the conclusions are sound and in my opinion - irrefutable. I inevitably find myself in a position, however, where 'I", the symbol of me in the world that I project fails to disappear or be removed. Have any of you completely eliminated your self, AKA Ego, and if you did, what was left, or not right?

    Better to work on one's greed and anger first. This sense of "I am" isn't going away anytime soon.

    "Friends, it's not that I say 'I am form,' nor do I say 'I am something other than form.' It's not that I say, 'I am feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness,' nor do I say, 'I am something other than consciousness.' With regard to these five clinging-aggregates, 'I am' has not been overcome, although I don't assume that 'I am this.'

    "Friends, even though a noble disciple has abandoned the five lower fetters, he still has with regard to the five clinging-aggregates a lingering residual 'I am' conceit, an 'I am' desire, an 'I am' obsession. But at a later time he keeps focusing on the phenomena of arising & passing away with regard to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' As he keeps focusing on the arising & passing away of these five clinging-aggregates, the lingering residual 'I am' conceit, 'I am' desire, 'I am' obsession is fully obliterated."
    Khemaka Sutta

    VictoriousJeffrey
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    B4 unbinding moments of clarity are possible. Or at least what I imagine are moments of clarity.

    The first step is to seclude yourself mentally. Calm your breath. Stop the verbal mindstream. Then halt the process of evaluation and namegiving. Rest in the raw data stream of the senses. If that still becons you back into namegiving and evaluation. Fokus only on the mental faculty excluding the other sense doors. Then try again. In the beginning the moment is short and hardly grabbable.

    But of course the sense of self will return after.
    Earthninja
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Meditation on the illusory nature of self - where are you EGO?

    Who wants to know ? (an oldie but a goody) :D

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    Self inquiry for me works. As @Shoshin says, who wants to know?

    Seriously and honestly, if this question is approached open heartedly, an opening up happens.

    We all just assume we exist in the way we think we do. As people. Or individuals separate from an external world.

    When you hear a sound we say, "I hear a sound" but what exactly is that I that hears?
    Can you find it apart from the sound?

    I is a sense of existing. We delude ourselves thinking we are the body and mind. These things function according to their own causes. You can't stop thoughts and you can't bodily functions. Therefore who is the owner of these?

    We say my body is in pain or my mind is cloudy, there however is nobody aside from these.

    Answering the OP it is possible to be free from a sense of identity or ego.
    What is left is exactly what is here and now but without the owner of every experience.
    There is just experiencing.

    Don't believe me? Try and find yourself apart from the body or thoughts.

    I get heavy resistance from the mind with this inquiry. Even physical nausea. It's a sense of losing everything (yourself) but I know it's just the mind.
    Jeffrey
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    L'eggo my Ego?
    I have nothing of value to contribute but that is what the title made me think :chuffed:

    On a retreat with Lama Tony Duff (who is awesome to meet if you ever had the chance) we talked about what was outside of our senses, the "who" that is sensing and then the "who" that is sensing the who that is sensing and so on. The only thing I could come up with was that there was something else there. But certainly nothing I could define.

    Earthninja
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Victorious said:
    B4 unbinding moments of clarity are possible. Or at least what I imagine are moments of clarity.

    The first step is to seclude yourself mentally. Calm your breath. Stop the verbal mindstream. Then halt the process of evaluation and namegiving. Rest in the raw data stream of the senses. If that still becons you back into namegiving and evaluation. Fokus only on the mental faculty excluding the other sense doors. Then try again. In the beginning the moment is short and hardly grabbable.

    But of course the sense of self will return after.

    I may not understand all of what you just said, but that "Rest in the raw data stream of the senses" stands out. I like it.

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @karasti I think you are onto something. Follow this through. If it's definable it can't be you.
    If it's undefinable... It must be prior to definitions. The same as being prior to identity.
    :)
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran

    @silver said:
    I may not understand all of what you just said, but that "Rest in the raw data stream of the senses" stands out. I like it.

    I might have been a bit vague for the beginner. But if you know your DO I think it is obvious. And it is also more or less impossible to explain otherwise.

    Glad some part stuck with you. Hope it helps.

    /Victor

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran
    Rather than figuring out how to deconstruct my ego, I prefer to think of ways to put that nicely bound set of skandhas I'm momentarily stuck with to good use, in ways that are profitable for all sentient beings, and leave this place better than I found it.
    Buddhism is not about eliminating the ego: it's about accepting it's impermanent.
    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @DhammaDragon said:
    Rather than figuring out how to deconstruct my ego, I prefer to think of ways to put that nicely bound set of skandhas I'm momentarily stuck with to good use, in ways that are profitable for all sentient beings, and leave this place better than I found it.
    Buddhism is not about eliminating the ego: it's about accepting it's impermanent.

    Precisely...

    "One is simply ones experience- Ones ego is the abstraction from these experiences-Ones ego should be viewed as a convenient analytic device!"

  • so you are saying that experience is a 'one'?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    so you are saying that experience is a 'one'?

    Experience is experience @Jeffrey... "not two"

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    Papaji says enlightenment is simply freedom from I.

    If there is no I, then there is no desire. If there is no desire there is no suffering. If there is no suffering you are free.

    I think this is why there are only a handful of enlightened beings in the world. The strongest attachment in the world is to ourselves. Who can let themselves die before they die?

    There is still functioning without the ego. I'm sure there are others here who have come to this realisation? :)
  • I think @Shoshin that it may be impossible to express with words. I was just reacting to the idea that there is experience that belongs to 'one'. (not oneness I mean someone or something that can have belongings)

    EarthninjaShoshin
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran
    When we read the suttas or the Dhammapada, we don't hear of ego's elimination, suppression, wiping out.
    There's no permanent ego, there's no independent ego, no abiding ego, but the stress is on self-restraint, curbing, avoidance of extremes.
    If anything, releasing of craving, forsaking ignorance, right understanding.
    "With self well-controlled, another master is hard to find" is written in the "Self" chapter in the Dhammapada.
    Jeffrey
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited February 2015
    @Earthninja;

    You say there is only a handful of enlightened beings in the world and suggest they function without an ego or the sense of an individual self.

    I ask you to think of any two of them and see if they dress the same with the same mannerisms... Do they have the same tendencies and the same interests? Do they use the same words or have the exact same interpretation of all aspects of the dharma?

    The Buddha is not Borg
    DhammaDragon
  • @Earthninja said:
    Papaji says enlightenment is simply freedom from I.

    More from papaji

    EarthninjaDhammaDragon
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran
    Where are these enlightened beings, @Earthninja?
    Who has declared them enlightened?
    What is a life without ego like?
    Do you clock in for work? Do you have a girlfriend? Do you get married? Change your baby's diapers?
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @ourself no they are completely different in appearance and attitudes yet the same in certain aspects :) consciousness still manifests in diversity. Yet still one. That's the play of life isn't it? They are fundamentally no different yet wear different clothes. Same person. Different clothes.

    @DhammaDragon there appears to be a few in many different religions. Sometimes they talk about their own enlightenment. Sadhguru describes his awakening for instance. They don't tend to talk about it often. More pointing others to see the same thing. They all point to the same thing.

    I haven't fully experienced life without the ego as a complete cessation. Only partially. I wasn't the body or mind anymore.
    Imagine watching the tv show of your life. The biggest 3d tv show you could experience.
    No matter what happens in the show your just observing. Whether good or bad. Makes no difference.
    You can observe the person and the functioning of thoughts yet you know it's not you. As close to a description as I can muster :)

    Of course I go to work, I'm married, have a mortgage. Do dishes. Haha.

    When I had the first experience I had to go to work straight after. Functioning still takes place. There is a person at work talking to "others" yet you are observing both.

    Imagine just for a second you are not @DhammaDragon but pure awareness of her life. Do diapers still get changed? Of course you are just awareness.
    But do you need an ego? No because it never existed. It's just thoughts.

    Say there is no ego, no I. Can there be suffering? Ask yourself this question honestly
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited February 2015
    @Earthninja;

    How can they be the same person and yet wear different clothes and have different preferences?

    They are not the same person anymore than you and I are the same person. We are all a part of the same process and perhaps even more than kin but not the same person because we are not even the same person we were yesterday.

    I understand you want to end suffering but trying to deny that which makes you unique will only add to our suffering for that which makes you unique is also what makes you useful.

    If everybody had the exact same mind-set there would only be one way to look at anything.

    If two heads are better than one we've hit the jackpot.

    There is nothing wrong with being temporary.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    It seems to me they would still not be the same person because they appeal to different types of people as a teacher. If they were all the same, they would attract the same students but that rarely seems to be the case.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited February 2015
    As soon as we start pondering "what is it that is aware?" the awareness is lessened I think.

    But at that risk, if we dissolve the self then what is aware? Awareness is a quality I think, not an entity unto itself.

    I agree there can be no suffering without a self but there can also be no discovery.

    "I am a clone, I am not alone, every fiber of my flesh and bone is identical to the others.

    Everything I say is in the same tone as my test tube brothers voice

    There is no choice between us
    If you had ever seen us
    You'd rejoice in your uniqueness
    And consider every weakness

    Something special of your own

    Being a clone, I have no flaws to identify
    Even this doggerel that flows from my pen
    Has just been written by twenty other telepathic men oh, word for word it says;

    "Oh for the wings of any bird other than a battery hen"

    That's the spirit of the age.

    -- Hawkwind
  • An ordinary person even if a Buddha is right next to them they cannot see the Buddha. I think people who saw shakyamuni could not really see him until they had teachings from him and got to enough understanding to really see him. http://www.kagyu.org/kagyulineage/buddhism/cul/cul02.php

    robot
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @ourself I poorly described what I meant when I said they are the same person. I didn't mean literally a person.

    Umm I'll try again, they are both the one consciousness. But express themselves uniquely. They know this.

    That which makes me unique is conditioning. My beliefs, goals etc... It's all inherited.

    What were your goals at 5 years of age? What were your aspirations as a teenager?
    What were your beliefs at 20?

    It's all changing ...
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @karasti what I meant was that although the body and mind express themselves uniquely. That which is not body and mind is the same. Some call it consciousness, some enlightement. Some awakening.

    That's our fundamental nature. Our egos jump around liking this and that. Yet there is awareness of this.
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    @Earthninja;

    See, I pretty much see it the same way but I wonder if that isn't assigning a permanent self to the flow. I find a loophole in that the flow is still ever-flowing and so couldn't be considered permanent even if it is eternal.

    Still...
    Earthninja
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @ourself it is my understanding that this awareness is formless but ever present. It is also universal.

    Flowing takes place within it yet it doesn't flow.
    I haven't experienced this however :) we are now in the realms of words only add to confusion haha.

    I've heard descriptions of undying, unmanifested and unborn. Timeless ever present self. Words are only pointers right.
    Shoshin
  • @anataman said:Have any of you completely eliminated your self, AKA Ego, and if you did, what was left, or not right?

    Traditionally self-view is one of the last things to go. What I mostly do is try to be aware of what it feels like to have self-view, that sense of "me". I find it's most easily observed when craving and aversion are present, and much less obvious in calm meditative states.

    lobsterDavidShoshinEarthninja
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Traditionally self-view is one of the last things to go.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetter_(Buddhism)

  • It's not that you are "pure awareness" that is sometimes oppressed by moments of contracted "selfing"; but rather as pure awareness you are manifesting moments of "selfing" as your current energetic formation.
    The ocean doesn't have moments of waves occurring "to" it, instead the ocean is waving. Likewise awareness doesn't have moments of "selfing" occurring to it, but instead awareness is "selfing".

    ~Jackson Peterson Facebook page

    Earthninja
  • @bookworm said:

    Yes, that's right, I was thinking particularly of mana, the conceit "I am".

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    The underlying DraftID is required here... not sure anyone will get the ID reference, but anyway, the point is there is no separate ego, it's just an idea. I have made this point before in different ways. We act in a way that suggests there is this a permanent self, but this is just a persona, that we utilise to interact with the world and each other, without it we don't exist in the world in a way we can identify and communicate.

    Anyway, I will go back to punching holes in the sky to let my demons out...

    Earthninja
Sign In or Register to comment.