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The unconditioned self

JeroenJeroen Do it with a smileNetherlands Veteran

It's interesting, I was always of the opinion that conditioning tends to disappear when you become aware of it. Now I am finding that some of it does, and some of it doesn't. Being aware of your conditioning allows you to more easily find the middle way, but the habit is often to fall back into it.

Adyashanti was saying in a short teaching on the unconditioned self that you cannot become totally unconditioned, that we live all the time with conditioning. But that the unconditioned lives alongside the conditioning layer that society tends to put on you. That in a way it is pointless to try and become free of conditioning.

But it seems to me we need to be aware of our conditioning, some level of knowing where our impulses come from is important. And then we need to become aware of the unconditioned.

David

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    Another quote I came across from Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche…

    “In awakening wisdom, we learn how rigid beliefs keep us locked in a cycle of dissatisfaction and anxiety, and how relating to things as they actually are, rather than through the distorting lens of preconceived ideas and emotional reactions, can help us discover the basic purity and goodness of our true nature.”

    It also speaks to how the unconditioned exists alongside the conditioned self.

    lobsterDavid
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    And yet we doubt our Unconditioned self, as it is more unfamiliar to us than the conditioned.
    Forgive me for bridging two threads, but while I would never count myself as superhuman or special, the Wim Hof Method has helped me broaden my horizons, and accept that where I once believed myself to be unable, or incapable of doing something (due to my having been told of my limitations) I now find myself disbelieving the Conditioning I have been exposed to, far more often.
    Hence my ability to comfortably hold The Plank for more than two-and-a-half minutes. A few weeks ago, I thought myself pretty good if I held it for 20 seconds.

    lobsterJeroenDavid
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited August 11

    We can't escape conditioning just by seeing how we are conditioned and why try?

    As conditional beings, we are not only conditioned by conditions but also condition the conditions. That is what being skillful with our actions is. Once we can see that we are conditional, we can start to take our conditioning into our own hands and make better, smarter, more compassionate decisions.

    This topic reminds me of the Eight Negations (or the four false dilemmas).

    I alone am not but together, we most certainly are.

    person
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited August 11

    From one meditative perspective...

    The self is little more than the interaction of a number of ethereal vibratory momentums that our karmic proclivities co-opt to be the vehicle of their own continuance.

    A conditioned self exists to the degree to which a karmic maintenance program divides everything off into a self verses others perspective.
    An unconditioned self is simply a transcendence that delusion.

    Where a conditioned self actually describes a dream,
    the unconditioned self is just
    an awakening from that dream.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited August 11

    @how said:
    From one meditative perspective...

    The self is little more than the interaction of a number of ethereal vibratory momentums that our karmic proclivities co-opt to be the vehicle of their own continuance.

    A conditioned self exists to the degree to which a karmic maintenance program divides everything off into a self verses others perspective.
    An unconditioned self is simply a transcendence that delusion.

    Where a conditioned self only describes a dream,
    an unconditioned self just describes
    an awakening from that dream.

    I agree up to a point but I could be misunderstanding. Buddha used the conditional self to spread the dharma and help the other conditional selves. He still got old and sick and left that particular form.

    That alone tells me we should not be taking the experience for granted even if and when we transcend it.

    Not trying to argue, I just want to see if I misunderstand your post or if there is a sectarian difference at play here between the Linji and Soto schools of Zen.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    Hah! @ David

    I had to look up that Linji was actually Rinzai.

    I am not trying to represent a Soto Zen view ( which I am sure will give Soto Zen adherents a sigh of relief). Much of any of the schools (including Soto) seems more to do with self promoting tribalism than with what I am comfortable with.

    I was only speaking from the view of what one finds or can not find in a meditative examination of any type of self.... and that no amount of mentalizing on it's own actually helps with such questioning until the underpinning issues of the minds own duality can be squarely faced.

    Davidlobster
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited August 11

    I guess I should qualify my last remarks because I cannot claim to represent the Linji school either exactly. For the most part my understanding (right or wrong) is in line with the Plum Village tradition in which Thay is the 42nd generation teacher of Linji and that is where I take refuge and take the Mindfulness Trainings but I am nonsectarian at heart.

    Sorry to derail...

  • The unconditioned self

    It's an interesting paradox.... In order for the unconditioned self (the clinging aggregates) to freely flow, 顺其自然 (Shùn qí zìrán ) go with the flow .... one's mind must for the most part, first train/condition the mind/itself..........wait for it.......by un-training/un-conditioning the mind/itself...to 'do' nothing so to speak....

    The unconditioned Self is from what I gather.... an unfettered Mind...

    lobsterJeroen
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