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The Selves We Occupy

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posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 12:21 AM
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When we think about ourselves, we like to think in terms of one "self". A self that is unique in some ineffable way. One, which means we work with who we are as if we were simply one.

The problem is, this idea of being one and singular doesn't jibe either with experiential or neurobiological studies of human consciousness.

The self is plural; we our composed of veritable different "selves". They are selves, not merely in any pragmatic way (how we can speak of it) but in structure and neural representation. The study of dissociation has shown that essentially all human experience is dissociative. Dissociation means a separation between one "state" and another "state". Just think, right now, about anything. Isn't there something hypnoidal about it? Why think about it? What is there about what you're thinking about that draws your attention outwards and into the object of your attention?

Its quite mysterious how we overlook this movement outwards, seemingly hypnotic process of conscious experience.

Every object in our environments is paralled by an object within our mind. This is just the way it is, because structurally speaking, our own minds are dual:



When we think, were an observing consciousness that "identifies" with some content of consciousness. In the beginning, there is just the void, the ever-present oberving self. But then the other appears: life, the mother. The mother is our primordial image - and even somatosensory precursor to all self-other relations (not imaginary, but coded somewhere in lower limbic and upper brainsteam areas) that replays itself in our mental structure without our even knowing it.

Why? Why do we not see how we have been affected by life?



Waddingtons canal tries to explain neural development but it applies equally in the realm of social psychology and the development of personality. Early exposure to aberrant self states in others becomes for the infant an internal object in it's own personal thinking. For a consciousness that is initially open to all experience - the mind of an infant - life can reify and proceed from whatever early objects (or relationships with parents) the infant encounters.

The reason Self evolves the way it does is for the same reason as an organisms body develops the way it does: The instinct for survival. Consciousness experiences states of self. This is the issue. For humans (as well as for animals, to a lesser extent) when we think, we not only represent what is affectively indicated by our body, but we also develop whats called a secondary representation: the implicit awareness of myself as BEING THIS WAY: as existing as this person. The facts we discover about ourselves do not evaporate: we form unconscious perceptions simply by perceiving something, in the sense that we "know something" but do not symbolize it in our minds as thoughts. The psychoanalyst Donnel Stern refers to this area of human cognition as unformulated experience.

Its these background, implicit insights in our own experiences that sabotage our body state and plays with our shifting states of mind. For example, since all thinking occurs as a dialogue between an observing consciousness and its internal object of perception all states of perception is simultaneously a state of self. Because we experience ourselves contradictorily sometimes, without symbolizing and giving "form and order" to an experience by thought (the symbol), we allow the now unconscious (or dissociated) content to affect the formation of our next perception.

Dissociation is ultimately an unconscious system which maintains positive bodily affect (how you feel) by dis-associating uncomfortable self states from normal "ego" consciousness. This process is present in everything we do and everything we believe.

So what does this mean? If we are plural beings, what is it about our sense we have of being one and singular? Since the observing consciousness feels anterior, in a sense, it is a "owner" of all its self states, and thus, is one. On the other hand, the "Self" does not operate properly if it does not recognize that there are parts - or self states - within its mental structure which are stranded in a "not-me" state relative to the states he affirms. When we affirm something, sometimes we implicit deny something else. Not necessarily, of course. We can have an attitude of acceptance and also a preference for one particular thing. But if something "bad" comes our way, we do not need to experience the badness as something we need to disown. It appears mental health - true mental fortitude - exists in an orientation of gentle openness and compassion to all states of being. Pushing away and putting yourself into aggressive opposition, in most cases, creates problems.

Ultimately, and ideally, people can become mindful of the different parts which make up their plural self experience. And by doing so, consciously accept and orient yourself compassionately to the person you experience yourself to be when you "feel" that way. For example, if I'm arguing with someone and I find myself disagreeing, though a part of me recognizes the validity of his argument, the part that is currently occupying my mental stream "affirms" what I'm thinking because I - the ego - want to feel good and therefore need to be right. Though, if you pay attention to your body, its telling you, its reminding you of that part in yourself which had THAT perception, which is now being dissociated from consciousness and enacted in bodily experience. Knowing this, seeing that your own body is telling you, first of all shows how the body is actually a source of wisdom - and not an evil thing to be disavowed, as so many religions teach - but, on the contrary, if we pay attention to ourselves, we discover information in the other.

Somehow, we can know things. We can be "wise". There are certain things about life and reality that commands priority to our attention. Love, kindness, compassionate, charity, joy, laughter, fun, silliness, sensitivity, maturity, responsibility. There is truly much to be known only if we put the magnifying glass first on ourselves, recognize within our own needs, and feel the need to recognize those same exact needs in others. People need affirmation. They need to be recognized. We also need to be loved and treated with respect and honor. Most people experience empathy, or a sense of identification with other selves; though there appears to be a very small subset (less than 1%) with a genetic predisposition to sociopathy; that is, even with a supportive, they'll still fail or struggle to experience a sense of identifcation with other people emotional states.

The point is, lifes deeper metaphysical structure seems to be centered around the concept of relationship and how we orient ourselves in relationship. Our observer and the contents of our minds (our own self states). And then on the outside, we see physical bodies just like ourselves. The same situation, but in a physical and temporal context.

This is currently what is happening in our world. Affirming the oneness of the personality means accepting all our different self states. In doing this on the inside, we come to see how the same dynamics are operating on the outside: in physical appearance, cultures, language, organized belief systems, etc.
edit on 5-9-2014 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 01:29 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I just woke up and am still blurry eyed, probably not the best moment for me to post, but the kind of moment I like to post- precisely because I might not be clearly intellectualizing things yet… I might not be comprehending your specific point correctly, but rather, seeing in it ideas which I want to address instead. –Or at least a part of me, the parts which are normally pushed aside during the rest of the day. My subconscious is still overflowing a bit, like a spring bubbling to the surface… and it is interesting for me to see what pops up.

Perhaps it was my passion for acting when I was young, but somewhere, somehow, I developed a perception that all possibilities for being lie within me. There is a well in which I can fish and find any sort of personality characteristic, emotion, thought pattern, behaviour. When forming a character for a play, I could pull up all the necessary pieces and make an “alter ego” to step into when I was to go on stage. In those moments I really was that person- it was simply a part of me, sometimes magnified to a strength or force I do not normally give it, but definitely, me.

Then once off the stage, I’d let that ego fall back again into the well, the aspects of it’s character fragment again into potentials.

I still think this way, and each person I meet, I begin to form an idea of who they are as they expose themselves. The fragments which correlate rise up, and begin to come together. I have memories and emotions associate, and it forms another aspect of me, which is this “other”.

If our relationship progresses deep enough, I can become aware of potentials I have not yet experienced- regardless, they are still MY potentials as well, I am just more aware of them now.

The discover of other is always, for me, a simultaneous discovery of self.

This became valuable as I moved to a foreign country- I have formed an alter ego which is my "french self" and it has completely different pathways of thought, emotion and behaviors. I step into that one when necessary.

On the other hand, I have found that forming a primary construct of ego-self is important for many reasons. Yet I am aware that this is simply a choice of preferences, and is subject to change. But creating some consistency, or at least controlling the speed of change, helps- especially in terms of relations with others. My own consistency of character helps them to form an idea of me as a specific other, with specific qualities.

I am thinking mostly of beings in a relationship of dependence on me- my children, for example, or my animals. The more consistant my acts and behaviors, the more “solid” that internal object-entity is in their mind, and they can interact with it mentally (even if I am not physically present). As an authority figure, for example, I can represent a form of discipline they can integrate and make their own, leading to self discipline and mastership instead of dependence upon an exterior influence.

I guess I am drifting off subject and into my own concerns. In any case, I often wonder if this dark well of potentials is not, in fact, my body. We know the body has neurons in many places besides the brain, though we do not quite understand why. But when I refer to my subconscious, I am really referring to the this source, from which information and experience flows, which remains pretty mysterious to my conscious will, but yet I am in awe of, in terms of the enormous potential it seems hold.

I have an ego, I have an individualized concept of self, but that is also aware that it is only one child of that well, and is fed by it endlessly. I have found repeatedly that ignoring it’s messages is usually foolish. Not heeding my intuition is dumb.

It’s like a child not listening to the warnings and guidance of it’s mother.

edit on 5-9-2014 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 05:09 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Author Colin Wilson wrote a book called poltergeist that talks about the multiple 'selves' we have. He talks at the beginning of the book of an interesting experiment done on people that had gone through a procedure of having the 2 halves of their brain severed to stop epilepsy and how they acted afterwards. Then he goes on at the end of the book to talk about the Kahunas of Hawaii and their concept of our 'other selves' that occupy our bodies.



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 01:31 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

~The following account is true. May it serve as a warning to those with ears to hear and hearts to know.~
On a certain day, at a certain time, the faithful gathered to perform certain rituals, hoping to gain a glimpse of their master. The day was correct, the summoning true.

Slashing a smoking tear through the Veil, She, her-very-self, appeared before them, terrible and resplendent. She came arrayed in ebony darker than a moonless night, wielding a blade burning hotter than the surface of the sun.

"Why have you disturbed me?"
Surprised, the first among them prayed:

"O Prince of Plots, Deceiver of Nations, Queen of Shadows, Goddess of Destruction, we come to worship thee!"
She looked down upon her followers, gathered to bear witness. Frowning she asked the first:

"Tell me, you who profess to know me, how shall I know you?"
Afeared he exclaimed:

"Each night I pray to thee, each night I call out thy wondrous names. Surely thou must recognize the sound of my voice? Thy most devoted of believers?"
She frowned and let out a long sigh, and then of a sudden he was gone, the air from her lungs dispersing him.
Turning to the second she asked:

"And you? How shall I measure the worth of your existence?"
Stunned by the power of her voice, he bowed before her darkening visage.
She clapped her hands, and he too was gone.
To the third:

"And you, tell me, how shall I know you apart from such as were they, of whom there is no trace?"
Shaken and speechless from the nullifications of his brethren, he whispered:

"Have mercy upon us!"
She blinked twice. Once, he was in agony. Twice, he was destroyed.
She cast a withering glance across those remaining and said:

"I do not grant mercy."
And so it was with the others. She putting them to proof, they offering none.
Finally she came to me, eyes aglow with anger, tongue wet with hate, and said:

"Of all my believers, but two remain. Tell me, second-to-last, with what shall you prove your existence?"
Without hesitation I drew forth my blade and buried it in the chest of the other who stood beside me, and without fear replied:

"Ask him whose blood now sprouts from my blade if I exist."
She smiled. And the gates of hell opened between her teeth. Then she said:

"Tell me, now-last of my followers, wherefore do you remain where the others do not?"
I retrieved my blade, and offered it up saying:

"I am alive because that one is dead. I exist because I have the will to do so. And I shall remain as long as there are signs of my handwork, such as the blood dripping from this blade."
Accepting my gift, she nodded and said:

"Indeed."



posted on Sep, 6 2014 @ 09:01 PM
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a reply to: Bluesma

sorry for not replying sooner. Good post.




Perhaps it was my passion for acting when I was young, but somewhere, somehow, I developed a perception that all possibilities for being lie within me. There is a well in which I can fish and find any sort of personality characteristic, emotion, thought pattern, behaviour. When forming a character for a play, I could pull up all the necessary pieces and make an “alter ego” to step into when I was to go on stage. In those moments I really was that person- it was simply a part of me, sometimes magnified to a strength or force I do not normally give it, but definitely, me.


That's what I'm saying. Who we are, at root, is actually nothing. No-thing to be found in the center or depth of our consciousness. Yet, paradoxically, as we relate with "others" - the objects of our thought and contents of our minds - a natural and normal identification emerges. The "self" as psychoanalysts have long known, is intimately tied into body. Because the body, like the self, is unique. Not every body is built the same or looks the same, and so, no two selves are the same.

This means that it is in the "external" consciousness which interacts that weaves our"self", this singular, robust centeredness of personality. While I definitely understand that socially we NEED a self in order to relate, at our core, bluesma, I am saying we are actually nothing. There is nothing "there" and yet as a space or state of perception, this state exists. For some people this perception is continuous and pathological - a dissociative disorder that produces pronounced periods of depersonalization. Where, for most if not all of your time, you feel like a person in your own head looking out from the "camera" of your eyes into the world. Although it is not a healthy state of consciousness, it does allude to a structural aspect in the elaboration of consciousness from "empty void observation" and INTO worlds of conceptual significance. The body is central to this all. Its the body that makes us "embodied" and gives us a self. The body gives us feelings: the first inkling of the "other". The bodies needs imprint in our minds as "affects" - feelings - which are then ruminated upon by symbol self reflection. Or thought. The thought is interesting because the world is inherently fascinating.




I still think this way, and each person I meet, I begin to form an idea of who they are as they expose themselves. The fragments which correlate rise up, and begin to come together. I have memories and emotions associate, and it forms another aspect of me, which is this “other”.


That's an interesting expression. "fragments which correlate". You've picked up on something intuitively that has been explored in relational psychoanalysis and is referred to as dissociation and enactment. When we relate with another person a"part" of our mind - our unconscious - "selects" self states that are compatible with the self states observed in the other person. Allan Schore (neuropsychologist) calls this "right brain to right brain communication". Our body knows FIRST, before our conscious minds become aware. Another Neuroscientist, Steve Porges, posits a specific process called neuroception, which basically "scans" the environment for relevant socio-emotional cues to prepare the conscious mind for an "appropriate" (I.e metabolically adaptive) response profile. This is interesting and plausible because there is a nerve complex in our necks called the vagal nerve complex. The ventral or bottom part is newer than the dorsal or upper part. The dorsal part is evolutionarily older; is unmyelinated and is anatomically similar to the same nerve which runs down reptilian backs. Conversely, the ventral tract is myelinated and is located in mammals beneath the unmyelinated reptilian portion.

Basically, the unmyelinated dorsal tract feeds afferent information from the sub-diaphragmatic areas of the organism, such as the stomach and viscera. The Ventral tract, which is myelinated, feeds information from the pharynx, larynx, and facial muscles. This is interesting, given what we know about how memory is stored and packaged in the brain. There is a specific nerve complex - the ventral vagus nerve - which connects different parts of our anatomy which deal with social communication: speech and facial expression. These are myelinated - which means they convey electrical impulses faster than unmyelinated neurons.

So this to me makes the argument for an unconscious "neuroceptive" program that much more compelling. For psychoanalysts this is obvious, but for the more stringent behaviorist who wants to know route and mechanism, this helps people understand how following emotional trauma certain parts of self experience "shut down"; and the 'self', or whats left of it, is experientially frozen in a state of hypoarousal, or deadness, numbness and lack of connection to the body.

The ventral vagal complex also goes offline in certain forms of epilepsy. And theres even a procedure where a tiny electrical switch is implanted in a part of the ventral vagus to "zap it" into electrical activity with the rest of the nervous system.

PTSD is physical. But what it also shows is how important the body - and the psychological integration of mind with soma - is to facillating normal transition between self states. Because self is built by self perceptions. And every perception becomes in itself a specific self state, if the mind and body aren't "flowing together", self states can become broken from one another. The individual, for example, will find themselves unconsciously inhibiting themselves from having certain experiences. The ability to "tolerate the body" - and what that means, becomes dissociated as a way to protect the ego. Short term, it's a useful strategy. Long term, it is destructive and terribly difficult to undo.




The discover of other is always, for me, a simultaneous discovery of self.


Couldn't agree more. And what a strange paradox, too.




I guess I am drifting off subject and into my own concerns. In any case, I often wonder if this dark well of potentials is not, in fact, my body. We know the body has neurons in many places besides the brain, though we do not quite understand why. But when I refer to my subconscious, I am really referring to the this source, from which information and experience flows, which remains pretty mysterious to my conscious will, but yet I am in awe of, in terms of the enormous potential it seems hold.


We still understand so little about the body-mind connection. Have you read anything from Rupert Shekldrake? I finished his "morphic resonance" a few weeks back and it got me thinking about how form even comes to be and the plausibility of his explanation as an answer. It also got me thinking about how neurons in other parts of the body regulate mind-body connections. For example, when I feel my chest area, isn't that somewhat the work of the hearts robust neuronal network conveying afferent signals to my PFC? And since, overall, we still have no explanation for what is mind and what is body, and how neurons "produce" consciousness or how we can think about our own subjectivity while talking about the biological substrate of consciousness. Theres an obvious correlation here, but, as science teaches correlation does not equal causation.
edit on 6-9-2014 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 12:59 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I have read a bit of Sheldrake, and find his work fascinating. A rather strange synchronicity yesterday, after reading and posting here, the book I am currently reading got to a part which examined this topic and had a great paragraph I want to copy and post, but it is too long. The book is "Stone Junction" by Jim Dodge (I'd highly recommend it ).

I started to get really interested in examination of this topic, when I noticed how much I learn through mimicry. I tend to find myself mimicking behaviorisms of others very quickly. I do not do it purposefully, and sometimes don't consciously realize I am doing it at first.

This is what I think enabled me to learn and adopt a second language without taking any classes. It has been valuable as a tool for adapting to a foreign country and culture.

My genetic father is a chameleon man (reference to the Woody Allen film "Zelig"), which I think, is the key to his skill as a salesman, and for a long time, as an actor. He changes faced with others, and it isn't fake! He does not pretend to relate to them, in the moment, it is real, and it facilitates communication and exchange.


That is originally where I gained the idea that in some cases, a consistant persona, that one at least returns to repeatedly and embodies the most, is necessary- being the child of someone who is "for" something one moment, "against" it the next is very confusing and destabilizing for a child. I went on to marry a man with that same quality though, and some of my influence upon him was to help him return to his chosen "self" when he needed to. I watched my children get really upset when they'd witness their father go through a change of character faced with others.

They were in need of a example to follow- but constant change made following impossible.

On one hand, I'd say the body and it's mirror neurons, and it's physiological mimickry of those close, might be the source of this reflecting..... but on the other hand, it is contact between bodies (the sense of touch) which makes the distinction clear. In the friction between skin we experience boundries between self and other.


I have observed and experienced lacking physical contact and found it harder to keep a sense of self as individual.

As much as we can claim an experience of nothingness at the core, with consciousness, we also must recognize the physical truth, that we are separate and specific individuals, with differing qualities physically.



edit on 7-9-2014 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 01:48 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma
a reply to: Astrocyte


As much as we can claim an experience of nothingness at the core, with consciousness, we also must recognize the physical truth, that we are separate and specific individuals, with differing qualities physically.


There is nothing seeing these words!!
Words are seen but can you see what is seeing??

All there is, is what appears.

See the body, perceive the senses. The senses are nothing but an appearance but what perceives that which appears?
Even the (changing or not changing) character (Bluesma) comes and goes in nothing.

The screen of awareness is constantly appearing different - on the screen a movie (Maya/Lila - the play of life/light) plays.
The screen of awareness is what you are - and you are also the movie which plays.
edit on 7-9-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 02:10 AM
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If there is a 'self' it is this. Whatever is happening is it. There is no 'self' 'inside'!! There is no 'in' or 'outside' to what there is.
The idea that there is an 'inside' and an 'outside' of you is what makes 'you' (an individual) appear to be real and then all time and space appear and in fact the whole world of things - so many things appear to be true because of a misconception (the primary misconception - the original sin - the idea that there is anything separate from god).
Now that a 'inside' and 'outside' of you has been dreamt into being - there appears to be a you that needs protecting from the 'outside'. Fear of not being and the desire for other than there is drives the appearing 'individual' - it is seeking other than what is in 'time and space' when really there is no time or space.
There is only ever what is appearing presently on the screen.

edit on 7-9-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 02:11 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

I knew you would show up to hound me.

Look- I am not looking to "release" from the experience of self, and of a physical reality of time and space, no matter how "illusional" it may be. We have been through that countless times.

Yes, I am nothing, there is nothing, and all that nothingness.

Yet, in this now that is appearing, is the possibility to experience a self, an other, time and space, and material objects, and so, in choosing to experience this moment, I embrace that.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 02:24 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma
a reply to: Itisnowagain

Look- I am not looking to "release" from the experience of self, and of a physical reality of time and space, no matter how "illusional" it may be. We have been through that countless times.
Do you mean that you are not looking for release from the experience of 'the individual'?
The 'self' as I have written it is 'all of what is' - not a divided part.




Yet, in this now that is appearing, is the possibility to experience a self, an other, time and space, and material objects, and so, in choosing to experience this moment, I embrace that.


Are you choosing though?


I started to get really interested in examination of this topic, when I noticed how much I learn through mimicry. I tend to find myself mimicking behaviorisms of others very quickly. I do not do it purposefully, and sometimes don't consciously realize I am doing it at first.

Who is in charge 'in there'?

Have you seen the film 'Who is Driving the Dreambus?'?

This is just the trailer - the two dvd documentary is a must see if one wants to look deeply into what this 'I' is.
edit on 7-9-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 02:32 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma



Yet, in this now that is appearing, is the possibility to experience a self, an other, time and space, and material objects, and so, in choosing to experience this moment, I embrace that.


Can time be experienced now?
Thoughts/words appear which speak of time now - but time itself is no more than an idea appearing.

Can you speak of this 'self' that you experience now? Is there a 'you' that can experience a 'separate self'? How many are you?
Is there any division between now and you?
It is only when time is imagined that there can be a separate you.

Movement is appearing to happen now and there is no one doing it - it is done.

edit on 7-9-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 02:51 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma
a reply to: Itisnowagain


Yes, I am nothing, there is nothing, and all that nothingness.


That nothing is full of everything. All there is, is not a thing - it is not a particular.
Nothing may sound like nothing but it is all there is............ which is everything - so complete that it is boundless. It has no edge so is not two - that is why the words 'non-dual' is better than 'oneness' because one can imply two.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 02:57 AM
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I'm going to the beach right now. With my daughter and my husband, and we're going to do some flyboard and jet ski.

The illusion is quite cool. Not very interested in stopping perception and experience of it. Maybe you'll find some other buyers on this site.
Good luck and good fishing!



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 03:05 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma
I'm going to the beach right now. With my daughter and my husband, and we're going to do some flyboard and jet ski.

The illusion is quite cool. Not very interested in stopping perception and experience of it. Maybe you'll find some other buyers on this site.
Good luck and good fishing!

Who said perception could be stopped??
Who heard/read, perceived, that experience, can be stopped??

I sense that you don't read the words written in my posts too well.
I have never said that 'that which appears' could be stopped. I have not said that experience can stop or should stop. I have not said that perception can or should stop.
And I have not said that the illusion is not cool. It is amazing no matter what is appearing to happen.
edit on 7-9-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2014 @ 12:10 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

Does it matter whether I read your posts well or not well?
We are just various aspects of the all, experiencing different perceptions. This part enjoys the perception of a will which chooses, within time and space, and has no desire to let go of that perception/experience.

Does this appearing stir discomfort to arise for you?
Why do you repeatedly come into very interesting conversations and kill them with objections to my expression of a self which chooses?

Some are focusing on grounding in this moment, some are focusing on detachment, and there is nothing wrong with either pathway. I can switch into the angle of perception you urge towards- but I don't want to.

If I go into that angle right now, I will have no more to say to another on a forum or in person. Words will no longer be necessary, as linear language becomes obsolite. I can just silently experience all that I AM. I won't have anything to say to you, because we are all, now. I will expand into that state other times today, but not while interaction between others is happening on this plane of experience.

When we exchange as individuals, it is like lasers crossing. They are both made of light, yet concentrated into streams.
Yes, that light can be diffused and cease to be coherent. But since the word "I" and "you" is being used in your post, there is currently a stream of coherent individuation happening. So why not just embrace that experience? Why continually try to escape it? You have an individual story, that is not mine. You have an individual past, and future, and preferences and choices- that are different from mine. You have a separate body, that is not mine.

I enjoy the experience of many different selves. I am okay with that illusion- it allows for exchange between them. Play. If you do not want to exchange with me your earthly existence as a person with an individual will, why do you post responses to me? You can just sit there and be one with me and all instead.

This gives me the impression that you have a will to experience self, despite the beliefs you have expressed that being so attached is pain and suffering. You repeatedly are drawn to interact with this self here that asserts- " I am this and not that, I choose this and not that. "

I do not find your posts in threads and repeatedly object to them. You come to me each time. This indicates that my particular stream stimulates cognitive dissonance for you, which you seek to make consonant.
I am fine with the ambivalence. Your ideas are true, and so are mine, as opposing as they seem in this illusion. But context calls upon one or the other in time and space. In a context of two separate individuals having a conversation, separation and duality is.

edit on 8-9-2014 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-9-2014 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2014 @ 12:16 AM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain
Do you mean that you are not looking for release from the experience of 'the individual'?
The 'self' as I have written it is 'all of what is' - not a divided part.


Yes, I get that. I am speaking of the divided self- I like experiencing the division.


Are you choosing though?

Yes. That is the experience I am having.




Who is in charge 'in there'?


The primary ego.



posted on Sep, 8 2014 @ 12:20 AM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain

It is only when time is imagined that there can be a separate you.


Yes. time is being imagined, so that there is a separate me.

Why do you question this?



posted on Sep, 8 2014 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: Bluesma

I learned long ago that itsnowagain is not able to talk about things in a normal and balanced way. I'm not trying to degrade him or anything - a tleast in not any malicious way. But it is quite apparent to most people who acknowledge and accept ownership of their bodies (which could be felt as having "a stake in the world") that the individual behind the moniker "itsnowagain" probably deals with continuous derealization and depersonalization; otherwise how can he be so insistent that a self doesn't exist? Or to even communicate about the world in an understandable way?

He's no longer a part of the world and probably doesn't want anything to do with it. Outside of spiritual communities, who could possibly understand his "non-dualistic" language? human thought and human relatedness DEPENDS on being able to reduce things into packed of bits and info so that we can be INTELLIGIBLE to one another. Itsnowagain, whomever he is, might as well be dead. Because his way of seeing things is incompatible with being alive; with feeling alive; with feeling EXCITED about livin, and accepting, bravely, that life will come with unexpected difficulties. And the solution to these problems is not to take an a priori position of "none of that is real".

I'm in the psychological health field (as you've probably guessed by now; unless I've said it?) and I am flustered and a bit saddened by his conundrum. I've read what hes had to say and he has mentioned a very difficult upbringing, what clinical psychology would nowadays call developmental or relational trauma. The problem is, he's found his "solution" that no doubt comes with so many implicit compromises. Reading his words, for example, you can sense a lack of aliveness in them. On the other hand, his a priori commitment to "non-dualism" has allowed him to process the world without getting caught up in it.

There's a bargain here that hes made which doesn't have to be so stark. He's just made it so and now that is so, paradoxically - and not in a good way - he is unable to acknowledge facts of experience and therefore unable to work with his own unconscious self structure: he doesn't see, for example, that he holds onto his philosophical view even though it deprives him of the means to be a real person, which means, being able to act spontaneously, feel emotions, feel dissociations, feel enactments, and see how the body and the mind you have will ALWAYS, so long as you are alive, be a real thing that real effects on your moment to moment awareness.

For itsnowagain, science, psychology and all the wonderful enterprises to understand self and nature are essentially worthless and without meaning and purpose. If all is one, and if everything really is as grey as itsnowagain would like it to be, what is the point of this all?

Yes, reality is paradoxical. Is it not a paradox that the boddhisatva who achieves "enlightenment" nevertheless decides on entering the world and devoting himself to living and understanding others? Look at the Dalai Lama. Heres a man who holds a conference every year called the life and mind conference thats dedicated to the scientific study of mind in relation to Buddhism.

Of course I do not want to bother you or tell you what to do, but it does strike me as an utter waste of time to try to "make sense" of how you see things to a guy who is unable - due to his own, still unresolved traumas - to acknowledge his own self perceptions: to accept that the world impresses on us contradictory meanings.

Also, its not completely impossible that he deals with a depersonalization disorder. Which would mean he doesn't have, or due to his own early life traumas, has never had, the subjective embodied experience which leads to the belief that things "exist out there" and are worth taking an interest in.

I almost feel compelled to take off a book from my shelf "healing developmental trauma", where the author, Laurence Heller, bemoans the stubborn philosophical biases of people who've "healed" themselves with dissociative philosophical positions.

If itsnowagain can't hear you, or us, its because it requires him to be embodied: to actually feel his emotions. And since he seems very far from that, and has an unconscious structure, like all of us, which protects him from acknowledging what may be too difficult for him to feel, its probably pointless to go on and on.

Unless, of course, you don't think by ignoring my suggestion you might just be speaking as a way to help yourself, i.e, boredom, the desire to give expression to some inchoate feeling or frustration.

In my opinion, if theres no chance that what you tell someone else will be taken in a useful way, you might as well just etch it in your journal or write a poem.



posted on Sep, 8 2014 @ 11:32 PM
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I don't want to go into a psychoanalyzation of Itisnowagain.... I prefer, when possible, to let each person speak for themself, though at times I fail to stick to that completely.

I tend to answer because they reflect to me a phase of experience I went through in the past. I had a harsh and difficult childhood too, and my path led me to many years of spiritual "searching", which went from studying various spiritual practices and philosophies, to many years of isolation. I came to a point of what I considered "awakening" at the time, in which I found the same sort of vision she is trying to communicate. So I acknowledge the validity of this.

But then, another phase happened- it was like getting to the top of a mountain, being awed by the view, laughing hysterically at the utter simplicity and beauty of it.....and then eventually, there came only one more thing left to do-
descend back down that mountain, and engage in that reality.


Like seeing the patterns in a beautiful rug from above, then getting down to where your nose touches it, and seeing the separate fibers instead. Touching them, admiring the colors of each, smelling them.

It doesn't mean you forget that they are all parts of a wonderful whole, it is just focusing on the parts in the moment.
I feel like my spiritual path went "up" , then back down- a choice to become, (for the first time in my life) more superficial, more physical, more emotional, more attached and involved. Learning to do "small talk", and actually play with the roles we inhabit.

It is only when this person shows up and responds to me personally, like someone tugging at your sleeve, "stand up! look from above, it isn't fibers filled with pigment! It is one big rug!" That I feel the urge to defend my choice to get down and study the parts, and eventually, ask her, "why don't you come down here and join me? Check it out! Yeah- it is just simple parts of a marvelous whole, but even experienced up close with the senses, it is just as interesting!"

Perhaps my own circular path being so leads me to think in terms of descent back to matter as the logical next step.
The commonly used (claimed) chinese proverb - "Before Enlightenment, chop wood carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood carry water" appeals to me in this sense.



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 12:11 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma




It is only when this person shows up and responds to me personally, like someone tugging at your sleeve, "stand up! look from above, it isn't fibers filled with pigment! It is one big rug!" That I feel the urge to defend my choice to get down and study the parts, and eventually, ask her, "why don't you come down here and join me? Check it out! Yeah- it is just simple parts of a marvelous whole, but even experienced up close with the senses, it is just as interesting!"



And I have not said that the illusion is not cool. It is amazing no matter what is appearing to happen.
Even if it is a rug! Or a post or a tree or any thought or sensation or any appearance.


"Before Enlightenment, chop wood carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood carry water" appeals to me in this sense.

Life is life so nothing really changes - it is just the 'person' who is doing it has gone. Chopping wood still happens - it is the separate person who thinks they are doing it that is seen through.
edit on 9-9-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)





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