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How to Understand the Self

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posted on Apr, 14 2018 @ 10:03 PM
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As science grows, it is a practical inevitability that philosophy will go out the window. Science will take off from where natural philosophy begun its thinking. But eventually, the excesses, extremes, and pretentions of philosophy will have to bow to the power of science.

Why do I say this? Because its obvious? True? Practically too enticing? It's like being offered the chance to feel good all the time, and at the same time, not need to feel the need to act against the interests of others - since by now, science will have made you not only uninterested in being mean or cruel or selfish, but you would actually enjoy being a kind and caring person.

Nothing too extreme, of course, because science helps us realize that even our self is an Other to our observing consciousness. People who live the 'fast life' don't notice - and can't: the states they are identified with prohibit accurate understanding of the information they relate with.



These three states - pride, compassion, and shame, are correlated with states of self-experience and the 'temporal quality' they have for us.

With feeings of pride, the flow of experience speeds up. Temporality is 'extended', and perceptual consciousness and cognition happen in fast and decisive ways. As social communication, there is no more coherent and enlivening a vector than the experience of pride. However, it is prone to inflation, exagerration, and and excess - and so largely disturbs ones ability to acquire accurate information. That said, it is termed the 'species attractor', because all human biological processes could be said to be acutely sensitive to the 'need to be socially enlivened', which more or less entails the process of 'being known' and 'recognized' as something you value (itself determined by the environment) at a metacognitive level (which is the 'panoramic pattern' of your brains emotion regulation processes (this is what we call a 'personality')).



The above picture speaks to the process of interaction itself. In a basic sense, our identity states constitute the 'height' of our biosemiosis. We seek to connect, above all, with people who embody cues that correlate with past self-with-other identity structures, because it is through these identity states (superordinate structures) that we experience meaning, and therefore, the enlivenment and positive feeling we are always unconsciously pursuing.

Next, comes shame. If in an interaction, the person your with is giving you negative body language, the brain-mind experiences these 'asymmetrical' interactions as a loss of power, and therefore, as producing in the "done to" (as opposed to the 'doer') feelings of shame. As we know, humans despise this feeling, which is why anger appears even if we don't detect the experience of shame. This is whats called an 'unconscious affect': the logically required motivator which seeks to 're-right' the deflating experience of weakness, worthlessness, and self-hatred.

Describing shame as an 'environmental selector' is also very true, because it is shame-interactions from the beginning of life which instructs the early forming brain (via the emergent self) how to self-organize itself when the cuea associated with a past shame interaction are recognized, and so instead of allowing shame to express itself (which is both socially and metabolically exhausting) the self pre-empts the weakness by mounting an 'aggressive defense'.

Shame slows down consciousness because it is fundamentally based in the inhibitory activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. Within the body proper, the musculature, especially the neck and the face, curls inwards, as catching the eye of a person watching you experience shame adds to the effect, and creates a 'shame of feeling shame' effect.

Shame, on the hand, really does provide a useful vantage point for observing the effects of external events on self-organization. It is because of shame that we know that we are fundamentally limited, and we know this because we knows its because we are a social-creature: a creature which needs other humans to work properly.

Some people entertain the sad delusion that they 'operate by different laws', even though they have a human body, a human nervous system, which more or less means you follow the same geometrodynamical laws - the same universal rules of energy transformation apply to all organisms, and when the organisms are members of the same species, they are able to symbiotically 'use' one another to improve the coherence of their own functioning.

We use one another; of course we do. But that doesn't mean the way we use one another isn't based in the ethic of love; nor does it mean we don't also value the needs and experiences of others. It is inevitably both, which means, when a person decides to live a life of total self-abnegation, they are deluding themselves as to the phenomenological - and brain - conditions that make the human as a much as an 'other' to itself as the other person is an Other.

It is through compassion, a controlled and fundamentally 'accepting' awareness that we are able to recognize both sides - the other in ourselves and the other in the world. We don't react reactively, or recklessly identify with the feeling state which emerges within us. Mindfulness is always questioning, always wondering, always amused, you could say, with the way the body can trick the mind into accepting perceptions that, through the translation of the minds anthropocentric obsessions, becomes mired, for instance, in metaphysical ruminations that are, to say the least, both histrionic and romantic.

I can see such 'hysteria' in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism - and for good reason, they've all emerged from the same conditions, the same societal constraints, and landed upon a common strategy - in believing and behaving - to regulate their affective states.

If one is to be truthful - and to be truthful requires immense education and many thousands of hours of self-observation - these 4 religions at the orthodox level are pretentious, haughty, self-obsessed, judgemental, and if one is to be absolutely concise: excessive.

All these religions share mystical traditions which are and appear profoundly disembodied - that is, based in a psychobiological organization split by the experience of developmental trauma.

To be disembodied, and to reason and make assertions from a disembodied state, is to fail to acknowledge the interpersonal origin of dismebodied orientations. Although the Hebrew bible appears to emphasize, at times, interpersonal dynamics (especially in the opening chapters of Genesis), and Jesus, in the Gospels, sets out the fact of projection, or externalizing your self-structure into another, while denying it, these religions are more or less disastrously uninterested in how things become the way they are.Perhaps the sanity of the argument, popularized by Aristotle and his followers, and developed further during the middle ages, awaited to be evolved; but more or less, it is the noxious influence of mysticism and the overpowering emotional experiences they produce in people with a history of trauma, as well as the psycholinguistic interpretative structure applied to such experiences, that seems to render people with problematic social histories into fetishizers of traumatic affect, and into generelizers of

edit on 14-4-2018 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 14 2018 @ 10:04 PM
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what applies to their own early-life conditioning, which doesn’t apply to people with a different early life history.

The idea of reality being ‘two’ derives from a profound confusion created by the dissociation of cognitive processes in the cortex from biosemiotic activity happening lower in the brain. Motivational dynamics become less emphasized, whereas the ‘active self’ and its narrativizing becomes hyper-emphasized – again, totally and at all times in the service of affect regulation. A traumatized brain-mind has a ‘separated’ psychesoma BECAUSE OF THE horrible experiences of trauma, so the separation, rather than being something ‘good’ or makes them ‘heroic’, is actually a horrible curse which prevents the cognitive mind from thinking, reasoning and theorizing in coherent ways.

At the height of self experience, there is a feeling of connectivity with the natural world. This connectivity is FEELING BASED – and doesn’t necessarily produce the same cognitions in every mind. To say that it is feeling based is to say that a certain dynamical enlivenment, mediated by a cortex spellbound by the wondrous signs of nature, generates a subcortical response in the brain that seems to ‘change’ the biosemiotics relation of the self with the world around it – the natural world.

Now, imagine this experience – can you imagine it? Or, rather, does every mind produce its own affect-effect, because each mind has its own unique canalization history? This latter situation can be imagined by considering early life trauma as ‘black’, whereas early life recognition and enlivenment is full of color. If you can fast forward history to around the time period where humans show an interest in mysticism (twenties) you can get an experience of the ‘whole’ which is dark, grim, and ‘too much’; or you can get an experience of the whole which is beautiful, amazing, and enlivening. These two effects in relation to the same object is a function of a different attractor – a similar dynamical self-structure which presents the ‘whole’ in the light of the cultural and psychosocial sieve it is processed through.

I see the ‘mysterium tremendum’, or the idea of God as a dangerous force, as being an actual function of early life social trauma generalized into spiritual experiences of the natural world and universe, and which then becomes ‘reified’ and described as a ‘fundamental characteristic of Deity’ so that, later on, thousands of years later, such views can be taken as ‘inevitable truths’, even though they are based on common background experiences emerging from a perpetually recreated social environment.

Does everyone with a developmental trauma ‘self-select’, or seek spiritual solutions in the same way? I imagine luck of the draw plays a small role here, but much else has to do with the complex etiology – or combinations of experiences with others – guides us in what we seek and what we do.

To be more clear, Kabbalah, Vedanta, Sufism, Gnosticism, Pythagoreanism, etc – mysticisms which make ‘big claims’, or which assume or flirt with ideas of the human being being able to ‘transcend good and evil’ in an ontological sense (as opposed to a reckless philosophy of living) just strikes me as manic-depressive: as being enforced by experiences of deep fear, dejection, and despair, and manic certainty as to the ‘truth of God’, or the ‘truth of Love’.

Love and God may be true, but they are also abstractions which do not provide coherent guidance in themselves for acting. So, some people compute love totally in the sense of ‘self-love’. Loving others or paying attention to the need to respect other peoples needs fails to get equal emphasis.

Similarly, the person can love others and ignore themselves, believing that love means ‘self-abnegation’, even though the self is as worthy of recognition of its needs as other peoples need are worthy of acknowledgement. It seems a false-narrative, a social paraded ethos, has become superimposed on what is, seen as the socially emergent experience, derives from breakdowns in interpersonal recognition.

Worst of all, a person can exaggerate the experience of ‘self’ and become completely sadomasochistic, and here, in effect, is a manic-depressive, bi-polar condition concealed by the veneer of a ‘western esoteric’ philosophy with Carpocratian pretentions.

Here is where manic depression becomes more severe, and with it, the behavior of the person becomes more and more severe. Cognition becomes infused with a combination of ‘awesome’ connection with the ‘natural world’; yet, because experience is so disordered and tainted by traumatic experience, the world cannot ‘stay whole’ – because the self experiences its own history and its profound disjunctions with the Other as an internal ‘affective narrative’ that ‘wails’ at the experience of the ‘cosmic unity’ of Self with World. It is too much, and yet, it produces not an intelligent response, but rather, an antinomian, anger-infused narrative that goes like this: “I hate God” (which is always a mystery and never quite knowable, yet they imagine far more when they feel this) “and I will dedicate my existence to living in opposition to this oppressive reality”.

Many people are the unfortunate victims of a narrative-structure that, like a virus, ‘feeds’ on the gullibility and power-hungriness of humans which feel deficient in their self-functioning. Every deficient human – every human which has not been properly socialized into human community, into connection with others – will experience ‘magic’ as a desirable power – especially since the self experiences it unconsciously in comparison with social reality, and how, in history, the ‘magician’ has been idealized.

Thus, idealizations of power, of grandiosity, of ‘infinite strength’, take over the minds meaning-systems, and, despite being completely and utterly irrational, must be referred to as plausible, lest the self and its increasingly trauma-fueled history be interfaced with in a truthful way, and all that material ‘flood’ the mind and in doing so, destabilize the ego beyond its capacity to absorb i.e. induce a psychotic response.

The self, in truth, is a masterpiece of nature – being so logically created, so complexly ordered on earlier structures - that understanding it, and understanding how it works, and also how it can go wrong, means literally the difference between life – and loving life – and death – and wishing for it.

Freud’s wanton speculation that humans had a ‘life instinct’ (eros) and a ‘death’ instinct (Thanatos), was clearly a projection of his that became generalized. He could not see that a development that escaped the pretentions of western elitism creates a brain-mind that produces a self which, rather than experiencing a ‘death’ instinct, looks upon those who describe reality as being ‘fundamentally like that’, with a sense of horror.

edit on 14-4-2018 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-4-2018 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2018 @ 10:05 PM
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Because it is based in a history of pain, one is compelled to acknowledge the inevitability of its existence, and so, experience compassion and a desire to help a person stuck in such a situation. Yet, one can only help from the outside so much: to live falsely, and in opposition to logic and reality, is to live against your own bodily nature – which will just continue to punish you with suffering until you stop your fight and acknowledge the futility of the wish to change what cannot, fundamentally, be changed. Symmetry is not something that can be ‘undone’. There is nothing that could ever produce life which is not based in symmetry. Death, of course, is non-existence. Non-existence offers nothing but a deep wish to escape what is, in fact, something the self is not completely in conflict with.

I reason like this: if life exists, if this universe created me, I must, since I am OF this universe, and its most spectacularly organized object, want to exist.

That life can go in such opposite directions is not surprising. But to imagine that it MUST go in two directions is to exaggerate and embellish what science shows us is not true: we can engineer the conditions required for us to feel good most of the time. We can do this through improving education; improving knowledge of the body; improving knowledge of how our bodies respond to different stimuli; in a sense, the softening of the human heart created by democracy has already shown how much the human can be made to affirm life and existence. Stories and narratives guide us; and so, there will come a time when we will need to realize that certain stories represent social-dynamics and spiritual experiences that are, ultimately, representations of disorder, asymmetry, and disconnection. To give up a ‘cherished belief’, a cherished view, because it felt good to have it, is difficult. Every person who seeks change needs to give up that which is preventing the change from occurring.

Today, the right fears giving up its beliefs. It has helped them, and in their psyche, it has become something they expect to ‘continue living on’, as if they had a ‘different soul’ which ‘yearned’ for a certain spiritual meaning. This too – this abstraction of the self from its lived embodiment – is not real – a fantasy, which, again, must be challenged in order for it to fall away and allow a more mature growth.



posted on Apr, 14 2018 @ 10:30 PM
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You are making this life way to complicated.

First thing , love yourself. Second , # everyone else.

Life is simple. The only war that there is , is in your mind.






posted on Apr, 14 2018 @ 10:48 PM
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Philosophy will never die. Science will never have the answer to certain questions.



posted on Apr, 14 2018 @ 11:09 PM
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Science has been co-opted by special interest and Government money. It has lost the purity it had for me when I was younger. It used to be you could trust science to tell the truth. Now they only tell the truth they are funded to tell.



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 12:33 AM
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As science grows, it is a practical inevitability that philosophy will go out the window.


NO!



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 07:21 AM
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I understood myself once.
Then I realised I was not something you should understand.
I spent years trying to de understanding my self.
I still haven't. and I'm stuck.
Maybe another drink will take the shame away.
Or add to it.

Either way, I don't like what I know, and I know what I don't like. I'm a horrible person. Destroyer of lives. Best to leave this rock unturned.



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 08:07 AM
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originally posted by: Incandescent
Philosophy will never die. Science will never have the answer to certain questions.


The key word is never ... Absolutes ...

Philosophy and science are two roads of inquiry. It could be argued that philosophy can act as a precursor to the hypotheses -> test ->theory paradigm.
With every further step we take in our understanding of our 3 dimensional world, the testing of further dimensions comes into view.



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 08:13 AM
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originally posted by: badw0lf
I understood myself once.
Then I realised I was not something you should understand.
I spent years trying to de understanding my self.
I still haven't. and I'm stuck.
Maybe another drink will take the shame away.
Or add to it.

Either way, I don't like what I know, and I know what I don't like. I'm a horrible person. Destroyer of lives. Best to leave this rock unturned.

If there were a you that could understand yourself - wouldn't that make two of you? This is called separation of self. Who is judging who?
You are the seeing of what is appearing - you are not a thing that appears.



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 08:48 AM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain

originally posted by: badw0lf
I understood myself once.
Then I realised I was not something you should understand.
I spent years trying to de understanding my self.
I still haven't. and I'm stuck.
Maybe another drink will take the shame away.
Or add to it.

Either way, I don't like what I know, and I know what I don't like. I'm a horrible person. Destroyer of lives. Best to leave this rock unturned.

If there were a you that could understand yourself - wouldn't that make two of you? This is called separation of self. Who is judging who?
You are the seeing of what is appearing - you are not a thing that appears.


It was a singular experience. Like that feeling, the knowing of that time when you will take your last breath. When everything around you becomes null and void. All there is, is you. The finality of it all. And the knowing that even though it is not now, it will be, one day. There is an intimacy in that, that cannot be shared with anyone else. It is only you. And to face that, to know that aspect of you, is an impossible thing to not consider after the fact. It remains. There is within us all, that one truth. Finality. We spend our lives ignoring it, but when you are faced with it, with or without dire consequences, it remains the same. Intact.

Dull the knowledge, evade it, escape it temporarily, but there is no denying it.

We all die alone.

edit on 15-4-2018 by badw0lf because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: badw0lf

It's a rather depressing realisation that we are all alone, I know. But you can experience happiness by distracting yourself by interacting with other people and forgetting.



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 12:29 PM
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From Sri Ramana:


There is no greater mystery than this; Being Reality (existence, consciousness) ourselves, we seek to gain Reality (existence, consciousness).

We think that there is something hiding Reality (bodiless awareness) and that it must be destroyed before the truth is gained. This is clearly ridiculous. A day will dawn when you will laugh at your past efforts. What you realize on the day you laugh, is also here and now.

If we look upon the Self as the ego, we become the ego, if as the mind, we become the mind, if as the body we become the body. It is the thought that builds up layers in so many ways. Take no notice of the ego and its activities, but see only the light (consciousness, awareness) behind it.

The ego is the 'I' thought. The true 'I' is the Self (inner awareness, consciousness). The world does not exist in sleep and forms a projection of your mind in the waking state. It is therefore an idea and nothing else.

It is false to speak of Realization, what is there to realize? The real (awareness, Being-ness, existence) is ever as it is. All that is required is to cease regarding as real that which is unreal (the objective world). That is all we need to attain wisdom (jnana).

The universe is only an object created (imagined) by the mind and has it's being in the mind. It cannot be measured as an external entity. This world phenomenon, within or without, are only fleeting and are not independent of our Self. Only the habit of looking at them as real and located outside ourselves is responsible for hiding our pure Being (bodiless awareness).

When the ever-present sole Reality, the Self is found, all other unreal things will disappear, leaving behind the knowledge that they are not other than the Self.

Either surrender because you realize your inability and need a higher power to help you, or investigate the cause of misery. The Divine (awareness, consciousness) never forsakes one who has surrendered.



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 12:33 PM
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And from Pardeep-

YOUR REAL SELF
In mysticism that alone is real which never changes.

While anything subject to change is unreal.

By such definition the body and mind are unreal, as both are subject to change.

If you relax with no body sensations, awareness (consciousness) of awareness alone remains.

If you empty your mind even for one second, awareness (consciousness) alone remains.

As the screen is seen when the movie stops

Awareness is realized when your mind is quiet.

Only awareness can be aware of awareness (in silence).

Only consciousness can be conscious of consciousness (in silence).

Before this body, you were aware (as consciousness).

While in this body, you are aware (as consciousness).

After this body, you will remain aware (as consciousness).

Your real Self is always consciousness.


by Pardeep



posted on Apr, 22 2018 @ 09:50 PM
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I don't really think you need to do anything really at all..

Going with the flow, is following what you want and need.. and doing so is great enough to declare a destiny..

Just examine yourself... examine your motives..

Try to sort through your thinking.. sort every thing possible.. go with where the energy takes you!

Each flow is the law of physics.. and as far as mind goes, it is a very important and potent thing!



posted on Apr, 22 2018 @ 10:35 PM
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All these religions share mystical traditions which are and appear profoundly disembodied - that is, based in a psychobiological organization split by the experience of developmental trauma.


You understand very little about religion. Hinduism for example was created by those that aimed to recognize the ultimate truth. They realized our senses were fallible so searched within, using meditation, to go deeper than thoughts themselves. Trying to unravel the true I. Science in this regard is leagues behind the game.

Think you also have missed important points in your posts. Our brains have been programmed by DNA with an emphasis on reproduction. So when we want to be liked by others its because it increases our chance to reproduce. We don't want to be disliked because it decreases our chance of reproduction.



posted on Apr, 22 2018 @ 10:47 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

One of my teachers would always say. Man fears one thing. Pain and the fear of pain. That’s pretty primitive but pretty true!



posted on Apr, 22 2018 @ 11:00 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I didn’t read all of you in depth but I got your juxtapositioning of pathology with spirituality but don’t entirely agree with it.

Spiritual teachers many times deal with those having developmental pathologies and I’m sure if their adept enough can deal with them.


In spiritual parlance its known as sincerity—the reality that this very wanting student before the Master really wants the transcendent truth and is not just secretly trying to heal his psychic wounds at the expense of the experience of the spiritual endeavor.


Most spiritual tribes have some degree of problem-solving services but it’s not their reason for being if they're genuinely spiritual.



posted on Apr, 23 2018 @ 12:14 AM
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originally posted by: JimNasium
From Sri Ramana:


There is no greater mystery than this; Being Reality (existence, consciousness) ourselves, we seek to gain Reality (existence, consciousness).

We think that there is something hiding Reality (bodiless awareness) and that it must be destroyed before the truth is gained. This is clearly ridiculous. A day will dawn when you will laugh at your past efforts. What you realize on the day you laugh, is also here and now.

If we look upon the Self as the ego, we become the ego, if as the mind, we become the mind, if as the body we become the body. It is the thought that builds up layers in so many ways. Take no notice of the ego and its activities, but see only the light (consciousness, awareness) behind it.

The ego is the 'I' thought. The true 'I' is the Self (inner awareness, consciousness). The world does not exist in sleep and forms a projection of your mind in the waking state. It is therefore an idea and nothing else.

It is false to speak of Realization, what is there to realize? The real (awareness, Being-ness, existence) is ever as it is. All that is required is to cease regarding as real that which is unreal (the objective world). That is all we need to attain wisdom (jnana).

The universe is only an object created (imagined) by the mind and has it's being in the mind. It cannot be measured as an external entity. This world phenomenon, within or without, are only fleeting and are not independent of our Self. Only the habit of looking at them as real and located outside ourselves is responsible for hiding our pure Being (bodiless awareness).

When the ever-present sole Reality, the Self is found, all other unreal things will disappear, leaving behind the knowledge that they are not other than the Self.

Either surrender because you realize your inability and need a higher power to help you, or investigate the cause of misery. The Divine (awareness, consciousness) never forsakes one who has surrendered.


Brilliant ! as usual.







 
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