06/29/2017 at 2:22 pm #6760
Am I a soul separate from body ? Am I the one who transmigrates after the death to take rebirth ? Am I the one who is running the body?
All the above questions are very important because rebirth occurs and if there is a soul then there is a transmigration of soul and I will have to bear the consequences of karma.
If soul exists then it also means that when I enter the body ,the body is run by me.
But if there is no soul then how do you explain rebirth ? And if I am not soul then who am I ? Am I the Universe ?This post has received 1 vote up.
06/30/2017 at 6:37 am #6764
A warm welcome to the forum and thank you for a great question @dheeraj ! It will be very interesting to hear how the authors phrase their answer. In the meantime, feel free to take a look at other discussions and topics, there is a lot of interesting self-reflection happening on the forum. Also, please make sure that you use @question in your text whenever you are submitting a question to the authors, so that we in the moderation team don’t miss it (using @question sends us a notification) . Thank you, wishing you a great day! 🙂
06/30/2017 at 3:09 pm #6780
@aurorac Thanks !! Most people wont recognize the possibility that there is no self. Buddha himself said that all the conformations lack a sense of self including you and me. If there is no self then what does it mean to say ‘I am Dheeraj’ or ‘I am the Universe.’This post has received 1 vote up.
06/30/2017 at 7:00 pm #6781
I would not say that there is no self @dheeraj , but the self is not what most people are used to call self. It is not a thing (body), it is not a name, personality, social position or characteristic, it is not even an idea. The self is existence itself, being, and of course, it is not really possible to describe it with words, even these words I just used. The self is so completely beyond concepts that by saying that there is no self, the Buddha must have meant that nothing – at all- in the world of form and phenomena, is the self. But that doesn’t mean that there is no self, depending of course on what we mean by self. If we mean the very existence behind all things and phenomena, the existence holding all that within itself and of which they are made for there is nothing else in reality… well… then there is a self 🙂 That self laughs, speaks and fights as us. It is like the light of which a movie is made. The forms on the screen may seem real, but they are in reality just light forms. Their self is light. Our identity is that one light (not literally, just a metaphor) projecting itself as many objects.
07/01/2017 at 1:16 am #6785
@what happen when we die. Where goes the the person called me?
I STRONGLY BELIEVE me is nothing. It is only when it is conscious and have a body. When we sleep we find find no connection with body . We are just imagiinations. Thats what happen after death. We are nothing. Just a consciousness. When we die , we left this body having physical charactertics and has limitations. But when we dr. We are the universe. We are infinite.
What happen When we rebirth. Nothing. We again caught into 6 sEnses made by neurons.
What is previous life memories.
Thats only when we wish for something but do nothing.
Then desires goes with us.they force us to rebirth. Some people remember previous life. Means they stick off between conscious aand desires.
Do whatever what you want too do. There. Is nothing good or bad.
Everything we look outside is created by people not smarter than you.
Just be free from desires . How??
Now that’s a big question.
Either by fulfill ing them. No you can’t fulfill all your desires.
Or by killing them??
No they can’t be killed .
They come even strongly and badly if you try this. They become worse and you are forced to do some bad acts not allowed by socity if you ever try to kill your desires.
I really don’t know what to do.
Because I always kills my desires. To do what society teach me to do to get a comfortable life.
And I am still surprised whether I did the right or wrong. I had a comfortable life with good job and ideal family.
Something inside me is really main missing.
When I asked too really find my WH in any business. I couldn’t.
Because it’s never MONEY.
IT IS WHAT I LEFT BEHIMD.
AND STILL LOOKING IT IN FUTIRE
AND DONT KNOW HOW TO GET IT FROM PAST.
07/20/2017 at 5:18 pm #7032
07/01/2017 at 7:53 am #6787
@ruhi Lack of self doesn’t mean Nothing. It says ‘I’ in ‘I am’ is an error , illusion , a dream. We are not just imaginations. Try to imagine fire. Does it have heat ? No it doesn’t… what you imagined in thought was not real. When we die we neither become Universe nor the infinite space…as told by Buddha. There is a rebirth if our past karma is entangled. That is why Buddha says give up your desires of lust and wrongfullness. Be righteous and you will attain Nirvana. But I still doubt whether there is any sense of Self? Self needs to be sacrificed if it is found…Self is root of all evil.
07/03/2017 at 4:28 am #6803
Dear @robin @lindzyb @kent-van-cleave @lilianna-deveneau, and everyone else on this forum who has a scientific background (or not), it would be so interesting to hear what your perspective is on @dheeraj question. What answers have been given in the Western scientific tradition to the question “who am I” ? How do Western thinkers approach the question of the existence of self? And what are your personal conclusions?
07/03/2017 at 10:40 pm #6810
Intriguing question, @aurorac and @dheeraj. I don’t know that there is unity among scientists in the West but, in my experience, science is concerned with that which is provable. And no one’s found a way to prove consciousness (#YATU doesn’t count in that world as “proof” of anything).
To the present moment, science has not found the neural correlates of consciousness in the brain where, to those steeped in materialism, insist it must lie. After all, if consciousness and thought must reside in the brain. I know that @deepakchopra professes that nondual consciousness means that body, brain, mind are all constructs in consciousness, which is ALL THAT IS. But in modern science, nondualism simply means that the brain is embodied–part of one system. They reject Descarte’s famous dictum, “I think therefore I am,” for the more prosaic, “I evolved, therefore I think.”
As for myself, I find it much more intriguing to posit that the “I am that I am” which came to Moses as God’s name is proof of Consciousness addressing itself in the form of a man. We are all slivers of the one I am experiencing this reality and, perhaps, many others.
I can’t wait to hear how others respond to this question.
07/09/2017 at 9:38 am #6845
Hi @robin, thank you so much for your answer. I have actually read it right after you posted it, but was on my way to catch a plane, so I couldn’t answer immediately. Instead, I took this conversation with me on my trip to Edinburgh. “Who Am I?” is the question…
While on the plane, I nodded at your observation that there is no consensus among Western scientists but wanted to add that there is no consensus on what science is, either 🙂 The hard sciences often ignore and deride the point of view of soft sciences like psychology and sociology, which are much more nuanced about the consciousness aspect behind physical structures, aware that it is the non-physical aspect that lies behind the physical one. Most of the time, the soft sciences equal consciousness with thought and emotion, but still, there is a general insight around our identity being more complex than a bundle of cells.
Thinking about you, and being on my way to the city where the Harry Potter book was written, I smiled remembering our conversation here on the forum and Deepak’s answer around our Harry Potter synchronicity with @jenniferl . We went to the cafe where Rowling wrote the book, here it is:
We were there for quite a while, and my daughter, who was only 4 yrs old when she was reading the HP books by herself, and who has Rowling as one of her main inspirations for her future career as a writer, noticed that the music they kept playing, song after song, was one of my daughter’s favorite Swedish bands. My daughter is Swedish, we were in Scotland 🙂 It was definitely a synchronicity.
We then headed for my son’s graduation ceremony, passing the school that was Rowling’s model for Hogwarts, here it is:
My son, who could hardly hold the HP books in his tiny hands when he was reading them, and who has spent his toddler years running around with a black invisibility cloak on, was waiting for us in front of the Old University building, wearing the black cloak of graduates, complete with the pointed hoodie of the invisibility cloak. He actually looks very much like Daniel Radcliffe who plays Harry Potter in the movies, but I don’t have his permission to post his pic, so I won’t. You’ll have to believe me when I say that the parallel was unmistakable. We entered the hall for his pompous ceremony, and lo and behold, who do you think turns out to be there to give a graduation speech? Here he is:
Trudeau was there to receive his Honoris Causa degree, while my son was there to get his first class with honors degree. He was also on his way to the G20 meeting with among others Trump. He gave a speech that conveyed to both my kids exactly what they needed to hear at that moment, but at the same time suddenly made certain things completely clear for me too, things I had been wondering about, behaviors echoing Trump respective Trudeau values that I needed clarity around.
Later on, my attention found itself again returning to our discussion on our real identity and while wandering through a beautiful Edinburgh cathedral, I wondered if Lindsay ( @lindsyb )has answered here and what she thinks about the question “who am I”. And then… my eyes fell on this thing:
I hope you notice the text at the top 🙂
So… what would Western scientists say about all this? Who or what is the I experiencing this kind of synchronous appearance of symbols, weaving everything together, and just as you Robin described, answering all the questions arising, guiding, and explaining itself to itself? Is Harry Potter imagination? Obviously! Is my son imagination? Of course! Is this all a story? It can’t be more obvious. But within who or what?
I would love to hear other friends’ thoughts around our identity, and also, discuss Western and Eastern thought lines about it.
07/09/2017 at 1:55 pm #6853
Wow, Aurora, so much to dig into here. First, I am curious to know what in President Trudeau’s speech offered you new clarity about our asynchronistic U.S. president. About his influences, I may have another question, something of a personal conundrum, for you (and Deepak) in the near future–albeit one I may want to consult with you privately.
Second, the synchronicities you share are beautiful! I love our shared Harry Potter connection to our sons with @jenniferl, and so meaningful you were in Harry’s city to see your son graduate. Congratulations or, as we say among my co-religionists, mazel tov!
The “Who do you think you are?” question is truly one that we all grapple with–either consciously or unconsciously. (And that raises a question–what would Deepak and Menas say is the relationship between our personal level of conscious awareness–conscious or unconscious–and Consciousness itself?)
But I digress…
There is a program that has been on US television called, “Who Do You Think You Are,” about family genealogy and ancestry. It usually features some well-known celebrity, and the host and genealogical experts take them on a journey tracing their family tree back as far as they can. It’s quite enlightening, and entertaining or moving to see their responses when these celebrities learn that they were, say, very distantly related to Ghengis Khan, or one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, or whomever.
I went on my own path to creating an online family tree about 8 years ago, and found some third cousins on my dad’s side who were serious genealogists and helped me fill in some fascinating information that I know my dad would’ve loved learning about (although, come to think of it, he probably knows all those connections intimately, and interacts with them in soul state now!). Anyway, I reached many dead ends (no pun intended!) on my mom’s side. Her family came from a tiny shtetl (village) in the Pale of Russia (now Ukraine) where the Jewish cemetery was plundered during WWII, and any synagogue or family records would have been burnt along with the sanctuary long before then by the Tzar’s “police” or his armies.
Coincidentally, around the time I was searching, one of my daughter’s best high school friends was serving in the Peace Corps in Ukraine. I asked my daughter to see if her friend had ever heard of this little village–so doubtful it would even still exist, or if it did, that my mother knew the right name for where both her parents were born in the mid-1800s–or that I could spell it correctly–as it has been called different things in Russian, Polish and Ukrainian–all of whom have “owned” this territory at one time or another in history. My daughter informed me that her friend was serving in the city of Lvov (or Lviv)–not even close to this village.
As I continued my research, and connected to others trying to trace their family roots in the same region, I found in a Google search that many of the Peace Corps participants were keeping blogs. I found one that mentioned he was serving in a larger town in the same province, and neighboring this shtetl, and my daughter’s friend’s name appeared in his public blog postings (her blog was private). It turned out that all the Peace Corps volunteers actually did their training in this very shtetl!
Her friend/fellow Peace Corps member in the nearby town actually went, on my behalf, to visit the family he had lived with while he was in training there. He asked them if they remembered any of the Jewish families that had once lived there (they are long-gone from living there) or knew anyone by my either of my grandparents’ family names. It turned out they remembered certain families coming to the marketplace, and even someone by my grandmother’s maiden name! He also learned there had once been a history of the Jews in the village, a book that had been compiled–one of these family members taught history at the high school–and this teacher said someone from America had come to visit years before and they had given him this book. He didn’t know their name, alas!
Anyway, he took many pictures and my daughter’s friend sent them to me. I have to say that the village still looked much like I imagined it would have when my grandparents left at the age of 18–horse-drawn carriages, dirt roads, much poverty, women wearing babushkas, and all!
Quite astonishing, and when I showed it to my mother, she could only wish her parents had shared more stories of their growing up there (they were of the generation that didn’t want to talk about hardship, only wanted to assimilate and succeed the American way, and tried to “protect the children.”)
Without records, I could only get so far in my research, and I haven’t dabbled in genealogy in awhile, but this week, I got an email out of the blue from some third party who is helping a friend research her ancestry, and who is trying to trace the same family name and shtetl. So I may be coming back to the question of “Who do I think I am” in that way now.
But in another way, I don’t think this particular ancestry defines who I am in consciousness–the names and places are far too limiting. As we have noted here many times, we are all connected at the root, and just manifest at different times and different places to experience the Big “Us” and our connections in different ways and at different levels of consciousness.
It’s like an epic movie that is always recounting the human story and our many-and-changing roles in it from different points-of-view. So much fun–when we can remember!
07/14/2017 at 12:04 pm #6934
@krista hahahhaaaaa…. soooo very funny! The definition of sign as “An object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else.”!! Thanks for showing me that, had not seen the sign (ha) hidden behind that word. Presence is truly giving itself signs everywhere, isn’t it? Loved your poem too, how beautiful you put it, and it brought the thought that a good definition of mind would be: the excursion of Being into an imaginary separate world.
@robin you ask: “I am curious to know what in President Trudeau’s speech offered you new clarity about our asynchronistic U.S. president.”
Well… let me see how to put it. The insight that (re)emerged was that even when it comes to values, which is an aspect of existence that many of us are very passionate about… that level too needs to be transcended in order to see that both the good guys and the bad guys are all created in the same consciousness. Even if I as this person have a strong tendency to be for Trudeau values and against Trump values, if I am deeply attentive and sincere… all these values are within me. If I split myself into “for and against”, I have constructed something out of nothing&everything-ness and have practically lost my wholeness, have fallen from its grace. It’s so easy to be politically vociferous (for some of us) but the real way forward is up. It is to notice the silence behind the debates, the wholeness behind all roles and structures, notice that the same I is expressing itself and experiences all sides. From that point on, it’s not about struggle, but maybe… recreation 🙂
Your story of genealogy synchronicity is so interesting in so many ways, isn’t it? For it ties in with all that we speak of here, with the pic I posted, with the TV program you have there (we have it too). It links all this with all that- your daughter’s friends, your ancestors… and actually, if we look anywhere, everything is connected with everything else. As you say, we are connected at the root. Everything is in the same consciousness, all stories the mind sees as separate and linear are a weaving of the one stuff (consciousness) within the one space (consciousness) by the one hand (consciousness). I am that, you are that, our stories are that, our ancestors and history are that, our politics are that, everything is that. That alone is.
@dheeraj , I agree with you that “Self identifies wrongly with the local self.” So why do you keep calling the local self “I”?
@menaskafatos – ah yes, all this is words… until existence experiences itself without the mask of thought, feeling, sensation. Only then the self knows itself. Thank you for the link to your materials, will gladly visit!
07/16/2017 at 3:45 am #6968
07/11/2017 at 4:21 pm #6894
Deepak answered my question. He said when the infinite becomes localized as I experience myself. Infinite expansion and contraction is happening all the time. When we die ,we reach to the Infinite state and then our sanskaras or qualias are reshuffled to produce rebirth.
That is fair enough. But no matter what process produces Self,that process must be false because, according to Buddha, Self simply doesn’t exist. There is lack of self in all beings and any identification of Self is an error, illusion or a dream… Therefore the processes which Deepak is using to justify existence of real Self must be false.
I am probably no one. I am neither the infinite nor the finite. I probably just do not live for myself. Probably I am in constant denial of myself. Probably I am desireless.( Currently I have lot of desires… therefore I am)
07/12/2017 at 12:57 am #6910
I totally agree with what Deepak said about the soul becoming infinite and localized, and how he spread his hands to show infinite and brought them together to show localized. So I would say Dheeraj is the localized soul of the infinite nonlocal spirit, and Dheeraj himself does not exist. I wrote a poem just the other day that reminded me of how Deepak showed with his hands, the moving apart and coming back together, and it is happening now.
Dance of Life
The mind separates
The spirit unites
It is like a dance
They pull apart
And join again
But no matter
In perfect time
They pull apart
And come together
Time and time again
In this dance of life
Much love, Krista
07/12/2017 at 3:11 pm #6916
@krista Lovely poem. I appreciate the dance analogy but I have following to say on the subject matter of becoming infinite and local:
Self identifies wrongly with the local self. Local self is the false self. Once the true self has been realized there is no becoming of infinite to local or vice versa. True realization ( I omitted the word self from self realization) is eternal. It is outside the Self. It is the uncreate, unborn state of Mind. Therefore the process of becoming infinite and local is an illusion or an error or is like a dream.
07/14/2017 at 8:01 am #6932
Menas KafatosModerator41 votes@menask
You ARE the Self! You are pure Awareness. They say, we (our soul, which is the same as the Self, Atman is Brahma) take a body to experience (or maybe to work out karma). But we never cease being the Self, Brahma or Siva, pure Awareness. Perhaps we go through cycles of life (and death) until we realize who we truly are.
But all these are hypotheses until we experience them, no?
07/14/2017 at 8:07 am #6933
Menas KafatosModerator41 votes@menask
Please also see my website http://www.menaskafatos.com
There are videos, YouTube, interviews, etc. For all issues.
In particular, for thsi question, see a brief video Living the Living Presence”; the Korean TED which I gave “Who Am I?”; as well as interview by Huffington Post Korea with same topic.
07/14/2017 at 12:52 pm #6938
@menask Thanks for the reply and blessings. I have not experienced what pure awareness is but I am discussing it from point of view of Enlightened Buddha.
I have one question to ask :Have you seen Brahma or Shiva or, anyone who has been meditating seen Shiva or Brahma ?
Following is what Buddha says(in my words) :
All compounded things including Self are destructible or transient. Self is made up of both material and mental aspects. Perceptions, thoughts, dispositions and understanding all come together to form the Self. My thoughts are partly my own and partly others. I can not associate all that I write or speak, to myself only. I am an aggregate of many things. And all aggregates must scatter. That is the law of Universe. Therefore Self , if it exists must die and take rebirth according to karma. It takes rebirth because there is thirst for existence of self. Self is the prime evil.If we surrender Self then there is a escape from the cycle of rebirths. We escape to the state of uncreate , unborn, unbecome.
Shiva and Brahma are not uncreate , unborn because they have Self. ‘I am’ is present in both the cases of Shiva and Brahma.
What remains is pure awareness as a possibility but it is not clear what is meant by pure awareness. If it means infinite consciousness then Buddha says there is no such thing as infinite consciousness.
PS:I am looking for a final word on the existence of Self.
07/14/2017 at 1:05 pm #6939
@aurorac I keep calling myself ‘I’ because I am under the illusion that I have my own mind. I am not free from the illusion. I cleave to Self because I cleave to existence. I think this illusion is very deep and only by understanding the futility of Self; I can ignore myself.
07/15/2017 at 10:55 am #6949
07/15/2017 at 1:19 pm #6957
@aurorac Glad that you believe in existence. But how come the Existence gave rise to Jesus , Ram , Krishna, Allah , Buddha etc..? They all talk about the world as not as real it appears to be. You take a cup of tea and drink it , you realize that it was real but the nature of truth is such that it would tell you it was not so. Your cup of tea was not real. It was dream like. It was just not happening in really. It was like a dream. When you don’t believe in that fact you end up chained in the cycle of karmas. You again recreate the world believing it is real and construct the stage for the play of your karma. And you suffer because of that. That is why although I am glad that you are happy with your existence but I seriously doubt whether anyone can remain happy with this transient world.
07/15/2017 at 5:17 pm #6959
Dear Dheeraj, of course the cup of tea is not really real, it is a construct, it is simply an invention in consciousness 🙂 Of course! But consciousness itself, or awareness, or the Self, whatever you want to call it… that is real! The presence in which the cup of tea is constructed, along with Jesus, Buddha, Dheeraj, Aurora, etc. The presence itself is alive and exists, and it is everyone’s real self.
As long as you call the construct “Dheeraj” self, you will say that the self is not real and I fully agree. Believing that the world of forms and phenomena has separate existence, believing that it exists “out there”, that is a recipe for suffering. But that is not the self! The self is the non-material, formless, unborn and uncreated state in which constructs like “Dheeraj” or “tea” arise. Dheeraj is not real, because it is a relative concept, but that which creates the illusion of “Dheeraj” … that is real. Why don’t you call that “self”? Just turn your attention inward and ask yourself who is reading these lines. If you believe it is Dheeraj… well, then you are trapped by an illusion, for Dheeraj is your invention. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t exist, it just means you are not Dheeraj but that which invents Dheeraj 🙂
Thank you for your sweet wishes, and I assure you that my happiness is not based on anything in the so called outer world 🙂 It is simply what happens when you know who you are.
07/16/2017 at 11:25 am #6972
@aurorac All forms of Self dissolve. They are proved to be an error, an illusion or like a dream. That which invented Self called “Dheeraj” can not have self. “I am” does not arise as the Truth is unborn , unoriginated , uncreate , unformed and unbecome. How can self arise in that which is uncreate (can not be mapped to anything created and has no sense of perception nor no perception)? How can self arise in that which is unborn(not born) and unoriginated? Self grows by gradual evolution in the sea of ignorance. I am writing this message partly using my own mind and partly using others. There is no ego-soul behind or outside my thoughts. Annihilation of Self is the Truth and Annihilation of Truth is Self. This is the most serious problem with Self. Where there is Self there can not be Truth.
07/17/2017 at 1:59 am #6979
The Buddha said
“Three things cannot be hidden long: the sun, the moon and the truth.”
“Look within, Thou art the Buddha.”
Like a magician
Truth is the master of illusion
Truth alone is reality
The illusion used to perceive it
Does not exist
That which reveals the truth
Ceases to exist
When the truth is revealed
I am that
I hail the master
Who has revealed the truth to me
I hail the truth
For the truth has set me free
Much love, Krista
07/17/2017 at 12:24 pm #6988
@krista I agree.
“Truth alone is reality
The illusion used to perceive it
Does not exist”
That illusion which is used to perceive the Truth is the Self. There is no Self. Believing in Self begets selfishness. There is no evil but what flows from self. There is no wrong but what is done by assertion of self.
Believing oneself as Universe can only bring misery and pain. Therefore I am afraid that it is not a good idea to suggest that you are the Universe because ‘I am’ is not found when the truth has been found.
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