Broken_Mirror33

Continuity and Agency of the Conventional Self

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Re: Continuity and Agency of the Conventional Self

--This is a post of a conversation I had on another forum, which I'm re-posting here for others' benefit.--

The conventional self is described as a mere imputation on the valid base of the collection of changing aggregates.

The conventional self is the self we most commonly identify with. Often, this self is described in a derogatory manner as the "ego." The renunciation of the ego gives way to the concept of "no self," which is the understanding that the self is "empty of true existence." That is, there is no inherent self which exists apart from the collection of aggregates (i.e. the collection of elements which make up the physical body). This collection of aggregates is what we are and the conventional self is who we are (at least, until we see the true nature of self as emptiness, or shunyata). My advice is to meditate on the questions: Who am I? and What am I? (So that you can understand and see this for yourself!)

In the olden days, Renunciation was much easier. Simply join a Sangha. In a Sangha, transformations occur naturally and more gradually. But life in the modern age has become so complicated that, for many of us, this is no longer an option. Now, what is it that we are actually renouncing by separating ourselves off from the rest of society? It's nothing other than our social roles (i.e. our persona). Quite simply, we give up our societal roles through the act of renunciation. To say that we are renouncing our "egos" is a bit of a misnomer, to say the least! In the common vernacular in the west, the ego is the entirety of our conscious state of awareness. Realize, that in this context, to "not have an ego" or to "renounce the ego" is NOT possible nor is it desirable. The reason being, it would either mean that we are brain-dead (i.e. a vegetable) or, in the least, suffer from severe mental retardation, which is the exact opposite of satori or being an "awake" person.

I am trying to understand how the subjective experience of continuity of self and agency of self conventionally arise.  For example, I have memories of myself at earlier periods of my life that include a vivid sense of that younger person being the same essential self as who I am now, so this gives me an experience of the continuity of self. Then with agency, I have the experience of planning, setting goals, making decisions, and evaluating results over time that gives rise to a sense of continuity and coherence of self.

It is easy to see the physical body as a collection of changing aggregates. (We all undergo change, no surprises.) It is less clear to see the mind or "the psyche" as changing, particularly, within the context of experience. That is, we experience the continuity of self within the context of experience as "timelessness." That is, a day still feels like a day whether we are recollecting an experience we had yesterday or 20 years ago. You are right, in that, there is a certain timeless quality to the nature of experience. But I simply view it as a fallacy (an error in reasoning) to project the timelessness of experience onto the nature of the self, thereby falsely thinking the self as immutable. Ergo, the self as "the psyche" is dynamic and changing, not static and unchanging.

 

~Peace be with you!

Edited by Broken_Mirror33
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I've read the universe is fluid which suggests every aspect of our existence constantly changes.

I'm a baby boomer but I don't believe my peers will ever make necessary changes for sustainable life on earth. My observation suggests a static reality.

I've read that millennials are called crystal children. I think means they come to earth with a different spirit. It certainly appears they are thinking more about the big picture than beneficial retirement legacy. 

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Energy, not fluid. In ancient times, they did believe that "heavenly waters" were suspended above the earth. (I think early Christians and some Jews believed this.)

But Einstein believed that there was no "empty" space and that all space was teeming with energy. So you can think of the fabric of space as a "sea of energy." After all, where is this supposed nothingness? Our best physics posits that at the smallest level space is composed of neutrinos. But nowhere do we truly find absolute "nothingness." Not even in the vacuum of space. Just think about what this does to our concept of nothingness! Is there something that is truly NOTHING? Does nothing exist?... I don't know, maybe "nothing" will never be solved. LOL!

Edited by Broken_Mirror33
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@Broken_Mirror33

Tell everyone right now, why do you recommend the movie "Seven"? 

It depicts murder, torture, and rape, very very graphically.

Explain to everyone why "Seven" is a good idea for entertainment or spiritual enlightenment.

 

Go on now. You claim to be a bodhisattva, so let's hear why that garbage will help vulnerable people looking for upliftment.

 

 

 

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@MistaRender ...After reviewing *ALL* of your posts, consider the olive branch broken! Call it, what you will. But you're just propagating *hate* speech at this point. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but you have exhausted my limits! You will cease and desist mentioning me in any and all future posts, immediately! I will no longer tolerate any of your obscene outbursts.

P.S. -- I guess you're not a fan of Brad Pitt. And for the last time, bodhisattva is an ATTITUDE, not a TITLE!!

Edited by Broken_Mirror33
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Don't stress too much, if you ignore him for a while he'll start fighting with someone else and forget about you before too long. Or get himself banned/muted again. He'll keep going so long as he can provoke a reaction out of you. Just saw your post and figured I should drop in to give you some support; we've all been there. 

In other news, that's a very complex post to try reading on my phone during a break at work! Whew, lotta unfamiliar language, I don't think I could add much to that discussion you wouldn't already know! :)

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Broken_Mirror33,

I tune out the term sustainable where the term global is added. On a small scale, it may have some practical  limited use. The universe is a big place. Our knowledge of it is exceedingly small.  Too many forget that.

Now empty. Vacuum of space? Is it really a vacuum or not. At one time it was proposed that space contains a sort of ether. But as the study of light and nature of waves continued. That idea was challenged. It all comes down to interactions and how we define them. Have to be ultra careful too. If two interactions balance, but we only see or measure the net effect. We won't see anything at all. It would appear that there is no interactions going on at all. But there are. This is a framework of thought that can explain why its difficult to pin some things down like zero-point energy; which is only a hypothesis. There is nothingness. Just there are a lot of nothingnesses. Choose your flavor.

Infinity could be understood in terms of proportions. A bag visually representing the whole. Let's say we are counting marbles. All  the marbles on Earth. One big bag to contain all of them. What does it matter if there are 10 marbles, a million marbles or no marbles. The bag contains all the marbles. What if there were an infinite number of marbles?  The bag still represents all the marbles. Fascinating. Just one (1) bag!  You can have two or more bags if you want. Imagine that. Infinity divided by 2. I tend to think in terms of set theory. Infinity is all the members of.... Infinity like zero is a concept/tool and not really a quantity.  Imaginary numbers are the same; tools for engineers. 

What exactly are up-votes. Upside down down-votes. How could someone be misunderstood if they were afflicted with a 'new' form of dyslexia? Your 'really' getting lots of upvotes. 'Yes' is 'No'. Attention is a form of flattery.  Respond accordingly and see what happens.

Take it easy now. Like many forums and chats I've seen. Different terms used. I've used them before as a temporary stopgap for a little peace and quiet. Block, Ignore... whatever you want to call it is simply a filter that you can apply. Only affects what you see. Look in your account tools.  Modern tech is nice.

 

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We don't speak the same language, BeyondTheRim... but that was a very good ride, and I learned about where to find the 'ignore user' settings. I've never looked in there before. But, I think I picked up more than that alone.

Hopefully I can learn to speak your style of language a little better in the future, too. I think that'd be awesome.

Edited by Done Now
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Bless you @Garnet !! I don't know what that guy's problem is... other than he's a troll. But one of the admins emailed me, and gave me instructions to follow. I'll follow up with her in a bit. (And I did learn to use the blocking/ignore function and it kept my sanity, lol!) Thanks so much for the help!

Blessed be!

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On 12/21/2018 at 1:49 AM, BeyondTheRim said:

There is nothingness. Just there are a lot of nothingnesses. Choose your flavor.

Very good point @BeyondTheRim !! This is true for the notion of nothingness, in mathematical terms, such as zero, zilch, nada, and zip. However, my point was that we project this a priori notion of nothingness onto the external world. But, inherently, it doesn't exist because nowhere in nature do we, actually, find this supposed "nothingness." So it quite literally (and by definition) doesn't exist!

The universe is not full of nothing; it's full of everything! It's full of energy!... I mean, if the moon causes the tides to go in and out, just think at what effect the motions of the planets have, here, on earth!!

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