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    1. #1
      Dreamah in ReHaB AirRick101's Avatar
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      "I" Don't Exist (May Shatter Your Current Beliefs!

      Hi...

      One day, I was doing a little self-searching, or say, self inquiry before sleeping in bed. Since this was a relatively relaxing time, I was able to get in touch with what I am, or what I thought I was.

      In the past, I've concluded for several times that I couldn't pinpoint this sense of "I." Nowhere in my body could I solidly call "me." So, I thought that maybe I extended beyond my body. I was still lost, and left hanging.

      Recently, I looked at this 'I" that's been with me so long. And all of a sudden, I had the subtle insight that maybe "I" wasn't real. I inquired myself in this way, and saw that "I" was not tangible or concrete. It very much felt like a phantom self, a fake self, which I could safely deem my ego. After this, I considered where the source of this I was. I was blown away. This new "I" that I had discovered partially had no beginning or end, and it would feel a bit restricted if I addressed as "I." It was a moment of realization of unity.

      I based my self-research on Ramana Maharshi's method of self inquiry, which was to basically find the answer to the question "Who am I?" But I didn't let it stay there, I asked many other questions, did what I wanted to do. I found some cool stuff.
      naturals are what we call people who did all the right things accidentally

    2. #2
      widdershins modality Taosaur's Avatar
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      Woot! No-self!

      Take your time digesting this realization, Airrick, it can get a little messy.

      My first direct experience of no-self in this life was age 14. I slept out on the lawn, and somehow consciousness arose independent of ego. My senses were wide open--I could hear birdsong and soft wind, see sunlight through my eyelids, smell grass--but there was nothing in the middle of those senses marking off boundaries of "this is me" and "this is not me." Instead I experienced everything as continuity--perceiver, perception, and perceived as one fluid whole. Quite liberating.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    3. #3
      Member Crucible's Avatar
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      You are right, there is no you. There is only me. At least what matter does your existance have? (not matter as in an object) The reason you think this way is because you do not exist. Only I do.
      Still trying to decide on a sig.

      How is this: If you can't beat them join Lost soul.

    4. #4
      Member Nebulae's Avatar
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      to experience who you really are (consiousness/god) you have to experience first who you are NOT (which is what most people identify as themselves) and the more of your nonself you experince the more the layers of your "ego" fall away and eventually you remember who you really are

      (imo) neb
      a child's rhyme stuck in my head
      it said life is but a dream
      i spent so many years in question
      to find i known this all along..

      adopted by: nightowl | friend : adidas

    5. #5
      He will have his revenge Aphius's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Taosaur
      My first direct experience of no-self in this life was age 14. I slept out on the lawn, and somehow consciousness arose independent of ego. My senses were wide open--I could hear birdsong and soft wind, see sunlight through my eyelids, smell grass--but there was nothing in the middle of those senses marking off boundaries of \"this is me\" and \"this is not me.\" Instead I experienced everything as continuity--perceiver, perception, and perceived as one fluid whole. Quite liberating.
      I had something like this happen to me around the same age. I was standing outside, and the whole thing is hard to describe, it was a lot like yours but it was the afternoon and there was an orange glow. It gave me multiple shivers up my spine...

      Originally posted by AirRick101
      May Shatter Your Current Beliefs!
      Who else hates it when someone writes something like this? It implies reading one thing this person wrote will upturn your whole world and make you see the light.
      It just doesn't happen that way... [/off topic]
      These are the tears that I dream about...

    6. #6
      Member imported_Berserk_Exodus's Avatar
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      "I" is the choices you make. The choices themselves, not the consequences or the causes.
      Tyranny comes in a uniform.

    7. #7
      Member InfiniteReality's Avatar
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      in my opinion its more the "I" MAKES the choices, but it is not the choices. It is the awareness behind the choices..
      a child's rhyme stuck in my head
      it said life is but a dream
      i spent so many years in question
      to find i known this all along..

    8. #8
      Party Pooper Tsen's Avatar
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      I've read a book called 'The Spiritual Universe: How Quantum Physics Proves the Existence of a Soul", and it shed some light on what exactly a soul/spirit was and what it does. It's a bit out there, speaking scientifically, but quite accurate about its facts. It's a pretty good book, and for the most part does an okay job at explaining things to people who are new to the area.

      Anyway, I've also had moments that I realized what 'I' am, but I've always found that 'I' is what controls 'me'. Pretty simple, ain't it? I'm me. I'm in a body (which is 'me'), and I like it here. 'I' choose what me thinks, what me does, and what me wants. Yeah. That sounds kinda weird, looking back, but simply put: I is what controls my body (me). I is embodied primarily in the brain. I takes input from the brain, and provides output telling the body (me) what to do. In a sense, the body is part of I, but literally they can exist while seperated.
      So yeah. Don't think I made sense to a bunch of ya', but hopefully a few will get through my odd writing style.


      The sleep-deprived mind does odd things...
      [23:17:23] <+Kaniaz> "You think I want to look like Leo Volont? Don't you dare"

    9. #9
      He will have his revenge Aphius's Avatar
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      I don't know about this question of "I" and the self...

      We'll discuss the question for a long time, never coming to a difinitive answer, instead of reaching newer conclusions we end up going back and re-examining the question.
      We seem to end up asking, what defines "I" and the self? Is it the physical body which we inhabit, is it the soul or perhaps the choices we make affecting the state of either?

      How can we begin to discern the existence of something when we do not know exactly what we are trying to argue?
      These are the tears that I dream about...

    10. #10
      Member donbowyerson's Avatar
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      This is a topic that has engaged my thought a great deal recently. Although I've had lucid dreams all my life, and have practiced meditation for over a year now, I have never had the kind of experience Taosaur and Aphius describe - the "at one with the universe" thing. I think I may be approaching that soon, however. For the Chan or Zen Buddhist, I think they call it "Satori". Indeed, it was Buddhism that jolted me into the realization that there may not be an "I" in me after all.

      I was reading "The Gospel of Buddha" by Paul Carus when I was stunned by possibility that perhaps I had never been blessed with a "soul" to start with! Chapter 53 (http://reluctant-messenger.com/gospe...chapter_53.htm) says some rather disturbing, counterintuitive things to the average western Christian. In fact, the vast majority of westerners won't even consider this possibility. It is kind of scary, at first. However, I think there's a great deal more to the concept of "no self" than meets the "eye".

      The more I search for this "I", the more difficult he is to find. Yes, my beliefs have already been "shattered".

      And it's down right exhilarating!

    11. #11
      Member InfiniteReality's Avatar
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      i think once ALL ones "beliefs" (and i mean EVERYTHING you have ever assumed to be ttrue) which are all formed on this plane of existance since birth are "shattered" and we become pure (for lack of a better word) then we will discover who we are / are not .. im like you ... on the path but not there yet.
      a child's rhyme stuck in my head
      it said life is but a dream
      i spent so many years in question
      to find i known this all along..

    12. #12
      widdershins modality Taosaur's Avatar
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      Originally posted by InfiniteReality
      .. im like you ... on the path but not there yet.
      I don't think there is a "there"--it's all path from where I'm standing.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    13. #13
      Member Dragon's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Crucible
      You are right, there is no you. There is only me. At least what matter does your existance have? (not matter as in an object) The reason you think this way is because you do not exist. Only I do.
      You sit there saying that, and then someone else reads it and comes to the same conclusion, so technically we all condradict each others existences and none of us can really exist...
      -Insert more original signature here-

    14. #14
      Party Pooper Tsen's Avatar
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      ...Really, you guys. You're reading WAY too far into this. That's the bane of philosophy: There's so many places worth exploring to find their implications on our lives, but people always get stuck on things like this, that, in the end, have NO effect on life HERE.
      Things like this MAY affect lifetimes AFTER this, but live
      NOW.
      Mind you, don't procrastinate, but the point remains:
      Why worry about next decade when you've still got THIS year to plan for?
      And regardless, when you die, something will happen.

      Whether that be a ceasing of existence,
      A different existence,
      Or a glorified existence,
      It's still not going to happen until you die. Philosophize about things that affect US, NOW>

      Why delay happiness you could possess through deep thoughts?
      That's all that's being done. You're spending all your time thinking about something that you'll have plenty of time to consider later. Find a better use of time

      -Tsen
      [23:17:23] <+Kaniaz> "You think I want to look like Leo Volont? Don't you dare"

    15. #15
      widdershins modality Taosaur's Avatar
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      lol this thread isn't about the afterlife, Tsen, it's about the world we live in here and now--what it is and how it works. The point of such things is to see the world clearly and not to suffer because you're clinging to delusions about how things are. In this way, you can contribute to ending suffering for all beings.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    16. #16
      Member donbowyerson's Avatar
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      Ah, but it is about the "afterlife", Tausour! If not ours, then the lives of those who will follow us...

      It is important that we contemplate our salvation, and the salvation of our world. We must live here and now (although some of us like to hide in "then", or "when"). How we got here, we do not know. Where we are going is also unknown. But the will to live propels us into the future whether we like it or not.

      We must all work toward finding the truth. Will we ever really know what that is...

    17. #17
      Member incubusfunkman's Avatar
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      IM not writing this, but i cant be not writing it,
      i cant even be until im not, witch wont happen without my being also happening
      if first didnt happen, there was no 2nd, and thus eliminating the concept of "first"
      OH MY PATHETIC HUMAND MIND, IT CANT CLAIM NOTHING, NOR INFINITY. but one obviously has to be done.
      until nothing exist infinity cant.
      so to actually ever be somthing we have to be everything and at that very moment being nothing.
      No opposite, no opposites opposite.
      no excaping paradox.
      there is nothing.
      there only is.
      so just BE HERE NOW.
      Were all doing the same thing, the same trip.
      simply because im doing it you are to.

      the sentacne below is true
      the sentance above is false
      BE HERE NOW

    18. #18
      Party Pooper Tsen's Avatar
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      It is very much about the afterlife. The article that was linked to on the first page consisted mostly of talks concerning what happens to a person when they die. Specifically, it was about whether there was a 'soul' seperate from the body that would continue to exist or not.
      [23:17:23] <+Kaniaz> "You think I want to look like Leo Volont? Don't you dare"

    19. #19
      widdershins modality Taosaur's Avatar
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      This is where westerners often get hung up; most of us think "religion" and the one we're most familiar with is Xtian, which is very death-focused. "The Gospel of Buddha" is filtered through a heavy Western/Xtian bias, as you'd figure from the title, and so necessarily dwells on this idea of "afterlife." For people with this bias, discussion of self/no-self automatically moves in the direction of "soul" and "what happens when I die?" Part of the realization of no-self is that "I" dies and is reborn during every moment of consciousness.

      Any way of talking about it, whether in terms of self or soul, present or future, can only point in the direction of realization--one must investigate for oneself to find out what is true.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    20. #20
      Party Pooper Tsen's Avatar
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      We are not reborn every second. Yes, we change over time, but we are still the same person. We have the same memories and perform the same deeds, and the force that controls us is consistently the same. The analogy of a flame is incorrect; as a flame does not possess properties that allow it to be described as 'the same flame' or 'a different flame'. A flame is the seperation of chemical bonds, and as such it cannot be described as an object. The soul is the same way. You cannot say that the soul dies, or that it stays the same. Nor can you say that the soul lives, or that the soul changes. The soul is something seperate from our bodies that acts upon the momories and natural reactions of the body and modifies them to suit its needs and desires. The soul is something that is not physical, so it cannot be described with simple physical terms, if it can be described by them at all. Therefore you cannot say that the soul is different from one moment to the next. Your soul is always the same, only the conditions that affect the body (and therefore indirectly affect the soul) change what you do. You may be different now than you were when you were a child, but you are now at a different stage of mental development, and your body finds new things to give it pleasure and sustenance. That's what the soul is. It doesn't change. It doesn't go through a constant cycle of life and death. It's the same soul now and forever.
      [23:17:23] <+Kaniaz> "You think I want to look like Leo Volont? Don't you dare"

    21. #21
      Member Dragon's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Tsen
      We are not reborn every second. Yes, we change over time, but we are still the same person. We have the same memories and perform the same deeds, and the force that controls us is consistently the same. The analogy of a flame is incorrect; as a flame does not possess properties that allow it to be described as 'the same flame' or 'a different flame'. A flame is the seperation of chemical bonds, and as such it cannot be described as an object. The soul is the same way. You cannot say that the soul dies, or that it stays the same. Nor can you say that the soul lives, or that the soul changes. The soul is something seperate from our bodies that acts upon the momories and natural reactions of the body and modifies them to suit its needs and desires. The soul is something that is not physical, so it cannot be described with simple physical terms, if it can be described by them at all. Therefore you cannot say that the soul is different from one moment to the next. Your soul is always the same, only the conditions that affect the body (and therefore indirectly affect the soul) change what you do. You may be different now than you were when you were a child, but you are now at a different stage of mental development, and your body finds new things to give it pleasure and sustenance. That's what the soul is. It doesn't change. It doesn't go through a constant cycle of life and death. It's the same soul now and forever.
      Exactly...
      The soul is not something that can be physically described, because it does not manifest itself upon the physical plane. As the plane the soul exists on is not restricted by the things the physical plane is, (time, space) It exists everywhere and in all times at once, meaning basically that the soul cant change now or ever, as that would be like making the same change everywhere and at all times, which is impossible.
      -Insert more original signature here-

    22. #22
      widdershins modality Taosaur's Avatar
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      Dragon, when most people say "soul" they are talking about something specific to an individual, that can be separated from the body, and is usually eternal. Your post seems to say that there is just one soul, more like many people's conception of God, or even Tao. Is this what you intended, or were you thinking lots of overlapping souls, or what?

      Tsen, the point of this thread is that our experience has shown us that the type of soul you describe is an illusion, like the many still frames of a film reel creating the illusion of one picture in motion. Even your memories are not the same--they change a bit every time you examine them, and with the passing of time. There is continuity, yes, very close continuity based on cause and effect. Your behavior, your thoughts, your memories, and your physical form are effects of what passed earlier in your lifetime, and so for convenience of reference we can call this continuity "Tsen," but there's no lasting identity there.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    23. #23
      xer iz bû ŵun konyisnis. Stevehattan's Avatar
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      When I say "I", I'm referring to my body and mind as one peice. So "I" exist. 8)
      ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

    24. #24
      Member donbowyerson's Avatar
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      I agree with Tzen to a point. The analogy of a flame is not entirely correct. A "soul" or "self" is far more complex than a flame.

      However, when the Buddha used this analogy, I think it was meant to convey the same sense as "everything that is seen is a flame, everything that is heard is a flame, all of sensory perception is a burning, ever-changing fire!" (paraphrasing). Everything is changing - and this includes our "soul".

      "We" are each a burning candle. Our thoughts, emotions, memories - all the things that make us refer to ourselves as "I" or "me" - they are just a running narrative. And when we look to see who the narrator is, he (or she) eludes our probing inquiry. We are simply a "stream" of thought - always changing, never the same.

      There is the "continuity" thing that we cling to, but what does that mean? If I were utterly destroyed, and then an exact copy of me were created in a different place (with every molecule, atom, and electron exactly duplicated as it was when I was destroyed - including all the memories and thoughts that were in my head at the time of my destruction), then would "I" be dead and some "other" be alive? Or would I be like the candle that was put out momentarily, then re-lit later in the night? Would "I" not exist just as I existed before - after all, this new copy of me would be exactly like me in all respects??

      These are hard questions. Is there just one soul? The soul of God? Perhaps. If so, however, it's certainly likely that his soul is changing too...
      The Bowyer's Son

    25. #25
      Party Pooper Tsen's Avatar
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      But the soul IS continuity! That's what it's all about. If the soul didn't continue, the entire human race would be infinitely unpredictable. If a soul exists, it MUST be continuous. And to the statement about a copy of yourself: Yes, I can see how that could be argued, but simply put: It could never happen.
      [23:17:23] <+Kaniaz> "You think I want to look like Leo Volont? Don't you dare"

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