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Meditating on the Self

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by GilesC, May 31, 2011.

  1. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Absolutely, and if we can get an answer to your reframed question, I'd be most interested in reading it. :)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  2. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Hello Uplift,

    I can’t be sure if your last couple of rounds of comments I read this morning have been lost through technology issues or have been moderated for some reason, but either way my response to them follows.

    I would like to start by saying I think you make some good points.

    These seem synonymous with what I would consider “living in the now”, being fully aware and mindful all the time. It would seem to me that in these aspects at least you and Giles are to some extent speaking of the same thing, albeit through different words.

    I’m not sure I agree with or in fact understand the rest of the post (or your later one), so in this instance I think its reasonable to paraphrase the fabled Jedi master Obi Wan Kenobi :D “To some extent, everyone is right from there own point of view”. I’m not on this forum to argue with anyone but to try and learn. I still found it difficult to clearly see how to meditate on the self, but personally my curiosity has waned after not quite getting a quite a few different posts from you on the matter, so not to worry on this occasion.

    I can only consider these comments directed at my previous comments below......

    If so, whilst I apologise if my playful nature has made you feel uncomfortable, I consider your reference to hidden meanings somewhat surprising. On a side note I feel your comment on this matter could have been made equally well without the seemingly aggressive nature to it. Not only did I make it explicit and obvious that I was poking fun, I even stated how I was doing it in a deliberate bid to include you in the joke. If I was trying to make a secret ‘in joke’ it strikes me somewhat counterproductive to point out the joke to the recipient :confused:. Having said that, different people/cultures take things in different ways so as I say, no offense intended.

    What do you consider ‘pack mentality’ is? For me it is when a group of people blindly follow one person and/or are afraid to voice different viewpoints within the given group. This is vastly different to a group of people who after coming to there own but similar independent conclusions, disagree with (or don’t understand) one or more people. It is the latter one occurring in this case.

    Whilst on this note, personally I think the only generalised behaviour of people on the forum has been to bend over backwards to accommodate your forthright views and what can only be interpreted as coarse delivery of them. To me it seems that people’s reactions to most of your posts have been one of patience, acceptance, understanding and kindness.

    In summary Uplift, whilst I enjoy variety of thought and expression I feel that on this discussion at least we will not see things in the same way or understand each others point of view. I can see how aspects of what you talk about can be related to as I mention initially in my post, but for me, what I consider aliveness, joy, contentment, peace and calmness does not emanate from your posts, so I feel the truth I am looking for lays elsewhere.

    Paul
     
  3. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Because of the disruption to a number of threads and the aggressiveness displayed to members I have requested that Uplift is not allowed in the community anymore. I have asked him very politely and more than once to not be so aggressive and offensive and he has clearly ignored this. I have been uncertain of his motives for a long time and apologise for not taking action sooner.

    I wish you all much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  4. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Thanks, that explains it :)

    I don’t believe there is any need for you to apologise, if anything I think it is a strength that the community and yourself were so patient and repeatedly gave opportunities for change.

    Paul
     
  5. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Edwin,

    I had to think about it (damn that monkey mind (and no that's not a reference to you Mr Monkey) :D), but yes I do.

    Polly,

    Thanks for letting us know, and be assured you have nothing to apologise for. Sounds as though you took all reasonable steps 'behind the scenes', but to no avail.

    Conceptually, I can understand what Uplift was talking about in relation to God observing God, but I lack any experience that would turn that concept into knowledge, whilst I have experienced enough to have knowledge of the Self, in the sense that Edwin so beautifully described it.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  6. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Very interesting, Edwin. And clearly stated. But I'm curious about one very crucial point: whether you see the Self as Self-contained, so to speak, or connected to something beyond itSelf?

    You mention that it is "beyond the last layer". That suggests to me some connection with "the infinite". But you didn't specifically say that. And I'm not clear whether that is your meaning.

    I ask this because my own view is that we are "all in this together", not only metaphorically, but literally. "Beyond the last layer" of my Self, are other Selves, perhaps as numerous as the stars in space. Obviously, on this planet alone there are several billion selves, each with the potential to experience their Self exactly as you describe.

    So, I guess what I'm asking is: Do you see this as several billion separate experiences, each discreet from the other? Or is it just one experience, to which each of us has access?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  7. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    A "connection" implies something seperate but connected to. What Edwin is referring to is something that just IS everything. It can't be "connected" because it's not seperate from.

    I think this is the difference in understanding. Myself and Edwin (and some others obviously) refer to the self (small S) to indicate the physical being with mind, emotions etc. and the Self (large S) to indicate the complete Oneness. You seem to be indicating an in-between sort of Self that is not the physical being but is also not completely everything, am I right in assuming that?

    I'll let Edwin give his own answer, but I'm sure it's likely to be the same as mine. I don not see this Self as billions of seperate experiences. You couldn't even label it as an experience, or say that "each of us" has access to it, because that terminology implies an "other" of some sort, which is what makes it hard, nay impossible, to put into words. It's not a "connection" with the infinite, it IS the infinate.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  8. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    I haven't got the slightest idea. I am not sure if this can be examined. I seriously doubt it. Since I have no way of finding out, my view on this is that I have no view. Any idea that I might have about it can't be what it is, I mean, if it is beyond the Self, and any idea about the Self can't be true, how can anything beyond Self be rationalised ?
    Even something as "simple" as a flower is so awesome ( not in surfer slang, but full of awe )... I mean, sure, you can examine a flower, break it down even to something smaller than an atom, fine, but I will be really impressed if I can put it together again after disassembling it ;-).
    Everything in creation seems to be following certain laws, are of an intelligence that is far beyond that of my feeble brain ( which in itself is another increadible miracle ). I really don't think any man can know... But can be grateful that it is there... God would be a fitting name for this...
    Well... the Self is infinate, without boundries... So how can there be even two Selves ? Two endless infinate nothings next to each other ?
    Seperate humans are seperate manifestations of one consciousness, experiencing itsSelf through the illusion of seperation. God playing with himself maybe ? Who knows !
     
  9. Hazelkay

    Hazelkay Member

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    the game

    This is not any sort of explanation of anything - just a flight of fancy:D

    I often have the feeling that I am part of an enormous video game. The 'I' is as expendable as one of the characters but also just as important as any of the other "I"s. The 'I' is just a manifestation of constantly changing pixels - the pixels keep resolving into a very similar shape for some time and then change into something completely different or become part of the potential for another set of emerging pixels.

    I did say it was a flight of fancy:eek:

    peace and joy
     
  10. Ramai

    Ramai Member

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    mr monkey

    our way?
     
  11. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Bryan

    Thanks for the wonderful quote by Edwin.

    My view of this "infinite" elephant is that any description we can imagine in any manner is not it. As the saying goes if you meet the Buddha on the path kill him.

    With that being said: I feel that the thousands or millions or billions of conscious selves (small s) are one side of the coin of the "infinite" or Self or God. What is happening in physical reality right now is at the edge of both time and the evolution of the "infinite" as it keeps flowing. We have limited access as humans with the apparatus of body brain mind system.


    I feel we each have access to the direct experience of what our sense contacts are receiving and the rest is the story we make up about it. The story is made up of thoughts about our own experience and the words or stories we hear or read about from others. We form opinions and beliefs based primarily on others stories which we believe but have not really experienced.

    For example the earth is round. A belief we all have (that's another belief). I believe the earth is round because it is what I have been taught and because "science" has proven it and because I have seen pictures. Wait, the picture as well as the words are not my direct experience but only the thoughts that I truly believe from others. (not a great example but you get the picture)

    Our direct experience in this moment is limited to the echoes of all of our past stories in combination with our actual experience in this moment. Meditation allows a relaxing, a stretching out, a stillness and a release of the hindrances to direct experience.

    On the path to more and more of the realization of direct experience we have access and pass through Universal realms or layers of consciousness. I believe that the first layer just on this side of human consciousness is joy or happiness. I certainly do not know that this is correct but it make me happy to think so.

    Michael:)
     
  12. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    That is the clearest description of the transmigration of souls that I have seen.

    Michael:)
     
  13. chrissponias

    chrissponias Member

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    I believe that the Self is not only me. The Self is God. It is my connection with a superior entity, which transforms me, the simply human being, into a creature similar to the perfect entity that has attained a higher level of knowledge (God). Since I can enter into contact with God, or the Self, this means that I have a few characteristics that permit a certain connection with this superior mind. So, the Self is not only me, but my connection with God, and also my connection with the entire universe.
     
  14. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    These quote, allow me to see that I’m not alone and separate from all that surrounds. I conceptually understand and get real glimpses (insights) of the whole.

    In the more eloquent words of Jeff Foster...
    When the person is no more, when the search is undone, when the demand for life to be anything other than what it is collapses, the noise and silence, the freedom and bondage, the Yin and the Yang are all seen to be illusory, simply the mind’s attempt to cut the world up into manageable little pieces, and the truth is revealed: there is only the whole.
    – Jeff Foster

    There are moments, sometimes the sense that I am not a thought, feeling, experience, reaction, identity or ego arises, it shows as a radiant mystery within which those things arise. This mystery has been obscured by my self-centred story and the illusion of separation. When the moment invites me in and I drop the story and allow the dream self to dissolve, and discover the unconditioned love that is who I really am....

    Problem is I'm still bound with my illusory past and future.... as I began to write this last line, I understand why I can only visit...


    Peace :)
     
  15. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Hi, Giles. Thanks for another interesting reply. I do think we're finally getting close to the crux of this discussion.

    You wrote: "I think this is the difference in understanding. Myself and Edwin (and some others obviously) refer to the self (small S) to indicate the physical being with mind, emotions etc. and the Self (large S) to indicate the complete Oneness. You seem to be indicating an in-between sort of Self that is not the physical being but is also not completely everything, am I right in assuming that?"

    I think we are probably talking about the same Self, but have entirely different beliefs about its nature. Both you and Edwin seem to believe the Self you have found is the final destination. The Self you describe is "IT", to you: the ultimate union, the death of all dualities, "an infinte Self, without boundaries", "complete Oneness", etc.

    But I believe what you describe is, in fact, a door. A portal through which some others, including some very famous others (Christ, Buddha, etc.) passed on their way to quite a different level of knowing.

    In your honor, Giles, let me state my view in some famous British words: "This not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

    The end of the beginning. In spiritual terms, no small accomplishment in itself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  16. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Well... The Self that can be experienced in non-duality has nothing to do with belief. It can be found by investigation. The trouble with belief is that it has no foundation, or is a collection of assumptions based on partial evidence at it's very best. You can believe whatever you want to. And if enough people believe it, people will mistake that belief with reality. Take for instance the "end of the world" sects that seem to happen every now and then. People committing suicide together because they believe the world will end, or aliens will come, or that they will by this act transfer to a higher vibrational level. Scary stuff, and if it wasn't that tragic, people would have a good laugh over these "maniacs". But they are just normal people with a belief that was ultimately harmful for them.

    The Buddha said "Don't believe what I say, investigate it to be true".

    The best advice I ever took.
    The knowing is already there.

    Sometimes you have these moments of clarity, where you just observe the world around you undisturbed by thoughts about future, past, or whatever you are looking at. You will see for instance a tree, and know it, recognize it, without even the word "tree" forming in your mind. Does the thought "tree", that label that comes up quite uselessly, does that contribute in any way to the experience of the tree ?
    No, because you already know it to be there. In fact, without the labels it is a lot easyer to recognize everything as one. Everything is seen as one, without seperation, until you start to think about it.
     
  17. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    While the words Jeff Foster and other speakers of Advaita are amazing in their own rights, i've never found them to be quite helpful. Jeff himself has even admitted to the whole "no person to do nothing" to be a lousy pointer to the completeness of experience...

    While I do not discount the pointer as I once did, I simply realized that it is only one way to explain something. The only problem I see with it is that people start to view the idea of a "person" or ego being there on the inside as an unwanted one. Or better yet, the story of self becomes the idea that there is no self. :p

    See, i've found nonduality has nothing to do with a self, whether it be dissolving or finding it. Nonduality is all inclusive of these things. It includes the self, lack of it, the ideas the mind creates to understand the world, the acceptance of the world of form and appearance, and how the formless is inseparable from it. Duality, the appearances of separation, acting as a person, feeling separate, feeling pain, feeling suffering, holding on to ideas of self...while unpleasant are all inseparable from life. Nonduality is not about getting rid of these things, but inviting them in all as part of the play, as Jeff would say. All these waves are just the ocean in a different form.

    So embrace the stories. Embrace the mind made self...you may feel separate at times, you may feel disconnected, but the disconnection itself is not separate. The experience is a complete one. The experience of life includes the seeming duality, and that is the very heart of nonduality. In fact, when you find there is no duality, then there is no nonduality either. Both words fall away, and you find yourself exactly where you are. :)

    I hope this was relevant in some way...Haha
     
  18. Hazelkay

    Hazelkay Member

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    :) the Buddha refused to answer these sort of questions, about soul. no soul, duality, non duality, cessation, immortality etc etc on the grounds that any answer he gave would be bound to be misinterpreted in the light of people's present beliefs.
     
  19. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Probably a wise thing to do, if I had a dollar for every time I had misinterpreted a spiritual teaching...

    Yet words can also be a very helpful thing. If there are many pointers to one thing, perhaps one set of words are more easily followed than another.
     
  20. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Midnight, I wish you would post more... That was pure poetry...
     

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