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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

If we are going to find out something new, we have to be ready to admit we have been wrong all the time.

Think about this for a moment:  If you can perceive something - be aware of anything - in any way - see it, think about it, feel it, hear it, smell it, that something is not you.  You must be the one doing the perceiving etc.  You are the one aware of whatever-it-is.

If I have an opinion about my self, that "myself" is not me.   If I notice a thought, that thought is not me.

"I" cannot have any characteristics, because those characteristics can be noticed and described, so I must be the one noticing them, so they are not a part of me.

So everything we think we know about ourselves is just not a part of ourselves at all.  It's like clothes we put on. And even that simile doesn't go far because clothes have to go on a body and this "I" has no solidity.

What we think of as "the real me", or some such descriptive phrase, is not me at all.  It's a bunch of thoughts and habits of thought.  And what are habits but thoughts we habitually think.

Just what is this "I", then?  Seems it's just pure awareness.  It cannot have any characteristics, any distinguishable parts.  It can't be unique in any way, because that uniqueness could be described, I could be aware of it, so it cannot be a part of the awareness.  Eyes don't see themselves.

Seems this "I" is not personal in any way.  That's a difficult thought to have.  Perhaps this whole "I" business is just a gigantic illusion?


  1. There are people who believe all of life is just illusion. that we're just an echo of another world long gone.


    1. mouse, I haven't heard about the "world long gone" part, how did you come across that? I'm a bit tired of believing, I want to know.

      And how about that world long gone - is that an illusion too?

    2. The idea came about while taking a Philosphy class in the college, the peofessor, as mouse recalls was lecturing on Socrates and his quote about the only true knowledge is that you know nothing.

      A world long gone, or we're here just because of a long-forgotten science experiment. Or characters in a play written by someone else...

      All the above implies that somehow we're guided or directed at least somewhat through life. Honestly, mouse looks at the evidence and what does it show? There isn't a great's just what it

      Carpe Diem.

    3. mouse, I have read with interest a while ago the idea that we are simply characters in a computer simulation - somewhat as in the film "The Matrix". I personally don't think we are but I guess it's possible. It has been put forward fairly seriously.
      At the moment I agree with you - it's just what it is.. In other words, it can't be explained!

      "Guided or directed" - Many to whom "liberation" has happened say that they see clearly that life simply happens. They cannot find any sign of a person who could be a first cause, the person they had always thought they were has disappeared. Life is suddenly wonderful and nothing is wrong any more.

      Seems almost all these body-mind organisms called humans are kind of hypnotised by the attractions of the human game dream and don't see this, but instead think they control their lives, at least to some extent. I don't know the truth here and liberation has not happened to me - yet! I cannot find any way to show that we have free will and can make choices; many philosophers and others think there's none. Cause-and-effect rules. Yet I, like you, feel that somewhere there is a possibility of steering life. If this kind of philosophical speculation really interests you you might try Vadim Zeland's "Reality Transurfing", a series of at least three short books. He's Russian.

      Carpe diem - Yes, we must accept the pains as well as the pleasures of life - accept the present moment fully and not be wishing it otherwise. The "Pursuit of happiness" enshrined in the US constitution is misleading.

  2. "If you can perceive something - be aware of anything - in any way - see it, think about it, feel it, hear it, smell it, that something is not you. You must be the one doing the perceiving etc. You are the one aware of whatever-it-is."

    Malcolm, I often hear this premise put forward as if it is self-evident, and simply true without any question. I'm not sure, however, that I can assent to it myself.

    Here's the thing: If I am spanked, and I hurt, I perceive the implement, the blows, the pain, the rhythms, the agitation, the sounds from both outside and inside, the passage of my breath, the roaring of the blood in my ears, the sweating, the eventual transition to something other,the cessation, the relief, the heat, the softness, the sense of peace and connection. Where is the line between self and not self in all of that? I could be, as you insist, wrong about it all... but, I am not convinced that any of that is separable. I think the problem is in arguing that self is "other" than all the rest of it. It is not that there is no "I," rather, it is that I am not other than "Thou."


    1. OK Sue, you perceive all that, so all that is not the perceiver. What exercises my powers of thought is that the perceiver cannot have any characteristics; and in fact there is no separate perceiver, this perceiver cannot be identified or described in any way. "I", in fact, does not seem to exist, at any rate as separate from the stuff perceived. There is no line between the seer and what is seen. Nevertheless, the seer cannot be something that is seen

      I realise that what I am saying is paradoxical; but it's the best I can do at present. There's no "self", but simply this impersonal awareness. It really seems as though the "self" is just a mental construct, and a misleading one at that.


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