Seeker_of_truth

What does the no-self insight mean?

114 posts in this topic

I had a small realization that I am the subject of my experience. And as a subject of experience, I know that I do not exist as any form as any form would be known by me and hence not me. But I am aware. So I thought maybe awareness is the proof that I exist. I can't really find anyone who is aware. Finding someone would mean that it is an object and I am the one aware of it. Is no self equivalent to not being able to know the self? 

 

Or is there really no one? That's really hard to believe. Then who is aware?

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It's not really that there's no self.. It's that there's no 'separate self'. You are all of it. Everything. 

Many organisms have the sense of being a locus of attention that resides somewhere in their body, usually behind the eyes, who controls the organism, is aware of its thoughts and feelings and actions, but this humunculous doesn't exist. 

"What is often mistaken to be the thinker of thoughts, is just more thoughts."


"I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

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Just now, Mason Riggle said:

It's not really that there's no self.. It's that there's no 'separate self'. You are all of it. Everything. 

Many organisms have the sense of being a locus of attention that resides somewhere in their body, usually behind the eyes, who controls the organism, is aware of its thoughts and feelings and actions, but this humunculous doesn't exist. 

"What is often mistaken to be the thinker of thoughts, is just more thoughts."

Oh ok. I do have a sense that I am not located anywhere. Its as if I'm not a physical thing that can be located in a particular place in space. I don't yet understand how I am everything. I do feel that is possible but I haven't explored it yet. I also see that how in normal state I mistake thoughts to be me, but yes the thinker is just more thoughts.

Thanks for that. I was just watching Leo's video on facets of awakening, and had that question. Thanks for the quick answer :)

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3 minutes ago, Seeker_of_truth said:

Then who is aware?

It's not a who. You can call it awareness as long as you don't turn it into an object. It's actually nothing. And if you call it a subject that's also not correct, because then you have implicitly created the objects which aren't it. Which is also not true.

It's nothing being everything, timelessly. A self is apparently created along with everything else, but it's illusory, there is only Reality being itself. Again, timelessly. 


Alternative Rock Music and Spirituality on YouTube: The Buddha Visions

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5 minutes ago, Gili Trawangan said:

And if you call it a subject that's also not correct, because then you have implicitly created the objects which aren't it. Which is also not true.

Yes I understand! :) When I think of awareness my mind immediately forms an object. It doesn't have a conception of what a subject is other than the word itself, so I prefer using it.

5 minutes ago, Gili Trawangan said:

It's nothing being everything, timelessly. A self is apparently created along with everything else, but it's illusory, there is only Reality being itself. Again, timelessly. 

Hmm, ok. I think I just need to enquire into the nature of the self and come to this. Thanks!

Edited by Seeker_of_truth

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@Seeker_of_truth no problem.

Alan Watts puts it this way- "I have no other self than the totality of things of which I am aware."  Its kind of sloppy language, but it's a good pointer.

I like to think of it this way.. I am everything that is typically considered to be 'not me'.  Everything that is 'not me' defines who I am.

This 'triangle' is actually not there.. it's really 'everything that's not the triangle' that gives the illusion of a triangle. 

35_kanizsa_main.png

Edited by Mason Riggle

"I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

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1 minute ago, Mason Riggle said:

@Seeker_of_truth no problem.

Alan Watts puts it this way- "I have no other self than the totality of things of which I am aware."  Its kind of sloppy language, but it's a good pointer.

I like to think of it this way.. I am everything that is typically considered to be 'not me'. 

This 'triangle' is actually not there.. it's really 'everything that's not the triangle' that gives the illusion of a triangle. 

35_kanizsa_main.png

That's nice! :D

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18 minutes ago, Seeker_of_truth said:

I was just watching Leo's video on facets of awakening, and had that question.

He clarifies it in the next minute! I was just too impatient :D

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@Gili Trawangan

43 minutes ago, Gili Trawangan said:

And if you call it a subject that's also not correct, because then you have implicitly created the objects which aren't it. Which is also not true.

Exactly! And one thing more is that I wouldn't call it a SELF or ENTITY neither, because those are too similar to ego and one could accidently take that decreased sense of self and project it to the _______ and that is also a trap. That's the main reason I wouldn't use "I" at all in spiritual explanations, because even "I am God" implies that something is something else and this first part "I" or "I AMNESS" - which basically tries to point out that there would be sense of solidity or sense of self left - is misleading if you ask me.

Edited by Kksd74628

Who told you that "others" are real?

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14 minutes ago, Kksd74628 said:

That's the main reason I wouldn't use "I" at all in spiritual explanations...

it's a trap!


"I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

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@Mason Riggle

Yeah and that's one of the reason spirituality needs to be talked very technically, because otherwise people could get pretty confused and fall into every trap that is possible. Also I am huge fan of self-expression and that should be feature of everyone talking spirituality verbally. It's completely same as brain surgeon needs precision in his/her job.


Who told you that "others" are real?

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@Kksd74628 I don't think its possible to ever use words to convey nothingness. Even ____ is something that a mind can create concepts/images around. I feel its better to use words that are close to it. I think "I" is a pretty good word. What is not "I" can be talked about with verbal precision.

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2 minutes ago, Kksd74628 said:

@Mason Riggle

Yeah and that's one of the reason spirituality needs to be talked very technically, because otherwise people could get pretty confused and fall into every trap that is possible. Also I am huge fan of self-expression and that should be feature of everyone talking spirituality verbally. It's completely same as brain surgeon needs precision in his/her job.

Yeah, if language isn't used carefully, it can be very misleading.


Alternative Rock Music and Spirituality on YouTube: The Buddha Visions

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@Kksd74628 absolutely.  Language trips us up often and is perhaps a major cause of ego.   When we use the language, 'I am digesting my lunch', it's typically understood that this is something my organism is doing (there is no separate digester who causes the digesting).. but when we say, for example, 'I am deciding what to have for lunch,' we somehow create this illusion of a 'separate self', a 'decider', inside our organism somewhere, perhaps in our brain, who is deciding what the organism should do... but this is all just more of what the entire organism (and indeed the entire Universe) is already automatically doing.   

Edited by Mason Riggle

"I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

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@Seeker_of_truth

You can't ever make picture of moon from your finger, but you can obviously point towards it. It's up to you what words you want to use as pointers, but I think that using more precise pointers is benefical. For example how I like to present this thing is as movie that there is nothing behind (other or material) and nothing front of it (I or perceiver). 

Thought that something is perceived at this very moment is also a thought. Without something being perceived there wouldn't be perceiver so what is function of this "I" in this pattern? Only thing that it could be is that whole movie itself, but it does not look like "I", but rather movie.

@Gili Trawangan @Mason Riggle

Right! bros^_^


Who told you that "others" are real?

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The better translation, according to Bhikkhu Candana, of no self in Buddhism is no substantiality of self. It is to say that there is no continuous form that persists. Any self structure is impermanent and in constant flux. 


“Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near — a disciple of mine sees all consciousness as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’” - the Tathāgata

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@BipolarGrowth don't see what's wrong with an impermanent, constantly in flux Self.  That's what I seem to be, when I seem to be it. 

Edited by Mason Riggle

"I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

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No-self... It's less confusing and perhaps more direct to say no-other. That which has no other is all there is. No self means there isn't anything to be in contrast with this; all there is (beyond location and time); everything; infinity; that which has no other. No here since no there = everywhere/NowHere.

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No self is exactly what it sounds like.

But just like any perspective, do not become too attached to it; just try it on, prepare for any consequences and integrate it.

But expect something radical, as there is a reason most assume the existence of a self.

But also see the difficulty in imagining such an idea is precisely also the reason it is worth doing.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mason Riggle said:

@BipolarGrowth don't see what's wrong with an impermanent, constantly in flux Self.  That's what I seem to be, when I seem to be it. 

An impermanent and constantly fluxing reality is quite great. Just think of how boring it would be if things were fixed. 


“Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near — a disciple of mine sees all consciousness as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’” - the Tathāgata

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