Comments on “The limiting language of "no-self"”

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Not the self you thought

jamie 2019-04-09

Yes, there is definitely a simplistic sense of believing in “not self”, but I actually found that “you don’t have the self you think you had and therefore there isn’t a need to have that paranoia” to be a pretty good overaching summary of decades of practice. Self and not self does seem to be right at the core of the attraction and repulsion involved with practice, at least for me.

I’ve been thinking lately that “fixing the flawed self” is why we start… and why we stay humble is “oh that flawed self that I’m fixing isn’t becoming a perfect self but rather less of a definable self to even be able to be proud about.”

Fun questions/exercise! A fast attempt at answering…

What ‘default’ language do you use to describe your meditation?: “understanding the limitations caused by clinging, resisting, and ignoring experience” “understanding how contextual views tautologically determine what is salient” “making peace with the harsh truths of a lived life that necessarily includes experiences like struggle, illness, conflict, etc.” “understanding the power of friendliness, appreciation, acceptance, and caring as an overaching developmental/teaching framework”

Where did this come from?: putting the lessons I learned from mostly buddhism/psychology into non jargony words. So 3 poisons, 6 realms/5 elements, psychological defense mechanisms/coping strategies, 4 bhramavirahas.

In a nutshell, what few words describe your worldview? maybe “instinctual and flexible intentional use of tautologies” and somewhere in my worldview is a kind of faith that “doing the right thing benefits oneself and all other beings”

What ideas do you have about the relationship between your meditation practice and your lifestyle? meditation practice isn’t separate or different from awake living

Does the language you use to reflect on your meditation experience fit well with your worldview? Pretty much. But I don’t really connect with “your meditation experience” or “your worldview” as a definitive, point-at-that kind of thing.


Rin’dzin Pamo 2019-04-09

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I’ve some posts lined up that go deeper into this same idea (relationships between lineage, language, worldview and experience). I’d be interested to hear how you relate/react as they go along.

No self and soul

Don Salmon 2023-09-25

In the Vedic/Upanishad/Gita tradition (I know scholars will balk at this simplistic description - I’m just using this to differentiate it from any of the Buddhist Yanas - though I think it’s applicable to the question of no self discussion as well)

The term “Aham Kara” literally means “I -maker.” In Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary view (which takes in Vedantic, Tantric, numerous Buddhist perspectives as well as Christian, Sufi, Taoist and other contemplative traditions), this I making process simply refers to taking a real ever-changing dynamic personality to be the true Soul and Self.

There’s not enough room in a comment to express what he means by the Soul (“psychic being”) or Individual Self (Jivatman, as a real not transitory or only apparent individual), Cosmic and Transcendent Self, only to say, there are non physicalist ways of approaching these experiences and realizations that may be as relevant or even more practical to the “metacrisis” of today’s world.

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