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Self or 'not self'
I AM real, it hurts when I stub my toe and when I die I'll come back/go elsewhere
25%
 25%  [ 2 ]
There is an 'I' right now, but in the long term it's a share of the whole - as transient as leaves on trees
62%
 62%  [ 5 ]
I don't exist, so I can't vote..
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 8

Author Message
thereisnoname
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2004 6:48 pm  Reply with quote

The buddhist handbook (John Snelling, published by RIDER, isbn 0 7126 7112 9) sums up the concept of anatta (as much as it can be summed up) in the following way, (bear in mind this is not exact replication as I do not want to violate copyright..):

If a person named 'John' begins to analyse himself thouroughly, looking for the central 'John', the very thing that gives him his 'Johnness', he will find a pattern of ever changing phenomena, his body, mind, emotions, wishes etc, but none of these can be said to be the eternal everlasting unchanging fixed 'John'. However, if even in deep meditation John cannot find this definition that sets him apart as a unique entity within the universe, he still knows what we mean by calling him John, and still refers to himself as 'me' or 'I' within the world around him. In fact, this is for all of us a necessary development in order to function in the world we live in. We erect the idea of 'I' or 'me' as a central reference point around which the universe is built in our minds, which is an inherently egocentric view, leading inevitably to selfish desires.

We also split the universe in two around this idea - that which is 'I' and that which is 'not I'. I, which is in reality a fairly unstable fiction, is normally fighting a losing battle against 'not I'. (me against the world etc etc)

Now I will quote, cos it's only two sentences and it can't be better put -

"The Budha's Way points to a development that leads beyond 'I' to wider and larger horizons. It unlocks the door of the cell of individuality and offers freedom - Nirvana"

Personally I love this idea - I can escape the enslavement of my individuality - but then I know that I _used_ to hold that my individuality was etremely important (I mean philosophical individuality not the right to have long hair and ripped jeans :)

What does everyone else think about anatta - are we part of a whole, or eternal beings in our own right?
Let's have a poll as well - it looks like a cool toy to play with :)
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nightbeest77
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 11:26 pm  Reply with quote

Analyze. I'm sorry but at least spell that right. I can deal with "defense" and other things, but not analyze! And a very interesting point, however you yourself never voted, so perhaps you wouldn't mind doing it? Or perhaps you were inclined towards the final of the three choices yet chose to answer the poll by not?

I think i'll mosy on elsewhere since I've given myself another paradoxical headache.
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thoth87
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 1:19 am  Reply with quote

in my mind, i am me. i am also a PART of boy scoult troop 259,

that is my way of thinking. i am an individual that is part of a whole. a cog in the system, that can get rusty, break down and stall the entire machine...

but that's for another thread. the point is, i am one with myself and the universe. in the poorly remembered words of R.E.Emerson, "I am both part and parcel of God" here, god meaning the universe, not the Big Man In The Sky, as i have no wish to discuss my religious beliefs at the moment, cause truth be told, i'm not really sure right now.

but back on track, is that against the rules? being a part of the whole, and at the same time being a whole part?
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thereisnoname
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:45 pm  Reply with quote

dude, I'm on the other side of the sea!!!

UK USA
analyse analyze
steralise steralize
realise realize

I fear this may occur often.

However, it would appear that like with most things on the forum,

we're BOTH right!

As for my vote, thanx for pointing that out.. I'm going with the book on this one.. Hope that helps your head :)

Thoth: I like it, both at once, don't think that's againtst the rules, especially if taken in context with your quoting of Emerson - each of us could be a 'universe' in our own right, after all, we ARE each a unique perspective on one.. I'm going to hum and ponder on that for a while...
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nightbeest77
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:16 pm  Reply with quote

Well the way i see it, (assuming that this is the right author and not confusing it with Melville or someone else) his transcendentalist writings were great, but full of shit. (pardon the freedom) He went around saying that you could not teach transcendentalism, BUT EARNED HIS KEEP BY LECTURING ON IT! We call that a grade "a" bullshit artist! I'm not saying that his writings weren't great, but just the way he wrote and lived being such a lie in contrast with each other makes me think less of him to a degree.
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thoth87
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:46 pm  Reply with quote

i think you hit it on the nose. not very impressed with Emerson meself, but Thoreau (er... SP?) is the epitome of the saying 'practice what you preach'. i mean, living in the woods, in a house he made with his own two hands, for two years, two months and two days...

i'm impressed.
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nightbeest77
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:04 pm  Reply with quote

Wasn't thoreau financed by Emmerson, making daily trips to town? I remember someone did that, don't remember exactly who. Oh well, I ask once more: am I anywhere close to right or just pulling things outta the usual place? (usually where most things come from)
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Daoda
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 3:49 am  Reply with quote

This is my first message here. I just typed in thereisnospoon.com and found this, which is awesome.

I think of the self in two distinct ways. There is the self which is what we call our "I". And then there is the self which is apart of everything else, the "supersoul". or the tao, or buddha nature and this is what we truly are which is a transient energy.

This primal energy, which is everything that exists and everything that doesn't exist, is constantly changing to create a neutrality of the whole. The whole point is to transcend the "I" self, and reconnect with the greater self which is that very energy.

We tend to think of the "I" as a constant, which is not what it is. It is an idea of what we think we are. We can never know who we really are, because we can never go outside ourselves to look! Yet, we come up with ideas about what we think we are and thus an ego is created or an "I".

Oh yeah, and isn't it ironic that selfish people are actually the lonliest? Because they tend to go through friends faster than unselfish people. Their selfishness would make it so they were around people as much as possible yet they can never stay with any people for an extended time, because the people won't deal with them.
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nightbeest77
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:15 am  Reply with quote

And selfishness and what not is entirely based on certain circumstances and causes, no? Think about it, we are who we develop as, and while we can can change, we often dont, old habits die hard (it's said) thoughts?
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TheMan
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:29 pm  Reply with quote

Hehe welcome to the forum buddy. I just arrived as well, by typing thereisnospoon.com. funny, eh?
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thoth87
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:12 pm  Reply with quote

Old habits do die hard, and it takes a strong will to break 'em. as for the supersoul theory, I agree to a point; we've all got an ego and all got a 'spirit', but I think they can be coexistant. you can be 'you' and what you think of yourself, you just need to make you and 'you' the same thing. although I suppose in a way it's just an elaboration of what you said. and as for the selfish people, joke's on them eh?

oh, and yes, Thoreou (SP?) did go to town every day, and I think the land he was living on was Emmerson's land.
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Sky
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:24 am  Reply with quote

hi 'theman' hehe anywho......... do you think it was chance or fate that you typed thereisnospoon.com and joined our wonderful community......hehe, apart from thoth!!!! (joke)
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thoth87
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:59 am  Reply with quote

shut up Sky. and yes, welcome to the neighborhood. don't worry, this is not a subdivision. we don't all drive minivans.

muahahahahahaha....

*cough*.
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TheMan
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:25 pm  Reply with quote

of that I am relieved. Geez, I've never been much of a fan of fate...always liked to believe that I was in control of my life. Well, maybe half and half. Like that guy on the matrix, I do believe things consist of cause and effect, but I think I have the choice to cause, but the effect is...who knows how that turns out. jeez, im rambling.
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thoth87
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:42 pm  Reply with quote

sometimes the most plausible ideas come out of the least plausible ramblings. and the way I see it, what you like to belive is how it is...
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