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January 14, 2009

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I do not think that we have a self for the simple reason that we are constantly changing, both our minds and our bodies (if there is a difference between them).

I think the Buddhist concept of Skandhas is intriguing, especially as mentioned in The Heart Sutra.

As for releasing from the Skandhas or self, I don't see any reason that would suggest it is possible or even makes sense. Perhaps a different perspective can be gained on how you view your self or no self, but that's about as much as I am willing to commit to.

Brian,

You cited, a Harris quote,

"Needless to say, any truths uncovered about the human mind through meditation cannot be "Buddhist". And if meditation ever becomes widely adopted as a tool of science, it will be quickly stripped of its Buddhist roots."

---Not sure if I understand what is meant by Buddhist meditation. This being a religious Buddhist meditation?
---If you desire, write a clarification, for me, regarding Buddhist meditation and how it's use or nonuse, as a scientific research tool.

This Self and Selfless topic is very interesting.

Thanks,
Roger

Roger, in his article Harris describes the nature of Vipassana meditation. I'm no expert on it, and I gather it takes various forms. Basically its about awareness without conceptual/wordy overlays, so far as I understand it.

In this regard it's similar to many other forms of meditation. So like Harris said, we shouldn't think of Buddhist vs. other kinds of meditation.

I've written some about the scientific side of meditation. For example:
http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2007/01/meditation_teac.html
http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2005/11/meditation_stre.html

Brian asks some good questions:

"Self, no-self...what's the difference?"

"Are some people -- perfect gurus, realized souls, enlightened beings -- truly selfless, having seen through the illusion of duality?"

"And the big question: If so, how would anyone know?"

"...why have I been able to read big thick books [...] about how to go about realizing the truth of non-duality?"

"If we flow with experience, understanding that there's no hard and fast distinction between us and the cosmos, inside and outside, self and non-self, things seem to go more smoothly. But this is a far cry from the religious claims of those who elevate the elimination of ego (or the realization that such doesn't exist) to sacred status."

-- Yes, all very good points.

I recently posted the following link to a unique audio recording, but for those who either missed it or failed to listen to it, it now seems appropos to post it again here...

Listen and contemplate upon a reading from:

The Book of the Great Liberation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e2FpwPs0oc


Ah, thank you Tao. How strange and marvellous. I will be re-visiting that often.

Tao, one thing that strikes me about the reading is that a satsangi's aim would be to transcend and leave the mind behind in Trikuti in order to know the true self.

Catherine,

I'm glad that you liked the 'reading'.

However, you mentioned something, but I don't know why.

You said: "one thing that strikes me about the reading is that a satsangi's aim would be to transcend and leave the mind behind in Trikuti in order to know the true self.'

-- Well OK, but the thing is I don't really see or get your point. What does "a satsangi's aim" have anything to do with the import of that 'reading'?

And what does it realy matter what "a satsangi's aim" is? Maybe you do, but I just don't see "a satsangi's aim" as having any relevancy to the content or import of that reading at all.

Were you perhaps mistakenly assuming that I was relating the content and/or import of that 'reading' to Santmat? I was not. My posting it had no relationship to Santmat or to "a satsangi's aim" at all. I wasn't relating it to Santmat in any way whatsoever. Not everything that I post here is related to Santmat.

Also, do you understand that the "mind" as it was being used in that treatise, is not at all the same as the santmat version of "mind"?

And btw, there also wasn't really any such so-called "true self" indicated in that reading either. Quite the opposite imo.

Tao, I compared the approach to the mind in the treatise to the sant mat approach to mind, not you.

Refering to the last two lines of your comment, he says that looking into your own mind is the true state of self awareness.

.................

Tinnitus, or Sound Current ???

Physical causes, or spiritual ?

Low level, broad band sound is used to facilitate tinnitus habituation. It was mentioned previously that 94% of the people placed in a very quiet environment develop temporary tinnitus. Silence actually enhances tinnitus and hyperacusis. Patients are advised to avoid silence and immerse themselves in a low level, emotionally neutral sound environment.

The noises most often associated with Type 1 Tinnitus are a humming or a buzzing sound. The noises most often associated with Type 2 Tinnitus are typically buzzing, hissing, reverberating, echoing or humming in nature.

Tinnitus noises that result from type 3 include clucking or cracking, gurgling or whirring sounds. These noises are often aggravated or relieved by swallowing or blowing the nose since there is often a negative pressure in the ear. From time to time, many people often experience a ringing tone in the affected ear which comes and goes periodically, lasting a few seconds at a time.

The Tinnitus caused by cochlear damage are many and varied and can include sounds of ringing bells, chirping sounds, sounds like cicadas, roaring, hissing and fluttering sounds.

The Tinnitus caused by auditory nerve damage includes high pitched ringing bells, whistling, roaring and buzzing.

The sounds associated with type 6 are usually drumming, pulsating, or a fluttering which is synchronous with the heart.

Type 7. The predominant sounds are ringing, whistling, whizzing, and rushing (as of a waterfall.)

Note: Even rats hear sound current !!! Jastreboff, P.J., Brennan, J.F., Sasaki, C.T. Phantom auditory sensation in rats: An animal model for tinnitus. Behavioral. Neuroscience, 102:811-822, 1988. The main paper describing the principle and the results of our behavioral paradigm for inducing and detecting tinnitus in rats.


.................

Hi Brian. Good post with lots of very good questions.

I think one word in one sentence you wrote is extremely pertinent, and our bone of contention:

"But this is a far cry from the religious claims of those who elevate the elimination of ego (or the realization that such doesn't exist) to sacred status."

It is in what one considers to be 'sacred'.

Now one could go into a long winded post about the 'relative benefits' of 'realising' the reality of no-self. But, that is ultimately a subjective thing. And I believe you are right from an absolute sense, there is no difference whatsoever between one who realises and one who doesn't.

However, just on a personal level, I think it is not neccessarily a 'good' thing to lose all sense of the 'sacred' in one's life. Actually, I personally feel it is a bit of a shame.

But each to their own :)

So........you have spent thousands of hours
in bajan .... repeated simran endlessly .....and have never for a moment lost thought....... of the Guru.

You have chased after love .....like the dog
chasing its tail. You have climbed the mountains and scoured the desert .......for the object of your heart.

Can you honestly say you are any further in
your progress.... than when you started ?

"Who" are you looking for ? "Who" do you want to be ?
"Who" do you want to merge with?

"Who"..... will denounce ..."Who"
...... to make "your" mind still ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvzUdM29_uA

"But this is a far cry from the religious claims of those who elevate the elimination of ego (or the realization that such doesn't exist) to sacred status."
--
Exactly true, there is absolutely nothing sacred, or spiritual, about the realization of no self. No God and no afterlife, are discovered.
--

"there is no difference whatsoever between one who realises and one who doesn't."
--

True, nothing spiritually (spiritually
is a theory which may not be true anyway.)

These people have not stilled the mind. They have made the 'self' a neutral thought.
The self is neutral, like a glass of water.
Therefore, selfish acts cannot be comitted.

They see no need to wax a self, that they
know is only a myth. A myth can only create action if it is believed.

To fight a myth is like using a cannon
to chase away a ghost.... instead of the appropriate broomstick.

To fight with a myth is to believe it.
Holy men are created with this fight.

Because Holy men believe they have a self
to do battle against.
---------------------------

"Often this issues comes up in books about, or by, some supposed guru or spiritual master. Why does he or she still get angry, irritated, depressed, or forgetful? Why does he or she not show any unique qualities that scream out, not leaving any doubt, Realized Being Here! ?"
Vedanta/Advaita post quote

It is true a realized person has no super powers. They do not know if there is a God or afterlife. And, it is extremely rare,
any of these people would teach you how to reach their state.

In fact, these people still still "get angry, irritated, depressed and forgetful."

So, you cannot recognize them. They do not
pretend humility, supress anger, or silence irritation.

You cannot recognize the selfless, because
you have the wrong idea of what they are.

They "get angry, irritated, depressed and forgetful", only for different reasons
than the people whom believe they have a self.

They can be forceful, mean, angry, sarcastic
for the benefit of helping human beings and animals.

They have the goal of dispelling ignorance.
They are out to put down myth.

Hence, they are not 'Saints' and are not 'good'. Because they debunk religion
and Masters.

They may only say, do not still the mind,
neutralize it.
-------------------------------

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUszp9QFmq4&feature=related

copy and paste

What do the selfless look like ?

Thanks mike williams for the excellent comments and the link to Judy Collins' "Here Come the Clowns". Never listened to the song in that light. Beautiful.


The idea that the bell sound is probably tinnutis is nothing new. During the 1930s, or so the extremist Sikhs used this as one way of trying to descredit the RS Faith. Shabji Saheb a Dayalbagh Satguru noted it in one of his books along with certain other claims against the RS movement.

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