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August 16, 2020


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We have a self. There is you and me. It was given to us. The day started out for most people, with a clean set of clothes. By the end of the day it's ragged, torn. We did what we could but we had some distance to travel. When we got to the party, if our outfit was still clean, we strutted about proud of our appearance. But when we went next to the funeral it was fear and respect for the limitations of life that made us humble, for the moment.

It doesn't take more than an uncooperative jet engine for nearly a planeload of people to become humble and acknowledge their limited place here, given to us and taken back by forces far more powerful and well outside our control.

Or you may experience the same following a jackass on the highway going way too slow, realizing he or she is in control now, for the moment.

And then you pass them, and see the aged driver entirely focused, their whole mind set to careful driving, then you can understand they too are grasping with great care this limited life they did not actually give and whose expiration date they can only shudder to think about.

"We have a self. There is you and me. " - Spence

It's all about understanding and clear communication.

Once you make it clear what you are referring to and the context -- it leaves little room for mis-understanding

If two people who don't understand each other,
at least understand that they don't understand each other,
then they understand each more,
than if.....
not understanding each other,
they don't even understand
that they don't understand each other,

clearly there is a ME writing these words
clearly there is a YOU reading these words

that is not even subject to debate.

Just like I say -- there is only the ONENESS
and spence quite rightly says - there is MANY here
but (he says) there is ONENESS within the many (he gives examples).

but that was not the POINT - again - it's all about understanding.

The ONENESS topic and the SELF / NO-SELF are related.

The zen master holds a flame - a match and asks
"Is the flame real?"
sure - it appears to be real - it's right there and it's alight and it gives heat and you can see it and it burns too.
seems pretty real.
then he blows it out.....
and asks
"Where has the flame gone to now?"
the disciples cannot answer
"It has gone where it came from..... nowhere"
It never really was - hence it has gone.

that which is REAL - never goes - it remains forever
that which is here now and gone soon - is unreal because it's not permanent

so now applying this to ONENESS - the world is unreal because it's not permanent.

it's here for a while only - like the flame.

The ONE is permanent - it doesn't change - it's eternal
There cannot be MORE than ONE - because if there were two, it wouldn't be infinite and endless.
It cannot have an END because only things in time and space have an END.
An END or a BEGINNING does not exist outside of time and space.

so there cannot be DIVISIONS within the ONE - there cannot be individuals - there cannot be a SELF

Hence NO SELF is the ultimate reality and it cannot be otherwise.

Of course we all experience a ME (a self) - nobody is denying that.
but it's not REAL (eternal) - it's just temporary - like the body

"We don't have a self" - means that we creates this identity
we learned that "there is a ME here and a YOU there"
then we imagined the idea of a SOUL within the body.

and an OVERSOUL (a big, huge gigantic soul - like the ocean)
that we then began to call GOD.

drop the ideal of a SELF and you have the illusion of a self
this is called the EGO (Haumi) - the illusion that I am a SEPARATE entity
because I have a separate soul - a separate self makes sense.

there IS a separate body - I agree - but no separate self
because its impossible for there to be more than ONE real thing.

There cannot be MANY within the ONE because then it's not ONE - it's many.

The ONE cannot be split into parts because "parts" are impossible outside of time and space.

You could say it's a different reality - a different dimension - that we cannot understand.

Imagine a two dimentional being - who exists just on the surface of a paper.
He cannot understand the third dimension.
His entire existence is on the surface of the paper. Anything beyond that cannot be understood.

How can we understand anything beyond time and space when time and space is all we know.

All of our theories fail. There cannot be any thinking there because thoughts require time.

There cannot be a ME there - there cannot be an identity.
There cannot be THINGS
There cannot be movement
There cannot be Good or Bad or Love or Hate (these are ideas and need a mind)
There cannot be a mind
in fact - everything we know - doesn't exist there.
even 'knowing' or 'knowledge' doesn't exist.

hence the term "neti neti" or "nirguna" because it's the absence of everything.


Then why didn't Nanak proclaim ZERO?

He could have, but he chose ONE.
The Buddha chose ZERO and called it nirvana, emptiness.
ONE sounds better. And there is plenty of flowery Language to romanticise the ONE.
People act out of fear and greed.
Both are in the scriptures
Fear of death and dharma raj
Greed: you will get bliss, love, peace.
Then a few hints at the truth;
That there is no you at all. You only appear to exist because you have haumi.
A sense of “I”

Hi Osho
This personality most certainly exists, but as you point out it's temporary.

What really is eternal?

In Meditation, in contemplation, when you can look at yourself or the world, or even where you can be a passive observer taking it all in, there is this sense that you are not your emotions, not your thoughts, nor your body. You can watch these things. You can be self - aware. Just like looking at your past and seeing yourself much differently than you were at the time. And looking at nature, realizing you are an object in nature like all the others. As if you are two beings. A duality that you arrive at through detachment.

Who is that observer? Not the one you are observing. Maybe a calmer, wiser person.

Easy to know the one you are looking at. But what about the one doing the looking? They are the "real" you, but may defy description. And and the one you see acting is also the real you. But the one observing is basically invisible. Living in the void. Beyond concrete description.

While in the womb, babies begin learning language from their mothers


Your Reality Is Unique to Your Brain

Electrochemical signals travel through dense networks of neurons. The brain scans through this non-stop incoming stream of information in search for patterns which becomes your reality.


Because of our differing brains, each one of us really does live in our own little world. Reality depends on what actually happens (objective) and how our brains make sense of what happens (subjective). Although there are many commonalities across our realities, it cannot be assumed that anything is the same for everyone.

Hi Jen!

How are you? Thanks for sharing those links. I found them both very fascinating.

This part in particular from the second article:

In his book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist, Jonah Lehrer writes “Our memories are not like fiction. They are fiction.” He compares memories to “a Xerox of a Xerox of a mimeograph of the original photograph.”

In your brain, a memory is made up of slight shifts in certain synapses firing in a specific sequence. Every time you recall a memory, the brain reconsolidates this process incorporating and filtering the thought through who you are and what you know at the time of remembering.

It’s amazing how a group of people can witness an event and then later certain people will recall almost the same details while others seem to have completely different recounts.

Makes you wonder if a “good memory” or a more accurate memory due in part to objectivity and honesty.

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