The Ego and "Seeing Things as they are"

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Eclectic Mystic, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. omprem

    omprem New Member

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    As in the Christian idea of spiritual rebirth. I think all religions have the idea of dying to the mundane in order to know the Divine. This idea is just phrased differently in different religions/spiritual paths and it is too bad that people's individuated egos force them to emphasize supposed difference instead of the unity of vision.

    Incidentally, 'nafs' as breath could be referring to prana as in all the Hindu scriptures. If so, then dissolution of the ego would mean cutting off any supply of prana to the lower chakras or talas below the Muladhara and instead taking prana up through the seven main chakras in order to know the Oneness of Divinity.
     
  2. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    In the Sufi and Kabbalistic view, it might be G-d knowing Himself through His Creation. That way of seeing it actually makes more sense to me.
     
  3. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Member

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    I'm not disagreeing with what any of you are saying. My point is, when I say something like "I'm perfectly fine the way I am," why do certain people have such a problem with this?
     
  4. omprem

    omprem New Member

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    Have you asked them?
     
  5. omprem

    omprem New Member

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    Sorry, but that notion makes zero sense to me. You have just limited God and made Him human, in the sense of having limits and frailties. If God needs know Himself and needs a creation to do it, then God is not perfection, nor omniscience, nor omnipotence, nor omnipresence.

    Your view may well be a Kabballistic Old Testament view of God but I doubt very much that it is a Sufi view of God.
     
  6. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    But it does raise the question of why creation exists in totality. If God is complete and self sustaining as pure being, why create what we know is suffering? This is why I believe creation is a necessity which you could say denies God's impotence since creation satisfies a need. An omnipotent God doesn't need. Yet I don't see any other explanation for the totality of creation other then it is necessary in relation to a basic need.
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Not really - it doesn't limit God - it assumes God as observer.

    It's rather profound, actually, especially in context with quantum physics and how an observer can fundamentally affect the direction of reality.
     
  8. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    The bible says we can discern God's qualities from creation. If God is observing us, what does that tell us about God?
     
  9. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    It has been a Sufi view for over a thousand years.

    My glance is the Divine glance (or my consciousness is the consciousness of the universe), the witness in the heavens...the light coming through our eyes is that of the heavenly witness... Ibn’ Arabi says we know God...by God Him/Herself. That’s a real breakthrough. That’s awakening.
    ~ Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan


    God makes Himself known to us through Himself, reveals to us His knowledge of Himself through Himself.
    ~Ibn Arabi


    When my Beloved appears,
    With what eye do I see Him?
    With His eye, not with mine,
    For none sees Him except Himself.
    ~Ibn Arabi


    It has no mouth, no tongue to speak, yet through our mouths that power is speaking. It has no eyes, yet it is observing through our eyes. It has no ears, yet it replies to the sounds that we hear with our own ears. It has no nose, but it senses fragrance through our sense of smell. It has no hands, but that power makes our hands the agency for giving and receiving. It has no feet or legs, but it walks throughout all the universes.
    ~M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
     
  10. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    >>>>? ? ? <<<<
    what does that tell us ??
     
  11. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Romans 1:18-23
    What do you see when you look in the mirror? How does it affect you?
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    You know and are not known
    You see and are not seen.
    ~Mansur Al-Hallaj
     
  13. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Not much room for subjectivity there.
     
  14. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Member

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    Have I asked them? Have I asked a person who has a problem with me believing myself to be fine the way I am "why?" Are you F'ing kidding me!?
     
  15. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Wouldn't that help them by prompting them to examine their own problem? :confused:
     
  16. earl

    earl ?

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    Actually my understanding is that Budha spoke of the self not ego of course, as, before Freud there was no such term as ego. Ego is a psychological term denoting psychological functioning. What we term ego is essentially that set of executive cognitive functions that allows one to discriminate sensory data, memories, etc and make decisions upon them. All humans unless severely disabled will always have an ego function. Now self is another matter. Self-ing is also a seemingly innate human thing to do but not synonymous with ego. Self is taking all that data and sifting through it in such a way as to draw up a "picture" of ourselves, a conclusion about ourselves centered around an "identity." Some transformational literature speak of "ego dissolution" which is technically erroneous as the ego function does not cease, at least until death. What seems to disolve with deeper spiritual realization is the self. Earl
     
  17. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I see the reversed image of my face. Well, it does exactly the same thing I do, when I do it, only backwards. But it does move in the same direction that I do...hmmm backwards yet in the same direction I move, that could get complicated to consider.

    Good question.
     
  18. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Ironic. Your "symbol" as noted above reminds me of the union of man and woman in marriage, wherein one must submit one's "ego" to the other, for the sake of the other...the "red" is the resulting projection of reality of that marriage as seen by those outside looking in...

    just a thought.

    v/r

    Q
     
  19. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    Hello Earl, thanks for the careful and thoughtful reading, and for the thought-provoking response.

    I think it would be fair to say that a traditional psychoanalytic view of "ego" is that it involves certain information processing functions - as you say, "discriminating sensory data, memories, etc and make decisions upon them." You might say it's our interface with the world.

    You go on to say that "Self is taking all that data and sifting through it in such a way as to draw up a 'picture' of ourselves, a conclusion about ourselves centered around an 'identity.'"

    Agreed. I notice that view of ego fits in well with your rendering of the self as "taking all that data and sifting through it in such a way as to draw up a 'picture" of ourselves, a conclusion about ourselves centered around an 'identity.'" I see the self as a highlighted area in the data stream of consistently/reliably re-curring sensory experiences and relatively constant mental objects. I would say the main value of memories is that they provide a schema for interpreting and organizing current experiences.


    True. Arguably there was as ego, but they didn't call it that.

    I would emphasize that the self as you describe it perhaps not really a picture because it is in flux: it is modulated situationally in the word of forms like any other reactive monkey mind phenomena. It might seemingly have the quality of being a clear-cut and vivid "still-life" picture. I would suggest that it tends to reference a stable and readily recognized subset of sensory experiences and mental objects (specific perceptions and cognitions), as well as more commonly used ego functions that are called for by our social roles and other forms of adaptation.

    I agree with you (again) that unless severely disabled humans will always have an intact ego. For one thing, We need it to track a physical body in order to coordinate with the physical world in time and space.

    What we see in "transformational experiences" is (1) a shift in the sense of self - no longer identifying the self in terms of the usual cognitive and sensory modalities because of a spiritualized way of seeing things; (2) a significant reduction or even a temporary cessation of some of the usual cognitive functions as new spiritual functions become operative; and (3) a re-organization of ego functions within a new spiritual context, i.e., with reference to a new set of motivational directives and goals (e.g., a Christian love ethic, compassion, wish for others' happiness, etc.).

    The cognitive functions may be pretty much the same as before. The sensory and mental apparatus may not change either, but the frame of reference for their operation has changed. What Paul calls the "new man" would appear to be the old man whose functioning has been re-organized by the addition of some new spiritual qualities that were previously dormant, with a subsequent change in the frame of reference. The re-organization would likely involve the ego functions becoming increasingly directed by newly internalized spiritual interests.

    In Buddhism, you see descriptions of how the person structures their idea of self in terms sensory impressions and mental "fabrications." The person's idea of self is kept in place by the person's belief that the composite of sensory impressions and mental "fabrications" that we think is self has permanence. The Buddhists see this belief as delusional because there is no such thing as a stable "self." Indeed, it does not make much sense to think of the self as being stable once you see it as an aspect of a data stream.

    From the perspective of Buddhist Emptiness doctrine, "ego dissolution" is a misnomer. There is no 'new self' and no 'old self,' as seen in the New Testament. There is only a change in the frame of reference that leads to a shift in attitudes and a new understanding of responsibility.
     

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