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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Non Duality

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  #1  
Old 25-03-2020, 11:53 AM
Moondance Moondance is offline
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Identity and the phantom self

The self that a no-separation sensibility refutes is the one that doesn’t exist - the one that is not here, now in this wide-awake happen-ing state of present experience. I sometimes refer to this as the ‘happened self’ as it solely resides in memory and narrative - not in actuality - it’s a persistent and convincing delusion upheld in mind.*

But let’s be clear, in the absence of this phantom self, the matrix of body-mind-activity still endures and its biological proclivities still arise. There is still the play of an individuated matrix which we can’t just reason away or trust that it will disappear when our narratives and memory are let go of. It persists in the same way as a tree persists or a bird or a stone etc.

Yet like the tree and the stone it has no inherent existence or self-origination and therefore no ultimate reality - it is activity, expression, patterning (for want of a description) of THIS - of wholeness. THIS or wholeness is the only actor. But it acts (in the case of a doing, for instance) VIA the individuated matrix.

It is via this play of the individuated matrix that identification arises. Source has no need for identity. So to a question such as, who is it that makes a cup of tea or fills in the tax returns? Strictly speaking, there is no separate one to make tea - there is only THIS - Source or wholeness manifest. But to pacify the intellect (in the context of a forum set up or similar) it is helpful to answer something like, Source… presenting as the body-mind-matrix makes tea or takes an aspirin for a headache or fills in the tax returns or avoids walking in front of speeding trucks etc.

Ultimately a question such as ‘who am I’ leads to the source of the intellect - but by then the question is meaningless.





* The sentient body-mind organism is biologically adapted to have a sense of individuated orientation. Over time the individuated orientation accumulates a reflective history which builds into a (almost incessant) self-reflective narrative. This history/narrative conceptually congeals to become a kind of pseudo entity - the happened self (also known as the psychological self or the remembered self.)
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  #2  
Old 25-03-2020, 04:27 PM
Unseeking Seeker Unseeking Seeker is offline
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***

Thanks for the lucid post. My understanding, is as follows:

Consciousness being singular, the ego-identity or phantom self is merely a stagnative indulgence of attention in the mind-body form or our earth life interface. Ego has many interpretations and in this post is taken to be the deluded conviction that mind body is all there is to us. It is that aspect of separation from source which creates independent doership, out of alignment with universal consciousness. The ‘illusionary’ ego becomes ‘real’ for as long as attention from source or consciousness stagnates or indulges in ego cravings.

Consciousness delegates or pours a part of itself without lessening itself to enliven or empower the mind-body. In order to fully experience earth life, consciousness operates through the limited self.

The exercise then is for the limited mind body aspect of consciousness or we may say, reflected consciousness, to recognise itself as an integral constituent of consciousness as a whole.

The immersion of consciousness into limitation and withdrawal back into itself may be likened to a pulse where consciousness choicelessly chooses to engage in lower vibrations and then resurface to its innate blissful state of wholeness. Since the outpouring of consciousness into limitation contains itself, its original essence always remains holographically present within the limited form as an ever present link to itself. The connection is veiled or made dormant by maya.

The remedy lies in exiting stagnation arising owing to association with mind body. This is not negation. It is recognition. Upon recognition without oscillation, the mind body apparatus operates in resonation with the vibrations of consciousness in an unbroken continuum. It is only then that new karma generation ceases, since the ego-identity disappears. Past karma still has to be resolved however.

With perfect synchronisation between projection of consciousness into mind body and itself, there is no separation, although for purpose of garnering earth life experience, reflected consciousness as mind body may alternately feel incompleteness and wholeness as attention rotates between self (mind body) and Self (consciousnesses).

As for memory, it is recalled involuntary, being our own experience. It is again the stagnation therein, where mind predicts trajectories or outcomes, that takes our attention away from the here & now. If memory imagery is simply looked at nonchalantly, attention is unbound.

We are where our attention is at. Therefore, it is not the play per se that is the problem. Rather, the purpose is play. It is stagnation in ego cravings that causes identification and delusion. If attention keeps on flowing unfettered across enabled polarities, without clinging or pausing, ego or delusion disappears.

***
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  #3  
Old 25-03-2020, 05:46 PM
Moondance Moondance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unseeking Seeker
***

Thanks for the lucid post. My understanding, is as follows:

Consciousness being singular, the ego-identity or phantom self is merely a stagnative indulgence of attention in the mind-body form or our earth life interface. Ego has many interpretations and in this post is taken to be the deluded conviction that mind body is all there is to us. It is that aspect of separation from source which creates independent doership, out of alignment with universal consciousness. The ‘illusionary’ ego becomes ‘real’ for as long as attention from source or consciousness stagnates or indulges in ego cravings.

Consciousness delegates or pours a part of itself without lessening itself to enliven or empower the mind-body. In order to fully experience earth life, consciousness operates through the limited self.

The exercise then is for the limited mind body aspect of consciousness or we may say, reflected consciousness, to recognise itself as an integral constituent of consciousness as a whole.

The immersion of consciousness into limitation and withdrawal back into itself may be likened to a pulse where consciousness choicelessly chooses to engage in lower vibrations and then resurface to its innate blissful state of wholeness. Since the outpouring of consciousness into limitation contains itself, its original essence always remains holographically present within the limited form as an ever present link to itself. The connection is veiled or made dormant by maya.

The remedy lies in exiting stagnation arising owing to association with mind body. This is not negation. It is recognition. Upon recognition without oscillation, the mind body apparatus operates in resonation with the vibrations of consciousness in an unbroken continuum. It is only then that new karma generation ceases, since the ego-identity disappears. Past karma still has to be resolved however.

With perfect synchronisation between projection of consciousness into mind body and itself, there is no separation, although for purpose of garnering earth life experience, reflected consciousness as mind body may alternately feel incompleteness and wholeness as attention rotates between self (mind body) and Self (consciousnesses).

As for memory, it is recalled involuntary, being our own experience. It is again the stagnation therein, where mind predicts trajectories or outcomes, that takes our attention away from the here & now. If memory imagery is simply looked at nonchalantly, attention is unbound.

We are where our attention is at. Therefore, it is not the play per se that is the problem. Rather, the purpose is play. It is stagnation in ego cravings that causes identification and delusion. If attention keeps on flowing unfettered across enabled polarities, without clinging or pausing, ego or delusion disappears.

***

Thoughtful post, US. Yours is coming from a different angle to mine - but interesting nonetheless. Thanks.

Yes, ego does have many interpretations, for this reason I tend to avoid using the word. Not discerning the (seemingly subtle) difference between the happened self/psychological self and the body-mind-individuated-matrix is often a source of much confusion in spiritual circles. The happened/psychological self is utterly non-existent and is therefore a delusion - which can be seen through and dissolved. The body-mind-individuated matrix has a relative existence which endures after it has been re-contextualised as a play/instrument of the whole.

This confusion is understandable because many nonduality teachers are not clear about this themselves. This leads some to the absurd conclusion that when the phantom self is seen through there would be (literally) no one there to make tea or participate on a forum. But this misses the vital point that the body-mind-matrix is no less instrumental in these relative things than it was when there was the additional burden of the psychological self.

Being free of the happened/psychological self is no hinderance to the natural and conventional functioning of the universe.
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  #4  
Old 26-03-2020, 09:05 AM
Greenslade Greenslade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondance
Yes, ego does have many interpretations, for this reason I tend to avoid using the word.
No offence to you personally but this is what happens when people redefine words from other areas or human understanding for their own agenda - such as ego. Others come up with other words/phrases that are attempting to describe the same thing but having to invent new words in order to move away from the agenda in order to gain a more true understanding. Which is what you're doing here I think.

The Spiritual teachers - and most on this forum it seems know so little about what you're calling the 'phantom self' and - technical jargon aside - agree with you. The confusion arises because the "body-mind-individuated-matrix" doesn't like itself and seeks to ignore the 'human aspects' of itself in order to identify with the Spiritual aspects, thereby coming into conflict with itself and being ignorant that thebody-mind-individuated-matrix is the source of their Spirituality and beliefs.

Dontcha just love the irony?
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  #5  
Old 26-03-2020, 12:23 PM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unseeking Seeker
***

Thanks for the lucid post. My understanding, is as follows:

Consciousness being singular, the ego-identity or phantom self is merely a stagnative indulgence of attention in the mind-body form or our earth life interface. Ego has many interpretations and in this post is taken to be the deluded conviction that mind body is all there is to us. It is that aspect of separation from source which creates independent doership, out of alignment with universal consciousness. The ‘illusionary’ ego becomes ‘real’ for as long as attention from source or consciousness stagnates or indulges in ego cravings.

Consciousness delegates or pours a part of itself without lessening itself to enliven or empower the mind-body. In order to fully experience earth life, consciousness operates through the limited self.

The exercise then is for the limited mind body aspect of consciousness or we may say, reflected consciousness, to recognise itself as an integral constituent of consciousness as a whole.

The immersion of consciousness into limitation and withdrawal back into itself may be likened to a pulse where consciousness choicelessly chooses to engage in lower vibrations and then resurface to its innate blissful state of wholeness. Since the outpouring of consciousness into limitation contains itself, its original essence always remains holographically present within the limited form as an ever present link to itself. The connection is veiled or made dormant by maya.

The remedy lies in exiting stagnation arising owing to association with mind body. This is not negation. It is recognition. Upon recognition without oscillation, the mind body apparatus operates in resonation with the vibrations of consciousness in an unbroken continuum. It is only then that new karma generation ceases, since the ego-identity disappears. Past karma still has to be resolved however.

With perfect synchronisation between projection of consciousness into mind body and itself, there is no separation, although for purpose of garnering earth life experience, reflected consciousness as mind body may alternately feel incompleteness and wholeness as attention rotates between self (mind body) and Self (consciousnesses).

As for memory, it is recalled involuntary, being our own experience. It is again the stagnation therein, where mind predicts trajectories or outcomes, that takes our attention away from the here & now. If memory imagery is simply looked at nonchalantly, attention is unbound.

We are where our attention is at. Therefore, it is not the play per se that is the problem. Rather, the purpose is play. It is stagnation in ego cravings that causes identification and delusion. If attention keeps on flowing unfettered across enabled polarities, without clinging or pausing, ego or delusion disappears.

***
Nice post, a bit hard to follow, but sounds about right. To be honest I had a hard time paying attention after I got through the first paragraph and saw the word craving. I though, "Ya know, I am really craving one of those drumstick ice cream cones about now." The ones with chocolate and peanuts on top, and some caramel in the middle and more chocolate at the bottom of the cone. It is perhaps a delusion, but by god it is a sweet one. One that in the present moment I would not mind pausing for a moment to cling to long enough to make it disappear.
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Old 26-03-2020, 04:56 PM
Unseeking Seeker Unseeking Seeker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
Nice post, a bit hard to follow, but sounds about right. To be honest I had a hard time paying attention after I got through the first paragraph and saw the word craving. I though, "Ya know, I am really craving one of those drumstick ice cream cones about now." The ones with chocolate and peanuts on top, and some caramel in the middle and more chocolate at the bottom of the cone. It is perhaps a delusion, but by god it is a sweet one. One that in the present moment I would not mind pausing for a moment to cling to long enough to make it disappear.

***

Hmmm ... I must try to use shorter and simpler sentences perhaps ...

Long standing problem with me


***
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Old 26-03-2020, 05:31 PM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unseeking Seeker
***

Hmmm ... I must try to use shorter and simpler sentences perhaps ...

Long standing problem with me


***
Well, it is probably my fault, it's hard to pay attention when one's stomach keeps growling. Maybe that is why the missionaries of old would feed the homeless before delivering a sermon.
Bread alone may not be sufficient, but perhaps it is necessary, at least for the living anyway.
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Old 26-03-2020, 06:11 PM
iamthat iamthat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenslade
The Spiritual teachers - and most on this forum it seems know so little about what you're calling the 'phantom self' and - technical jargon aside - agree with you. The confusion arises because the "body-mind-individuated-matrix" doesn't like itself and seeks to ignore the 'human aspects' of itself in order to identify with the Spiritual aspects, thereby coming into conflict with itself and being ignorant that thebody-mind-individuated-matrix is the source of their Spirituality and beliefs.

Once again this is just your perspective, which of course you think is valid. Your pronouncements are statements of belief, not statements of fact. Others have different perspectives which are equally valid to them.

We can consider spirituality as the process of identifying with the consciousness which functions through the body-mind-individuated-matrix. This is nothing to do with the body-mind-individuated-matrix disliking itself and seeking to ignore the human aspects of itself. Instead consciousness accepts the body-mind-individuated-matrix with all its limitations, recognising that the body-mind-individuated-matrix are just vehicles of expression in the worlds of form. And ultimately the body-mind-individuated-matrix is not that important.

It is this identification with consciousness which is the source of peoples' spirituality. The body-mind-individuated-matrix may have particular beliefs but the identification with consciousness transcends all beliefs.

And of course, this is just my perspective, based on my own experience.

Peace
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  #9  
Old 26-03-2020, 06:43 PM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenslade
The Spiritual teachers - and most on this forum it seems know so little about what you're calling the 'phantom self' and - technical jargon aside - agree with you. The confusion arises because the "body-mind-individuated-matrix" doesn't like itself and seeks to ignore the 'human aspects' of itself in order to identify with the Spiritual aspects, thereby coming into conflict with itself and being ignorant that thebody-mind-individuated-matrix is the source of their Spirituality and beliefs.

Dontcha just love the irony?

Well.... don't know about 'most', or about all that, but I do see that the 'human aspects' often seem to be something derided in spirituality discussions. I expect that we arise the 'BMIM' as one way/perspective from which to explore the spiritual aspects of the deeper mystery of the Tao/God/etc.... It's a vehicle to take us on a particular kind of journey.
Experience can teach in ways that go well beyond esoteric discussions of concepts, in ways that cannot be spoken or thought of regardless of the sophistication or number of words used. Yet one does seem to run across this idea that the 'human aspect' of our experience is some sort of unfortunate delusion that we need to wake up from in order to become happy and fulfilled, a switch needs to be flipped to turn on enlightenment. I don't think it is wrong to want to "wake up" and experience life from a different perspective, but I do think it is wrong to believe it is the one right path forward that we should all be seeking. If we enter into the human experience as a way to explore and experience our Spirituality and beliefs, or whatever, and then reject that human experience as mere delusion and try to wake up from it, it does seem a bit ironic if not counterproductive perhaps.
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Old 27-03-2020, 12:39 PM
A human Being A human Being is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthat
Once again this is just your perspective, which of course you think is valid. Your pronouncements are statements of belief, not statements of fact. Others have different perspectives which are equally valid to them.

We can consider spirituality as the process of identifying with the consciousness which functions through the body-mind-individuated-matrix. This is nothing to do with the body-mind-individuated-matrix disliking itself and seeking to ignore the human aspects of itself. Instead consciousness accepts the body-mind-individuated-matrix with all its limitations, recognising that the body-mind-individuated-matrix are just vehicles of expression in the worlds of form. And ultimately the body-mind-individuated-matrix is not that important.

It is this identification with consciousness which is the source of peoples' spirituality. The body-mind-individuated-matrix may have particular beliefs but the identification with consciousness transcends all beliefs.

And of course, this is just my perspective, based on my own experience.

Peace
Just on this concept of identification with consciousness - to me it feels inherently problematic in the context of non-duality, because identification assumes a duality, doesn't it? There has to be an entity on the one hand, and an entity on the other with which it's identifying, right?

Perhaps my understanding of the concept of identification is flawed or incomplete (it's not something I'd given much thought to until now, so that could easily be the case), could you elaborate?
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