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  #21  
Old 29-03-2020, 10:34 AM
Greenslade Greenslade is offline
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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
Yes, just your perspective based on just your experience. And your agenda, don't forget your agenda.
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  #22  
Old 29-03-2020, 10:49 AM
Greenslade Greenslade is offline
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Originally Posted by ketzer
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.
Where does your Spirituality come from? The other question is what do you get out of Spirituality?


Rejecting the human experience is not Spirituality it's as much a part of your personal 'bigger picture' as Spirituality itself because it underpins your whole paradigm, and it's that which 'drives your Spirituality. Spirituality is often a response to our perceptions of the human experience, and f it is being rejected as delusional then what are the reasons for that? What part of yourself don't you like very much?
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  #23  
Old 29-03-2020, 12:49 PM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Originally Posted by ketzer
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenslade
Where does your Spirituality come from? The other question is what do you get out of Spirituality?
Rejecting the human experience is not Spirituality it's as much a part of your personal 'bigger picture' as Spirituality itself because it underpins your whole paradigm, and it's that which 'drives your Spirituality. Spirituality is often a response to our perceptions of the human experience, and f it is being rejected as delusional then what are the reasons for that? What part of yourself don't you like very much?
So now I am confused? I thought we were in agreement, but from your use of the word "you", it feels like you are arguing back against me with my own argument.?? Are you using "you" in the general sense (i.e. rather than "one") and agreeing with me, or are are you speaking to me specifically to challenge my assertions (with similar assertions??).

Anyway, to be clear, this idea of rejecting the human experience is what I am arguing against, not for. I get that sometimes the suffering that often accompanies the human experience becomes unbearable for some. At such times it is only natural to shake a fist at God and demand to know why. There are many good answers as to why, yet none are sufficient and neither is their sum. Neither do I have a sufficient answer to where my spirituality comes from. It seems to me this human life experience is an exploration in the duality of good and evil, not to mention all the other perhaps lesser polarities to explore. Good/evil, ugliness/beauty, happy/sad, electron/positron, trough/peak, and many more polarities are there for me to experience, contrast, and ponder. Perhaps somewhere in the experience of all of those ups and downs is where my spirituality appears. Whatever there is to get from it though is not contained in the thoughts pondered or the feelings felt, they are just another part of the experience, ingredients. I expect that whatever comes out of the oven at the end of the day cannot be captured in words or thoughts, but rather is like the Tao, a mystery that is beyond them. My phantom self, is just a point of view, one of many, to probe that mystery with. Like anyone, I seek to disown this phantom self when it suffers, that is the nature of suffering. Yet this phantom self, though it may be called a delusion, is a very persistent one, which I suspect is for the best, and perhaps why I continue to cling to it for now.
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  #24  
Old 29-03-2020, 01:34 PM
Greenslade Greenslade is offline
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Originally Posted by ketzer
So now I am confused? I thought we were in agreement, but from your use of the word "you", it feels like you are arguing back against me with my own argument.?? Are you using "you" in the general sense (i.e. rather than "one") and agreeing with me, or are are you speaking to me specifically to challenge my assertions (with similar assertions??).

Anyway, to be clear, this idea of rejecting the human experience is what I am arguing against, not for. I get that sometimes the suffering that often accompanies the human experience becomes unbearable for some. At such times it is only natural to shake a fist at God and demand to know why. There are many good answers as to why, yet none are sufficient and neither is their sum. Neither do I have a sufficient answer to where my spirituality comes from. It seems to me this human life experience is an exploration in the duality of good and evil, not to mention all the other perhaps lesser polarities to explore. Good/evil, ugliness/beauty, happy/sad, electron/positron, trough/peak, and many more polarities are there for me to experience, contrast, and ponder. Perhaps somewhere in the experience of all of those ups and downs is where my spirituality appears. Whatever there is to get from it though is not contained in the thoughts pondered or the feelings felt, they are just another part of the experience, ingredients. I expect that whatever comes out of the oven at the end of the day cannot be captured in words or thoughts, but rather is like the Tao, a mystery that is beyond them. My phantom self, is just a point of view, one of many, to probe that mystery with. Like anyone, I seek to disown this phantom self when it suffers, that is the nature of suffering. Yet this phantom self, though it may be called a delusion, is a very persistent one, which I suspect is for the best, and perhaps why I continue to cling to it for now.
In part, yes we are in agreement but for me there's a 'bigger picture' at play here. And the 'you' is either you personally or the wider 'you'.

The question for me is what are the reasons this 'phantom self' called a delusion? Had it not been for the suffering that 'phantom self' had experienced, would you be in this forum at all? And I'm asking you specifically. This so-called 'phantom self' is the 'source' of our Spirituality, it's the reason we suffer and the reason we turn to other sources to find inspiration, answers, escape......... Had it not been for that 'phantom self' you would never have learned forgiveness or empathy, you would never have grown from your suffering (if you have grown from it)...... That 'phantom self' is what your reality is built on, including calling it a delusion. Calling the 'phantom self' a delusion is not Spirituality, it's denial and inner conflict.

Understanding the role that 'phantom self' plays in my reality is, in part, the understanding of the reasons I chose this existence and to be the person - 'phantom self included - I am. My 'phantom self' plays in the puddles with the kids and has a small pouch of marbles in his pocket, that's some of his response to this reality and how he experiences it. Had this 'phantom self' been any different, so would the Lives of others it has touched - while yet others might have died or had never existed.

Sit yourself down quietly, light a candle or two and play some music if it helps. Now ask yourself one simple question; "How different would the Universe be if I had never existed?" The 'phantom self' is what is used to 'navigate' and experience this reality.
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  #25  
Old 29-03-2020, 03:10 PM
Jyotir Jyotir is offline
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Spirituality in its essence is, and in practice should be simple and uncomplicated.

If this were not true, so many different forms and approaches could not be viable, because the many paths are indeed supported by that simple universality which is Spirit.

Quote:
Where does your Spirituality come from?
As the word suggests, spirituality comes from Spirit.

All life and especially in the self-conscious human being, all progressive urges, endeavors, and especially human spiritual aspiration originates in the inexorable emergence of Spirit out of a conditional ignorance of Self that was the Will and intention of Spirit for the Creation.

Quote:
The other question is what do you get out of Spirituality?
Not surprisingly, what one gets is Spirit...


...since Spirit is the Source self-existent,
the ALL of totality, and
the process of becoming itSelf, the evolution of consciousness in the physical,
therefore what one gets is a realization of that true Identity.

This is truly a blessing and an unprecedented opportunity in each and every human life.

This opportunity means NOT the rejecting of human experience, but rather the true fulfillment of it; that the human experience is necessarily the transformation from the human animal to the divine human being. That is the inherent promise of each and every human life as provisioned by Spirit.

~ J
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  #26  
Old 29-03-2020, 04:02 PM
Greenslade Greenslade is offline
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Originally Posted by Jyotir
If this were not true, so many different forms and approaches could not be viable, because the many paths are indeed supported by that simple universality.
All Paths are of Spirit regardless of being a Spiritual Adept or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyotir
As the word suggests, spirituality comes from Spirit.
If Spirit has an ego then yes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyotir
Not surprisingly, what one gets is Spirit...
One gets what Spirit is in one's own reality, and there are very human factors involved in that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyotir
...since Spirit is the Source self-existent,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyotir
the ALL of totality, and
the process of becoming itSelf in the physical,
therefore what one gets is a realization of that true Identity.
'Self' in the physical is ego or who and what you believe yourself to be. It's a perceptual framework of responses that has been in progress since childhood.

'True' identity only exists in relation to 'false' identity, and often that is agenda and/or denial.

The Jungian ego that you have rejected in the past gives an understanding of the human experience, unless the All of totality is conditional. The transformation of the animal into the divine human being is what Freud describes as the ego. The animal is the id or base instincts and the divine human being is the superego.

You see Jyotir, unless there is an understanding and acceptance of the animal and its role in the process there is no real transformation, there is only another 'layer' of animal.
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  #27  
Old 29-03-2020, 06:58 PM
iamthat iamthat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenslade
Yes, just your perspective based on just your experience. And your agenda, don't forget your agenda.

And of course, don't forget your agenda.

Peace
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  #28  
Old 30-03-2020, 01:37 AM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Originally Posted by Greenslade
....
Again, perhaps it is my delusion, but I have the perception that you seem to want to assign me a position opposite to yours in order to disagree with it and debate me on the subject.
“In part, yes we are in agreement but for me there's a 'bigger picture' at play here. And the 'you' is either you personally or the wider 'you'.”
While I see there is a difference between the two, I do believe the separation as an illusion. Perhaps I might phrase it instead that the ‘you’ is you personally, and the wider ‘you’ is as well, at the same time. The wider me (soul?) creates or adopts a protagonist to become and live through for a period of time. For a time it’s awareness and attention is so focussed on that character that it forgets it is a wider self and feels it “is” that personal self (which in a certain sense it is), yet that personal self experience rests upon and occurs within the wider self. Though I have heard that personal self experience called a delusion, I don’t personally prefer that word as it is too derogatory. However, I am fine with the word illusion, as all created realities can be said to be illusions, but illusion is how we create the realities we experience, and the experience is real.

'Had it not been for the suffering that 'phantom self' had experienced, would you be in this forum at all? And I'm asking you specifically.'


Specifically, my answer is that I don’t know. I expect that is the nature of how the many worlds available in the quantum wave equation decohere into the one path that I experience in this lifetime. I make my choice, the wave appears to collapse for me, and I must move forward to the next choice. What would have been had I chosen differently is beyond my view in the four dimensions of spacetime. I would need to rise into the fifth dimension to see the consequences of alternative choices. However, I would expect that it is probable that I would not be here on such a forum if I did not suffer. One tends not to look for reasons why or fixes for one's reality when it does not seem to be broken. Although, I was born with a tendency to want to take things apart to see how they work, so perhaps I would have broken it myself.

"This so-called 'phantom self' is the 'source' of our Spirituality, it's the reason we suffer and the reason we turn to other sources to find inspiration, answers, escape......... Had it not been for that 'phantom self' you would never have learned forgiveness or empathy, you would never have grown from your suffering (if you have grown from it)...... That 'phantom self' is what your reality is built on, including calling it a delusion. Calling the 'phantom self' a delusion is not Spirituality, it's denial and inner conflict.


Phantom self, ego, delusion, illusion, there are many things that we so-call it. Yes, it makes sense that how we view our created or adopted “self” will alter the nature that our wider self experiences of it and through it, as well as of the larger ‘world’. Perhaps a ‘phantom-self’ is the only way one can experience and know forgiveness, empathy, love, hate, anger, and others, I don’t know. Just as I cannot know the consequences of alternative choices I did not choose, I cannot know whether altering my experience through my view of self and world is better or worse. Is it best to just get in my car and go for a drive, or should I open the hood and see what makes it go? Perhaps I can do some of both. I stumble along my path through life as best as I can find it, hoping I know the best way to go, but allowing that I probably don’t. But I know that I will have experiences along the journey nonetheless. I like to think my wider self knows where it is going, making the right choices at each junction, but I am too focused on being a human to see too far ahead or behind.

"Understanding the role that 'phantom self' plays in my reality is, in part, the understanding of the reasons I chose this existence and to be the person - 'phantom self included - I am. My 'phantom self' plays in the puddles with the kids and has a small pouch of marbles in his pocket, that's some of his response to this reality and how he experiences it. Had this 'phantom self' been any different, so would the Lives of others it has touched - while yet others might have died or had never existed."


Yes, I agree, had the phantom self been different, other events might have happened or might not have happened. But for this walk through the woods, I only know what did happen and even that is blurred by my human perception, interpretation, and faulty memory. I expect that most if not all would like to skip ahead and look at the answers in the back of the book, but knowing those answers before trying to work through the problems only hinders our learning.

"Sit yourself down quietly, light a candle or two and play some music if it helps. Now ask yourself one simple question; "How different would the Universe be if I had never existed?" The 'phantom self' is what is used to 'navigate' and experience this reality."


I ponder many questions in my quiet time. ‘ What might have been if’, is one that though I cannot know, I do sometimes ponder the possibilities nonetheless. Depending on what possibility I ponder, I may become sad, mad, glad, confused, depressed, proud, or maybe just curious. I suppose this pondering is just another part of this human experience. One possibility I ponder is that after this life is over, whether I can and would go back down to the trunk of the tree and start back up again. Perhaps making different choices along the way and ending up at the tip of a different branch. And if so, whether after that life is over, if I could then remember both lives and compare notes. Who knows, given enough lifetimes, I might be able to map out most of the tree that is currently me. Maybe it depends on just how big that tree is and how many times I wish to climb it, or maybe even whether I wish to be a different tree instead. Then again, maybe it doesn’t work that way at all, I don’t really know.
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  #29  
Old 30-03-2020, 09:57 AM
Greenslade Greenslade is offline
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Originally Posted by ketzer
Again, perhaps it is my delusion, but I have the perception that you seem to want to assign me a position opposite to yours in order to disagree with it and debate me on the subject.
Bigger isn't opposite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
While I see there is a difference between the two, I do believe the separation as an illusion. Perhaps I might phrase it instead that the ‘you’ is you personally, and the wider ‘you’ is as well, at the same time. The wider me (soul?) creates or adopts a protagonist to become and live through for a period of time. For a time it’s awareness and attention is so focussed on that character that it forgets it is a wider self and feels it “is” that personal self (which in a certain sense it is), yet that personal self experience rests upon and occurs within the wider self. Though I have heard that personal self experience called a delusion, I don’t personally prefer that word as it is too derogatory. However, I am fine with the word illusion, as all created realities can be said to be illusions, but illusion is how we create the realities we experience, and the experience is real.
No here is no separation but perceiving from alternate perspectives isn't such a bad thing, not if it leads to understanding. It depends on what you call illusion, some would say that if it's the reality you create it's not an illusion. According to Donald Hoffman the reality we perceive is not an illusion but more like an icon on a desktop, in that it's representative. There again, if you jump off a high place the splat at the bottom isn't so illusory. And if it is illusory then it's illusory only in your own reality, but is it illusory or is there an underlying personality disorder? The reality is that perception is reality.

What is a 'personal self', and a 'wider self'?

Often the understandings in Spirituality come not from beliefs but the reasons we have them, beliefs are - if you are talking about created realities - illusions as much as anything else. If this experience is illusory then so is Spirituality. The objective reality is that there is no objective reality relative to the individual.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer

Specifically, my answer is that I don’t know. I expect that is the nature of how the many worlds available in the quantum wave equation decohere into the one path that I experience in this lifetime. I make my choice, the wave appears to collapse for me, and I must move forward to the next choice. What would have been had I chosen differently is beyond my view in the four dimensions of spacetime. I would need to rise into the fifth dimension to see the consequences of alternative choices. However, I would expect that it is probable that I would not be here on such a forum if I did not suffer. One tends not to look for reasons why or fixes for one's reality when it does not seem to be broken. Although, I was born with a tendency to want to take things apart to see how they work, so perhaps I would have broken it myself.
I've spent a lot of time looking at my past and how it bright me here. I've just finished my second round of cognitive behaviour therapy, which took my perceptual reality apart piece by piece and examined it. I know why I'm Spiritual and I know what I'm looking for, what I was always looking for. Had the events in my Life been different then so would the Lives of the people I have touched - I might not have touched them in the first place. From the perspective of something wider, that's pretty profound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
Phantom self, ego, delusion, illusion, there are many things that we so-call it. Yes, it makes sense that how we view our created or adopted “self” will alter the nature that our wider self experiences of it and through it, as well as of the larger ‘world’. Perhaps a ‘phantom-self’ is the only way one can experience and know forgiveness, empathy, love, hate, anger, and others, I don’t know. Just as I cannot know the consequences of alternative choices I did not choose, I cannot know whether altering my experience through my view of self and world is better or worse. Is it best to just get in my car and go for a drive, or should I open the hood and see what makes it go? Perhaps I can do some of both. I stumble along my path through life as best as I can find it, hoping I know the best way to go, but allowing that I probably don’t. But I know that I will have experiences along the journey nonetheless. I like to think my wider self knows where it is going, making the right choices at each junction, but I am too focused on being a human to see too far ahead or behind.
The 'phantom self' is not a phantom, it's your response to your experiential existence and it's been in 'the making' since you were a child. Everybody's is/has. It's still 'under construction' within Spirituality, and labelling it as a 'phantom self' is another by-product of the phantom self. It's the only way we can experience anything and it gives us a single point from which to have a perspective, and therefore a relationship with the external world. It's through this phantom self that one feels betrayed, becomes angry and learns forgiveness. And all your others.

"Give me a tall ship, and a star to steer her by." I feel as though events have already played out, and it's the perceptual distance the phantom self sees that makes it all worth while. And what happens between 'here' and 'there'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
Yes, I agree, had the phantom self been different, other events might have happened or might not have happened. But for this walk through the woods, I only know what did happen and even that is blurred by my human perception, interpretation, and faulty memory. I expect that most if not all would like to skip ahead and look at the answers in the back of the book, but knowing those answers before trying to work through the problems only hinders our learning.
To the 'wider self' we're already there, to the the 'phantom self' there is a perception of time and how it experiences the walk in the woods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
I ponder many questions in my quiet time. ‘ What might have been if’, is one that though I cannot know, I do sometimes ponder the possibilities nonetheless. Depending on what possibility I ponder, I may become sad, mad, glad, confused, depressed, proud, or maybe just curious. I suppose this pondering is just another part of this human experience. One possibility I ponder is that after this life is over, whether I can and would go back down to the trunk of the tree and start back up again. Perhaps making different choices along the way and ending up at the tip of a different branch. And if so, whether after that life is over, if I could then remember both lives and compare notes. Who knows, given enough lifetimes, I might be able to map out most of the tree that is currently me. Maybe it depends on just how big that tree is and how many times I wish to climb it, or aybe even whether I wish to be a different tree instead. Then again, maybe it doesn’t work that way at all, I don’t really know.
You can know - or at least make a pretty good stab at it - how you personally have changed people's realities throughout the course of your Life by just being 'you'. You can understand how much you are having an effect on the people you interact with currently. You don't need to worry about possibilities when you can envisage what is.

The cognitive behaviour therapy I've been going through has pretty much 'dismantled' the processes that created this 'phantom self', but this 'phantom self' I can live with and accept and yes, warts and all I even like him. He painted the 'bigger picture' and without him, there wouldn't be so much of a picture. It also taught me that my perceptual reality is like that tree and how I choose to perceive anything is like a branch. And I have the choice. If something 'bad' happens to me then I can choose to be the victim, or I could use it to make me stronger, or I could use it when empathising with someone. That's a part of the relationship between the 'phantom self' and the 'wider self', when the 'phantom self' thinks "Damn, I've been through the mill but I wouldn't change it because this is the effect it's had."
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Last edited by Greenslade : 30-03-2020 at 11:07 AM.
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  #30  
Old 31-03-2020, 01:32 AM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Originally Posted by Greenslade
Bigger isn't opposite.....

I've been through the mill but I wouldn't change it because this is the effect it's had."

As far as what is real and what is illusion, this seems to be something I can chase my tail around endlessly. (e.g. An icon on the desktop is an illusion of a button created by the pattern and color of pixels….etc…) In the end, whatever I call my world, I have an experience, that experience moves me, and that is what is perhaps important. A good story, whether a book or movie, can move and affect me, sometimes immensely, though one may say that is silly, as it is not “real”. If well crafted, a story written in the first person can, if I am willing, allow me to become that protagonist for a time. So what if the “things” in my life are illusions, they are my illusions, and they move me in all different ways, and I am grateful for them, although some take more time to appreciate than others.

Quote:
“If this experience is illusory then so is Spirituality. The objective reality is that there is no objective reality relative to the individual.”

Hmmm…. Even if the things I am experiencing are illusory, my experience of them can be real. I have said myself that there is no objective reality, as do some in physics, but why do you tac on “relative to the individual ''?

Quote:
The 'phantom self' is not a phantom, it's your response to your experiential existence and it's been in 'the making' since you were a child. Everybody's is/has. It's still 'under construction' within Spirituality, and labelling it as a 'phantom self' is another by-product of the phantom self. It's the only way we can experience anything and it gives us a single point from which to have a perspective, and therefore a relationship with the external world. It's through this phantom self that one feels betrayed, becomes angry and learns forgiveness. And all your others.

As per your description and my limited understanding, it’s pretty much what Freud would call the Ego. Given the expansion the word Ego has undergone within spirituality discussions, I expect phantom self is perhaps as good a label for it these days. Although I think perhaps phantom selves might be a more accurate description. When I turn inward and go exploring, I find I am something of a wizard of oz only there seems to be a whole team of different charlatans running the controls at different times producing different wizards depending on the situation and homunculus at the controls. It can be a bit unsettling to see that ‘one’ self is really a collection of individual parts creating the illusion of a single me. But there again, the single me is an illusion created from individual parts, from one close up perspective, but is a single real me from a wider angle perspective. The experience I get depends on the perspective I take, but both experiences are real. That said, that close up view can be a bit freaky if one is new to it. Perhaps even more freaky is that it is the wide angle single me looking at and examining the individual parts of that close up assemblage me. Or perhaps it is just the even wider angle me who looks in at both. Getting hard to keep track of all these selves.

Quote:
“I feel as though events have already played out,....”

Perhaps a tangent, but many physicists and philosophers would tell you they have.

Quote:
The cognitive behaviour therapy I've been going through has pretty much 'dismantled' the processes that created this 'phantom self', but this 'phantom self' I can live with and accept and yes, warts and all I even like him. He painted the 'bigger picture' and without him, there wouldn't be so much of a picture. It also taught me that my perceptual reality is like that tree and how I choose to perceive anything is like a branch. And I have the choice. If something 'bad' happens to me then I can choose to be the victim, or I could use it to make me stronger, or I could use it when empathising with someone. That's a part of the relationship between the 'phantom self' and the 'wider self', when the 'phantom self' thinks "Damn, I've been through the mill but I wouldn't change it because this is the effect it's had."

Well then, it is a good thing you were not in such a hurry to eradicate that phantom self before you got a chance to meet and understand him. Warts or not, you have found him to be a useful fellow who has and continues to serve a useful and even profound purpose in your life and spirituality. Perhaps it would be good if more seekers turned an eye toward the ego with the intent of understanding and appreciating it instead of seeking to eradicate or just ignore it. They may find they enjoy a peaceful coexistence preferable to a perpetual battle of self annihilation.
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