Not much has been written about Self. Funny, I just had this Dream. Sow I’ll share this Self Beyond Self Experience.
Self Beyond Self
A Personal Experience:
Finishing up the reread and rewrite of the Three Attentions of Human Kind when I felt this uncontrollable urge to close my eyes. That’s when the Self Beyond Self revealed itself.
I could barely keep my eyes open, sow I went to nap.
I woke up about 2:30 am that morning started to rewrite the Three Attentions to update the post….it was a few years old. Things have changed within my consciousness since then.
I remember getting up, going to the bedroom about 12:30 PM that afternoon, laid down on the bed, got into the sleeping position, then drifted off to sleep. I remember dreaming, however the dream at this time is unimportant. After dreaming I woke up and moved into the living room. Karen was relaxxing in her chair, she asked,, how was my nap?
I shared….. I dreamed!, we talked for awhile. She was watching a program on her computer. Sow I fired up my computer started watching Star Teck Voyager….. That’s when the Self Beyond Self slapped me upside the head.
In that instant… I woke up face down in my bed again. I came out of the bedroom again and found the time to be around 2:30 PM. Karen was sitting in her chair and again ask me how was my nap?
I felt dazed… Probably because of the blow to my head. I told her I was dreaming, I was awake. She smiled at me, then continued watching her program. She knows me to well. Or, doesn’t want to know me that well!
I was set back, I sat down to recapitulate the experience………… Was I Dreaming I was awake, or awake dreaming….? Did I just time travel?
SEEING the first self Dream the second self while the third self was fast asleep.
One way of seeing this is the third self had dreamed the other two. There is a third option as well, the other two dreamed the one. I don’t remember waking up the third time.
Maybe to date…………. I haven’t, except to write this…. Self Beyond Self, It might have something to do with the Three Attentions rewrite!
Self Beyond Self Beyond Self
The path less traveled is on the Totality of Human Consciousness trying to comprehend its self. The masters have shared their insights, and stated that the self is the gateway beyond the thinking mind which leads to pure acceptance, tranquility, and ultimately pure awareness.
In essence, the conscious human mind always has to make up a story or narrative about everything, or a Reason for the Reason. The paradox is…… that to tame our mind we must use our mind, at the very least, have a mind…
However, at the same time awareness does not exist in the realm of the mind alone. It can be witnessed, experienced, and rested regardless of the state of conditioning our every day mind experiences. Awareness includes all the senses.
There is a tendency for a personality to define itself according to its attachments our descriptions and definitions. These holding patterns become the minefield that exists in the self. Watch your step. YEP! WHO needs SELF?
Each self based attachment is holding on to self ideas, descriptions, definitions, beliefs, feelings, emotions, experiences forms a personality that filters the Flow of Consciousness, feelings manifesting as separations. Every emotion experienced is a movement of a once stagnant energy from a holding pattern, the reaction of Self, stuck in self the personality of Self?
The base instincts that were learned about in evolutionary psychology then runs our lives. They all involve looking outside our selves for our survival, to get our perceived needs met. However there is a cost.
The cost of leaving the Self behind. AHHH! but which S–elf would you leave behind?
noun: self; plural noun: selves
1. a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
“our alienation from our true selves”
1. oneself, in particular.
n. pl. selves (sĕlvz)
1. The total, essential, or particular being of a person; the individual: “An actor’s instrument is the self” (Joan Juliet Buck).
2. The essential qualities distinguishing one person from another; individuality: “He would walk a little first along the southern walls, shed his European self, fully enter this world” (Howard Kaplan).
3. One’s consciousness of one’s own being or identity; the ego: “For some of us, the self’s natural doubts are given in mesmerizing amplification by way of critics’ negative assessments of our writing” (Joyce Carol Oates).
4. One’s own interests, welfare, or advantage: thinking of self alone.
synonyms: ego, I, oneself, persona, person, identity, character, personality, psyche, soul, spirit, mind, (inner) being, “listen to your inner self”. Yes, but not in the above order.
antonyms: other… a person’s particular nature or personality; the qualities that make a person individual or unique.
noun: one’s self; plural noun: one’s selfs
“by the end of the round he was back to his old self”
one’s own interests or pleasure.
“to love in a unpossessive way implies the total surrender of self”
Seek ye First the Kingdom of Heaven
For thousands of years human beings have searched for the state which is beyond time, beyond sorrow, beyond the isolation of the “self”. All religions describe such a state. In the Christian Bible, St Paul writes “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” The earliest Islamic poet of Iran, writes “I passed away into nothingness, I vanished; And lo, I am the All-living – only God I saw.” The Hindu saint Paramahansa Yogananda explained “When one is illumined, he sees himself as the one Spirit throbbing beneath all minds and bodies.” The Taoist teacher Huai Nan Tzu says “Those who follow the Natural order flow in the current of the Tao.” In the Buddhist text it is explained that the feeling of “I am” has no corresponding reality, and that when this truth is understood then the state of nirvana is attained.
Self Beyond Self, has shown The Illusion self maintains, thus consequently how it comes to an end. Which leads immediately to the experience of that which is Self Beyond Self.
A Definition of Self
“Self” is a process which we call “owning”, “appropriating”, or “identifying”. As William James said, The I… is a Thought, at each moment different from that of the last moment of thought, the self with the self called its own thought.
Information flows into our neurology via the five senses from outside, from other organs in our neurology, also as part of the non-sensory connections between self and all life.
There’s a very simple mechanism by which, from moment to moment, our reason divides this information into two sets. I see the door,,, and I think i see the door,,, in essence “not-me” Or, I have the ability to read this article and comprehend it, and I think again “me”, (again, I appropriate, or own it; I identify with it).
Therefore, are all these pieces of information in one mind? The notion of self and non-self is an arbitrary division; A meta-program or internal matching or mismatching. This division may be useful metaphorically, allegorically, or anagogically. However it is a division which has “taken over” and now thinks it runs the show. Where’s that sixth sense when you need it?
Like in many meta-program owning experiences as Self Beyond Self, “me” and the disowning of experiences as “not me” occurs unconsciously, however is consciously active. The whole notion of the logic we usually think depends on appropriating, or owning one sensory experience, One after another in a sequence.
Self Beyond Self offers an array of sensory experiences available at this every moment. Thus, the meta-program of owning selects one section at a time as “mine”. For example, if “I” am first holding a book, then “I” am looking at the words, then “I” am thinking the words to myself, then “I” am making pictures of the meaning. Those pictures tell “me” stories.
When actually, ALL of our senses are functioning all of the time, however conscious attention is shifting from one sense to another as the sense of “I”/SELF appropriates and then identifies with each sense in turn.
Attention is not Self
When thought identifies itself with sensation, it becomes the ‘me’… To observe with all senses there can be no identification. The question is, can you look/see with all your senses awakened?…
When there is movement of thought, when there is one sense operating. Can I sense if there is a different dimension, parallel reality, or another time for that matter? Perhaps a state where self as we know it ceases..?
It’s only possible when the sensory identification with thought of self is comprehended. Then the senses do not produce the psychological structure, as the “me, itself, and I Self”. Sow by simply being aware of all the senses at once puts an end to the process of owning/identifying, experiencing the Self Beyond Self’…
Do YOU SEE it? One Self is different!
Many students of “meditation” caught in meditation often assume that the ending of thought is the prerequisite for experiencing a state of Inner Silence. The common idea is that in order to reach this state one must empty the mind of all thoughts and ideas. This is in fact true, however the desired end cannot be achieved by consciously attempting to think about not thinking, or thinking of thinking nothing… Similarly, if I tell a friend not to think of a red monkey, or pink elephant, that animal immediately leaps into their mind to prove my point.
One solution to this dilemma has been to take the three attentions which has been wandering down various paths, and hold them in one sensory system, (in Zen this is done by concentrating on the breath). This leads to concentration, but not to awareness. It focuses the sense of self on self, but does not end it.
Meditation of the Self
I was interested in so-called meditation, however my thoughts get distracted, sow I fix my mind on a picture, an image, a color, or an idea, and exclude all other thoughts…
Such concentration is not meditation, it is merely exclusion…
One who is fully aware is meditating… Then you can follow, without condemnation or justification, [owning or disowning], every movement of thought and feeling, by following every thought and every feeling as it arises brings about tranquility which is not compelled, not regimented, not forced, which is the outcome of having no problems, no contradictions. It is like the pool that becomes peaceful, quiet, in the evening when there is no wind, when the mind is still, then that which is immeasurable comes into being.
Meditation simply means to me the simultaneous awakening of all the senses. When one is attending all their senses, one is completely awake. It is not one sense attending, but the totality of all the senses attending. Otherwise you cannot attend.
Complete sensory activity is a state of attention. Partial sensory activity leads to concentration… However can one see completely with all the senses? See not with the eyes alone, but with the ears to listen, the tongue to taste, the fingers to touch, the nose to smell…
Watch yourself one day. Look at the sunlight and see whether you see it with all your senses, completely awake, completely free. Which leads to an interesting knowing. Where there is disharmony, there is the self.
Attention is complete harmony with ALL. There is a great volume of energy gathered in harmony. It is like the Amazon River. “Attention is a flow/movement through eternity.”
When Buddha was asked “Are you a God?”, he said “No!” When he was then asked, “Are you a man?” he again answered “No!” When the speaker finally asked him “Then what are you?”, he replied… “I am AWAKE!”
Self Beyond Self, A Meditation Exercise
Exercise One: Differentiating The Senses
In order to awaken the senses, one must first be able to differentiate which sense modality is active. It has been known for some time that when a person trained in music listens to an orchestra, a different area of their brain is activated. Identifying the musical instruments often using thinking constructs instead of hearing.
When a person listens to a language, a different area of the brain is used than when they don’t listen to one. Can you see a tree without the operation of thought, without the image of the tree? …The image being the thought that says: I AM an oak, an Elm, or a Pine. In observing a tree what takes place? There is the space between the observer and the tree, there is distance; then there is the botanical knowledge, the like or dislike of that tree. I have an image of a tree, is there a Visual construct where that image of Self looks at the tree?… Is there an observation without the interference of thought, without the interference of any image?
You will find,,, it’s not a question of just accepting or believing. Listen to hear if you name the tree, and then stop naming it, look at it, listen to it without knowing intellectually what it is, without comparing it to other images internally.
Exercise Two: Awakening The Senses
Take a moment now to actually see the tree in front of you. Don’t name it as “tree” or you’ll end up talking to yourself about attention (ie keep the senses clearly differentiated). Instead, just see the shape of the tree. Expand your vision out, so that while seeing the tree you are also seeing all else in your visual field.
Now hear the sounds around you as you hear the tree in the wind. Now add the tastes in your mouth, and the smells in your nose, and the feelings of your body, both inside and on the skin. Continue seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling. Allow all the senses to be awake at one time. As soon as you notice that, attention is there again, allow all the senses to reawaken. There is no need to attempt to keep attention “constant”.
Each time, your senses awaken, the illusion of the self disappears. As this is not a form of concentration, it need not be done in a certain posture. This exercise can be done throughout daily life, whenever one notices its absence. Do not treat it as a task. You cannot watch from morning till night. You cannot be vigilant, never blinking for the whole day. So play with it. Play with it lightly.
Dealing With Unpleasant States
One of the first challenges of Awakening the Senses, is that of unpleasant states. The temptation is to shift the attention away from these, thus begin the whole process of “disowning” or excluding them, from self.
An interesting model of how people maintain negative internal states. Held that painful states persist because the person has built an energetic barrier around the unpleasant states, preventing them from “flowering” in a natural way, and dying like any flower, so that the next state emerges. The self actually causes suffering! It is only when thought flowers that it can naturally die. Like the flower in a garden, thought must blossom, it must come to fruition, and then it dies.
We could do this, for example, with the thought of greed. We could do this with a rising of fear. We can keep on saying, “And then what arises? And then what arises?” so that you start observing, “what is”, as it arises. You also observed, “what should be” as it arises in thought, so that one is awake in that instant of “what is”.
To say that jealousy is the cause of attachment is mere verbalization. Therefore, in actually allowing jealousy to flower, the fact that you are attached to something becomes a fact, an emotional fact, not an intellectual verbal idea. Thus each flowering reveals what you have not been able to discover; and as each fact unveils itself, it flowers and you watch it. You let the flower opens other doors, til there is no flowering at all of any kind, therefore, no cause or self of any kind.
Exercise Three: Ascending States
Identify an emotional state which self may have resisted, thus is prevented from flowering. Be aware allow it to flower, as if you were watching a flower rise up and die down again.
Now ask yourself, “What arises from underneath that flower?”
Be aware of the next state as it too flowers and dies down, check again, what arises. Continue until you have come to a state where there is no new distress which arises; until there is the pure grounding of awareness again. At this point, people tend to report an extraordinary feeling of joy, of love, of oneness with whatever is the Self Beyond Self.
Deep Layers Of Mind
A second challenge which may arise as a person continues to experiment with awakening the senses is that the self may learn how to go “underground”, and attention turns back into undifferentiated introspection.
Everybody gets into this trouble, looking at everything, saying, “Those are my problems, I am looking at. However looking is only thinking, confused with looking … that means the operation of thought is unconscious for the most part, therefore one doesn’t know it is going on. We may say consciously, we have realized that all this has to change, it has to be different.
Sow can you talk to my unconscious, knowing my brain is going to resist you? Because you are telling me something which is revolutionary, you are telling me something which shatters my whole house I have built so careful, I won’t listen to you. I push you away.
Sow I realize and say, “Look, all right, old friend, just don’t bother to listen to me. I am going to talk to your unconscious. I am going to talk to your unconscious and make that unconscious SEE … That not all this verbalization changes me… to reach the unconscious one has to have an action which doesn’t directly appeal to the conscious.
What is needed is a radical change in the unconscious. Any conscious action of the will cannot touch the unconscious. As self will cannot touch the self”s pursuits, wants, urges, the conscious mind must subside, be still, and not try to force the unconscious, according to any particular pattern of action.
The unconscious has its own pattern of action, its own frame within which it functions. This frame cannot be broken by any outward action, will is an outward act. If this is really seen and comprehended, the outward mind is still, because there is no resistance set up by will, one will find that the so called unconscious begins to free itself from its own limitations. Then only is there a radical transformation in the total being of man.
If the self operates both consciously and “unconsciously” then to end the process of the self requires an action at the unconscious level. This deeper action is called love. Love comes upon one when one suddenly discovers the beauty of a sunset, or a symphony, or a gentle touch. “There is beauty only when ones heart and mind knows what love is. Without love and that sense of beauty there is no virtue.
Do what you will, improve society, feed the poor, you will only be creating more mischief, for without Love there is only ugliness and poverty in your own heart and mind. However when there is love, and beauty, whatever you do is right, whatever you do is in order. If you know how to love, it will solve all other problems.
So we reach this point: Can the mind come upon love without discipline, without thought, without enforcement, without any book, any teacher or leader? Come upon it as one comes upon a lovely sunset.
So what do you do? If you don’t know what to do, do nothing, absolutely nothing. Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what this means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing, when there is no center at all. Then there is love.
Exercise Four: Unconscious Transformation
Self Beyond Self is designed to awaken this unconscious movement. This process has already begun, because the first step is the last. There is no path to enlightenment.
There is only a single act, to awaken! As you read these words, the act has already taken place. It may not yet be continuous, then nothing is continuous. There is only this moment, and in this moment you can see, hear, feel, smell, and taste the life that is.
That is all.
Love, may be the answer to all our problems. However to find love, the “me” that wants to find it must be still. Where you are, the other is not! Yet that other is the source of all that has been beautiful in your life, of all happiness, of all meaning. It is for the other that we live. The meta-program of the self is constantly seeking continuity, through “owning” both experiences and things, and through this owning, one hopes to possess joy, love, beauty, and truth, the Self Beyond Self.