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Origin of concept of "I" - Dhamma Wheel

Origin of concept of "I"

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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WagamamaZen
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Origin of concept of "I"

Postby WagamamaZen » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:14 pm

I am researching on the origin of the concept of "I" historically, anthropologicaly in buddhist context.
Are there any written insights presented in the sutras or research that has been done by institutions?
Many thanks in advance.

Gassho
WagamamaZen

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Rui Sousa
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby Rui Sousa » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:36 pm

I'm am not sure if this is what you are looking for, but in my understanding of the Buddhist teaching the origin of the concept of "I" is delusion.
With Metta

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WagamamaZen
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby WagamamaZen » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:00 pm

Yes, I know the concept of "I" is a delusion, a mere concept, but what I am looking for is how the delusion got started. What's the function of this delusion? Is it to enlarge our ego, to attain more power within a social group ... etc. I always think that if the apes were the first to realize the concept of "I" in pre-stone age or stone age - because one ape had a lightbulb moment after he had learned how to use a piece of cattle bone as a weapon, felt that he could use it to rule over a group, and possibly that's how the first concept of "I" arose ? Of course, this is just my wild supposition. No in depth study or proof.

Shonin
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby Shonin » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:21 pm

I suspect that at least higher animals must have some concept of self even if it's a primitive one. But basically it is only because of identity concepts such as 'I', 'you', 'cup', etc that abstract thought and language are possible. The mistake is in not realising that these are all symbols rather than being real things out in the world.

Mawkish1983
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:43 pm

Which do you want? The origin of the 'I' concept in Buddhism (you're in the right place) or the origin of the 'I' concept as an evolutionary tool (you're in the wrong place). I'm not sure what you want :)

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acinteyyo
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:12 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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bodom
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby bodom » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:21 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Viscid
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby Viscid » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:34 pm

Well, I'd like to believe animals which can recognize themselves in a mirror have a sense of self since they can recognize it, and maybe also animals who live within a social structure, as they'd have to know their place.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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WagamamaZen
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby WagamamaZen » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:12 am

Appreciate each of your input and sharing.
If "I" is a concept that is born out of ignorance. What has kept this concept going for so many centuries?
What is the award ?

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:34 am

Image




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David N. Snyder
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:40 am

Image




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tiltbillings
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:48 am


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Wind
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby Wind » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:15 am


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Rui Sousa
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:58 am

As other have already said, I too believe the reason why the notion of "I" exists is because of attachment to ideas of "I am better", "I am prettier", "I am smarter". These ideas are perceived as a source of a good feeling, then desire for having them again arises, then craving and then clinging.
With Metta

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WagamamaZen
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby WagamamaZen » Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:08 pm

Seems like our cravings began with a single cell organism that loved the taste of food.
Shall explore Agganna Sutta. It looks interesting.
Thank you to each of you.

Gassho
WagamamaZen

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Son
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby Son » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:01 am

A seed sleeps in soil.
It's cold and alone, hopeless.
Until it blooms above.

Individual
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Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby Individual » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:24 am

The best things in life aren't things.


Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Origin of concept of "I"

Postby Individual » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:24 am

The best things in life aren't things.



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