Me

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Me

Postby Epistemes » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:40 pm

Yesterday I was buying a new pair of eyeglasses. While trying on the different styles in the shop, I reflected on the fact that when we (the greedy, ignorant, unenlightened masses) shop, we shop based not strictly on preference but also based on some concept of "me."

Taste in clothes, furniture, books, music, eyeglass frame, even license plate frames change, but taste still hinges on some ever-evolving concept of "me." We even invest inanimate objects with a sense our idea of "selfness." For example, as I was trying on glasses, there were glasses which looked good on my face due to its structure, complexion, eye color, etc., but there were others with a certain character that not only looked good on the physical outside but, in my opinion and the opinion of others, matched a certain sense of personality. "Those are so you!" - what does that even mean? And what is this strange phenomenon that we've been doing to ourselves?

I think the phenomenon is limited to the West and our consumerist society. Retailers and manufacturers are trained to cater to the person's needs, and what the person needs is a sense of individuality, a sense of belonging yet unique-ness, a sense of integrity, personhood and self. Religion and philosophy are not much different as even they can fit into the subtle crevices that "stuff" doesn't fill. There comes a moment when buying another Buddhist book, sitting for meditation, or even remaining completely motionless and silent carries a sense of "me." This is what I do - "That is so you."

The nuances of "me" are so incredibly subtle. The way some of you here on this forum write and answer questions displays an aspect of "me"-ness. Even our very usernames display that aspect. And more. It seems rather inescapable.
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Re: Me

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:04 pm

Epistemes wrote:
The nuances of "me" are so incredibly subtle. The way some of you here on this forum write and answer questions displays an aspect of "me"-ness. Even our very usernames display that aspect. And more. It seems rather inescapable.



Buddhism is not about losing your personality. Buddhism is about getting over false thinking about it.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Me

Postby el_chupacabra » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:40 pm

On a symbolic external level there is a need for designation, such as; gender, age, name, nationality.
Then there is an imaginary level which we can fill with all sorts of nonsense about who we are.
I guess one example would be nationalism where the empty designation of which country we "belong" to can become filled with notions of imaginary meaning.

Equally, one who practices Buddhism may well say that they ARE a Buddhist. A verb gets turned into a noun and the notion of self can become reified this way.
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Re: Me

Postby Virgo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:55 pm

Not only are we "me"-centric, we are this exits that exists my thoughts opinion concepts of things exist-centric as well. :) (Yes, it is possible to see through the self while still believing that some things inherently exist, but that they are conditioned and come in and out of existence very quickly)

We are, over all, deluded, and that leads to attachment and aversion which leads to the creation of bad karma, suffering, and unhappiness.

Discontinuation of this delusion is the goal, by furnishing the teachings into our lives. Without doing so, that wheel spins. Soz we have to understand the nature of the wheel. When that wind doesn't blow anymore, all will be known.

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Re: Me

Postby Epistemes » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:18 pm

I know this thread may seem rather basic and pointless to some, but my point is that there is this seed of "me" always lurking underneath in practically everything a person does - even how we walk. It's this prospective seed which can and does grow larger and larger with good reason. I'm not saying that the personality be extinguished, but refining how we understand "me" is frequently impeded by the nuances of personality. It is, in short, another form of cyclic existence, in my opinion.
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Re: Me

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:25 pm

Epistemes wrote:I know this thread may seem rather basic and pointless to some, but my point is that there is this seed of "me" always lurking underneath in practically everything a person does - even how we walk. It's this prospective seed which can and does grow larger and larger with good reason. I'm not saying that the personality be extinguished, but refining how we understand "me" is frequently impeded by the nuances of personality. It is, in short, another form of cyclic existence, in my opinion.


Me is inescapable because it is the energy of emptiness. The point is not that one day the display will disappear and emptiness will rise above it like brahman arising out of the mist. That's Vedanta. That's why I don't like the dream metaphor. The goal is more like to be lucid within the dream. Don't try to renounce the object, that just spins the wheels of causality some more. Instead if we just apply undistracted awareness to the object, instantly we can see it is empty because within awareness there is no "me" or "you", "yes" or "no", "affirm" or "deny", "exist" or "nonexist", "good" or "bad", "should" or "shouldn't", etc. There's just the empty awareness of the display. Make any sense?
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Re: Me

Postby Saravenka » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:14 pm

Just a small thought....

The conditions of existing as a human being include inborn inherent aspects of 'identity' (me-ness). Without the human me-ness there would be no understanding of the teachings.


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Re: Me

Postby Jikan » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:28 pm

Saravenka wrote:Just a small thought....

The conditions of existing as a human being include inborn inherent aspects of 'identity' (me-ness). Without the human me-ness there would be no understanding of the teachings.


Sara


Hi Sara,

Could you please be a bit more specific on what you mean by inherent aspects of identity? thanks
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Re: Me

Postby Saravenka » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:45 pm

Hello Jikan,

Epistemes mentions the "way we walk", this also implies (I think?) other physical aspects, and aspects that affect preferences of whether we choose to meditate with eyes open/closed, sit in some special posture, decide to follow this or that tradition of a teaching etc. (mental and perhaps emotional preferences). Much more, like DNA and family 'inheritance', but this is obvious.

I doubt we can entirely escape an 'identity' that is the very means to exist here. I was once told to *use* these aspects of ones identity to achieve clarification, and then move on from that point.


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Re: Me

Postby Jikan » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:01 pm

Saravenka wrote:Hello Jikan,

Epistemes mentions the "way we walk", this also implies (I think?) other physical aspects, and aspects that affect preferences of whether we choose to meditate with eyes open/closed, sit in some special posture, decide to follow this or that tradition of a teaching etc. (mental and perhaps emotional preferences). Much more, like DNA and family 'inheritance', but this is obvious.

I doubt we can entirely escape an 'identity' that is the very means to exist here. I was once told to *use* these aspects of ones identity to achieve clarification, and then move on from that point.


Sara


Interesting. Are these inherent qualities, or are these traits conditional (or conditioned)?
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Re: Me

Postby mint » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:23 pm

Jikan wrote:Interesting. Are these inherent qualities, or are these traits conditional (or conditioned)?


The line could very well be blurred. There is a good deal of research that seems to support the notion that babies are born with distinctive identities; however, similar research suggests that this identity is instilled while the fetus is in the womb. In a sense, the fetus begins to adapt to its environment long before it's even born.

No doubt, though, that from the moment we're born, conditioning definitely takes over.
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Re: Me

Postby muni » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:33 pm

Me and other me's labeling stories. http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/4yBIGY/in ... go-of.html
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