Is Egoism Really So Bad?

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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby AlexanderS » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:00 pm

I think it's better to cherish yourself than hate yourself. Even if the self isn't there.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:31 pm

"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Jikan » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:45 pm

AlexanderS wrote:I think it's better to cherish yourself than hate yourself. Even if the self isn't there.


Sure. But that's a different matter from getting over yourself.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:41 am

Dear Adumbra,
You may wish to check out this new thread for some answers to your query.
viewtopic.php?f=40&t=7263&start=0
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby AlexanderS » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:07 am

Jikan wrote:
AlexanderS wrote:I think it's better to cherish yourself than hate yourself. Even if the self isn't there.


Sure. But that's a different matter from getting over yourself.


I agree, but for people who do not practice buddhadharma, it's better to love yourself than to constantly engage in self-flaggilation. But yeah of course, to progress on the path one has to purify ego-pride.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Jikan » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:44 pm

I think so too, Alexander, but I'd also add that part of caring for ourselves (inclusive of those who are not practicing Buddha Dharma) is to be willing to learn, which is to say, to be able to recognize our shortcomings and to accept constructive criticism. Clinging to self makes that impossible, and puts people in a situation like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2 ... ger_effect
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Adumbra » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:46 pm

If Buddha were here he would probably say that there is no self to love or hate, so it's a false dichotmony.

I have no illusion that my ego will survive the destruction of my body (I don't think I would want it to even if it could). But I figure, as long as I have it I may as well enjoy it. In all my meditations I've never experienced anything like a loss or even a diminishment of my sense of self. If anything, I would say that when I meditate my sense of idenitity expands. It is very disempowering to come down from those hights to realize I'm stuck in this tiny, fragil human body again, doomed to experience life as nothing but a caucassian human male. If it were possible I would split my soul into billions of strands and so that I could simultaneously incarnate as thousands of humans, cats, trees, even stars. Sometimes I wish I had multiple personality syndome. Being a single individual is so limiting.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Jikan » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:48 pm

Who is your teacher, Adumbra?
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby MrDistracted » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:06 pm

Adumbra wrote:If Buddha were here he would probably say that there is no self to love or hate, so it's a false dichotmony.



I suspect he'd be more skillful than that.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Nemo » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:34 pm

Adumbra wrote:If Buddha were here he would probably say that there is no self to love or hate, so it's a false dichotmony.

I have no illusion that my ego will survive the destruction of my body (I don't think I would want it to even if it could). But I figure, as long as I have it I may as well enjoy it. In all my meditations I've never experienced anything like a loss or even a diminishment of my sense of self. If anything, I would say that when I meditate my sense of idenitity expands. It is very disempowering to come down from those hights to realize I'm stuck in this tiny, fragil human body again, doomed to experience life as nothing but a caucassian human male. If it were possible I would split my soul into billions of strands and so that I could simultaneously incarnate as thousands of humans, cats, trees, even stars. Sometimes I wish I had multiple personality syndome. Being a single individual is so limiting.


The Buddha says everything is illusory so it's ok for me to be self centered and arrogant.

Bodhicitta? Not the tiniest drop.

Chances of actual realization without Bodhicitta 0.00%.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:00 pm

Adumbra wrote:In all my meditations I've never experienced anything like a loss or even a diminishment of my sense of self. If anything, I would say that when I meditate my sense of idenitity expands.
When you told the teacher that gave you your practice about these experience what did they say to you? I mean Buddhist practice leads to the end of suffering not to an increase in suffering (like you describe) right?
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Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:40 pm

Ego is not bad. But ego is like a mosquito that bites others for blood but it does not know that it bites itself. Whatever you think and do for others is actually liberating you, and whatever you think and do for yourself only is harming you.
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NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:16 pm

What you have isn't pride, it's humility manifesting as confidence.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Jinzang » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:54 pm

Thinking you are a good person is not a problem. Thinking you are a better person than others is. There's some envy in the comparison and the underside of the envy is the subconscious fear that it actually isn't so.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Jinzang » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:57 pm

In all my meditations I've never experienced anything like a loss or even a diminishment of my sense of self.


If you are enjoying your practice, I would suggest sitting a group retreat. See what happens then.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby ram peswani » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:23 am

[quote="MrDistracted"][quote="Adumbra"]If Buddha were here he would probably say that there is no self to love or hate, so it's a false dichotmony.


Buddhas understand the law of Egoism.
They use Egoism to surround themselves with various Wisdoms to help the sentients.
They surrendered egoism when it went beyond Wisdom or natural laws.
They followed the path of "I am not " (egolessness) along with "I am" (egoism)
In meditation and thro Wisdom, they became egoless;
and in teaching and leading others they used egoism but took care to keep the balance.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Seishin » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:55 am

Adumbra wrote:...But I figure, as long as I have it I may as well enjoy it. In all my meditations I've never experienced anything like a loss or even a diminishment of my sense of self. If anything, I would say that when I meditate my sense of idenitity expands. It is very disempowering to come down from those hights to realize I'm stuck in this tiny, fragil human body again, doomed to experience life as nothing but a caucassian human male. If it were possible I would split my soul into billions of strands and so that I could simultaneously incarnate as thousands of humans, cats, trees, even stars. Sometimes I wish I had multiple personality syndome. Being a single individual is so limiting.


No offence, but this doesn't sound anything like Buddhism nor Buddhist practice. In what way does meditation make you feel empowered?

Gassho,
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Adumbra » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:36 pm

When you told the teacher that gave you your practice about these experience what did they say to you? I mean Buddhist practice leads to the end of suffering not to an increase in suffering (like you describe) right?


I don't have a teacher and I wouldn't consider myself a Buddhist, though I think Guatama's opinions on epistemology and metaphysics are very insightful. That the world is impermanent, interdependant, and full of suffering is so self-evident that I'm surprised no other philosopher noticed (though Heraclitus came close). Also Buddha's insight that self is a phenomena was way ahead of its time. Only after the age of reason did human beings start seeing themselves and other things as phenomena, rather than psyches. Before 1500 (and for some time after), most people were implicit animists.

Most of the meditations I have done aren't particulary Buddhist. Being mindful of your breathing or simply observing your thoughts doesn't have any religious and philosophical content, they are just practices. I've also done some Taoist inner alchemy, but seeing as how Taoism is completely different I wouldn't expect any Buddhist experiences from those.

While I like Buddha's metaphysics and epistemology, I have to say that nirvana probably isn't for me. Nirvana is the annihilation of self, the severing of all attachments, the cessation of all passions. What I seek is the radical opposite of these: a self than engulfs and swollows up all other selves, becomes a part of everything, and burns with the white hot passion of all life! Nirvana is all about being, but I would rather become endlessly in an infinite number of incarnations, experiencing everything simultaneously in one super-orgasmic moment! Since I have not even come close to achieving this, this 'anti-nirvana' (or is it super-samsara?) is only a theoretical state of being unlike nirvana which was actually achieved by the Buddha. But I've recieved enough 'whiffs' of this state in deep meditation to suspect it exists.
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:19 pm

Okay, whatever then...
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Is Egoism Really So Bad?

Postby Jikan » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:02 pm

Please correct me if I have this wrong.

Proposition 1: Adumbra has not seen any fruits of Buddhist meditation. This means the Buddhist teachings on renouncing the ego may be suspect.

Proposition 2: Adumbra has not been practicing Buddhist meditation, has not been practicing systematically or under the guidance of a teacher. This means that whatever he has been doing is self-guided, and hence, is designed to reinforce rather than crack open said self.

It seems to me that propositions 1 and 2 are in a state of conflict. Specifically, if 2 is true, then 1 must be rejected as baseless. The evidence of your meditation is irrelevant to the question.
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