Re: Theos-World Re: a simple question
May 04, 2009 04:19 PM
After reading quite a few posts I have come to the conclusion that reading the Bhagavad Gita would answer many of the questions.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Pedro Oliveira" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, May 4, 2009 8:53:06 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Theos-World Re: a simple question
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org , "return_journey" <return_journey@...> wrote:
> I think the sense of a separate self is " naturally" acquired thru the evolutionary process.
> The full 'I' ness comes during the individualization process when the causal body is formed. The 'I' ness then keeps on increasing and is heightened with the increase in the mental body. In fact it is said that this sense of separate self / 'I' ness / ahamkara ... is required for the personality to develop ... after which the journey back to merging with the individuality starts.
> Becos of the aeons of time required for this process ..and repeated impacts stored in the permanent atoms of the lower self .. it becomes a natural thing in due course.
> And this natural thing is what we have to fight and overcome in our return journey ...back to the Higher Self.
Thanks return_journey, Christina, Bill, Brian, Cass and Tony for your replies. I particularly liked the simplicity in Bill's reply. :)
The different traditions seem to vary in their view of the nature of the self. For example, the Vedanta tradition seems to suggest that *Ahankara* - the I-making faculty - is a product of the *tanmatras* or primordial elements. But this same tradition also suggests that only the *Atman* is ultimately real, all else being unreal. *Atman* is not a product of time or evolution but is referred to as pure or unconditioned consciousness.
The more one thinks about this question, the harder it becomes. It is as if we were amphibious beings, with a part of us immersed in the world of experience, evolution and time, and another part remaining untouched by the somersaults of life.
To add to one's difficulty two well-known passages in Theosophical literature address the question of self:
"My Brother -- I have been on a long journey after supreme knowledge, I took a long time to rest. Then, upon coming back, I had to give all my time to duty, and all my thoughts to the Great Problem. It is all over now: the New Year's festivities are at an end and I am "Self" once more. But what is Self? Only a passing guest, whose concerns are all like a mirage of the great desert. . . ."
( http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/mahatma/ml-45.htm )
In the above passage Mahatma K.H. refers to self as "a passing guest, whose concerns are all like a mirage of the great desert." Does this indicate that even though self may have an evolutionary role, by its very nature it is not essentially real? Does this have an implication to the way we handle opinions, both our own as well as those of others?
"The Self of matter and the SELF of Spirit can never meet. One of the twain must disappear; there is no place for both."
( http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/voice/voice1.htm )
Does the above passage from Fragment I of *The Voice of the Silence* suggest that the personal self may act like an anchor during a number of stages in human evolution? Does it imply that, when a certain stage is reached, it is only natural for the personal sense of self to die a natural death? Is this possibility frigthening? Why?
In the *Majjhima Nikaya*, which contains the first fifty discourses from the collection of the medium-length discourses of the Buddha, there is a striking story of a householder who allowed a stranger into his household. He gave him food, drink, introduced him to his family and the stranger endeared himself to every one, staying with the family for some time. Until, one day, he killed the householder. According to the Buddha, the stanger is the self.
We seem to indulge in horse-trading with the self everyday. We are experts in self-justification. Perhaps we think it is a harmless affair. "Everybody does it" we could well say. And yet this stranger within us, whom we are convinced we know so well, can at any moment flare up as its nature is essentially reactive. And when it does so it not only breaks up or destroys human relationships. It kindles a fire that consumes the world.
Is it that simple?
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