Social Anxiety Support Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I think about life and happiness all the time, and I had an interesting thought the other day that opened up a new way of thinking for me.

I've thought before that while we ask ourselves, "Who am I?" the question we should really be asking is, "What am I?"

It just sounded like it made sense, though I didn't really get anything from it.

But what I realized the other day is that our self exists only in our mind; it's based completely on memories. Our self is 'who' we are, it is our identity; an idea, nothing more.

Once again, I really didn't know what to do with this information.

Then today I realized something bigger.

What is the cause of unhappiness? Wanting something you don't have, right? Whether you know what you want or not, you feel something is missing.

What do we all want?

Here it is: We want our self to have value.

That's it. Pretty much everything we care about has to do with the worth of our self.

You've probably heard how people subconsciously judge everything they see within a fraction of a second, well we do the same thing with our selves.

Like I said before, the self is just an idea, so it makes no sense to worry about how much it is worth. But anything that makes that idea more valuable, we like, and anything that makes it worth less, we dislike.

This is when I realized what humility really is, and why it's so beneficial.

Humility is knowing the self has no worth.

Since the self doesn't exist as anything more than an idea, it is worthless.

Who we are is not the right question, as we are not a who, but a what. You are not physical. For example, if your arm was cut off, would you be any less 'you'?

Regardless of our identity (the 'who'), what we are will always be a miracle.

Little extra thing here:

Pain itself is not bad, the reason it seems to be so bad is the emotion that comes with it. Think about it, there are people that cut themselves, which pretty much proves that the physical pain is not what hurts, but the emotion is. The reason we have the emotion is that we naturally associate pain with the destruction of our body, but who does the body belong to? The self.

Nothing can belong to a 'what', but only a 'who'. A miracle cannot own something, it can only be, and that's all we can do. So when we worry about our body, we are actually worrying for our self, because the body belongs to the identity. We don't actually own our body - it is not ours - we are just in control of it, using it, and we can feel what it feels, that's it. There's no reason to be emotionally attached. (It's borrowing no matter which way you look at it though.)

So I have concluded that the Buddhist teaching of "no-self" is wrong, because we do have a self, but it exists only in our mind, and is thus worthless.

There is no need to worry about the self, because it is not you, it's just an idea. We try to protect it and honor it, but there is no point, it only creates unhappiness because we never see the benefits. We are a 'what', and that 'what' is miraculous.

Okay, I think I've repeated myself enough.

I hope this clicks. Peace.
 

·
wtf
Joined
·
419 Posts
What is the cause of unhappiness? Wanting something you don't have, right? Whether you know what you want or not, you feel something is missing.
I like this comment. I think you wrote something about this in another thread. That is why I am trying to accept myself more and be content with what I have rather than be greedy and want more than my resources allow. It's not always easy though. Anyhow, I haven't had time to think through the rest of your post and I'm not sure how I feel about the other comments, but I like how you think philosophically throughout daily life. I like to do that too. Peace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That's what I'm trying to say though, is that you don't have to accept yourself (who you are), it is more important to realize what you are.

Your body and who you are will change, but what you are will never change. You are simply life, consciousness, awareness, whatever you want to call it, while your body is just what you have been put into, and your self is just the identity your mind (part of your body) has created for who you are.

Our bodies and identities are the only difference between all of us, because inside we are all the same thing.
 

·
wtf
Joined
·
419 Posts
I think there is a miscommunication. When I say accept "myself", I am trying to accept what I have done in the past up to this very moment. It does not mean I cannot change in the next minute or so. I'm not always good at explaining myself. Also, it seems you believe in an identity that is separate from your physical being- a "soul" perhaps....or you may use another word if you don't believe in a soul per se. I actually don't believe in this. It doesn't mean that a self doesn't exist that is separate from our physical bodies, it's just that MY knowledge does not support this idea and I choose to think on a different principle that everything about us is physical- that includes consciousness, awareness, etc. Of course, both theories are difficult to prove and both are sort of based on faith so it's not even something I would like to debate. I still respect your ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You said you don't want to debate it, and I don't want to turn this into a debate, but I simply can't grasp the idea of us being physical. I already made the example that if your arm was removed, would you be any less you? Of course not. So how could we be physical? Are 'you' your brain then? Is that what you believe? What if you got a lobotomy, would you still be you, or would 'you' be dead?


It's a pretty important thing because if you don't believe that we are something more then life becomes pretty hopeless. I mean, if you believe that, there's basically no way around your fear of death. You can simply not be afraid of death because you believe once we die we are gone forever.

Now as far as identity goes, I don't think that what makes us living things has an identity. I think it's the exact same in all living things, and that is, life. Just because something can move and talk and digest food doesn't mean it has life, does it? How are we here? Couldn't our bodies be here without anything to experience for them? Wouldn't it just be dark with all sorts of meaningless stuff going on?

Anyway, I understand the part about not expressing yourself properly. In fact I'd like to retract the thing I said about humility because it doesn't do anything for me anymore. See, I had a thought, and it made me feel really good, then I tried to put that thought to words, and that's how it came out. But once the feeling was gone, the words could not recreate the thought... that's how she goes :S

What I think is important to know now is that: it doesn't matter 'who' you are, because it doesn't change 'what' you are. You wouldn't want to change what you are anyway, because it is perfect.

And if you do believe there is something more than what is physical, then you might be able to believe that we cannot die because we were never born; our bodies were born and they will die, but what we are will remain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Okay I just had to change this.

Humility is being uninterested in the self.

This basically means that you do not judge the self one way or another. In fact, you pay no attention to the self.

What this does it makes you not care whether you look stupid or not, because you are not concerned with how the self looks (the ego is a large piece of the self, but don't confuse the two.) You wouldn't be concerned how people treated you, and would be more focused on just living and staying entertained/challenged/relaxed in the moment.

The other thing I wanted to add was that instead of saying that we want our self to have value, I could have said that we want to feel good about our selves. This is an ignorant want of course, because the self is just in our heads.

We want to perfect our self, but not only is it very hard to do that, depending on how high our standards are, it is also a waste of time and energy. No matter what you think of yourself, it cannot compare to the pure contentment of being humble and just living in the moment. To not care what you look like is much better than to think you look good, is what I'm getting at. The same applies to your intelligence, physical ability, talents, etc.

Edit: So the self is not worthless, insignificant is a better word.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top