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The divided self

Old 06-03-2017, 10:34 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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My personal view is that the authentic self is not impermanent. One reason I think this is that the "I" that starts a thought is the same "I" that finishes it - if otherwise would it really be a thought?

The "I" that is now trying to formulate a response to your post is using previous thoughts and experiences of the "I' that I have always been. If I started this formulation and you finished it for example would my post really qualify as an authentic thought?
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Old 06-03-2017, 11:10 AM
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I would just say that impermanence is often a slow process. A mountain may someday be sediment in an ocean. Where, then, is the authentic mountain? My authentic self a few years ago was different than my authentic self now or when I was a boy... Beyond that I can only refer to Buddhist philosophy. Sure, I have a body, but what is the self? There are some physiological consistencies that lead to an evolving personality with values and beliefs, etc., but is there anything permanent in the core? When I die is the self simply gone? Was it ever really there? There have been longitudinal studies showing radical changes in values, beliefs, world views, etc., of individuals over time. I've seen this in my wife after 25 years. She is not the person I married, and I'm not the man she married, and that's not a bad thing. It is what it is (at least for now). Kind of getting off topic here, but it's all good.
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Old 06-03-2017, 11:25 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I think the difference between the self and a mountain is that there is a concept of ownership with the self/soul. I am not my body but rather I own my body - my body is not the same as when I was a child but it is still "my" body. I don't know what that "my" is but I believe it is something rather than nothing.

Good discussion - I have to go out now but the same I ( I believe) will hopefully be able to continue tomorrow.
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Old 06-03-2017, 12:25 PM
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It also occurs to me that we might be mixing the question of Who Am I with What Am I or What is the Self? Have a good day. I'll be offline for a couple days, so I won't be responding soon, either. Ciao!
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:00 PM
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I read something once that always stuck with me. It was something like, people don't really change but become more truly who they are. I find that to be true of myself, as I've aged and matured I've learned and evolved from my experiences. I always remain myself even though in many ways I wouldn't recognize who I was many moons ago. I think as we grow we settle into ourselves.

As far as my AV goes, I used to be afraid of IT. IT had licked me so many times and I'd allowed it to run my life like a tyrant. I don't fear IT anymore and I've accepted IT as a part of me, it just is, neither good nor bad. I recognize that voice easily and I don't engage or fight against IT.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:06 PM
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"The "I" that is now trying to formulate a response to your post is using previous thoughts and experiences of the "I' that I have always been."

so you are saying that experiences don't alter " you"?

and if the 'i ' that starts going through a process of thinking or any process, really, or any time-space whatsoever is the same as the 'i' later or earlier....and there s no change......you would be saying your 'i' is fully formed right from ....when?
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:25 PM
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I am getting so much out of this thread. I'm reading quietly in the background. You guys are way far able to express this stuff in words than I.

That's ok ... but I think it would just mess me up to try and participate

That said I really hope you continue the discussion as reflecting on it seems to be "helpful" to "me"
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:42 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Son can you play me a melody
I'm not really sure how it goes
But it's sad and it's sweet , and I knew it complete
When I wore a a younger man's clothes

This turn of discussion reminds me of this lyric and the thoughts it provokes, Billy Joel had some instances of great wordsmithin
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:04 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
"The "I" that is now trying to formulate a response to your post is using previous thoughts and experiences of the "I' that I have always been."

so you are saying that experiences don't alter " you"?

and if the 'i ' that starts going through a process of thinking or any process, really, or any time-space whatsoever is the same as the 'i' later or earlier....and there s no change......you would be saying your 'i' is fully formed right from ....when?
To try to relate this to this to my personal experience of AVRT, rather than being caught up in my feeling and desires about drinking I'm learning to separate from from them and be aware of them as they rise and fall. Does this not assume the reality of an "I", which we are calling the authentic self, who can step back from and be aware of the AV and not be identified with it?

And also AVRT is a technique to separate yourself from the Beast to make you one kind of person, a securely abstinent person, rather than someone who is an out-of-control drinker. I can't see what sense to make of the technique without accepting the reality of the authentic self to which it is addressed.

I wasn't trying to say that the "I" is some kind of unchanging superself. But if what I've just said about its reality is true then it does mean that there is more to the authentic self than merely a stream of mental events.
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Old 06-04-2017, 07:35 PM
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quite so, AlericB...no sense in the technique without the authentic self to which it is addressed.
or: on which it relies.
my questions are about what qualifies as 'authentic self' and how you or i or anyone detemine what that is and isn't.
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:30 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Hi fini,

I was using "authentic self" only in the AVRT sense, i.e. every part of you except for the AV.

Anything more than that and we would be talking about our personal beliefs, or "over-beliefs* as James calls then in "Varieties...", which I guess we shouldn't!
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:23 AM
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I'm gonna try and contribute...

I was very uncomfortable with the concept of AV as separate for a long time. I think I'm ok with it in concept now because I tend to think that the experience is similar to what an Ajan I listen to says ... your mind is a liar, or I know you mara.

Don't know why I felt like posting this

A lot of what you guys talk about is very complex.

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Old 06-05-2017, 08:47 AM
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hi AlericB,

ah, that explains it!
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:51 AM
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hi ananda,
was the opposite for me; i found the separation very useful and comfortable at the beginning , but after a while experienced it all as a tool that kept me in a "split" mindset instead of integrated.

different experiences.
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:09 PM
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fini,

Not being argumentative​, just genuinely interested. Would you ever now have thoughts to both drink and not to drink at the same time and so be in that state of ambivalence that AVRT talks about and, if so, how do you resolve them?

Reading that back that seems quite a personal question so please feel free to ignore me!
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Old 06-05-2017, 03:25 PM
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I'll jump in. We seem to be back to brass tacks rather than esoteric questions of self.

I found separating the AV from myself helpful at first, but I eventually felt a need to kind of reintegrate it or absorb it into my sense of self. PART of me, for example, might want to get high sometimes, but another PART of me doesn't. I.E. ambivalence.

The way I resolve that ambivalence is to take deep breathes and connect with the moment, remind myself that I'm fine right now the way I am, that I don't need to get high, it wouldn't be good for me, and I wouldn't feel good about it later. I review the idea that craving is rooted in the desire to change the way things are, so settling into an acceptance of the way things are - the way I feel right now - is fine.

This is more challenging when I'm feeling anxious, but I also know that alcohol and other drugs (though they may temporarily bring relief) serve to increase anxiety. So, acceptance of now as it is seems to be the antidote.
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Old 06-05-2017, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
i found the separation very useful and comfortable at the beginning , but after a while experienced it all as a tool that kept me in a "split" mindset instead of integrated.
Exactly my experience, as well. Reconnecting the parts was a really important step for me and my sense of peace, for moving on.
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Old 06-05-2017, 04:27 PM
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It's interesting that you all found separation from the AV useful at first but then later on felt the need to reintegrate with it so that it feels a part of you again.

zerothehero, I found it helpful reading what you said about finding your antidote in the acceptance of now. I think that for me it will be somewhat different because I suspect my AV will always appear painted with a different brush stroke than my other thoughts and feelings - appear ego-alien as its been described here - but I think that will only aid my acceptance and recognition.
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
fini,

Not being argumentative​, just genuinely interested. Would you ever now have thoughts to both drink and not to drink at the same time and so be in that state of ambivalence that AVRT talks about and, if so, how do you resolve them?

Reading that back that seems quite a personal question so please feel free to ignore me!
thanks for the question, Aleric, and nothing too personal about it.

i do not have any thoughts to drink, nor do i have thoughts not to drink.
i don't drink, and it really is that simple.
i don't think about drinking or not drinking, but do think about alcoholism...fascinating condition! to me, anyway.

when i first got sober and had read RR, and found the separation useful, i used the appearances of the AV to check in with myself about what was really going on...as an indicator there was something real i needed, and since i was past any withdrawal, i knew it wasn't alcohol.

and i didn't struggle with the AV...we coexisted and at time, when it got obnoxious, i'd invite it for tea and ask it what it wanted.

but after a while, i just knew there is just me, and there hadn't really been a "me" and an "it".
so i appreciate it as a useful tool, for a purpose, but it's not real to me as such.
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:56 AM
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That's really interesting, thanks.

It's seems most people here are saying that it's important to them that they feel that they are an integrated whole and that this involves accepting the AV as a part of themselves rather than ego-alien. And of course to still recognise it as the AV and so not struggle or debate with it but just to allow it to come and go. This reminds me of a saying by the Bushman of the Kalahari desert about grief which is that you should draw up a chair by the fireside for your grief and make your peace with it because it's going to be with you for a very long time.

I must say that this a new way of looking at AVRT to me. I have been thinking that the I/IT dissociation was crucial but perhaps not then.
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