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ava1enzue1a

Egolessness: Possible?

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Contrary to certain arguments, isn't it possible to be egoless? First, a description of "ego" found here:

Ego is essentially a conceptual, conditioned form of self: a collection of images and ideas, reinforced by the tendency to separate from the rest of life... it's a mechanism... it's neither good nor bad, it just IS.

There are of course arguments out there (including what is mentioned in the above link) that suggest it is not possible to be egoless, such as:

The Ego is an essential mechanism that enables us to exist as physical human beings. Aspiring to be Ego-less is like aspiring to be a body-less human being.

Or this example:

To imagine that one can function without ego is really just more ego (the spiritual kind).

With that in mind, however, if ego is the "I" perspective, essential for having individual "experience", then isn't it possible to be egoless e.g. via lack of consciousness/sentient through things such as seizures and comas, where there is no "I" perspective? Or "lost time" such as those of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), as another example?

Upon further reading though, I may already have answered my own question, at least partially:

...[the ego] never goes away entirely, it will always be back.

This would make sense as people are described as "coming to" or "coming back" from seizures and comas. But what exactly is that state of being "under"? Oblivion? Simple "loss of consciousness"? Egolessness indeed? Or something else...?

Thoughts?

Edited by ava1enzue1a

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The only way to be totally egoless - is to die... Or to be a machine...

If a person COULD be egoless, IMO they would lose touch with humanity and could very easily be a very terrible 'thing'... With no sense of "self", you would have no sense of humanity, no connection to others and either be a robotlike follower, or a cold calculating machine....

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Separating ones ego from oneself I believe is acceptable. I cannot think of an example where a person in history did not have an ego. Including Gandhi, Buddha etc. Although enlightened there was still an ego and in there teachings they teach some about this subject.

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The only way to be totally egoless - is to die... Or to be a machine...

If a person COULD be egoless, IMO they would lose touch with humanity and could very easily be a very terrible 'thing'... With no sense of "self", you would have no sense of humanity, no connection to others and either be a robotlike follower, or a cold calculating machine....

Consider "HAL" (2001 Space Odyssey/2010): would you argue that HAL had an ego? Is there a significant difference between 'selflessness' and 'ego-less'?

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I believe everybody has an ego but it can be manipulated to be useful or a hindrance. I also see the idea of no ego not meaning actually having no ego but meaning that you know and can see how your ego works and influence it when you want to.

Like the difference between an actor and a person with DID; that a good actor can portray himself as somebody else but still knows he is still himself and a person with DID simply cannot. From an outside view it would be really hard to tell the difference.

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Contrary to certain arguments, isn't it possible to be egoless? First, a description of "ego" found here:

There are of course arguments out there (including what is mentioned in the above link) that suggest it is not possible to be egoless, such as:

Or this example:

With that in mind, however, if ego is the "I" perspective, essential for having individual "experience", then isn't it possible to be egoless e.g. via lack of consciousness/sentient through things such as seizures and comas, where there is no "I" perspective? Or "lost time" such as those of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), as another example?

Upon further reading though, I may already have answered my own question, at least partially:

This would make sense as people are described as "coming to" or "coming back" from seizures and comas. But what exactly is that state of being "under"? Oblivion? Simple "loss of consciousness"? Egolessness indeed? Or something else...?

Thoughts?

Ego can be dissolved during altered states of conciousness, but you are right, it can only be contemplated after the fact. The experience of ego dissolution can go to memory but during it it is completely impossible to realize. Some consider it blissful some consider it disturbing.

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but you are right, it can only be contemplated after the fact.

I don't think that is quite true for everybody. Even as a write this post my mind is asking why I am doing it and if I should. Basically a conversation in my own head. (oh noes I talk to myself I must be crazy =D). I don't need to contemplate after the fact because I acknowledge it before I say things.

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I don't think that is quite true for everybody. Even as a write this post my mind is asking why I am doing it and if I should. Basically a conversation in my own head. (oh noes I talk to myself I must be crazy =D). I don't need to contemplate after the fact because I acknowledge it before I say things.

And WHO in your mind is asking why and if you should? Could it be an aspect of Ego which is checking to ensure that the mind is functioning in the way it wishes ...

Edited by libstaK
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And WHO in your mind is asking why and if you should? Could it be an aspect of Ego which is checking to ensure that the mind is functioning in the way it wishes ...

Ego but it sounds less crazy if you just call it a conscience* though :P , that is why I don't think you need to have hindsight to recognize that it is there. Think of it like when you read a book. You hear the words in your head of the words that you are reading(Which btw if you can stop yourself from doing that and picture letters and lines of text as pictures you may accidentally end up speed reading) but it's you.

Now that I think about it a little bit more; if I did on paper it would sort of almost be like automatic writing. Except not a spirit.

And no it doesn't tell me to do anything.

Edited by Jinxdom

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Contrary to certain arguments, isn't it possible to be egoless?

Yes and theres two ways that I know off.

There is the consumption of certain legal substances (legal in UK anyway) which let you experience the loss of self. During the experiences you come to understand how only one thing exists and that its everything including you.

Or you can read up on philosophy such as that covered by Buddhism which if you understand takes you to the same place.

Edited by Mr Right Wing
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I don't think that is quite true for everybody. Even as a write this post my mind is asking why I am doing it and if I should. Basically a conversation in my own head. (oh noes I talk to myself I must be crazy =D). I don't need to contemplate after the fact because I acknowledge it before I say things.

Your ego is not dissolved. Ego dissolution is a very specific state. I'm not talking about when you are normal, I'm talking about an extreme altered state of conciousness. You don't have an internal dialog in during dissolution. Dissolution is usually only available through skilled meditation, OBEs, or mind altering drugs, and in some cases seizures or NDEs. During a positive dissolution experience it can feel like your mind has expanded into everything and you are in and apart of everything. You don't have a sense of self, there is nothing but expanded existence. it's very moving to come back from. It often changes people's lives. Haveing figured out how to create the experience, I have actually have come to appreciate the ego more. It takes the ego to reflect upon the non ego and remember, contemplate, and appreciate the non ego state which of course at that point is just a memory. During a negative ego dissolution instead of feeling you are expanded into everything, it feels like everything has been blasted at you or stuffed inside you. It is horribly terrifying, but yet again during it, you don't know who you are and cannot contemplate what is happening. Only after do you realize you might have been flirting with death. It changes lives to, but it usually scares people straight from using mind altering substances.

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I think during meditation one becomes ego less in the sense that thought, memory and experience dissolve and one becomes just awareness with no motivated purpose.

The ego must not exist to be in this state of consciousness. As soon as one realizes this state of consciousness by thinking about it, for example, when the ego returns to regain its sense of self, that meditative state ceases to exist.

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I think during meditation one becomes ego less in the sense that thought, memory and experience dissolve and one becomes just awareness with no motivated purpose.

The ego must not exist to be in this state of consciousness. As soon as one realizes this state of consciousness by thinking about it, for example, when the ego returns to regain its sense of self, that meditative state ceases to exist.

To reach oneness without drugs requires a knowledge of science and philosophy. Only when someone realises reality is just a collection of perceptions do they realise that theres no divide between mind and the thing being experienced as reality. It is one thing.

Edited by Mr Right Wing
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When I look at a rabbit looking back at me, we see two different things. If I had no ego I would see me as the rabbit sees me.

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When I look at a rabbit looking back at me, we see two different things. If I had no ego I would see me as the rabbit sees me.

What part of the rabbit is made out of something other than perception?

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What part of the rabbit is made out of something other than perception?

Ok that's much deeper than I intended. My point is that our ego is our point of view and to not have an ego is to not have a point of view, but that is not possible with only one pair of eyes.

What I think you are pointing out is that what I think is a rabbit is entirely a creation of my brain. The rest is an illusion (not a delusion -- there is something rabbity out there).

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Ok that's much deeper than I intended. My point is that our ego is our point of view and to not have an ego is to not have a point of view, but that is not possible with only one pair of eyes.

What I think you are pointing out is that what I think is a rabbit is entirely a creation of my brain. The rest is an illusion (not a delusion -- there is something rabbity out there).

I always use colour perception to show that theres no division between mind and reality. If you think about it colour exists outside of your head not within the confines of your skull. As colour is perception and all around you the conclusion is your mind exists outside of your head.

There is no division between the rabbity thing and your mind. Instead of limiting your view to you being a human and there being a rabbit over there you should see yourself as all of reality lol.

Edited by Mr Right Wing
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We don't know what exists outside our heads. We get sense input mostly in the form of vibrations of light, for vision, and vibrations of air, for hearing. From these we create shape and motion and pitch and color and so on. The latter are entirely in our heads and have only a partial correspondence with the waves coming in, which in turn have only a partial correspondence with the object observed.

This is the case with most if not all "sensate" beings. We also have internal senses telling us things about our body, such as pain and kinesthetics. Finally we have emotions, which seem to have the same roots (you know, what is the sound of one hand clapping, to which a popular answer is, "frustration.")

Here, rather than at intelligence or consciousness, is where the Buddha drew the line. All sensate beings are special and have Buddha nature. This derives from the fact that they don't see things, they experience things (the current word for this is "qualia.")

With this elaborate introduction, to your point. There is no particular way I "should" see all this. I can see them as separate things, as a single thing united by the act of observation, or even as a small part of all of reality. We usually and for efficiency generally should use the first approach. The others can be dangerous unless you are safely tucked away somewhere in a meditative posture.

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I always use colour perception to show that theres no division between mind and reality. If you think about it colour exists outside of your head not within the confines of your skull. As colour is perception and all around you the conclusion is your mind exists outside of your head.

Ofcourse you do, however all that shows is you don't understand external stimuli being interpreted by the central nervous system.

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What I don't see is how the central nervous system generates the experience I call green. I could understand it if it told me the object out there is reflecting certain wavelengths, which is how a computer sees, but that it not what happens. What happens is that I experience something called green.

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What I don't see is how the central nervous system generates the experience I call green. I could understand it if it told me the object out there is reflecting certain wavelengths, which is how a computer sees, but that it not what happens. What happens is that I experience something called green.

How would you be experiencing these different wavelengths? How would it tell you?

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I'm not sure I understand your question. One presumes I would be told the way a computer is told, by being given the wavelengths.

I have no proposition here to offer to the fact that we experience our environment through these tokens we call color and pitch and so on. I don't see how it happens, but draw no conclusions from that.

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We don't know what exists outside our heads. We get sense input mostly in the form of vibrations of light, for vision, and vibrations of air, for hearing. From these we create shape and motion and pitch and color and so on. The latter are entirely in our heads and have only a partial correspondence with the waves coming in, which in turn have only a partial correspondence with the object observed.

This is the case with most if not all "sensate" beings. We also have internal senses telling us things about our body, such as pain and kinesthetics. Finally we have emotions, which seem to have the same roots (you know, what is the sound of one hand clapping, to which a popular answer is, "frustration.")

Here, rather than at intelligence or consciousness, is where the Buddha drew the line. All sensate beings are special and have Buddha nature. This derives from the fact that they don't see things, they experience things (the current word for this is "qualia.")

With this elaborate introduction, to your point. There is no particular way I "should" see all this. I can see them as separate things, as a single thing united by the act of observation, or even as a small part of all of reality. We usually and for efficiency generally should use the first approach. The others can be dangerous unless you are safely tucked away somewhere in a meditative posture.

Does the light exist before your eyes detect it?

What I don't see is how the central nervous system generates the experience I call green. I could understand it if it told me the object out there is reflecting certain wavelengths, which is how a computer sees, but that it not what happens. What happens is that I experience something called green.

Yep lol

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I'm not sure I understand your question. One presumes I would be told the way a computer is told, by being given the wavelengths.

Computers operate on data, they don't experience in the way you're describing.

My question is how would you be told of these wavelengths?

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@Seeker79: I totally agree with your statement and your topic, just not the part about people not thinking about their ego always and forever after the fact(Which you didn't say :P). It can be before, during, or after. Every person realizes certain things at different times or sometimes not at all this would including ego.

Just trying to describe the workings of my brain and how I formulate ideas from mind to paper is very tricky and you come off sounding crazy.

The computer is a good analogy for it simply because of the interaction we have with them, Stored data can do some really weird things to the programming and you might get unexpected results.(That whole ghost in a shell thing or I Robot) Wavelengths would compare to fingers on the keyboard and mouse in that analogy, while data is well data and the programming is the nervous system.

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