Suicide vs Egocide

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epiphany55
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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by epiphany55 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:48 pm

peas wrote:At risk of a spoiler, what did EN do at the end of Fight Club?
My understanding of it might be off but at the end there are two people, himself (EN) and an alter-ego version of himself (Brad Pitt). In the beginning his mind creates this alter-ego as an idealized version of himself but it quickly becomes dissociated, inflated and destructive. EN eventually becomes conscious of its attempted takeover and ends up destroying it before it destroyed him. Your comment reminded me of this because EN's other self creates a lot of drama, chaos and destruction in his life. The BP alter-ego relishes this because he believes true freedom is found in "hitting rock bottom". It's just his version of "rock bottom" turns out to be perversely destructive and almost masochistic. He leads him down an initially noble path of enlightenment but soon takes a wrong turning, leading him out of the light and into darkness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNcAA_UVi3U
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.

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KathleenBrugger
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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by KathleenBrugger » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:26 pm

epiphany55 wrote:
dijmart wrote:True forgiveness is seeing that there never was anything to forgive. You were too unconscious to do any better at that time. (I believe E.T. said this)
I still struggle with this idea that everyone who has done harm did so unconsciously. If I could fully accept that, I can't imagine I would feel any guilt. So maybe part of me doesn't want to accept it because it feels too easy a way to let myself off the hook. I would rather accept full responsibility.
I understand this difficulty. Most of us were raised to believe that people choose their actions freely and it's the mature thing to take responsibility for those choices. I'm not sure whether ET said the lines above, but I know he wrote this in Power of Now, "As long as your mind with its conditioned patterns runs your life, as long as you are your mind, what choice do you have? None. You are not even there."

In my book We Are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity I talk a lot about shame and guilt. By insane I mean deluded about reality; insanity means confusing my mind-generated reality with actual reality. This mind-generated reality is formed by the programming we receive from our family and culture; it's basically the same as ET's conditioned mind.

In the mind of a person who commits a crime or some other misdeed, the action is rationalized in their mind as being correct. Their mind-generated reality is so distorted that they see hurting another person as a good or necessary thing. My thinking in this area has been influenced by Dr. James Gilligan, a psychiatrist who directed the Center for the Study of Violence at Harvard Medical School and was in charge of psychiatric services for the Massachusetts state prison system for ten years. He wrote a book called "Violence" in which he claims that all violence is an attempt to seek justice, or to undo or prevent injustice.

Epiphany, at the time you did the thing you are guilty about, did you rationalize it as just or necessary? Jesus is said to have said, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do" as he was being nailed to the cross. I think this is what Jesus must have meant; a violent person's confused mind means he or she is out-of-touch with reality. They are not thinking or seeing clearly, even if they can do apparently rational things (like wearing a bullet-proof vest when committing a mass shooting).

It sounds to me like your desire for taking responsibility is resulting in your guilt and inability to put your past behind you. This is why I think free will is so important--as long as we believe we did something on purpose, we cannot forgive ourselves. Same if someone has done something that hurts us, if we feel they did it on purpose and could have done something else, it's hard to forgive them. But when we realize that we and they are the slave of unconscious mental programming, and we and they couldn't have done anything else, then we can see that there's really nothing to forgive. It's absurd to say, "I forgive the mosquito for biting me" because we realize the mosquito has no free will. Neither do humans. When we get this we've moved beyond forgiveness to compassion.

Instead of the kind of responsibility that (I think) you're talking about, I think there's another form that is compatible with the lack of choice. This means recognizing that your mind has been configured in such a way that it is possible for you to commit a deed that you find unethical. That's reality. It's not your fault that you were configured that way, but if you don't want to do it again you need to recognize its existence. It sounds like you have done this. And this is perhaps where therapy can help, by helping to reconfigure your programming.

As to whether you need to "confess"; this brings a favorite book to mind: Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. The main character, Raskolnikov, plans to rob and kill an old lady. From the moment he conceives of the crime his punishment starts--he suffers in his mind from guilt, while he rationalizes why this is the right thing to do. After killing her he is almost immediately caught and sentenced to a period of years in a prison in Siberia. His mental torments continue unabated, until one day seven years into his sentence when he finally stops all of his rationalization and honestly and fully admits to himself that he killed a human being; no excuses; this is what happened: I killed for money. At that moment he was free, even though he had a number of years left in his sentence. He was free in his mind.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
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epiphany55
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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by epiphany55 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:57 pm

Kathleen that is fascinating. I will have to get a copy of your book.

Are you familiar with Sam Harris' work (especially his book on Free Will)? Neuroscience seems to be moving towards determinism as the underlying explanation behind events. Free will is presumed by most but has not been held up to serious scientific scrutiny until recently. Your book seems to be very much aligned with this shift in understanding.

If science can provide good evidence that free will (or at least as we understand it) is indeed an illusion, which people like Harris are confident it will, then this will have huge implications for society. Retributive justice will be out of the picture for a start.

Like you said, there are years of conditioning to overcome if we are to fully accept this as a reality. Even if it was proven, there will likely still be a faith-based belief in free will, just like theism has so far managed to survive the secular rationalism of the past century.

I don't think I'm ready to let go of free will yet, not until there is as much evidence against free will as there is a flat earth. After all, I could be responsible for my actions!
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.

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KathleenBrugger
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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by KathleenBrugger » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:27 pm

epiphany55 wrote:Kathleen that is fascinating. I will have to get a copy of your book.

Are you familiar with Sam Harris' work (especially his book on Free Will)? Neuroscience seems to be moving towards determinism as the underlying explanation behind events. Free will is presumed by most but has not been held up to serious scientific scrutiny until recently. Your book seems to be very much aligned with this shift in understanding.

If science can provide good evidence that free will (or at least as we understand it) is indeed an illusion, which people like Harris are confident it will, then this will have huge implications for society. Retributive justice will be out of the picture for a start.

Like you said, there are years of conditioning to overcome if we are to fully accept this as a reality. Even if it was proven, there will likely still be a faith-based belief in free will, just like theism has so far managed to survive the secular rationalism of the past century.

I don't think I'm ready to let go of free will yet, not until there is as much evidence against free will as there is a flat earth. After all, I could be responsible for my actions!
Glad it was useful to you! Yes I have read Harris' book, Free Will, and I participate some on his forum, Project Reason. I've read a couple of other books that delve into the consequences of determinism, including Alex Rosenberg's The Atheist's Guide to Reality (ridiculous conclusions--e.g. there is no God--but he asks the hard questions about what life without free will would mean) and Incognito, by neuroscientist David Eagleman. As you say the consequences would be huge, not just the punishment/retribution angle but also the reward/meritocracy angle. Why should someone deserve to be rewarded if they couldn't help doing whatever they did--like sing a pop song or hit a couple of hundred home runs per season?

Yes neuroscience seems to be killing off any possibility of free will (you can read a blog post I wrote about this here) but I've learned not to base all my theories on what the latest science says, for a number of reasons. And btw, you can read the first four chapters of my book for free here. The subtitle of the book is "The Mechanics of Compassion," and I think to really get to compassion you have to let go of free will. You have to get that people "know not what they do."

I've learned a lot by participating in this forum. There's some really wise people who participate here and share their wisdom freely. Maybe if you keep participating and contribute in other threads, some more clarity about your issue will result.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
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Phil2
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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by Phil2 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:31 pm

peas wrote:My summary notes from a recent Q & A Eckhart did on the topic of therapy:

----

Q/ Do you regard talking therapies, such as psychotherapy or counselling, as a useful tool to help us release unexpressed emotion or could it end up being just an outlet for the painbody to feed on my story of suffering?

A/ The essential factor in therapy is the state of consciousness of the therapist, regardless of the modality that the therapist is using.

To some extent, some therapies, such as jungian, have more of a spiritual dimension to them than others, such as freudian. But the method used, the modality of the therapy, is secondary. The primary factor is the state of consciousness of the therapist.

...

Look for a therapist that is present, or preferably become so present that you don't need a therapist anymore.
Excellent stuff, thank you.

From what I remember Jung also said that each patient was specific and that there was no definitive or general method to be used for all ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by Phil2 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:47 pm

epiphany55 wrote: from post #1

So I figure I have a choice - kill my body or kill my mind (or at least the current state of it). Obviously the latter would cause the least amount of suffering for those around me. Being present is not enough. I need to completely rid myself of my current identity so that presence is no longer polluted by such a heavy past.

I'm tired of pretending to "let go" and not actually being able to let go.
Coming late into this discussion.

This statement above is an interesting one. When you come to such point of considering suicide, you can perceive the difficulty (and the dirtiness) of the physical act of suicide ... then you might consider not to commit the physical act, but to live 'as if' you were dead ... which means that you are not going to behave any more according to social patterns of behaviour (as you are virtually 'dead'), but simply live what life brings to you, not looking for personal pleasures (including drugs, alcohol etc. you don't need anymore, as you are 'dead'), not looking for any achievements, not looking to become something, social status etc. or to accumulate wealth, possessions, not going anywhere when not required etc ... I can tell you that there is much freedom in this kind of 'death' ... yes, it can be called 'death of ego', because there is no personal will any more ... it does not mean that you cannot enjoy life, just you surrender to whatever life brings to you ... in the now ... what comes, comes and what goes, goes ... let it be ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

alex
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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by alex » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:21 pm

Love, fuck up, fess up, keep loving.
You are flooded with guilt, so feel it. True remorse opens the heart.

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Psychoslice
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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by Psychoslice » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:18 am

Your identity isn't who you believe you are, so who is going to get rid of it ?. Just realize that you are not the mind body organism, that you are pure consciousness, or source, or whatever you want to call it. Keep remembering this truth, and die daily to that which you are not, be renewed each day to your true self, in no time your conditioning and programming will start to fade, just as you were conditioned to believe you are the mind body, you will be conditioned to the truth that you truly are, that is conditioned in a positive way. There is nothing that you need to be, you are already that which you truly are, keep that in your mind everyday, and you will be fine.

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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by Phil2 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:38 am

Psychoslice wrote:Your identity isn't who you believe you are, so who is going to get rid of it ?. Just realize that you are not the mind body organism, that you are pure consciousness, or source, or whatever you want to call it. Keep remembering this truth, and die daily to that which you are not, be renewed each day to your true self, in no time your conditioning and programming will start to fade, just as you were conditioned to believe you are the mind body, you will be conditioned to the truth that you truly are, that is conditioned in a positive way. There is nothing that you need to be, you are already that which you truly are, keep that in your mind everyday, and you will be fine.
Well said Psy ... we just have to drop the false identities ... and be quiet ...

:)
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

epiphany55
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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by epiphany55 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:03 pm

Thanks guys :D

Wow, this thread isn't that old, but it seems like an age ago I wrote the OP.

Alex, I completely agree, remorse does open the heart, and one has to feel its pain in order to open it fully. I would certainly rather have the remorse than nothing at all, if our actions are inevitable given our state of mind at the time.

Psychoslice, this "daily dying" is what I'm really interested in. At the moment, it's only something I can seem to think about. I don't know how to actually do it, practically speaking, because the memories and all my traits, whether real or not, are still there. If I were truly a new person, there would be no memories or trace of my past self. Do you have any practices/suggestions for going through this daily death process?

I think I am getting better at just dropping the false identities, but sometimes it feels like I'm repressing or trying to ignore thoughts that arise, which I know is not a good thing to do. There seems to be a fine line between telling the mind to shut up and allowing thought to dissolve naturally.
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.

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Psychoslice
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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by Psychoslice » Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:02 am

Hi Epiphany, this daily dieing is to be in the here and now, when you feel yourself being pulled back to the past or pushed to the so called future, just keep reminding yourself where you truly are. At first it may just feel as if you are only imagining it, or pretending, there is nothing wrong with that, keep telling yourself where you are, and bye and bye it will become automatic, the mind will become tammed, it will give in. When one is living in the now, it doesn't mean their life will be wonderful and perfect, the mind will still be there in the back ground, when we drift away the mind will grab the opitunity to try and take over, this is when we need to catch it out, we then die to that moment and just simply move on.

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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by epiphany55 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:48 pm

Excellent, thank you for clarifying. Yes I understand that everything isn't always rosy in the present moment. I'm ok with that. I think it's just the irritation of the same thought coming up constantly, almost OCD-like, that causes the residual anxiety. But I now understand what you mean by daily dying.

My only remaining question is, what is the difference between this death and suppressing thought? I have always had trouble knowing if I'm doing one or the other as I understand the latter can strengthen the grip of the mind. This might explain why the thought keeps coming back up.
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.

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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by Psychoslice » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:40 am

Supressing thoughts that are not wanted is different than realizing there just thoughts, to realize that they are nothing but thoughts, just something that the mind cultivates, is to shine the light of awareness onto that which arises from the darkness. We need to use the mind as a tool, and not let the mind use us, this is known as being egocentric, this ego isn't even real but we still let it use us, its nothing but a mirage that we try to drink from, and because its only a mirage we are never satisfied, deep down we are never satisfied, and because of this we go through our life trying to quench or first for peace and harmony. We try to find this peace in all sorts of ways, be it religion, sports, sex and on and on it goes, but we still are not happy, or truly happy. Happiness is never found outside of us, its only found within, its the by-product of truly realizing your true identity, that is, being one with all there is, when this truth is truly realized, you are then home, it all starts to come back, yes, I realize now, home sweet home.

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Re: Suicide vs Egocide

Post by Phil2 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:12 am

Psychoslice wrote: Happiness is never found outside of us, its only found within, its the by-product of truly realizing your true identity, that is, being one with all there is, when this truth is truly realized, you are then home, it all starts to come back, yes, I realize now, home sweet home.
It is said that the sage feels home everywhere he goes ... yes, home sweet home ...

:)
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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