What Am I - What Are You?

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What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:12 pm

There has been some interesting discussion - dare i say debate - in this forum on the the existence of an 'I' or a 'you'. So 'I' hazard here to offer my take on it. Each of us of course, must come to our own direct understanding, and I hope you will consider the issue in its fullness. I do not seek anyone's conversion, but only greater clarity. Input is welcome to the degree that it adds to all our understanding and clarity.

The difference in each of our perspectives based on the perception of the nature of the 'I' and the 'you' is significant and well worth the exploration. Do the I and the you exist, or do they not? The following is how I see it.

The fundamental nature of life is awareness. It is in essence what we all share, what we all are. But there is that troublesome word 'we'. How does that get in the mix? What is it? What does it represent or refer to. We all know we can't have a conversation, written or verbal, without constant reference to I, me, and you. So what distinguishes this 'perception' of self expressed as I and you from that of awareness? I would suggest that it is conscious perspective.

Now, while awareness is universal, the canvas upon which all else is formed and the basic substance of consciousness, perspective is the point of view of awareness from which all substance, in whatever realm, is observed. A point of view is a unique aspect of awareness. It is awareness perceiving consciously what is, from any imaginable option. While, in the case of human perspective, each point of view is unique and maintains the essence of Awareness as Self, all points of view or selfs, originate from and remain this same universal core awareness. This conscious point of view perceived by awareness is the unique "self" - the I, the me, the you, that is in its Essence the One Self - the One Awareness.

So I and you and all others are references to Awareness’s points of view, and as Essential Awareness in origin, are not so much imaginary as unique. Two or more people sitting in a room share one awareness, but each is conscious of a different perspective. Each unique perspective is how life experiences creation from that particular conscious point of view. How long do these points of view last? Who knows? Maybe forever. There is certainly nothing to require they must end.

Understand, I am not talking about ego identification here. While the ego’s sense of self is still the I and the you referenced above, its identity as a separate enduring being, or persistent perspective of awareness, is false. It is a construct of mind designed through adoption of thoughts and beliefs as reality. (The fact that it is so universal in the human condition, I think, reveals its inherent value to the evolution of conscious perspective in the larger sense, but that‘s a subject for another thread.)

So when one says me or I, that sense of self inherently referred to is real as its fundamental essence is awareness. However, the perspective identification as Dick or Jane, with all the attached qualities of gender, race, profession, and the thousands of other mental identifiers and qualifiers, are imaginary and simply experiential.

When the proclamation is made that I or you don’t exist, this is the falsity where the truism is pointed. Ego identities are indeed not real in a lasting sense as they are mental constructs adopted in conjunction with the human experience which itself does not last. That does not mean they have no value. It simply means they are temporary perspectives, likely useful to a greater conscious awareness perspective, and also likely to Awareness as a whole.

Those who point out, seemingly exclusively, that you, or I, or self, does not exist are correct to the degree that such statements point to human ego. However, I think it is an inaccurate limitation to extend this pointer to the I, or the you, or the self, that is a unique, consciously aware perspective, fundamental in Awareness.

For me, the distinction is clear. I hope this sheds some light for those interested in a deeper understanding. As always, honest comments are welcome for those who feel they can add some additional insight, pro or con.

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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby karmarider » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Webwanderer wrote:Those who point out, seemingly exclusively, that you, or I, or self, does not exist are correct to the degree that such statements point to human ego. However, I think it is an inaccurate limitation to extend this pointer to the I, or the you, or the self, that is a unique, consciously aware perspective, fundamental in Awareness.


This really has been the crux of the debate.

It seems that on this forum there is concern that the direct "You do not exist" can be dangerous. It is only half the equation and it can lead to nihilism.

I agree with everything you've said. I usually do; your posts are clear pointers.

There is different perspective to consider.

I like the "you do not exist" because it is direct, unrelenting and compelling.

In the four years that I have been around awakening, I have never looked at this directly. Not deeply. I might say I have and this is not because I lie but because this is the way ego works. I have told others, like many here tell others, things like "who is it who wants to know?" When Kiki or Enigma talk about looking at the delusion of self, I have nodded my head and said, yes this is it. And likewise, when you talk about causeless awareness, as you did above, I nod my head and say yes this is it. There is no you. There is life, there is causeless awareness, there is love.

And yet I don't have a problem with saying "you do not exist." I don't think it needs qualification. I don't think we need to soften it and say, there is no you, but don't worry, because there is something else. Because I don't think people will get lost. I don't see that it is possible to get lost any more than it is possible that by being present, people will forget to plan for the future.

The danger in fact may be coming from the opposite direction. People do get lost in the ideas about awakening. They get lost in beautiful theories about existence and awareness. They get attached to specific terminology. They get attached to the concept.

Look at this beautiful concept. On the one side there is no you, but on the other there is causeless awareness. This concept has a beautiful symmetry, it fits in beautifully with existentialist theories, it fits in beautifully with terminology that we're used to. It is not frightening. To say that there is no you is scary if you really sit down and consider it, but this concept is no longer scary. It is fun to say and repeat. It validates me.It shows people that I have a complete and symmetric understanding of awakening. It agrees with the culture.

The trouble is this is not recognition. This is a concept, one that I did not realize I was attached to until recently.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby the key master » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:45 am

Nice post WW. Very well written and clear.

WW said,
The fundamental nature of life is awareness. It is in essence what we all share, what we all are. But there is that troublesome word 'we'. How does that get in the mix? What is it?


I sometimes utilize the word ‘we’ to point to that which we are existing inside of right now, that which never changes, the awareness we always are (we pointing to awareness). We can talk about awareness as being separate or beyond, but really, it permeates, giving these words not only the space to exist within, but the consciousness to manifest as.

There is never anything separate from that, and we are never anything but that, the all pervading Self, fundamentally unchangeable, manifesting timelessly through the ever changing.

WW said,
A point of view is a unique aspect of awareness.


A point of view is a unique aspect arising inside that which is always here. Thus the perspective doesn’t belong to awareness, but arises inside of it, manifesting as It. Awareness already Is everything.

WW said,
How long do these points of view last? Who knows? Maybe forever. There is certainly nothing to require they must end.


Dont bring up any reincarnation voodoo here WW :)

WW said,
Two or more people sitting in a room share one awareness, but each is conscious of a different perspective.


We are not only sharing that awareness, we actually are that awareness. But what of the ability of two human forms, WW and TKM, to carry on this discourse right now? Clearly we are sharing perspectives from two different vehicles of consciousness? This assumption comes only from the appearance of separation, and the ability of thought to fragment this appearance into a thought created me and other, and for the ability of thinking to “give birth” to a mind which never actually exists.

Ultimately I feel the issue boils down to the concept of a mind. If there is a mind, then there is an entity for a perspective to belong to. But when we call the ability to think and form perspectives a “mind”, we are giving something which is transient a sense of substance that’s just not there. Even by saying that the perspective “belongs to” awareness, turns awareness into something relative, something which can be separated, which awareness most certainly cannot be.

But I really like your post WW. I mean, we are utilizing language here to communicate, and are inherently limited by not only the words we use, but the fragmented dimension we utilize to communicate them. Of course there is my perspective and yours. Taking on an “absolutist viewpoint” only further clouds the fundamental truth which is being distorted, which will always be distorted when we are thinking about it. There can never be anything separate from what we are. Not now, not ever…

On a final note,
WW said,
It simply means they are temporary perspectives, likely useful to a greater conscious awareness perspective, and also likely to Awareness as a whole.


I always knew you were a mystic at heart. An intelligent universe??
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:42 am

Karmarider, thanks for your input. I am happy for you that the “there is no you” is meaningful to you. I have no wish to diminish that insight. However, I perceive it as accurate only within a limited context and therefore needs additional clarification. In my view, and that of Tolle and many others, is that it refers to ego identity. The me and the you that is adopted through concepts of mind is indeed not real in the greater sense. There is however, a you that refers to a perspective of awareness. This you, or I, cannot be so readily dismissed.

You indicated the realization of “you do not exist" was especially meaningful to you.

I like the "you do not exist" because it is direct, unrelenting and compelling.

In the four years that I have been around awakening, I have never looked at this directly. Not deeply.


Something Tolle said was especially meaningful to me. Forgive the paraphrase: “You are the spaciousness in which all experience takes place.” Note the reference to a you.

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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby karmarider » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:58 am

Webwanderer wrote:Something Tolle said was especially meaningful to me. Forgive the paraphrase: “You are the spaciousness in which all experience takes place.” Note the reference to a you.
WW


Right, Tolle and other enlightened people are not afraid to use the pronoun you.

This seems to be about terminology. The you in "You do not exist" is the ego, the false self, the imagination of self. I never took it to mean that it negates the spaciousness or awareness.

I was stuck in place where I was identified with awareness. It was "my" awareness.

But awareness and spaciousness are impersonal. This is one of breakthroughs I had with "You do not exist."

But my experience with this inquiry is not yet complete.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:11 am

the key master wrote:
WW said,
How long do these points of view last? Who knows? Maybe forever. There is certainly nothing to require they must end.

Dont bring up any reincarnation voodoo here WW :)

Voodoo? But what if there's truth here? Is it still voodoo? I will stand with Tolle and Danison and Mellon-Thomas Benedict.

the key master wrote:
WW said,
Two or more people sitting in a room share one awareness, but each is conscious of a different perspective.

We are not only sharing that awareness, we actually are that awareness.

I meant nothing different in essence. What makes things interesting are the unique perspectives that are viewed by that awareness.

the key master wrote:On a final note,

WW said,
It simply means they are temporary perspectives, likely useful to a greater conscious awareness perspective, and also likely to Awareness as a whole.


I always knew you were a mystic at heart. An intelligent universe??

Or maybe a universe born of intelligence. Who can say? :D

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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby the key master » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:31 am

WW said,
Voodoo? But what if there's truth here? Is it still voodoo? I will stand with Tolle and Danison and Mellon-Thomas Benedict.


I think there is truth there. I dont think its voodoo at all. Was just giving you a sarcastic jab. I thought it was clear that I practice voodoo in my spare time...

I meant nothing different in essence. What makes things interesting are the unique perspectives that are viewed by that awareness.


Hmm. Ok. This assumes that what is viewed is in some way separate from that which is viewing. Its really not so. But I think we're losing each other in language. Yea it is interesting that as human beings we each have our own unique way of pointing toward things. Certainly there are still things that interest me, and things which interest you. The human forms pursue these interests inside the awareness thats timelessly here. So yea, different perspectives viewed by awareness, im with you.

Or maybe a universe born of intelligence. Who can say?



Or the universe is intelligence. Who is here to say?!
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:51 am

karmarider wrote:Right, Tolle and other enlightened people are not afraid to use the pronoun you.

I've never thought it a matter of being afraid to use certain pronouns. Rather my concerns were for the exclusive context in which they were used, a context which denied any other applications.

Many of the discussions on this forum of late, by those who came with agendas, were of a character that clearly excluded the 'you' from perspectives fundamentally inherent in awareness. I see a greater self-sense in a perspective that is persistent beyond that created from the human mind and body and identified as ego. I only seek to be fairly inclusive and clear that our pronouns have broader usage than that which is commonly applied to ego.

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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby gen6 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:07 am

I will try to be as constructive as possible.
First, how exactly do you define ,,awareness,, , as later on you say it is the nature of all life, very brave claim indeed, for me this claim is still in the category called - assumptions. However it depends, that's why it's important to know what do you mean by awareness.
For me awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding.

Webwanderer wrote:
Two or more people sitting in a room share one awareness, but each is conscious of a different perspective.



Share one awareness, like, really one awareness? Or they both have separate brains that allow them to be separately aware in a certain situation? This would mean there are two awarenesses (I don't know the multiple of this word).
Or you suggest that there is one large field of something that is called awareness and all humans are placed in it like pawns on a chessboard , where the chessboard is the awareness? All pawns share one board?
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Kutso » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:51 am

This seems to be a discussion on how you define "I". What "I" points to. For me "I" has always pointed to that within this body which never changes. And on closer inspection this "I" wasn't within this body at all.

gen6 wrote:Share one awareness, like, really one awareness? Or they both have separate brains that allow them to be separately aware in a certain situation? This would mean there are two awarenesses (I don't know the multiple of this word).
Or you suggest that there is one large field of something that is called awareness and all humans are placed in it like pawns on a chessboard , where the chessboard is the awareness? All pawns share one board?


I understand that you adressed WW here, but I hope you don't mind I answer as well. For me, when I concentrate on that which I am, the mind slows down and finally become silent. When this happens, there is only me everywhere. There is no distinction. There's no question about "my" awareness and "others" awarenesses. There is only awareness. There are no others.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby runstrails » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:27 pm

There is only awareness. Awareness has ego experiences (which creates the sense of ‘me’/’you’/separation). Ego is simply an experience in awareness just like the experience of a supernova or a sunrise or a leaf falling or a baby being born or posting on this forum. Thus, these ego experiences are impersonal. Once this is realized, then there theoretically should be no more suffering, (or if there is suffering, it cannot be taken personally :wink: )

But ego experiences are nonetheless unique, in the sense that no two ego experiences (either across people or within a person) are really completely identical in awareness—so this may create a false sense of ownership of the experience or perception of it as a personal experience (which may lead to a prolonged but subtle identification with ego and so can result in subtle amounts of suffering).
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Sighclone » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:51 pm

For me awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns.


Pure awareness is not a state, like sleep or waking or dreaming states. Pure awareness is the substrate and source for all possible, and all imagined states. Words fail.

Keep hammering, gen...one sword sharpens the other. :)

This is one of the finest threads in this forum -- thanks all!!

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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Ananda » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:23 pm

Hi folks,

This really has been the crux of the debate.


I think ths issue is not so much about semantics but about what is implied in it. I often find that 'consciousness' or 'awareness' is spoken of as an object, something known, and that 'you' ie the subject does not exist. Immediately a big problem arises, not only because consciousness is not an object, but also because it is logically impossible for there to be any object that can be known without a subject, or 'you'.

If we look closely at the 'you' - separate it from the adventitious and superimposed qualities such as the mind and body, then it is clear that 'you' really does only refer to the subject as awareness or consciousness itself. I posted about this in the previous debate here and demonstrated, hopefully clearly, that consciousness is not an object, but the subject only. It seems a bit trivial or pedantic to talk about this again but really the two views do lead to completely different conclusions.

If I may be so bold, karmarider, I'd like to get right to the core of it by quoting from your post and explaining why I don't think the view works.

There is no you. There is life, there is causeless awareness, there is love.


In the statement, first there is a denial of the existence of the subject 'you' (remember, the subject is not the ego, as all qualities or attributes of ego are themselves known as objects), then there is an affirmation of an object called life, and an object called causeless awareness, and an object called love. Now, you might say that 'no, life and causeless awareness etc are not objects' but if you deny the existence of the subject then you must only be referring to the latter as objects- objects which are known. If objects are affirmed, then they are affirmed by a certain means of knowledge, it may be through the senses or the mind, or memory etc, - these are the instruments or 'means' by which objects are known.

However, the instruments of knowledge (such as mind) are themselves objects, because they too are known and affirmed, as well as their condition (I am blind, I do not know etc). Therefore it must be asked as to how these are also known, and the answer always, inevitably leads back to the self-evident nature of awareness itself.

All is known because there is awareness. If it is claimed that awareness is an object, then this too must be known by some further means, thus we come to an infinite regression of awarenesses, because the claim that awareness is an object of knowledge is false. Awareness is inherently the subject, the knower, the seer, of all that is seen or unseen, known or unknown. The term 'you' is always referring to the subject, the conscious being, never an inanimate object or an any object of knowledge (except under delusion).

It's both reasonable and logical to conclude that 'you' does refer to awareness itself, so the statement 'you do not exist' - while perfectly fine as a rejection of the existence of the ego (ie I as opposed to You), does not ultimately work, because the ego itself is an object which is known, and is not truly synonymous with the 'you' , the subject by which it is known. It is a lot clearer, and logical, to say 'You are not the ego (individual)', or 'You are awareness'.

I don't think people will get lost


I think it is misleading, and that people can become deluded by it, as evidenced by the troop of 'liberators' we keep having over for tea and biscuits. I think perhaps it is an effective shock teaching - if only to engage one with the teaching, but I think also that that particular teaching alone won't product any lasting fruit and may even kill off further self-enquiry. It's my own personal opinion that a teaching should encourage a great amount of introspection and applied spiritual practice and not merely either a) an intellectual understanding or b) a limited enquiry or insight into the nature of the mind-made self with no further diving. That particular teaching is much more the former than the latter, although it does seem as if for some of its proponents that there has to be a lot of sitting and thinking (such as bobby said).

People do get lost in the ideas about awakening. They get lost in beautiful theories about existence and awareness. They get attached to specific terminology. They get attached to the concept.


It's my view that the concepts themselves are not important, the terminology isn't important- it's just the implications of what is being said that deserves to be critiqued. Concepts relate to something beyond the concept, and in the case of the 'there is no you' teaching it conveys a basic misunderstanding between the subject and object, or, the Self and not-Self, making further genuine insight or realization either difficult to come to or completely impossible.

Now, one might very well accuse me of being dogmatic, or rigid, but at the end of the day the implications of my own words are likewise entirely open to critique and reasoning- but they are also logical and consistent, so without being proven wrong or faulty I see no reason to change my views at the moment.

Look at this beautiful concept. On the one side there is no you, but on the other there is causeless awareness.


It sounds beautiful, but it is still a contradiction. :)

The you in "You do not exist" is the ego, the false self, the imagination of self. I never took it to mean that it negates the spaciousness or awareness.


See, this is very interesting;

I was stuck in place where I was identified with awareness. It was "my" awareness.


In these two statements the subject and object are conflated, mixed up, so you end up denying the existence of the one on account of the non-existence of the other. If we say 'You do not exist' intending to deny the existence of the ego, what we are actually doing is denying the existence of awareness also, because awareness, as you rightly understand now, is not an object of knowledge - it is not possesed by another, or known by another. It is not 'my awareness', the subject is itself awareness and everything else such as the ego are objects of knowledge to it. Ego is an object of knowledge, its falseness can be realized - that to which this knowledge dawns is the subject, 'you', the awareness. It's not 'my awareness', you are awareness, and the ego is not you.

But awareness and spaciousness are impersonal.



Yes, because awareness is not an object- it is not made distinct or individual on account of other objects or multiple awarenesses, it is not made personal by the presence or absence of the body/mind, despite appearances. 'You' is always only referring to the impersonal awareness and this can never really be denied or proven false since the subject is necessary prior to any knowledge about the presence or absence of something else.

This seems to be a discussion on how you define "I". What "I" points to. For me "I" has always pointed to that within this body which never changes. And on closer inspection this "I" wasn't within this body at all.


:)

gen6,

The assertion that awareness (the Self) is exclusively identical to, inside of or a by-product of a body is a very long held assumption and is based on circular reasoning and lack of inquiry. This assumption gives rise to the notion of multiplicity of awareness, thus multiplicity of selves, thus bodily identification, thus ego, thus suffering. The whole paradigm is archaic and is the cause of the human condition we see today.

To suggest that awareness is a) not the Self and b) not what it is understood to be and attested to be by so many spiritual religions and/or realizers is to ignore the accepted modern definition of objectivity as an agreed upon collective subjective account that can be tested and experienced regardless of bias and individual perspective , c)fail to respond to the very valid logical objections that ego is equivalent to one's nature and d)fails to account for the demonstrably false notion of ego itself.

Doubt is good; it helps us to come closer to the truth, but to doubt for doubt's sake is stupid because you remove any chance for certainty about anything. You enter into a very nebulous landscape of relative truths and philosophical nihilism, which is neither conducive to the easing of suffering for others and nor is it for yourself.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby gen6 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:11 pm

First, I really want to clear out for myself, to understand correctly what are you preaching, that's why I'll ask again :

You claim that there is one large field of something that is called awareness and all humans are placed in it like pawns on a chessboard , where the chessboard is the awareness? All pawns share one board?
Did I understand this correctly?

Ananda wrote:

gen6,

The assertion that awareness (the Self) is exclusively identical to, inside of or a by-product of a body is a very long held assumption and is based on circular reasoning and lack of inquiry. This assumption gives rise to the notion of multiplicity of awareness, thus multiplicity of selves, thus bodily identification, thus ego, thus suffering.



I don't see anything wrong with the notion of multiplicity of awareness. I'm not quite sure that we can make such logical connections like - multiplicity of awareness => thus multiplicity of selves => thus bodily identification => thus ego => thus suffering, which would also mean that multiplicity of awareness sooner or later means suffering. How did we turn multiplicity of selves into bodily identification. I just cannot link these anyhow. Furthermore, how did we turn bodily identification in ego? After so many discussions about Ego in this forum and finally agreeing what it means, I think that bodily identification may just be a small part of it or just a type of Ego thought, just one of the many various types. One of the many various types of Ego thoughts that may bring or may not bring suffering, it really depends on external factors, but after all , it's just an idea. And how did we turn the Ego into suffering. Ego doesn't automatically mean suffering, the suffering is a product of many many factors, Ego thoughts may be one of them or may be not. It depends as well.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Ananda » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:07 am

Hi gen6,

I'm not sure if the first part of your post is adressed to me (as I didn't write the things you are quoting) but i'll respond to it anyway- if only to elucidate it for you.

You claim that there is one large field of something that is called awareness and all humans are placed in it like pawns on a chessboard , where the chessboard is the awareness? All pawns share one board?


It's quite a good analogy, but the chessboard would equate better to space and form. We are saying there is one subject, or awareness, and all objects, which includes empirical and abstract, such as bodies, time, space and form have no independent existence from this fundamental, underlying awareness. The substance, which is awareness, is one and non-dual, the form is multiplicity; the entire universe.

I don't see anything wrong with the notion of multiplicity of awareness


It can only be an assumption, and it's also illogical. It can only be an assumption because there is no way of testing for the existence of multiple awarenesses, due to the fact that all testing and evidences must necessarily be object to the (subject) awareness itself. There is nothing outside of awareness, the limitations we impose upon it are due to conflating and superimposing the body and its attributes (such as sense perception etc) onto it- which is fallacious because the body and its attributes, including the mind, are all objects of knowledge to awareness itself, not the other way around.

It's illogical because multiplicity can only be admitted for objects. Awareness is not an object, it is the subject prior to and by which objects are known. Objects are known to be multiple and/or individual due to their distinctness either by distance in space and time or known attributes. Awareness has no location, it is neither inside nor outside (it is the knower of inside and outside), it has no form or shape, no discernable attributes can be known about it via a means of knowledge and nor can it ever be known as distinct or different from the subject itself (it can not be turned into an object). Awareness can only be assumed to be many, and this is soley on the basis of placing it inside an object, namely the body.

I'm not quite sure that we can make such logical connections like - multiplicity of awareness => thus multiplicity of selves => thus bodily identification => thus ego => thus suffering, which would also mean that multiplicity of awareness sooner or later means suffering


I'll explain it in some more detail for you. Awareness exists, it's of the nature of the subject. If we say there are multiple awarenesses, then it is logical to conclude that there are multiple existences, or being, or subjects. The subject is equivalent to the Self in that it always refers to what one actually is, therefore to say there are many subjects is to say that there are many selves.

If there are many selves, then we have to place these selves, and differentiate them from one another. Therefore we put it inside the body, an object, or we say it is the body, or we say it is the mind. We conflate the subject with the object, in order to rationalize the existence of multiple seers or subjects.

You might still insist 'there are multiple awarenesses, however' - but there is simply no evidence for this. If it is agreed upon that there are multiple awareness, how could it ever be known? If the subject is known as awareness, then where is there ever a second subject? There is no other subject which appears to the first subject- only objects. If it is agreed 'yes there are two' then to whom is this agreement made? a body? a mind? When adressing 'another' subject what is being adressed? It is always falsely adressing a body, a mind, an object. There is absolutely nothing at all in the universe apart from the subject that can be called 'another subject', it is impossible.

Multiplicity of awareness is a lot like saying there are multiple spaces. Space as we know it 'inside' or 'outside' is defined by the presence of objects within it. If there is a pot, someone might say 'there is space inside the pot, and outside of the pot, therefore there are two spaces, pot space and outside pot space'. But this is fallacious, because really the nature of space is unchanged by the presence or absence of objects, it is one, homogenous. There is not really two spaces , just the one, in which the object partakes of. In the same way, there is only one awareness, but due to the multiplicity of bodies in it we associate one 'part' of awareness with one body, and another 'part' to another body. The principle is basically the same; we conflate the multiplicity and presence of objects with the non-dual and homogenous (partless) nature of the subject.


We also conclude that because each body has a unique subjective experience, awareness must also be individual, being a product of or combination of the elements which make up the subjective experience. Therefore, awareness begins to be identified with the mind (intellect, thoughts, memory, imagination etc), thence comes the ideas of ownership (my body, my mind), doership (I think, I feel, I did this, I did that') and eventually Ego - individual sense in a concrete form 'I am the body' 'I am different from this, I am not you, you are not me' etc. This conclusion is the bedrock of most western philosophy, religion, and worldview and also the subsequent trend of reactionary views and materialism.

Furthermore, how did we turn bodily identification in ego?


Bodily identification is ego. The body is individual, separated from other objects in time and space. Composed of multiple parts, is born and will die, and performs actions and experiences the subsequent result. Identifying the Self with this is the cause of such statements 'I am fat, I am thin, I am stupid, I am ugly, I was born on this day, I will die soon, I am old, I am young, I am ill, I need to do this, I did that, this happened to me' -all of this is ego, bodily identification, it's cause being ignorance due to superimposing the qualities of objects (body) onto the subject (awareness).

After so many discussions about Ego in this forum and finally agreeing what it means, I think that bodily identification may just be a small part of it or just a type of Ego thought, just one of the many various types.


Ego always refers to individuality. You're right when you say it isn't limited to bodily identification; it's not. There is also the idea 'I am an individiual soul/spirit' and also 'I am an individual awareness', both are also ego. :)

And how did we turn the Ego into suffering


Ignorance causes suffering, and ego is a product of ignorance. By identifying the Self as the body we claim ownership of every action, of every reaction, of every thought and feeling. We try to control the experience, desire is the result, dissapointment is the result, clinging to experiences and anticipation of future ones is the result, greed is the result, hatred of (perceived) others is the result, a feeling of lack is the result, self-image is the result, misery is the result. This whole cycle of results is the inherent suffering in egoic existence, and it is all based on a mistake, on lack of inquiry. Self-inquiry is the cure for this imagined disease.

:)
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Ananda
 
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