Monday, October 26, 2009

Self, the Origin - Identity

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 - Read the Part 1 first.
The Story of the ‘Self’  - Who am I?
Why do we all look different? What happens if we all look alike? Will the concept of you and me will be there? To elaborate that concept - how do you explain the concept of color to a person born blind? The answer is you cannot. So, if we all started to look same the identity of 'self' will be not be created which is required to understand the nature to even enjoy the beauty of the nature.
The state of Being
Being is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable – almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet its beyond or greater than you.  The inability to feel this connectedness gives rise to the illusion of separation from yourself and from the world around you.
Being is deep within you but you can’t grasp it with your logical mind. Logical mind is full of thoughts and restless. When the mind is free of thoughts you are in the present – In the Now.
Rene Descartes made his famous statement Cogito Ergo Sum – I think, therefore I am. The basic error in this philosophy is equating thinking with Being.  I feel the Descartes statement needs to be redefined as follows
 ‘I think, therefore I created my Self
 Thinking creates the self which traps us in our mind’s prison. This makes us believe that we are nothing but our ‘Self’ which is in our mind.
Our Emotions
Emotions are our mind’s reflection on our body. Anger is the result of a hostile thought which (our actions) can be linked to our past or our future (threatening your existence). If you stay in the present (In the Now) state and not thinking about past or future then this hostile thought will never result in Anger.
When you experience pure love or happiness, you actually experience stillness in your mind – you are in Now. Being in Now is negating the Self. Pure love must negate the self, otherwise its infatuation wrapped under the cover of love. Meeting of like minds will eventually results in negating the self. O Henry's short story Gift of Magi is an example of pure love.
Buddha says that the pain or suffering arises through desire or craving. To free from pain we need to cut off our desires
Different forms of fear like anxiety, stress, tension, worry etc are the after effect of spending too much time in future. While different forms of nonforgiveness like bitterness, grievances, regret, guilt, resentment etc are the affect effect of living in the past. This is much worse than living in the future, because as you grow up chances of your past increases if you start living in your past.
So, if you see – only the emotion of pure Love results in being in the present – In the Now. Rest of the emotions pushes you down in the past and makes you carry a large baggage as you move forward or always in the uncertain future worrying about things that never happened.  The key is to understand the essence of pure love – negation of self – means you are ready to sacrifice your ‘self’ in pursuing the happiness of the other ‘self’.
It’s interesting to look at some references from religious texts: check for the Bible – Mathew 22:36-40 Christ's message of "Love thy neighbor". Experts (religious) say, that’s what all the religions say. If that’s the case then why don’t man from ‘A’ religion or caste can’t get married to woman from ‘B’ religion or caste according to any religious laws. So, all these are exclusive clubs meant to built and strengthen their on clubs – a collection of ‘self’ evolving into a bigger self rather than negating the self – achieving the exactly opposite of what all religions preaches.
Mankind’s greatest delight was "Kindness", declared the Roman philosopher / emperor Marcus Aurelius. Philosophers and thinkers echoed his views down the centuries.  In the age of flat world, free market and the selfish gene, kindness / compassion is seen as a weakness while  we fight in the name of religion / caste, colour, country, language etc – and doing exactly the opposite of Love Thy neighbor.
The Mind
Does the mind control you or you control your mind? The obvious answer is ‘of course I control my mind!’  The delusion is if we believe that I am nothing but my mind – exactly what Descartes said ‘I think, therefore I am’. If you feel you control your mind, then can you switch off your mind? Switch off means – Zero thoughts. It’s going to be difficult and most probably you will end up saying no we can’t. Here is an exercise by Eckhart Tolle – Close your eyes and think about the next thought which is going to come to your mind. If it takes time for your next thought then you know what it is. You have experienced the present – Now.
Consciousness and Thinking are synonymous. Consciousness is a vast ocean and the process of thinking is a small island in it. Thinking gives us capability to learn, analyze and decide. Thought cannot exist without consciousness. Enlightenment is a state where you rise above the thought into the wider realm of consciousness.

The Mind and Time
The mind is in love with ‘Time’. Without the concept of Time the thought can’t survive. Thoughts shuttle between the past and the future. The happiness resulting from the thought of the past or the future is an illusion. In the oscillation between the past and the future the mind denies the present – ‘Now’. The Time stands still when you encounter pure love. Your mind is in the state of 'Now'.

What's Time? Time is nature's way of preventing all happening at once!

Experience requires analysis of multiple 'Nows' (atleast two Nows). This creates the impression of 'Time' moving forward.

watch out this space.... work in progress.....   

References

  1.  Power of Now By Eckhart Tolle
  2. End of Time By Julian Barbour
  3. Quantum Enigma By Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner
  4. On Kindness By Adam Philips and Barbara Taylor
  5. The 21st Century Brain (Explaining, mending and manipulating the mind) By Steven Rose
Links

  1. Rene Descartes – Wikipedia
  2. Issac Newton – Wikipedia
  3. http://www.allaboutgod.com/love-thy-neighbor.htm 
  4.  http://integral-options.blogspot.com/2009/01/love-thy-neighbour.html  

1 comment:

  1. Karsh, your blog is amazing. I have not read a scientific explanation till I read yours on human vision. That has always been a fascinating subject to me. There are some references that I would like to read some more on.

    Looking forward to part 2.

    Prema

    ReplyDelete