SOMEWHERE IN THE SIERRAS, CA—Some thoughts I’m fleshing out. Hopefully this will be enough theory for awhile. Sorry for the long posts.
Instinctual self: Our genetically hardwired sense of self responsible for self/species preservation.
Ego: The imaginary self consisting of a persistent belief that we are our thoughts, past memories, and current roles.
Mortal self: The body, thoughts, emotions, and experience.
Soul self: Consciousness which transcends the body, but is still individualized.
Radiant Self: Consciousness still separate from the surroundings, but with a powerful sense of Love (TaoGodHer as other) flowing through you and into everything you see or experience.
Emptiness Self: The pure Witness when the sense of separation from the surroundings vanishes. Everything feels as one/you/consciousness.
Witness, Transcendent Self or just Self (capital S): When the ego is dropped, that which is experiencing events.
Personal self or just self (small s): Any combination of the above selves which you identify with.
No Self: When the Witness is no longer identified with. Clunky phrasing, but to say something like “when you no longer identify with the Witness,” is completely contrary to the experience. Everything is One Thing (nondual), and there is no “you.”
A couple key points:
- Self is all about identity… who or what you believe yourself to be. Not rationally, but experientially.
- Self seems to fall into one of three broad categories: Ego (me, me, me), Transcendent (I Am), No Self (???). Hat tip to Adyashanti.
- Most people’s personal self is the ego.
- Mortal and Soul selves are more individual based (solid self boundaries), and thus most egos identify with a combination of these.
- Radiant and Emptiness selves are ethereal based (subtle self boundaries) and thus most people who have “woken up” tend to identify with a combination of these.
- Though Emptiness and No Self seem to be the same, Emptiness still has a subtle sense of identity (the Witness).
- The instinctual self has a great influence on pulling the “self center” temporarily lower (toward Mortal).
- TaoGodHer (the nondual Intelligence), subtly pulls the “self center” higher (toward Her).
- My experience of No Self is limited, but the instinctual self seems to affect the No Self too—it contracts the identity into one of the lower self stages because of having a physical body.
- I have yet to identify with the ego (imaginary self) since “waking up” back in 2009. However, I often (inadvertently) contract (solidify/harden) to the Mortal and Soul levels. In other words, I no longer experience myself to be my thoughts or my history or the roles I participate in, yet I still sometimes take thoughts seriously (Mortal) or see myself as an immortal individual (Soul).
- When I talk about the Wayne-thing (or the me-me-me), I’m talking about my Mortal self and/or instinctual self (thoughts and/or self-concerns). For most people, the Me-thing is their ego (imaginary self).
This all came about because of two “knots” I was contemplating on my birthday:
- Knot 1: Why does my sense of self, which tends to be centered in Radiance, shift between the other levels (Mortal, Soul, Radiance Emptiness)? Insight/Whisper: The shifting of the me-center is influenced in an upward direction by a “Divine pull” (TaoGodHer) and a downward direction by the instinctual self. Not like a tug-of-war pull, but more like a unified, yin/yang, moon/ocean, tidal-like experience… a flowing.
- Knot 2: Why do I need to identify with anything? Almost identical to the box technique mentioned here (“Right now, do I need the ego?”), but on the next level up (not ego to Witness, but Witness to No Self).
As I said, I’m still fleshing this stuff out so it’s all a bit rough, and quite honestly I’m about sick of it (I’m much happier just living it rather than explaining it), but I wanted to post it somewhere so you guys’ll have a better idea of what I’m talking about when I use that little four-letter word self.
Thanks for putting up with me (whoever that me is). 🙂
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