I say. There are many selves, all of them but one, constructed, frail, and constantly repaired from their constant collapse. They are self-referential, and self-generated through inner neurotic discourse picked up here & there for a lifetime, from the sociome, Etc.
Now the functional self might not need much explanation. Once we mentally remove the selves describe above, most everyone
will intuit what I mean. It’s the core self that relates to others and to itself. It’s just as essential as the big toe is for walking. But it’s usually fooled, by the social realm again, into thinking it’s the master and sole mover…. A big toe thinking it’s a leg.
Once we fairly extricate ourselves from our selves, what remains is an unforeseen degree of freedom. …And this self to which “ourself” refers: the minimalist operational self.
The functional self is an assistant, perhaps a steward. I sometimes prefer Minister of external affairs. *smiling*
What or who does it assist? –The non-self! The non-self is called the Self in Hinduism, not in Buddhism. But by the historic coexistence and rivalry between these two, they very often hold the same tenets, notably Śaivism, and later, views on nonduality.
The non-self is neither a self nor a no-self. It is a point of view above the dual axis of self/no-self. So, simply put, it’s in a superior dimension, literally. Entities in a fourth dimension would be “above” every point of our 3D world, therefore seeing at a glance both inside and outside your room. It’s the outer point of view – from infinity?
This is one of the best single point I can explain nonduality with, to myself for now. So every non-concepts refer to that. -Nondual, non-self, non-being, non-action, non-thought are the main ones. Here’s a recent tentative “exposition” of this on my Twitter:
“Just a few poetic equations:
I. Being × Emptiness = Non-being
II. Unity × Multiplicity = Non-duality
III. Self × No-self = Non-self”
It is to be recognized that nonduality, as much as I sense it, goes beyond apophatic thought, even though it’s its steppingstone. By devoiding the Spirit or the Nature-Of-Awareness of its every “positive” incomplete attributes we gradually implicate emptiness in the process, and we might find ourselves startled in a no-man’s-mind! Yet what remains, if don’t shut the whole affair off, is a precious apprehension – without comprehension as such – of nonduality, emptiness, and Buddha-nature, which I called the Buddhist Triad earlier. After the apophatic process some apophatic language remains; the insights are ineffable, unfathomable, incocievable… –And Yet…
I think the language of paradox is more appropriate for the task of expressing the inexpressible. Just this this last phrase makes it nearly obvious! *laughing* The amazing turning point of Nāgārjuna’s intricate reflexions is, that having examined every options he’s left with this, that we cannot even say “we neither exist nor not exist”, a kind of reduction to the void, which founds his stance of complete suspension of belief, his pyrrhonism. Saraha, another milestone of Buddhist history, was more expressive and pragmatic, and being a Brahmin and Mahasiddha, he handled paradox
masterfully, as only a compassionate bodhisatva teacher could.
“Sahaja is the one essential nature;
Beings are born into it and pass into it,
Yet there is neither existence nor non-existence in it […]
The unutterable is free of pain;
Non-meditation gives true pleasure.[…]
The nature of beginning and end is here and now,
And the first does not exist without the last;
The rational fool conceptualising the inconceivable
Separates emptiness from compassion […]
Flowers’ fragrance is intangible
Yet its reality pervades the air,
Just as mandala circles are informed
By a formless presence […]
Mind immaculate by nature is untouched
By samsara and nirvana’s mud;
But just like a jewel lost in a swamp
Though it retains its lustre it does not shine.[…]
Separating unity from multiplicity in the mind
The light grows dim and we wander in the lower realms”
These few quotes show how the triad, buddha-nature, emptiness, nonduality, and then innate knowingness, apophatic, cataphatic, and paradoxical language all concur to point to the Ultimate in an oddly practical, convincing and evocative way, in the Great Task of bodhicitta.
Now that we’ve been shaken from our trivial sphere of consciousness, that our self-constructions are collapsing, and we’re entering no-man’s-mind, well we’re surely bewildered, and we need be thoroughly disappointed with the neurotic samsaric mind in order to withstand that naked stance…
But! This is precisely then that the natural intelligence, the silent knowingness and responsiveness, known as rig pa in Tibetan, it’s in these conditions that it can emerge fully, work its miracles, and effectuate a thorough “overturning” (paravritti) of mind and personhood. –Satori! We’ve crossed the threshold to a new world-view and a more spontaneous behavior. It’s a quantum leap, in a figurative and poetic way.
I narrated this process rather dramatically for expediency purposes, but it’s important to know that this all happens very gradually for the overwhelming majority of people, as far as I know.
Through regular meditation and living in attention, in both its aspects of awareness *and* kindness, all the above-mentioned processes and renewed world-views and language will percolate, suffuse and eventually saturate your holon, that is, your whole being in its harmonized complexities, and synchronized faculties. You simply attune to your innermost nature, your divinity, in new age speak. But I believe there will also be a threshold effect where you’re suddenly on a higher plateau, a new more authentic mood.
Back to the non-self: Expressed positively – cataphatically – it is a resonance of the cosmic harmony and has no reality or signification without it. And I mean resonance quite literally, as physics teaches us it’s all about girls and waves.
We can say that as a resonance the functional self has autonomy but no independence, which corresponds to the basic technical meaning of the Buddhist emptiness: Pratītyasamutpāda is a gate to Śunyāta…. The latter means vacuity, perhaps one might like vacancy, while the former is
To be continued……………,