Is the "self" an illusion?

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22 May 2021 05:00 - 22 May 2021 05:02 #360355 by Rush
Replied by Rush on topic Is the "self" an illusion?
I would say the identity of self is an illusion sure. A product of the mind. I would say the self in presence ie the moment is the universe expressing itself. The forces will allowing us to see, feel, hear, and taste the universe. Presence or being in the moment as one may say is the ultimate connection to the universe.

That is why I believe meditation and following deep passions brings us closer to God, the force, or the universe however you wish to describe that connection. Just my perception though.

It is definitely a fun concept to ponder. :laugh:
Last edit: 22 May 2021 05:02 by Rush.

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22 May 2021 16:26 #360364 by Brenna
Replied by Brenna on topic Is the "self" an illusion?
I don't know that I would call the "self" an illusion, because our experience of it is a very real one.

I would say that the idea of "self" being something that is somehow fixed or beyond our "control" is an illusion.

We believe that the way we are is just a fact, a circumstance. Its not. Its a belief in who we are based on countless thoughts, choices and actions.

It is always malleable, always changing.

And always within your control.

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet

Part of the seduction of most religions is the idea that if you just say the right things and believe really hard, your salvation will be at hand.

With Jediism. No one is coming to save you. You have to get off your ass and do it yourself - Me
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24 May 2021 19:54 #360386 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Is the "self" an illusion?
My personal take is that the self is only an illusion in so much that reality itself is an illusion. What is real? What we "see" and experience is are signals that have to be interpreted by the brain.

The subconscious mind isn't a different mind, but rather the bulk of what the mind is; under the "surface" of consciousness like an iceberg only partially exposed.

When we sleep and dream we simply explore more of the iceberg.

The illusion is the distinction. The illusion is created by the surface of the water, limiting what you can see along with the DEPTH of the water, limiting how far down you can explore.

The iceberg is simply too big of a "database" to consciously navigate the whole thing. So the mind has evolved mechanisms to process information within the subconscious so that you can react fasters, such as the defense mechanism Wescli talked about.

Before "Intelligence" could rise up from the neural network, it still had to protect itself. It still had to evolve defense mechanisms that have simply evolved into more complex understandings of fear. But the fight/flight response is still carried over from the animal kingdom. Somewhere inside, we're still probably worried about getting "eaten".

I like to think of consciousness as a choir of synapses. You could say each one isn't intelligent on its own and that it is only the complex communication between the many, that produces one voice. This one voice may be an illusion produced by the sound of many different cells reacting to changes in their environment.

However, I don't think every thought can be a reaction to stimuli because even if we might be provoked to love by the need to reproduce or care for our offspring, we still develop complex personas and we often choose to love when there is no need.

There is a balance between chaos and order and our personality forms in that mixture and we're always choosing; creating micro-decisions that create feedback that contributes to who we are as much as the things we don't choose. It's just like how we can breathe autonomously or we can choose to take over breathing.

When I speak to myself, I highly doubt I'm the only person who makes that reference in the plural. I think that was instinctive, but also a choice.
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24 May 2021 21:37 #360387 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic Is the "self" an illusion?
As others have said, it seems all awareness is fragmentary and temporary... the antidote to such things might be wisdom and bliss, found by peering into the mind and space, respectively. Not to suggest we need an antidote to self, but it seems fair to imagine that such a thing would manifest by having an ontological reductionist pathway to monism ie there is no self so it must be an illusion.

But we perceive ourselves as distinct physical beings, and it would seem we have apparatus within each of us that generates the experience of perception to that distinction, and within the larger system of systems it seems we are individuals bought into existence within it. What was the question again!? :silly:

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
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30 May 2021 16:29 #360517 by Streen
Replied by Streen on topic Is the "self" an illusion?
I'll say what I said in a similar thread. Does it matter?

Whether the self is an illusion or real is irrelevant. We still do what we choose, live our lives and go after what we desire.

and unreal are no more than nomenclature that indicate how little we understand.

There is a fine line between insight and insanity.
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31 May 2021 11:42 #360533 by River
Replied by River on topic Is the "self" an illusion?
I do think that whether self is an illusion or not matters; maybe not in the day to day business of modern life but in the grand scheme. If self is an illusion, it would be useful to my spiritual life to spend time working to see what lies beneath it. It may be possible to deconstruct and reconstruct self to a greater extent if it's illusory as well, and that seems like it could be valuable.

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30 Dec 2021 21:28 #365003 by Kit Fitso
Awareness of self or consciousness is a combination of our simultaneous perception of our internal biological process and our outer environment. These perceptions transmodulate together to form what we perceive as consciousness which I propose is indeed an illusion or effect of the brain. This effect, or sensation, is generally what people see as the soul, spirit, mind or consciousness. This ‘awareness’ is inert but subject to an ‘observer effect’ that elevates perceived brain process to what we commonly believe to be an integral part of our existence; a separate ethereal entity, consciousness, ‘Matrix’ of the mind or force. If you concentrate on the simultaneous perceptions or 'awareness' I believe that you should be able to sense what I mean.

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31 Dec 2021 16:20 #365026 by Alexandre Orion
I wouldn't say an illusion really.

And we probably ought not consider those who speak before the Royal Society as "YouTubers".

Thus, having read her book on this very subject, I'm posting one of the last (if not the last) intervention(s) one of my favourite moral philosophers.

I hope you enjoy and learn from this...

Bon réveillon à tous !

Be a philosopher ; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
~ David Hume

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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31 Dec 2021 21:29 #365033 by Kit Fitso
Enjoyed the Youtube clip, thanks.

My use of the word ‘illusion’ does not mean that the 'awareness of self' does not exist but is not what it seems. Everyone experiences some form of self, but what we experience is a thin veil of perception generated by our brains. The self is not a single unified entity but a number of sensations, perceptions, and thoughts produced by the brain; a centripetal force of the self. When I concentrate and attempt to isolate both inner and outer perceptions processed by the brain I experience a slight vertigo sensation which I interpret to be that 'force of self'.

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