No-Self Propaganda

Discussion in 'Reincarnation, Religion and Spirituality' started by TheDemon, May 25, 2021.

  1. TheDemon

    TheDemon New Member

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    So I have noticed that lately it is spread that there is no self, you are constantly changing, basically the Anatta teaching of Buddhism.
    • Proponents of this No-Self doctrine often claim that it is true and validated by science, not a philosophy. They say it's because the brain changes all the time, or because personality changes.
    • Another thing they say is that there is no soul because it cannot be proven scientifically (they often call physicalism a scientific fact instead of a philosophy).
    • They claim that if you believe there is a self (unchanging essence that is you), you are delusional or trapped in illusion and will forever be unhappy because you are "clinging" to things.
    • They promise that you will be eternally happy if you just realize that you've got no self.
    Maybe some people actually feel they don't have a self (although IMO a conscious being not having a self is illogical). I can't speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself.

    I do have a soul / self. I know this because there are some aspects of me that never change. Sure I've repressed them because abusers didn't want me to be this way, or because I hated myself for them and wanted them gone. But my arrogance (for example) never vanished, nor did it become less over time.

    A few years ago I suffered from intense self-loathing and wanted to get rid of everything about me that other people may not like. I hated my arrogance, but I could never get rid of it. I could only repress or deny it, which would only drain me and cause problems, or accept it, which led to me feeling authentic, free, happy and whole.

    Even after I learned to think humble, my arrogance didn't vanish or become less. I can think humble, but it is not my natural way of thinking, and always feels like I am "running an emulator" (don't know how to describe it better). Humility never feels like me, while arrogant thinking feels totally like me.

    My arrogance is just an example, same goes for numerous other aspects of myself, like my love for Satan, demons and dark places, or feeling genderless. Once I discovered these, they have always felt innate and authentic, I could never get rid of them and by repressing them I only damaged myself.

    Proponents of "No Self" say that if you meditate or focus on yourself (they call it mindfulness), you will notice that your thoughts and feelings don't last forever and therefore you've got no self. Well, I don't need to meditate in order to know that my thoughts and feelings don't last forever. I've got enough everyday experience to know that they are fleeting. But that doesn't make them unimportant or illusions.

    What I always feel when I feel myself, especially when being still and focused, is the non-physical energy of myself, which is dark and demonic (IMO these words describe it best). It always feels the same, and it is always there. It cannot feel angelic, tree-like, etc., cause that's just not what it feels like.

    I have changed a few times, but it always felt like I was bent to fit into something that I am not (which caused me a lot of suffering) or being free and becoming my true self again (for example after healing from trauma).

    The arguments brought forth by No-Self proponents don't convince me. Physicalism and Anatta are philosophies, not science. My soul does not change just because of brain changes. The personality changes I had in my life were either caused by trauma (ex. bullying leads to shyness, later I discover that actually I am not shy, the shyness just developed because of a traumatic past) or deliberate and temporary (the persona, as Carl Gustav Jung calls it).

    Everytime I put on a mask / persona, I feel more or less like my soul is wearing a corset. The longer I'm not being myself, but putting up an act, the more I get drained, irritated and finally exhausted or aggressive. Besides that, I am deeply dissatisfied and even miserable if I can't be authentic for a prolonged period of time (weeks, months, years).

    And I don't know what's so bad about "clinging". From what I have read, "clinging" seems to be a synonym for "caring about something" or "deeming something important". I see this as good and very important. For example, I want my family to be well because I love them and I want to get my work done because the projects at my job are important to me. Yet this is supposed to be bad because I am "clinging".

    Eternal happiness is IMO impossible to achieve. It's weird that on the one hand, "No Self" doctrine teaches that your feelings are always changing, and on the other hand, it teaches that you can achieve eternal, unchanging happiness. Illogical to me. But when I thought about what the No Self proponents mean by "eternal happiness", I came to the conclusion that what they mean by happiness = You don't care about anything and nothing matters to you anymore, therefore nothing can make you feel bad. So is the goal to achieve depersonalisation or become eternally bored like a psychopath?

    My emotions are very intense and long-lasting, I am very sensitive to physical and mental pain and some things matter a lot to me. I can't turn this off by just telling myself "Oh, but it's not forever, the feelings and sensations will pass". Yes, they will pass, but that doesn't make bullying and abuse ok. Nor do I want to get rid of my feelings and attachments, for they make my life colorful and diverse, and caring about things is good.

    Maybe I have understood this No Self thing wrong, or maybe you've experienced that you got no self (please tell me the logic behind this if you are willing to do so). But from what I have read and understood, the No Self doctrine sounds like gaslighting (and it feels like gaslighting to me). I don't want to offend anyone with this statement, but that's just how I see it. Telling me that I have no self is like telling me that all of my life experiences are delusions / illusions. Which is false and wrong.
     
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  2. TheDemon

    TheDemon New Member

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    Therefore it irritates me when someone says that "your self is an illusion, you got no self". And I have asked myself: Why are they doing this?
    • Why are they claiming that having / being a self is a harmful illusion and the beneficial truth is that you got no self?
    • What do they want to achieve by doing this?
    Do you have any answers to these questions? Also, I would be interested in hearing from an ex-no-self-believer (what made them believe they got no self, and then made them believe they got a self).
     
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  3. There and back again

    There and back again Senior Member

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    Having observed the new age spiritual community for a couple of years I've seen this first hand where they go on and on about killing the ego while softening each other up to get caught in various traps that are so common these days to such communities particularly cults. The way I see it as that without the self there is no safeguards towards fending off methods of control that darker minds uses to manipulate others into accepting whatever they are trying to sell or worse. With depersonalization being a common problem with the millennial and gen z generations this doctrine is particularly dangerous as these people are vulnerable thus are easy to exploit. Being the sort that does have some old wounds and tends to color the picture more darkly than most I would say this in an technological age like this it is exceedingly dangerous that down the road it could set humanity up for something much much darker than most are capable of imagining that being some kind of AI controlled hive mind where basically the bulk of humanity with the exception of the elite and their middle management becomes empty shells. We all can already see some of this with the rise of social media with platforms like fakebook and twitter that are clearly used to control so many people.
     

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