4bsolute

Does anyone else put effort into dissolving ones own personality? What are the last personal thoughts and feelings you have?

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I feel my personality has changed over the last year or two and that describing it as 'dissolving' away is not that far from what I am experiencing. My emotional stability has increased and this has, almost, led me to caring less about others. I don't mean this in a negative way, but, if I can't do anything to help someone, I no longer worry so much about them.

 

I've definitely got a long way to go until 'the last thoughts' you mentioned. But, I do feel I'm becoming more independent from/of others, and there might be a very small background feeling of loneliness. But, this independence I think allows me to get slightly closer to others now as I'm not so worried about my self.

 

I'm finding it difficult to put in to words what I mean, but part of my current experience of life does resonate with what you've asked, although I can't really tell you why ... :mellow:

Edited by Miffymog
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Often before meditating I'll do a vispassana dialog with myself. 

I am not my body - I'm that which inhabits it

I am not thoughts- they are ephemeral, like clouds passing through the sky

I'm not my emotions - I acknowledge them and let them pass like circles in a pond.

I am not my.. past.. future.. family.. possessions.. it goes on like that.

I usually end it with I am breath and awareness.

 

The repetition has helped me when I've had dreams where I die.  Given me enough space to relax and see what's next.  Last year I had a stint put into a heart artery.  I wasn't knocked out all the way and distinctly heard the surgeon say 'Well this isn't going very well'. 

 

Maybe it was the anesthesia but while my initial thought was 'That sucks', I remained calm and kept in a space of lets see what's next. 

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For the first part of my life I was denied the freedom necessary to create much of an ego/personality.

The second part of my life I had the freedom to explore my desires and began to develop ego patterns, but still wasn't very in touch with any sort of self identity.

 

Ironically it is when I discovered taiji and inner cultivation work that I was able to break through into fully embodying myself. At first I was very dissolved and ego-less. 

 

And then I let some time pass, and allowed the ego to fill in the newly discovered parts of myself. It let it have its way and do what it wanted, and discovered that it became more difficult to dissolve, the more I would let it get entrenched. It doesn't like letting me do cultivation work, because it is afraid of losing itself, because losing itself means letting go of the predictable attachments to navigating life, and it is afraid of the unknown.

 

Yet in my experience, the more I dissolve the ego, the better I feel, and the better poised I am to navigate the world, even though the ego wants to think otherwise. Quite the paradox. In any case, I've come to learn that those fears are just about identity loss.... and yet the more "I" surrender my identity, the more I allow myself to bloom, to be at the right place at the right time, to say the right thing to the right person, to simply be where being matters most for me and my environment.

 

I say I and me a lot, but who am I, really, but that identity? The more "I" becomes nothing, the better "I" feel. The more that identity embodied in this particular pattern within the celestial mechanism is able to dissolve itself, the more at home "I" feel.

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in various forms of evolution or change some of the thoughts and or conditions are like one door opening and another closing, thus one can not or seldom can go all the way back to a state that was before... and if at some point an unfortunate door opens one may fall to a state lower than a (simpler) before.  (with such a law also applying across the spectrum of human affairs)

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For the first part of my life I was denied the freedom necessary to create much of an ego/personality.

The second part of my life I had the freedom to explore my desires and began to develop ego patterns, but still wasn't very in touch with any sort of self identity.

 

Ironically it is when I discovered taiji and inner cultivation work that I was able to break through into fully embodying myself. At first I was very dissolved and ego-less. 

 

And then I let some time pass, and allowed the ego to fill in the newly discovered parts of myself. It let it have its way and do what it wanted, and discovered that it became more difficult to dissolve, the more I would let it get entrenched. It doesn't like letting me do cultivation work, because it is afraid of losing itself, because losing itself means letting go of the predictable attachments to navigating life, and it is afraid of the unknown.

 

Yet in my experience, the more I dissolve the ego, the better I feel, and the better poised I am to navigate the world, even though the ego wants to think otherwise. Quite the paradox. In any case, I've come to learn that those fears are just about identity loss.... and yet the more "I" surrender my identity, the more I allow myself to bloom, to be at the right place at the right time, to say the right thing to the right person, to simply be where being matters most for me and my environment.

 

I say I and me a lot, but who am I, really, but that identity? The more "I" becomes nothing, the better "I" feel. The more that identity embodied in this particular pattern within the celestial mechanism is able to dissolve itself, the more at home "I" feel.

 

yes, because the original nature of this "I" is nothing, and thus everything. each time the "I" is something, it becomes defined and less from this absolute state. you have described it how I perceive it aswell how it unfolds in this paradoxical relationship

 

it's the nature of thought that fear this loss, fear what we call death, identification that seems so perfectly happening here in matter

 

the more we rediscover of ourselves, the more beautiful it is at the same time living in matter, because the identification happening is no longer in seperation, but knows itself to be more and more complete. you can say that consciousness and matter become one - a union of heaven and earth

Edited by 4bsolute
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I like this description of how the self (in the sense of ego), rather than dissolving away, becomes one of the ten thousand things for the Ch'an poet Po Chu-i……

 

Po Chu-i (772-846)

The Chinese poetic tradition consistently valued clarity and depth of wisdom, rather than mere complexity and virtuosity. In this, Po Chu-i is the quintessential Chinese poet. He was a devoted student of Ch'an Buddhism, and it was Ch'an that gave much of the clarity and depth to his life and work. This is immediately apparent in his voice and subject matter, but Ch'an is perhaps more fundamentally felt in the poetics shaping Po's poetry.

 

In Ch'an, practice, the self and its constructions of the world dissolve away until nothing remains but empty mind‚ÄĒempty mind mirroring the world, leaving its ten thousand things utterly simple, utterly themselves, and utterly sufficient. This suggests one possible Ch'an poetry: an egoless poetry such as Wang Wei's. But there is another possibility for Ch'an poetry: the poetry of an ego-less ego.

 

The quiet response of even the most reticent poem is still a construction. Po knew this well, but it seems he came to realize that the self is also one of those ten thousand things that are utterly themselves and sufficient. Taoist thought would describe this insight rather differently, as the understanding that self is always already selfless: it is but a momentary form among the constant transformation of earth's ten thousand things, and so is, most fundamentally, the emptiness of nonbeing, that source which endures through all change.

 

This insight results in a poetry quite different from Wang Wei's, Rather than Wang Wei's strategy of emptying the self among the ten thousand things, this poetics opens the poem to the various movements of self, weaving it into the fabric of the ten thousand things, and Po Chu-i was a master of its subtle ways. As such, he initiated a major strand in Chinese poetic thinking: an "interiorization of wilderness" that came to be the most distinctive trait of Sung Dynasty poetry.

 

In a culture that made no fundamental distinction between heart and mind (hsin), Po Chu-i inhabited everyday experience at a level where a simple heart is a full heart and a simple mind is an empty mind. Such is his gentle power: the sense in his poems of dwelling at the very center of one's life, combining the intimacies of a full heart and the distances of an empty mind.

 

(from David Hinton’s Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China)

Edited by Yueya
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Let me ask back... how can this be good?  Dissolving own personality?

 

What should end up with?  With a zombie?

 

 

Exactly! Zombie is correct. The OP is in line with the 'you don't really exist' meme.

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When  we think that  giving up   Self/Personality/I-notion/Ego    is  equivalent  to destruction/death/zombie  state,  that is actually  a thought  that  arises  out of  our  lack of experience of this state;  it is a misunderstanding that arises out of ignorance and fear of giving  up  the  "SELF"  notion  that we are so used to  from our childhood.  Our society has been built for centuries around this  "Selfishness"  and  hence,  we are unable to imagine a society where  it is possible to live without the notion of SELF.  I am of the opinion that humanity is not yet ready for  Self-less  living (as a species),  but  individuals  like  J.Krishnamurthy, Jesus, Buddha, Lao Zi have taught  us that it is the best possible state of mind that a human can attain to.

 

I also suspect that many in this forum have had glimpses of how such a state of mind, where "I/SELF/EGO" is totally  dissolved. The fear  arising  in such a  mind-state  is extreme, and thus will not  allow  a mind to sustain  in that state for long.  Even the process of striving to  attain  to that state  is highly fruitful, and allows us to live in a higher plane than most of humanity.  The path we all follow leads us there, but we all know that we don't  need to  reach the goal in order to live a happy day-to-day  life,  as  ordinary folk  within society  (unlike monks living in total isolation).

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When  we think that  giving up   Self/Personality/I-notion/Ego    is  equivalent  to destruction/death/zombie  state,  that is actually  a thought  that  arises  out of  our  lack of experience of this state;  it is a misunderstanding that arises out of ignorance and fear of giving  up  the  "SELF"  notion  that we are so used to  from our childhood.  Our society has been built for centuries around this  "Selfishness"  and  hence,  we are unable to imagine a society where  it is possible to live without the notion of SELF.  I am of the opinion that humanity is not yet ready for  Self-less  living (as a species),  but  individuals  like  J.Krishnamurthy, Jesus, Buddha, Lao Zi have taught  us that it is the best possible state of mind that a human can attain to.

 

I also suspect that many in this forum have had glimpses of how such a state of mind, where "I/SELF/EGO" is totally  dissolved. The fear  arising  in such a  mind-state  is extreme, and thus will not  allow  a mind to sustain  in that state for long.  Even the process of striving to  attain  to that state  is highly fruitful, and allows us to live in a higher plane than most of humanity.  The path we all follow leads us there, but we all know that we don't  need to  reach the goal in order to live a happy day-to-day  life,  as  ordinary folk  within society  (unlike monks living in total isolation).

What is ego in your definition?

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Understanding one's personality is better than trying to dissolve or deny it.

 

I don't try to. I simply summon the courage to regulate my energy through the cultivation work. This is basically like polishing a computer screen regularly to prevent smudges. Over time the smudges develop quite the personality... attach to it if you like. Personally I find that the more I polish, the more childlike I become - wide eyed, aware, full of health, and actively in tune with everything around me. My "smudge" quickly begins to think this is nice, and quickly begins to get in the way of what created that "nice" to begin with - if I stop polishing and let it. The more my "smudge" is allowed to grow and build, the more troubling it is to get rid of it.

 

In any case, the purpose of the work isn't to deny something, as much as it is to keep what we have healthy enough to get somewhere. At least in my opinion. It seems we are all free to look at things however we like.

Edited by Daeluin
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Let me ask back... how can this be good?  Dissolving own personality?

 

What should end up with?  With a zombie?

 

 

Exactly! Zombie is correct. The OP is in line with the 'you don't really exist' meme.

As always, there is a sweet spot.  In the West the lens we see the world through is 'Me Me Me' that clouds our vision of reality.  Maybe just knocking it down to a single uncapitalized me, cleans up vision and would actually make us happier and a little more in-touch with our humanity.  

 

Keep our personalities but drop the heavier parts of the ego.

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As always, there is a sweet spot.  In the West the lens we see the world through is 'Me Me Me' that clouds our vision of reality.  Maybe just knocking it down to a single uncapitalized me, cleans up vision and would actually make us happier and a little more in-touch with our humanity.  

 

Keep our personalities but drop the heavier parts of the ego.

 

I like our humanity.

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RE: Does anyone else put effort into dissolving ones own personality? What are the last personal thoughts and feelings you have? Are they also about being alone, fear and dying?

 

 

 

 

My answer to you is this: I had no fear, there was no ‚Äėeffort‚Äô. To fear this death or loss is the same as fearing the Truth. So long as you fear, you cannot Awaken. When one is sincere about knowing the Truth, no effort is necessary.

 

 

 

It appears to me that this question is phrased based on a misconception about what it is to go through various passages of ‚Äúdeath‚ÄĚ which are often spoken of in a diversity of ways: the ‚Äėlittle death‚Äô, the ‚Äėdissolving of the ego‚Äô, the loss of the ‚ÄúI‚ÄĚ.¬†

 

Let me distinguish first between ‚Äėpersonality‚Äô and ‚Äėself-concept‚Äô (eg. the ego, ‚ÄúI‚ÄĚ). Your personality arises from your constitutional form- be these thought patterns, emotions, your physical structure or your essences and spirit. These can be altered over a life time, and necessarily so if you are interested in self-cultivation; but it is not imperative to entirely relieve yourself of your form in order to become Conscious. Yes, there are practices that can literally dissolve the physical form thereby relieving you of a ‚Äėpersonality‚Äô but so long as you remain embodied as a human, by the principle of physics in your body, you will manifest expressions that are unique in composition through your constitutional form.¬†

 

Whereas self-concepts are the ideas, socializations, and unconscious habitual patterns of thought, emotion and behavior that drive our actions. These self-conceptions are notions that often inform our personality, misguiding the pure nature of the person.

 

It is important be clear about this. Becoming Awakened or Enlightened does not necessarily involve losing ones character- unless you are cultivating yourself to entirely dissolve all human form. Behavior or 'personality' motived from deluded self-perception is what leads to distorted actions and understandings that repeated over time, entrench the individual. It is the loss or death of the latter that is liberating.

 

So this is what spiritual adepts are talking about when referring to your 'ego',¬† or ‚Äėpersonality‚Äô- also known as ‚Äúone‚Äôs personal idea of 'who I am‚Äô‚ÄĚ.¬† Although it is certainly beneficial, as some have posted here, to reflect on one‚Äôs character, emotions and thoughts, ultimately it is not these endless self-reflections and contemplations that are the experience of Awakening.

 

It is only through fearlessly and sincerely surrendering your mental and emotional attachments that you come into Conscious realization of the psychological constructions and obstructions that comprise most individual's perception of existence and one's sense of self. Shedding this is what creates the perceptual shift and it is not something you can think yourself out of, per se. Ultimately, this state is not just an intellectual understanding but an experience of realization through Conciousness. Going through this death or loss doesn‚Äôt mean you stop manifesting your form or ‚Äėpersonality‚Äô in the mundane, rather, it broadens and deepens ones existential perception of finite things, such as the self, the nature of formed things, and the very nature of existence itself.

 

So, there are no romantic ‚Äúlast personal thoughts‚ÄĚ, per se. The realization occurs rather spontaneously, it is as an inspiration and can happen in any given moment. The moment of realization itself is one without thought- it transcends thought. When you enter this state of consciousness, any thought you may have is changed, because you don‚Äôt personalize states of the mind and sensation, including emotional ones.¬†

 

The process of how one comes into this realization, and its manifestation is different for each individual. However, once this form of consciousness is embodied it is possible for actions to manifest without direct thought- and hence you could say, without a type of ‚Äėpersonal volition‚Äô, but this doesn‚Äôt mean one becomes a passive agent (ie. a zombie, as some have suggested in earlier posts). Rather, one who is cultivated to the level of living in this effortless manifestation, is actually deeply engaged with the subtle and profound as it moves through their system. So the experience of existence is both finite and infinite at the same time. This is to clarify that from a place of Consciousness, action arises through the person taking a shape or tone as 'personality‚Äô, rather than that our ideas of our personality drive our action- the latter of which is the case for most humans.

 

And yes, for some who experience a gradual Awakening, there can be various levels of fear, thought or concern about what it means to be alone or die. Depending on how deeply the perceptual shift occurred, and how embodied that understanding is, the residues of one‚Äôs ‚Äúego‚ÄĚ can continue to be at odds with the greater existential consciousness or truth. Not all people who have experienced transcendent realizations stay Awakened. If one does experience fear after Awakening but stays Conscious as they meditate on these matters, the issues resolve themselves quite simply and you realize that those concerns are of the same resonance as the fear that futily kept you entrenched in your notion of what things are, or who you are, or what this life is.

 

So, please reframe your understanding of what it means to be without a sense of self. It is generally not meant that your character dies, rather its the deluded self-concept that motivates your physiological personality that dies.

 

As it appears you have given some sincere thought to the matter, I do want to make one side note about your phrasing and thought patterns: this idea of ‚Äúeffort‚ÄĚ into dissolving the ego. So long as you approach this matter with ‚Äúeffort‚ÄĚ -as in desire, and hence striving; you will unlikely experience the condition you are seeking. It is the very nature of desire or striving, motived by your sense of ‚ÄúI‚ÄĚ, that keeps you entrenched. The reason it doesn‚Äôt work is because it is a closed system or loop motived by the very thing you think you are trying to rid. So the resolve to this issue is again, as I stated above:¬†

 

It is only through fearlessly and sincerely surrendering your mental and emotional attachments that you Awaken.

Edited by Small Fur
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I tend to feel we are present-aware 'here' for a reason, I tend to feel our bodies are as much a part of our divine energy as anything else, and I tend to think the ewww-body-bad-ick philosophies are the pollution of the original sin concept that has insidiously gotten into everything. This is our holodeck adventure to enjoy and to learn from.

 

But my paradigms including about myself and my reality are constantly, forcibly collapsing and having to be rebuilt anew, when experience updates my understanding.

 

Eventually, there are a lot of realizations that tend to change who you are and there are other things, such as intent to release anything not in accord with divine will, that may release elements of who you thought you were but really weren't. I think if the intent is right all this happens gradually and naturally. (I am no expert though.)

 

Personality exists for a reason and it is just energy like anything else. One needs certain basics to interact with our reality. Instead of dissolving it like it's inherently bad and you don't want the energy, why not keep the energy and upgrade it? Instead of assuming it's bad, why not ask {insert deity or assistant of choice here} for this conversion based on some higher/larger-insight into your primary goal and true self? 

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"Putting effort" is also a kind of deluding onself. Friction of the mind cause you have found something that you label as a part of personality, then you label it as bad or good, then you feel good or bad about it. Then offcourse you think that you dissolved it or not yet.

My teacher said that it is impossible to dissolve personality through your own will, cause your own will is also something that will be dissolved.

It happends on its own, you just meditate. Its an act of Grace, you never know what have been dissolved. You just notice after time that you dont have "this" anymore.

Edited by Kubba
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I agree with much of what has been said here, especially by Small Fur, redcairo and Kubba. I would like to add that on its path to awakening and selfhood, the ego will repeatedly experience states both of dissolution and coagulation, expansion and contraction, losing and finding itself. That's how internal alchemy happens.

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