Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31

Thread: The Self

  1. #1

    Post The Self

    The Self

    Svein Olav Nyberg


    As seen in the last issue, what "selfish" means depends strongly upon
    what you mean by "self". I will not here try to correct all the wrong
    ideas of what the Self is, but rather give an indication of what I
    think the right view is. There are, as you well are aware, many
    different conceptions of what "self" means. A general line of division
    between these conceptions I have found very well illustrated in
    Wilber, Engler and Brown's book on the psychology of meditation [1]:
    To different stages of cognitive development belongs different
    self-structures and, not the least, -images. The highest stage, called
    the Ultimate stage, is described as "the reality, condition, or
    suchness of all levels." If you draw the stage diagram on a paper, the
    Ultimate Self is in relation to the other "selves" as the paper in
    relation to the elements of the diagram drawn on it. Improper
    selfishness, then, might be viewed as the mistaking of the image for
    the real thing.

    So, there is a very important division between the underlying Self,
    and the various self-images. This division is found more or less
    explicitly in a variety of sources. Pirsig, in his famous best-seller,
    denounces the ego, but embraces the Self in his praise of arete as
    "duty towards Self." [2] The philosopher Nietzsche writes that "The
    Self is always listening and seeking: it compares, subdues, conquers,
    destroys. It rules and is also the Ego's ruler. Behind your thoughts
    and feelings, my brother, stands a mighty commander, an unknown sage -
    he is called Self.", and also, a little above this, "[the Self] does
    not say 'I' but performs 'I'." [3].

    In [1] it is concluded that though all who experience the Ultimate
    stage do essentially the same, the experience and understanding of it
    depends on the prior interpretation. The Buddhist experience an
    egoless state, while the theistic meditators experience [being one
    with] their god. Who is having this unifying experience? The same guy,
    essentially, who has everyday experience. Fichte [4] asks of his
    audience, "Gentlemen, think of the wall," and proceeds "Gentlemen,
    think of him who thought the wall." In this way he gets an infinite
    chain, as "whenever we try to objectify ourselves, make ourselves into
    objects of consciousness, there always remains an I or ego which
    transcends objectification and is itself the condition of the unity of
    conscious- ness," as Copleston describes.

    Now, whether we shall side with the meditators who claim to experience
    this I, or with Fichte who says we cannot, is of little importance
    here. What is important, is that the I, this ground and condition
    indeed exists, and that it is the ground of the empirical ego or egos.

    I want to take a closer look at this I - the Self.

    So far, the Self may be seen on as something just lying in the back-
    ground, a kind of ultimate observer. But Fichte's question can also be
    asked of action, "Who is lifting your arm when you lift your arm?"
    Like it was clear in the first case that it was not the image of the
    Self - the ego - that was aware, but the Self itself, it is equally
    obvious that it is not the image of the Will that lifts the arm - but
    the Will itself. To understand this better, try to will the coke
    bottle in front of you to lift. Won't do. Now, "will" your arm up in
    the same way that you willed the coke bottle. Won't do either. Still,
    lifting the arm is easy. (See also [3])

    Proceeding like above, we can find a well of parts of the underlying
    Self. But they are all one. The Self that sees the stick is the same
    Self that throws a rock at it. How else would it hit? I have found it
    useful to single out three of them, which I will call the Experiencing
    Self, the Creative Self and the Teleological Self.

    Stirner [5] speaks of "the vanishing point of the ego", and of the
    "creative nothing". He has "built his case on nothing". This latter is
    the one that reveals what he intends. For surely, he has built his
    cause on - himself. But in the way of Fichte, the Self is not a thing,
    but the basis for speaking of things. To be a thing is to be an object
    for some subject and, as Fichte showed, the subject cannot properly be
    an object. So, Stirner's "creative nothing" is him Self.

    In contrast to Fichte, however, Stirner emphasizes the finite
    here-and-now individual Self, not the abstract Ego: "Fichte's ego too
    is the same essence outside me, for every one is ego; and, if only
    this ego has rights, then it is "the ego", it is not I. But I am not
    an ego along with other egos, but the sole ego: I am unique. Hence my
    wants too are unique, and my deeds; in short everthing about me is
    unique."

    So we see Stirner rejects the positivistic idea of viewing himself
    from a 3rd person vantage point. He is not "ego", the image of
    himself. For one can have an image of anyone. But ones own Self is
    experienced from the 1st person point of view, and one is oneself the
    only one who can experience oneself from there. Again quoting Stirner:
    "They say of God: 'Names name thee not.' That holds good of me: No
    -concept- expresses me; they are only names."

    The history of philosophy can be simplified as follows: We have gone
    from a focus on experienced reality, to experienced self, and from
    that on to that which contains both - the Experiencing Self. Stirner,
    as a student of Hegel, must have seen this, and, as he states, this
    history is also my history. The dialectic process is taken back into
    its owner. I am not any longer viewing myself as a moment in the
    dialectical self-unfolding of the Absolute, but as he who learns and
    thinks these thoughts, and - take the advantage of them.

    The philosophical process did not stop at the Experiencing Self, with
    which an empiricist would be content. A reaction came, asking what
    elements of experience were constituted by the subject himself. The
    observer was no longer seen as a passive observer, but as an active
    participant contributing his own elements into experience. Thus we can
    say that the awareness of the creative role of the intellect was
    properly emerging. We had the Creative Self. This was idea was taken
    very far by Stirners teachers - into German idealism.

    Stirners main thesis is that of the individual as the ground not only
    of observation and creation, but of evaluation. This thesis is given a
    short presentation as a 0th chapter in The Ego and His Own: "All
    things are Nothing to Me." No outer force is to determine ones cause,
    ones evaluation. With a convincing rhetoric, Stirner makes room for
    the case that he himself is the evaluator, the one whose cause is to
    be acted for.

    Stirners main dialectical triad is then this, that we go from mere
    experience to action [thought], and as a solution to the strain
    between these go to valuation and interest, self-interest. This is a
    recurring theme in his book, and the structure of the argument is
    presented in the first chapter, very appropriately named "A human Life".

    The triad, as I have understood and interpreted it, is this:

    The Experiencing Self: This is, so to say, the beacon that enlightens
    the empirical world, which makes it possible qua empirical world. With
    knowledge of oneself only as experiencing, one is stuck with things,
    and all ones activity is centered around things, as Stirner says. One
    is a Materialist. In history, both the personal and the philosophical
    one, the Empirical Self is seen as a passive observer on whom the
    world is imprinted, all until we come to the antithesis of this view:

    The Creative Self: We discover our own more active role in experience,
    our own contribution of elements/form to our experience, as shown by
    the [Kantian inspired] experiments of the early Gestalt psychologists.
    With this knowledge, attention goes to thought itself, and, we become
    intellectual and spiritual young men. Our quest goes for that in which
    we can pry Spirit, and we become - Idealists.

    The Teleological Self: There is a [dialectical] strain between the two
    views and aspects of the Self above, a conflict that can only, as
    Stirner says, be resolved by a third party, which is the synthesis. We
    begin to ask: Why do I focus on this, and not on that, in experience?
    Why do I create this and not that? For whom am I doing my creation, my
    thinking? I find the answer to the above questions in what I will call
    the Teleological Self. The Teleological Self is he [or rather - I] for
    whom all things done by me are done, the commander who is the measure
    of all activity. Any value, any selection, and thereby any focus and
    any creation, owes its existence to the Teleological Self. In the
    Teleological Self we find the grounding of our "why?".

    The dilemma between Materialism and Idealism is resolved in
    Selfishness. Not do I go for the material for its sake, nor do I let
    the cause of any ideal invade me and make its cause mine. I take both,
    but as tools and things to be disposed of at - my pleasure. In this
    fashion the dialectics is buried. For it is only alive in the world of
    ideas, which I have taken back into myself.

    - - -

    This was an attempt to convey some thoughts on the Self. If anyone
    feels tempted to pick up this thread, expand on it or negate it, you
    are welcome. It will be a pleasure.

    [1] Wilber, Engler, Brown: "Transformations of Consciousness"
    [2] Robert Pirsig: "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
    [3] Friedrich Nietzsche: "Zarathustra", on the Despisers of the Body.
    [4] Copleston, Vol VII, p. 40
    [5] Max Stirner: "The Ego & His Own"

    Source: non serviam #2
    http://www.nonserviam.com/magazine/index.html

    See also:
    http://www.nonserviam.com/

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Moody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Last Online
    Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 @ 09:18 AM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    English
    Ancestry
    Albion
    Subrace
    Paleo-Atlantid
    Country
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    State
    Essex Essex
    Location
    England
    Gender
    Family
    Single adult
    Occupation
    Investigator of Souls
    Politics
    Pan-Germanic Nationalist
    Religion
    Runosophy
    Posts
    1,905
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    11
    Thanked in
    11 Posts

    Re: The Self

    Against the Self.

    I am at present unconvinced that we can separate out our 'Self', & our 'Ego' from our actual Being; I see those former two terms as merely linguistic conventions.

    Therefore 'Self' & 'Ego' are just other [and loaded] words for our Being [as is 'I', which is so brutally capitalised in English].

    I don't believe that this Being is cut off from other Beings [and this is the implication of the words 'Self' & 'Ego' to which I object].

    Perhaps 'soul' is a better term than either 'Self' or 'Ego' if we want to add some focus, as it suggests the expanding and evolving aspect of Being.

    Rather than any split-selves, our Being is actually an aspect of a greater totality that is the Race Soul; the one we belong to by ancestry, and of which we are the result of many generations of breeding Beings.

    I find in the talk of 'Self' and 'Other', a trend towards that atomization and reductionism so often found in Modernity.
    There is also something almost schizophrenic about the kind of approach which seeks to self-objectify the Self or Ego, where people speak as if they are watching themselves at one remove.

    This kind of linguistic usage is a self-fulfilling prophecy and leads to alienation.

    I want rather to re-connect & exalt the Holistic Being - not only of the man, but of the man of Race.

    And from there to complete the sphere that is the Race Soul.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

  3. #3
    Sanity Is For The Weak
    „Friend of Germanics”
    Funding Membership Inactive
    Hanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    Norwedish
    Ancestry
    Norwedish
    Subrace
    Nordid
    Country
    Norway Norway
    Location
    Trondheim
    Gender
    Family
    Precis når du vil
    Occupation
    Student
    Politics
    Logic
    Religion
    Perfectionism
    Posts
    985
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    What is Ego?

    A child is born,without any knowledge, any consciousness of own self.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    NUXiY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Last Online
    Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 @ 10:56 PM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    Norwegian
    Ancestry
    Rugian
    Subrace
    East Baltid
    Country
    Norway Norway
    State
    Rogaland Rogaland
    Location
    Outside Stavanger
    Gender
    Age
    31
    Family
    In a steady relationship
    Occupation
    Store manager
    Politics
    Absolute monarchy
    Religion
    Doubter
    Posts
    256
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post
    And the child thinks only of itself and its surroundings...

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Imperator X's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Last Online
    Saturday, April 4th, 2009 @ 01:47 AM
    Ethnicity
    Celto-Germanic
    Subrace
    Nordid/Atlantid.
    Country
    United States United States
    State
    Massachusetts Massachusetts
    Location
    Boston
    Gender
    Age
    34
    Family
    Single, looking
    Occupation
    Looking
    Politics
    Constitutionalist
    Religion
    Hindu - Shakta
    Posts
    795
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    A child is born,without any knowledge, any consciousness of own self.
    Yes, and perhaps it is this state, which is the goal of the spiritual quest... At least in the mystical traditions. The dissolution of the Self spoken of by Hindu Rishis, and called fanaa by the Sufis.

    Self revelation is annihilation of self.



    Jai Mata Di.
    SVMDEVSSVMCAESARSVMCAELVMETINFERNVM

  6. #6
    Sanity Is For The Weak
    „Friend of Germanics”
    Funding Membership Inactive
    Hanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    Norwedish
    Ancestry
    Norwedish
    Subrace
    Nordid
    Country
    Norway Norway
    Location
    Trondheim
    Gender
    Family
    Precis når du vil
    Occupation
    Student
    Politics
    Logic
    Religion
    Perfectionism
    Posts
    985
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post
    And a center is born, however the center is a reflected center, and he/she not a real being because he/she does not know their existence but only what others think, and I think this is the ''Ego''

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Last Online
    Monday, March 16th, 2009 @ 05:21 PM
    Ethnicity
    Swedish
    Subrace
    Nordid
    Country
    Sweden Sweden
    Gender
    Family
    Single
    Politics
    Anarch
    Religion
    Pagan Yogi
    Posts
    61
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Imperator X View Post
    Yes, and perhaps it is this state, which is the goal of the spiritual quest... At least in the mystical traditions. The dissolution of the Self spoken of by Hindu Rishis, and called fanaa by the Sufis.

    Self revelation is annihilation of self.



    Jai Mata Di.

    I have been tought that you first need to develop a stable and healthy ego to be able to go beyond it. There are different schools, but for example the Zen satori, and the higher forms of samadi in yoga, are states beyond the ego, its not a regression to the state of a child.

    Thats what I have heard anyway.

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    Thursday, July 28th, 2011 @ 06:35 AM
    Ethnicity
    Scottish (basically)
    Country
    Australia Australia
    Location
    Victoria
    Gender
    Age
    36
    Posts
    1,493
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna
    A child is born,without any knowledge, any consciousness of own self.
    How do we know that? We don't remember being born (at least I don't ), I'm not sure that one can assume from that that babies are not conscious in the sense that adults are. Mind you, I don't suppose they actively think about being conscious of themselves; perhaps that's the difference.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    „Friend of Germanics”
    Funding Membership Inactive
    Sigurd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Last Online
    Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 @ 09:41 PM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    German
    Ancestry
    Bavarii, Saxones, Suebi, Alamanni
    Subrace
    Borreby + Atlantonordoid
    Country
    Germany Germany
    Location
    Einöde in den Alpen
    Gender
    Age
    31
    Zodiac Sign
    Libra
    Family
    Engaged
    Politics
    Tradition & Homeland
    Religion
    Odinist
    Posts
    9,131
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    76
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    286
    Thanked in
    181 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    A child is born,without any knowledge, any consciousness of own self.
    I would refute that theory to the utmost, if you would permit me.

    A child is sure born with its life ahead of it, and may seem like an empty sheet of paper and that it is us as the world that will fill this empty sheet more and more. But it isn't all that clear cut.

    Sure it is our experiences that determine to a great point who we are. If I hadn't been locked up in a tiny dark chamber by one of my school teachers for misbehaving, I might not be so paranoid in enclosed, dark spaces (which is strange because Old Town at night gives me the shivers but a forest or other unenclosed space at night is the best thing since sliced bread to me ) Likewise , if it weren't for certain events, I would not have gone the A-hole -> Pushover -> Balanced road in relationships, etc. etc. etc.

    However, the self is not only made up by our experiences. We always tend to be good at what our parents were good at: There are sheer dynasties of judges, enough authors, composers and artists had to but a "Jr." behind their name or take a pseudonym to distinguish themselves from their father, you have whole car racing families, and some surnames ring a bell with the scientists as renowned ones.

    Surely one may argue that this is because of the influence our parents have on us when we are young (besides the point that we tend to rebel as youths against it anyway, discrediting that point fully enough ), but I also think that it is to an equally important part genetic: We are born with certain abilities, certain dispositions, and they influence our judgment when it comes to evaluating our experiences.

    Hence, the self is already shaped in its primitive form when we are born, and the experiences and obstacles we meet only polish the rough diamond into a perfect one, or frame the picture, so to say. The self only arises through our experiences but it could never exist in the same manner, so is my staunch belief, without the genetic background on which it is founded.

  10. #10
    Sanity Is For The Weak
    „Friend of Germanics”
    Funding Membership Inactive
    Hanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    Norwedish
    Ancestry
    Norwedish
    Subrace
    Nordid
    Country
    Norway Norway
    Location
    Trondheim
    Gender
    Family
    Precis når du vil
    Occupation
    Student
    Politics
    Logic
    Religion
    Perfectionism
    Posts
    985
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    I would refute that theory to the utmost, if you would permit me.

    A child is sure born with its life ahead of it, and may seem like an empty sheet of paper and that it is us as the world that will fill this empty sheet more and more. But it isn't all that clear cut.
    I would say ego is an accumulated events a by product of living with others, in your term its an '' experience '' but if we were to lives alone we would never come to grow an ego but then perhaps we'll be like an animal but would we able to come to know the real self? I'm not sure.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •