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The Corroboree

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Where do I begin and end?

 

An interesting exercise I like to go through is to think about where I start and end.

From a purely physical point of view, is my body a part of me? If I answer "yes", where does my body begin?

What are my physical boundaries?

 

I suppose it is obvious to some that my body has a torso, head, arms, legs etc. What about my hair and nails? They are part of my body and grow from my body, but what about after I have shed them? Are they still part of me then?

What about the food I eat? Is it a part of me before I eat it? Is it a part of me while I am digesting it? What about my waste? Is it a part of me while I carry it inside my body? If so, is it still part of me after I have expelled it?

Is my boundary defined as my skin edges? What about the warmth my body generates that surrounds me? Is that part of me? My breath?

What about my senses? What are my senses? Are they also bound to the perception of the "external"? If I see and hear and taste and smell, are the sensations part of me? Does that extend to the source of the perception? I can see the Sun, where does the sun end and "me" begin? I can hear a long way into the distance, does the sound I perceive exist without me perceiving it? If not, does that make it part of me?

 

What of my memories? What of others' memories of me? Are memories of me part of me? If I existed at all and memories are part of me, can I ever be non existent?

 

When did I begin as a body? I was born, but I grew into a body before I was born. The parts that came together to create my body existed before I was created in my parents, and their parents before them...

 

When does my body stop being part of me? When I die? If so, is my body like my hair and nails and waste? Part of me until I shed it? If so, is my body me at all if I can shed it and still exist? 

 

I don't have any answers.

 

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Great question Glaukus,

 

When I started reading I thought you were going to discuss the sense of "me" in a metaphysical sense. like am I the sum of all my relationships, interaction and personality traits, questions of the soul etc but I like how you have approached this reasoning of me from the physical world.

 

I suppose I can have a go at the questions as far as the entity that is "me" comprehends them:

 

What are my physical boundaries?  good starting point, I would say that me is the physical body only, however I would also impose a buffer of personal space that is someone was in it I'd say it was me/mine. Generally it's closeness but maybe these days me is my body and my 1.5m social distance.

What about my hair and nails?  definitely still part of me, even after they are shed they are just parts of you that you left behind. There is "me" in the dust on top of the shelves where I work and in my house

What about the food I eat? I would say no. there's food before during and after consumption that isn't you, only the moment a nutrient is absorbed do I believe it becomes part of me.

Is my boundary defined as my skin edges? as above, but further to breath I would say yes, from the perspective of the particles until they dissipate or dry up.

What about my senses? What are my senses?  Electrical impulses decoded by the brain. your reaction to the stimuli is you not the stimuli itself. There is something beautiful about a song played only to me though, is it mine or is it them?

2 hours ago, Glaukus said:

What of my memories? What of others' memories of me? Are memories of me part of me? If I existed at all and memories are part of me, can I ever be non existent?

This is pure poetry and really got my mind ticking over, Yours cease to exist before your body does. I love to think that memories of you still constitute you. A romantic notion probably not in line with my previous debate.

When did I begin as a body? Conception.

When does my body stop being part of me? when you return to the earth. When pharaohs are exhumed and bones found I would say that that is still them/me. If I am cremated, the ashes are me.

 

In that sense immortality as me exists in the elements we comprise then yes, as we are all created from the same matter, and return to the same matter. Then there is no "me" there is only "us"

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Thanks for your thoughtful and considered reply. I should add that I'm not seeking answers to these questions. I welcome responses though! I just thought I'd share in case someone else found it helpful, I sometimes go through this when I'm feeling ungrounded and anxious.

The physical is easier to explore this way because you perceive the physical. If we were to perform the same exercise for mental processes it becomes more difficult. But it's equally worthwhile to ponder. Eg. Am I my thoughts? If so, who is it that thinks them? When I talk to myself in my head, who is speaking? And who is listening? Etc.

 

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Haha yeah sorry with the Q&A style response, the process was as much about me working through them in my own head as it was about giving a reply.

 

I don't claim to have any answers and I very much enjoyed the question.

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Posted (edited)

Is the clear light in the head you? The secret of the golden flower says that the heavenly heart is the “me” in the head where vision comes from.

 

after focusing on this point for around 100 days you develop true yang. It awakens kundalini blah blah kundalini gives you self realisation.. according to yogas of India, union with the self is union with God. Ei you are God.. just bound by illusions youve set up yourself..

 

Sri Ramana Maharashi said this method will lead to samadhi (union with God) but.. you wont answer the question “Who am I?” Self enquiry/atman vichara is a different enlightenment i guess.

 

Maharshi claimed to be in sahaja samadhi. The golden flower must only take one to the state of nirvikalpa which you must come down from. Sahaja is where you are always enlightened with bliss beyond human comprehension.. because you are God. Not just an ego feeling one with God.

 

In alchemical terms, they speak of the body as part of the soul... so when you eat and then it leaves your body as waste.. time is an illusion right? Does that mean space is an illusion?

 

i think the dimensions of “me” are limited by mind. The dimensions of true being arent graspable by human intelligent... so we must come to higher consciousness where mind is just a tool. 
 

if everything in reality is just what it is, reality, then... we are both in reality infinite and limited by our definitions we have of reality and especially ourselves.

 

added edit: when you look at an object.. is that you?

Edited by Meditator
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i've been pondering this all week...

 

And I think it's actually quite simple: anything that doesn't/wouldn't exist without me is me.  An 'extension' of me without wanting to sound cliche.

 

The original idea came to me after I had just walked across a dew-covered park one morning.  When I looked back and saw my footsteps, I could see and feel me and my life leading back from where I'd come from.

 

So yes to all those things man. Memories too. Even your breath god dammit! :)

 

I'm thinking this is a probably a bastardisation of the quantum physics theory of 'entanglement'.

 

Lastly, it's important to also differentiate between "me" and "you".  Just because I have a memory of you in my head - which is an extension of you - we are not the same or necessarily one.  Rather a small piece of you lives inside me.  (Trapped perhaps :)).

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5 hours ago, SayN said:

i've been pondering this all week...

 

And I think it's actually quite simple: anything that doesn't/wouldn't exist without me is me.  An 'extension' of me without wanting to sound cliche.

 

The original idea came to me after I had just walked across a dew-covered park one morning.  When I looked back and saw my footsteps, I could see and feel me and my life leading back from where I'd come from.

 

So yes to all those things man. Memories too. Even your breath god dammit! :)

 

I'm thinking this is a probably a bastardisation of the quantum physics theory of 'entanglement'.

 

Lastly, it's important to also differentiate between "me" and "you".  Just because I have a memory of you in my head - which is an extension of you - we are not the same or necessarily one.  Rather a small piece of you lives inside me.  (Trapped perhaps :)).

"Me" and "you" = "we"

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A little reductionist but...

IMG_20210502_173021.thumb.jpg.ece4a6ebb9e0607069a8e27c055589c8.jpg

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