SELF AND OTHER

The idea of a ‘self’ inevitably creates in our dualistic world, the ‘other’, which is equally illusory. Both are concepts, each totally lacking in entity and making sense only in their appearances in mind. There is no self, as the Sages never tired of telling us, and therefore there cannot be other-than-self because both concepts are interdependent aspects of a whole that has to split into its dualistic components for it to appear to be. All they really are is what they are (one and whole) when they are not anything, i.e. absent, empty, void. Being objectively illusory, they represent mind cognising them within itself and the cognising of them is itself their phenomenal being. Differentiating between them, which we do all the time, is effective in maintaining our world-view and communicating with our fellows but basically is mistaken. Identifying with one only of the dualistic pair and regarding the other with fear, hate, love or any other emotion accounts for all of our self-induced suffering. The myth of the Fall from the Garden of Eden describes well what we humans have created for ourselves by becoming self-aware.

What we are then, as opposed to what we think we are, is Subject or Mind – not just the little mind that we believe belongs to us but Whole Mind. Little mind is simply Whole Mind acting and expressing itself through this very limited apparatus – this ‘thing’. The technical term for Whole Mind is Noumenon, which is Pure Subjectivity, as opposed, in duality, to Objectivity or Phenomenality. However, it is not an ‘it’. Our language cannot express ‘iting’ which is all it is. The nearest we get to it is ‘being’ but that has become confused with ‘existing’: as we have seen, only objects exist and even then, only as appearances. Even the word ‘being’ leads us, in our obsessive objectivising of everything, to assume there must be some thing that is doing the being.

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