The Self as a Temporal Illusion

Thursday, July 09, 2015 K.Z. Freeman 4 Comments

Any system of active operation is defined by its input and output. It is then further defined by it's basic statements which are based upon logical systems. The internal logic which tells the system what to do is applied through valid reasoning - which is what logic is.

And yet there is an experience which human conciousness can access that can be said goes beyond the logical system and logical frames of reference to which the human mind is used to dealing with.

Our own input and output is a system in which the basic frame of reference starts in the same manner as Gödel's number theory -- 0. Between the input and output, starting at number 0, there is (can be) infinite fractalization into parts.
However, when faced with logical systems and if you regress to the uttermost basic logical statement, you will always find that the system of logic upon which all the rest stand cannot be proven: That the first statement is an abstraction of meaning. This can further be proven by using mathematics, and has been presented by Gödel himself in his Incompleteness Theorem in 1931.

To give the most basic example imaginable. The human mind is used to everything having a beginning and an end. This is a logical statement of self-evident fact. However, when this is applied to the universe itself, it cannot be logically stated or proven that it had a beginning, since a beginning can be said to be the point of big bang, or the point before its whateverness first formed into what became a big bang. This is to a point pure semantics. And yet it is the most clear example of a logical system than cannot be proven since its frames of reference are always abstract and defined by human standards. What is a beginning? At what point is something a beginning? It is of course a defined point set by a mind.

To give another example from a Zen Koan, which asks: That girl crossing the street, is she the older or the younger sister?

Most would eventually realize that the best course of action to such an illogical and pointless question would be to go and ask her. However, that would be missing the point entirely. It is for one to realize that all divisions are pointless and illogical in their basis and only exist in the human psyche. The girl crossing the street is just that. She is. She is in reality neither sister not younger nor older.

Much like the input data in mathematical theorems and computer systems, where the input is provided by a human, our own input data is provided by the five senses.
These access a selection of specific bands of perception which can be accessed by consciousness. The observer in theory has no part in selecting these bands, they are pre-set for the mind. Yet each of these senses is paralysed, or in other words extremely narrow in its input recognition. Each sense operates in its own selection, or bands - a set of frequencies for which our bodies and minds serve as vibrational conduits. We receive vibrational/frequency data and relay a corresponding frequency response.

This is basic. Underlining this basic premise of our functioning is the I centre. The sense of Self as there being an entity to which all of this is happening. However, when asked what the self is and using the right questions, every individual will inevitably come to a point where the Self will not be something which he or she can define in any logical statement. The Self will inevitably become an abstract idea of itself.

When you examine what the Self consists of, you will notice that every frame of your reference must be drawn from past events.
Each time when we are forced into thinking of what we are, we end up thinking not of what we are now, but what has happened to us in the past, in order to get an idea of ourselves. Each idea in turn being connected to a specific state of thinking. If we were not thinking when a thing happened to us, we cannot remember it, so again we have to think to explain what we think we are. In the same sense as the number theory by Gödel, we consciously strip away our experiences until we hope to reach a number 0 where these experiences and inputs began. We think that then we might be able to explain what we are in our truest sense and not explain it through using a mind muddied by thought.
There we find that our own fundamental nature is empty, and is from that point on a series of abstractions.
Our minds and bodies remain an area of condensed experience, where our sense of I is always identified with past events, rather than with what actually is.
Even our normal, non-autistic memory, functions as an abstract idea, meaning that whenever you have an experience, you always infinitely regress in its remembering.
What that means is this: When we are part of an event, the event creates a complex system of memory (something Snatislav Grof elegantly called a COEX system). When we later recall this event, we will see parts of it. When we recall it the second time at a later point, our minds no longer recall the actual first formation of that memory, but effectively remember our most recent remembering of that event. This is the main reason for memory distortion and a good example of how in the end, all that really remains is the abstract, emotional idea of that event, instead of concrete impressions.

When we attempt to do this and further search for the starting point, we become much like Ouroboros, the ancient depiction of a serpent biting its own tail. We are inevitably brought back to a point where we realize the Self cannot be defined by a singular point in space/time because logically, every event leading to our conception can be said to have contained the potentiality of our particular Self. That is to say that all events preceding our birth were the prerequisites for the creation of a Self which now ponders where it began. We only see this as irrelevant because we view time as nothing else but a liner progression. If you consider that everything is happening now and the only sense of there being any past event whatsoever is due to you having a mind, then the idea of you always being there as a possibility from the "start" takes on a different meaning. There was no place in the beginning from which you had to arrive, or come out of, but instead there was no beginning, only the eternal now in which you have always been.

Of course this statement has no real value in normal human logic, which means that we feel that this information is irrelevant to the understanding of our own Self - now. And yet this is not true, and remains the trick of the I centre which must convince the subject that it is no more than a thing with 2 legs and 5 senses. It can operate like this just fine.

And yet, as mentioned before, there are states which human consciousness can access which the subject can provoke. These can define the Self outside of logical necessity.

The way this happens is rather curious.

During the day and most of our lives, we have been operating on this complex relation of input/output. This has for us remained very useful, yet is ultimately useless when the Self tries to grasp itself to reach further into its own illusion to try and find a "Real Self" or "True Self". To a logical system used to dealing with information in a input manner, the True Self must exists, because if it does not, the Self as an output system must also, by logical progression, not exist, since the very basis as to why it exists is because it had a beginning, a number 0. A number corresponding to a "True Self" where it all started.

The aforementioned curious thing, is that when searching for a beginning in a logical input/output sense, we are presented not with what we are, but with the forming of an Ego through remembrance. We are met with the first time we as an Ego came into being, and not a logical point where we as a Self came into being. A Self meaning a thing with no mind, no memories, just flesh bone and thought.

We rarely associate the Self at the point of conception. Instead we associate the Self as the point where we began to know of there being a thing called Me.

When even memories of past events are recollected and we by some means find the point where the formation of Ego as a social convention was first introduced to our psyche, we begin a shift into different inquiries of what the Self is. We must inevitably begin to realize that from our very beginning, we were never isolated beings or a bag of skin inside another being. We had always been the totality of everything that was happening. And in fact the result of a totality. Until the formation of Ego centre within us, every other being, and every object in this totality was just the same, a result of the complete totality. We differentiated between nothing that we saw or sensed.

This sense of being the totality cannot be explained in the method of output, because there is no primal input involved in realizing it, and so must go beyond all logical systems to which our minds are used to.

The input of realizing this comes not from a cosmic source or some higher being, but from the inner programming and formation of mind itself. That is to say, because the mind is the totality, it already has all the necessary means to know about the totality without any input involved.

But how can this understanding or a way of seeing be explained or relayed to a mind used to the method of input/output? In short, it cannot, as this rests in the region of experience. Yet it can be said what it is not, and by this we can come close to explaining it.

In all previous methods of logical understanding, the subject's attempts of understanding the Self went through channels that were logical. I did this, therefore I am that. I thought this, therefore I am this. I was born like this (DNA), therefore I am that.

This method of seeing what the self is, however, is without input/output and so is completely different.
It must allow the Mind to battle with its own duality to a point where all doubt as to any abstract idea becomes pointless. This means that all input and all output must come to a stop. To the number theory point of 0. Where before it was thought by the mind that this point can be reached through looking back to the very first input, this is not true. The 0 point can only be reached by ceasing all input altogether! 
For if you go backwards logically to find this 0 point, you will be trapped into a frame of thinking that started not at the point of 0, but at the point of 1, since that is the first logical input. By logical thinking, you will inevitably reach only the point of 1, yet will be unable to see there is still 0, as you will still be attempting to understand through logical means, which is already the point of first logical input 1, while 0 is the point of no input and no logic.

In this a frame of reference and a way of looking and seeing is cultivated to which the mind is not used to. When this no-mind is reached but once, it becomes the first point and instance where the mind is confronted with its own illusion which it projects upon itself, called the Self. In this state, it is very easy to see how Self is a temporal illusion of a system of centralized consciousness. A point of convergence, if you will, of the totality. A point where the whole is condensed into a single experience of itself. A point where there exists not solely a mechanism to perceive reality, but also a point where reality manifests from. A conduit that is the manifested and the manifesting tool of the whole reality, and not an isolated point within it. You can choose to play the game of the Self, but also know you are not merely that, but an expression of the entire movement of the universal reality.

Image by Jie He

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  1. Anonymous10 July, 2015

    Never heard or read it explained like this. Very interesting!

  2. Sounds like you may already be familiar with Hofstadter based on your mention of Gödel, but if not - I think you'd greatly enjoy his book "I Am a Strange Loop"!

    1. Have not read that one, but I have read his Gödel, Escher, Bach, which can at times be a very ponderous read indeed, but sections of it are extremely illuminating! Thanks for the suggestion, I will take a look at Strange Loop it for sure.

  3. #holarchy #holon #verticaltime #5thdimension #tesseract #visualbinary