26 February 2013

Of Course There is a Self!

Many say there is no Self to be realized.  This is a common belief, both of Buddhists and neo-Advaitins.

But there is indeed a Self to "discover," or uncover, just as elements of the unconscious mind can be uncovered through introspection or dream analysis.  Those who say there is no Self just have not discovered it yet, probably because they do not believe it exists.  They have this concept blocking even an attempt to find Self, or they convince themselves of no-self by doing an hour's introspection, and find no I, no-I-sense, and no Self.  If only it were that simple!

You have to dive deep into your personal consciousness to find the sense of "I-Am," and follow it, abide in it, love it, until the Self, YOU, decides to show ITSELF to you, the small you.  This requires passion, dedication, and belief in the efficacy of the introspective process.  Next you have to love that I-Am sense, care for it, nurture it,  and abide in the I Am until something happens.

The Self first appears as something divine, as god or goddess, as "Other," until the small you, the human you, recognizes that God, that divine state, Christ or Krishna Consciousness, is you also.  Then your identity switches from you, to YOU and you.

This process is well-described in my book "Self Realization and Other Awakenings," and in Nisargadatta's Self-Knowledge and Self Realization found on the wearesentience.com website.



  1. Hi Ed :) I have ordered your book and look forward to reading it. To my limited knowledge the no self of Buddhists refers only to the small self and emptiness is merely a term used instead of the big self of Advaita.

    Mere 'I' is imputed on the basis of the clear light mind for such lucky ones.

    Mark UK

  2. "Next you have to love that I-Am sense, care for it, nurture it, and abide in the I Am until something happens." Very well said.

    I would add to 'be in love with the process' to 'be in love with loving the I Am sense' much like you would love a child who really hasn't become anything that you might hope he or she will become.

  3. Thanks for the post Ed. My intention in commenting here is really just to possibly dialogue and clarify the way things seem from my own direct experience. Your point regarding the assumption in many "self investigators" that there is no "Self" seems an important one. I think you are, at least in part, referring to an increasingly popular school of self inquiry popping up in several places involving rapid investigation and questioning of the separate self structure, "I sense/belief', and then seeing it as insubstantial, calling this understanding"liberation" and a "no self" condition. This approach really just amounts to recognizing the insubstantial nature of conventional beliefs about "me" as personal, separate self, and then not going deeper/further, not seeing what's really going on. While a significant step, this is not full awakening.

    I realize Ramana and others have used the term "Self" to represent the ground of being, but that term seems to get easily confused in language as being something like God, a Big Self, with it's own features and structures. What seems to occur after the sense of separate self is seen through and investigation of what exists beyond that is explored? I found the "loving" aspect seem to arise on it's own, awareness embraces awareness, light illuminating light. And in that comes a recognition of Being as self evident, but featureless, "existence", presence, or aware/aliveness. That is recognized (in a sort of "identity switch", as you suggest) as ones own being.

  4. Clearly it takes witnessing, intelligence, to deconstruct a thought structure, image, or perception of one's self/world view. The quality or nature of such intelligence runs so deep I can only fall back into it and emerge to the surface with a whole new understanding that never leaves me, an appreciation for all life forms, a connection that paths the way for kindness and compassion, and a sense of playfulness and fun. I found it's ok to be human, or a cat or lizard for that matter, or a tree feeling the wind with it's leaves and the soil with it's roots.
    Shawn G.