Spirituality is life. Any part of life you are in.
I may suggest some things that seem strange or confusing to begin with, please bear with me and hopefully my ramblings will begin to make sense.
So the self, the mystery that it is to be an individual being in a diverse world. As strange and paradoxical as much of human nature may seem, we still have to contend with this issue of self. Even the most liberated of beings still presents a symbol to others that allows communication and interaction. If they did not, none of the great works could be undertaken.
Would it be fair to say that the self for most people is a passively emerging experience or identity?
Until adolescence, anyway. Then all heck breaks loose.
Yes, I don’t think they give it any thought.
In my experience, few adults express much of a sense of their self as something they consciously shape or are responsible for. They tend to keep referring to what experience has supposedly taught them, what their circumstances have lead them to and made of their lives.
They’re refusing responsibility.
What ultimately defines the meaning of any experience for us?
How it makes us feel? Is it any actual standard of value?
Probably not. Is anything really objectively good or bad? Feelings, something that may not move me to feel strongly, may give rise to powerful emotion in another.
Well, it can be good or bad for an individual, or for human society, or for the planet. I will go into that later on, or perhaps now, I never really know exactly where my flow will go. Where do feelings emerge from? Our experiences? If so would that not mean that a comfort food should always give comfort? Or a reassuring phrase bring calm?
Usually in reaction to something external?
Unless you eat the same thing everyday and then you get immune to it.
I sense triggers in the external but emerging from some depth inside.
Habituation does seem to weaken emotional reaction. It would seem superficially to drain meaning from experience. If every day you experience a constant steady ache of your muscles, would it continue to have meaning for you that your muscles ache?
No, most people don’t realize how bad they feel until they do something good, in my experience.
The original meaning of the word suffer simply meant to experience. You could suffer joy as well as pain. Even science now has discovered that the body and brain experience only a very fine line between positive and negative experience.
You can never not be responsible for yourself, your own experiences, or presentation of self.
That would be an interesting meditation – “lets suffer joy together.”
What is the first suffering?
Birth? You did not suffer your own birth. The experience of birth was beyond your then current ability to qualify. The first suffering is the knowledge of consequence.
Well, you did emerge screaming. Some are not born screaming. Some even are delivered asleep. Only later do we describe things as trauma. We learn to interpret our experience. We can’t both have an experience and interpret it at the same time, but we come to interpret every aspect of our lives. Interpretation is the process of painting. Creativity and interpretation are synonymous.
Very true. Looking back on being paralyzed, I’m finding it interesting that I didn’t see the trauma at the time. I had to convince her that she needed help, that something was wrong. She was more worried about me than herself.
Now it occurs to me… “OMG, I was ill.” She was very ill as far as that goes. What ill means, how it is interpreted, depends on your personal perspective more than the experience itself.
But I’m noticing it only in contrast to my current state which supports your point.
Even infants interpret, though. They’ve done studies, but I can point out that interpretation is woven into the fabric of experience. Infants have the fundamental elements of consciousness and cognition, and I will touch on how their reactions differ from interpretation as we go along.
Interpretation can be linked to the five skandhas, and how the process of interpretation works, can’t it? Indeed it can.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.