7.0000 The Nature of Self

"... Zen master Baoche of Mt. Magu was fanning himself.
A monk approached and said, 'Master, the nature of mind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?
'Although you understand that the nature of the mind is permanent,' Baoche replied, 'you do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere.'
'What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?' asked the monk again.
The master just kept on fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.

The actualization of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this. If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of the wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent; because of that, the wind of the buddha's house brings forth the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river."
(Tanahashi, 73)

"To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.
"Those who have great realization of delusion are buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about realization are sentient beings. Further, there are those who continue realizing beyond realization, who are in delusion throughout delusion.
"When buddhas are truly buddhas they do not necessarily notice that they are buddhas. However, they are actualized buddhas, who go on actualizing buddhas." (Ibid., 69)

7.0000 The Nature of the Self
7.0001 Our purpose in this section is to experience the various conceptions of self we have generated over time.

7.0010 By nature we mean "the inherent character or basic composition of a person or thing: essence," "an inner force or the sum of such forces in an individual."
7.0011 By essence we mean "the permanent as contrasted with the accidental element of being, the individual, real or ultimate nature of a thing especially as opposed to its existence."
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7.0020 By self we mean "the entire person of an individual," "the realization or embodiment of an abstraction," "the union of elements (as body, emotions, thoughts, sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person."
7.0021 By person we mean "a human being, the individual personality of a human being: self."
7.0022 By personality we mean "the totality of an individual's behavioral and emotional traits, attitudes, or habits." (Woolf)
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7.1000 Ego
7.1001 Freudian Ego (cf. 1.2311).

7.1100 Empirical Ego
7.1110 The empirical ego designates the individual self.
7.1120 We gain knowledge of the empirical ego through the process of direct introspection.
7.1121 By the process of introspection our mind can cognize its own series of conscious acts and its contents.
7.1130 The empirical ego we learn about through our process of living and can, if such be our desire, experience directly its existence by experiencing our internal experiences.
7.1140 The self, or ego-mask some of us only know ourself to be, is nothing more than an aggregate of our mental states.
7.1142 The self, being such an aggregate, is in a constant state of flux, never remaining the same, always evolving.
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7.1200 Pure Ego
7.1201 The pure ego is a non-empirical principle.
7.1202 We are unable to have knowledge of the pure ego except through the reasoning process of inference from our introspective states. We assign the label ego to that principle by which we are able to infer.

7.1210 Soul Theory (cf. 7.4000)
7.1211 Pure ego is a spiritual substance that permanently underlies the successive moments of our conscious experience.

7.1220 Transcendental Theory
7.1221 Self-consciousness is an empirical fact. We are self-conscious.
7.1222 Each one of us knows our self as a discrete, individual unity that forms the whole who we are.
7.1223 In order for this whole to be as it is, we must presuppose the existence of a subject for which this process of self-knowledge is possible.
7.1224 This subject is the transcendental ego.

7.1230 System Theory
7.1231 Each whole, although a part of another whole, is complete in and of itself in its own act of existence.
7.1232 That which generates one whole to be this whole rather than that whole is this whole's unifying principle.
7.1233 This unifying principle we label and often confuse with what we call ego or self.
7.1240 The various theories of pure ego or self, "self" used here in the sense of pure ego, are variations we have composed upon the same theme.
7.1241 The self or pure ego is not knowable in and of itself, but must be reasoned to or inferred in one way or another given the dynamics of the general protocols of the theory.
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7.2000 Self
7.2100 The self is all that is "not-me."
7.2101 This statement we consider to be propositional in nature and hence does not connote any inherent truth-value to it.
7.2102 Thus, we read this section as a logical calculus in the classical tradition of reducio ad absurdum.

7.2110 "One great splitting of the whole universe into two halves is made by each of us, and for each of us almost all of the interest attaches to one of the halves; but we draw the line of division between them in a different place. When I say that we all call the two halves by the same name, and that these names are 'me' and 'not-me' respectively, it will at once be seen what I mean." (William James, Principles of Psychology, I, 289 in Runes)
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7.2200 We can also understand self to be qualitative. Each of us is unique. We experience our uniqueness.
7.2201 At any one point in the continuum of our life we can see that this qualitative uniqueness remains the same throughout.
7.2202 Thus, every one phenomenon, human or not, we can say demonstrates uniqueness.
7.2203 This uniqueness we can understand as self expressed by what we commonly call ego.
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7.2300 The self can be a metaphysical, unifying principle akin to the soul, other than what we commonly call ego.
7.2301 In this instance we take note of our subjective experience. We may observe a unity within this experience.
7.2302 This unity we experience is either dependent upon the existence of our body or not, a necessary part of it or completely distinct from it and having its own nature.
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7.2400 Existence of the Self
7.2401 Even through introspection we cannot perceive the self.
7.2402 Introspection lets us perceive a series of successive perceptions.
7.2403 This series in and of itself is a series without truth-value.
7.2404 Therefore, there is no self in and of itself.
7.2405 Therefore, the self is a linguistic tool we use to designate what we would like to think is the case.
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7.2500 Ambiguous Sense of Self
7.2501 We have come to understand self with some ambiguity.
7.2502 This ambiguity has come to be due to metaphysical, linguistic, psychological distinctions we have made when referring to self.

7.2510 General distinction:
7.2511 The self is the carrier of subjective experience.
7.2511a This self we have labeled the somatic or physical self.
7.2512 The self is the content of our subjective experience.
7.2512a This self we have labeled the psychological self.
7.2512b This self we define as "an organization of experiences in a dynamic whole." (Pillsbury, Attention, 217, in Runes, 288)
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7.2600 Consciousness-Only School
7.2601 The self and human experience are only constructions we have made from false ideas.
7.2602 Therefore, the self and human experience have no reality of their own.
7.2603 The self and human experience result from the transformation and evolution of consciousness.
7.2604 Inner consciousness produces what seems to be the external, phenomenal world of "real things."
7.2605 As a result, the real self or human experience in se is impossible.
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7.2610 Theories of Self
7.2611 The self substantially is "eternal, universal and as extensive as empty space." Acting anywhere, it consequently experiences happiness or sorrow. But this conception is unreasonable.
7.2611a If its substance is given, then
7.2611b it ought not experience happiness or sorrow, a bodily sensate response.
7.2611c it should have no motion, yet bodies move.
7.2611d it should be the same among all sentient beings, yet all sentient beings are different.
7.2611e it should act for all sentient beings contemporaneously, yet this demonstrably is not the case.

7.2612 The self is substantially eternal, but in extension is indeterminable.
7.2612a But this conception is impossible. If these protocols are given, then the self
7.2612b 1) should always remain in the same state given its eternality.
7.2612c 2) would be divisible if it followed the body and something eternal is not divisible.
7.2612d Therefore, this theory is unreasonable.

7.2613 The substance of the self is eternal and infinitesimal, functioning like an atom moving around and being deeply within the body.
7.2613a If this protocol is given, then the self
7.2613b causes the whole body to move as it extends throughout the form and the phenomenal realm and such would be contrary to our understanding of eternal, for that which comes and goes (i.e., moves) is neither eternal nor one.

7.2614 The self and its aggregates (i.e., matter, sensation, thought, disposition, and consciousness — all also known as skandhas) are identical.
7.2614a If this were so, the self would be multiple and not either one or eternal. Thus,
7.2614b 1) the self cannot be the five senses which are influenced by the phenomenal world.
7.2614c 2) the self cannot be either the mind or mental qualities as these are not always continuous and depend upon the external world for their response.
7.2614d 3) the self cannot be other conditioned phenomenal things or matter as these, like empty space, are lacking intelligence.

7.2615 The self is separate from skandhas (cf. 7.02614). If this were so, then the self would be like empty space. Empty space neither can act nor receive the consequences of action.

7.2616 The self is neither identical with nor separated from skandhas. Thus,
7.2616a 1) the self is like a vase depending upon clay for its formation and thus would have no actual reality in itself.
7.2616b 2) we cannot say that causes either produce or do not produce the self.
7.2617 Therefore, we cannot establish the real self conceived in the theory.
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7.2620 The Self and Thought (Chan)
7.2621 "Does the substance of the real self conceived by the various schools think or not? If it does, it would not be eternal, because it does not think all the time. If it does not, it would be empty space, which neither acts nor receives fruits of action.
7.2622 Therefore, based on reason, the self conceived by theory cannot be established."
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7.2630 The Self and Function
7.2631 "Does this substance of the real self ... perform any function or not? If it does, it would be like hands and feet and would not be eternal. If it does not, it would be like horns of a hare and not the real self.
7.2632 Therefore, in either case, the self conceived by (various schools) cannot be established."
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7.2640 The Self as Object of Self
7.2641 "...is the substance of the real self ... an object of the view of the self or not? If it is not, how do advocates of a theory know that there is really a self? If it is, then there should be a view of the self that does not involve any perversion, for that would be knowledge of what really is. In that case, how is it that the perfectly true doctrines believed in by those holding the theory of the self all denounce the view of the self and praise the view of the non-self?" (Chan, 374f.)
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7.2650 Self as Non-self
7.2651 "The various views of self actually do not take the real self as an object, because it has objects, which are not itself, like the mind takes others, such as external matters, as objects. The object of the view of the self is certainly not the real self, because this view is an object like other dharmas (facets of human experience).
7.2652 Therefore, the view of the self does not take the real self as an object.
7.2653 Only because the various skandhas are transformed and manifested by inner consciousness, all kinds of imagination and conjecture result in accordance with one's own erroneous opinions." (Chan, 374-377)
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7.2660 Concluding Remarks on Consciousness-Only School
7.2661 Generally, the denial of the ego is the point of departure of Buddhist philosophy and, specifically, of the Consciousness-Only School.
7.2662 This process of denial at the beginning avoids solipsistic thought, the underlying mainframe of Western psychological thought, theory, and practice.
7.2662a Solipsistic Thought (Runes)
7.2662b 1) Methodological Solipsism asserts that the individual is the only possible or legitimate point of departure for philosophical construction.
7.2662c 2) Metaphysical Solipsism asserts that
a) the whole of reality and the phenomenal realm is the individual self of the solipsistic philosopher.
b) other human beings are nothing more than a representation of the individual self of the solipsistic philosopher and thus have no independent existence.
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7.3000 Personal Identity
7.3010 By personal identity we mean the self taken as the personal identity possessed by a human being or self. We note here a reciprocity within our understanding.
7.3020 We determine our identity from what we preserve in a similarity of structure from moment to moment.
7.3021 All phenomenal realities, persons or things, animate or not, accord a personal identity in terms of the demonstrated preservation of a continuous structural similarity.
7.3030 Personal identity (in contradistinction to identity) necessarily includes one's conscious recognition of sameness through and in space/time.
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7.4000 Soul
7.4100 The Platonic Soul
7.4110 The soul is an immaterial agent, of a higher nature to the body, yet hindered by the body as the soul carries out the higher ordered, psychic functions of human living.
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7.4120 The Tripartite Division of The Soul
7.4121 The rational element is the superior part and rules the psychological organism in "well-regulated" human beings.
7.4122 The "spirited" element sources human actions and is the base of the virtue of courage. This and the next part form the irrational component of the Platonic soul.
7.4123 The concupiscent or acquisitive element we can control through the virtue of temperance.
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7.4130 The Soul and Sensation
7.4131 The active function of the soul is sensation.
7.4132 Through the instrumentality of the human body, the soul is able to make contact with sense objects.
7.4133 As the soul matures, it depends less and less upon sense perception as it finds its realization in the direct intuition of intelligible essences.
7.4134 The soul exists before the body and is intimately associated within the World of Ideas.
7.4135 Thus, the soul enters the phenomenal realm having true know-ledge. It has forgotten this true knowledge due to the materiality of the body and its concerns.
7.4136 Thus, human life is a process of the soul remembering who it is.
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7.4200 The Aristotelian Soul
7.4210 The soul is "the principle of life," "the primary actualization of a natural organic body."
7.4211 Souls differ from one another according to the function they carry out. This state leads to the difference between things in the phenomenal realm.
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7.4220 Activity of the Rational Soul
7.4221 Sense perception is the process whereby we can know a thing's form by filtering the being of its matter. The traditional five senses plus "common sense" let the soul remit sense data into a single unified whole. These senses give the soul a self-awareness of its perception as well as of other states of being.
7.4222 Reason is the faculty by which we can apprehend universals and first principles, the ground of all knowledge. Reason needs sense perception to function, but is not limited to the sensate as it does grasp the universal and ideal.
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7.4230 The soul, then, is the entelechy, "the mode of being a thing whose essence is completely realized," the form or essence of a thing.
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7.4300 Scholasticism
7.4310 The soul is a simple spiritual substance.
7.4311 By simple we mean unextended and without parts.
7.4312 By spiritual we mean "of or consisting of, spirit; incorporeal."
7.4313 By substance we mean "that which underlies all outward manifestations; real, unchanging essence or nature of a thing; that in which qualities inhere; that which constitutes anything what it is." (Woolf)
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7.4320 Etiology of the Soul
7.4321 Traducianism - The soul could have come to be through one's parents.
7.4322 Creationism - The soul God individually created.
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7.4330 Conceptual Evolution
7.4331 Platonic Dualism - the body is its own substance with which the soul enters into a more or less accidental union.
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7.4332 Aristotelian Hylomorphic Theory
7.4332a Hylomorphism asserts that two internal principles make up all phenomenal realities:
7.4332b 1) that which remains the same throughout a phenomenal reality's (i.e., person, sentient being, or "thing") act of existence and is the basis of its continuity and identity in the phenomenal realm, i.e., prime matter.
7.4332c 2) that which changes and can be displaced with every substantial change of a phenomenal reality, i.e., substantial form.

7.4332d The soul "is the substantial form of the body" and sources all vital and mental activities. (Runes)
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7.4333 Aristotelian-Thomistic Theory
7.4333a The soul is simple and yet has its proper accidents, i.e., faculties which every experience adds an accidental (i.e., not necessary for its act of existence or its continued act of existence) form to the soul.

7.4333b 1) Even though the soul is in itself a substance, it is naturally inclined toward a body. When it is not "in relation" with a body, the soul is an "incomplete" substance.
7.4333c 2) The soul comes into being agreeing with the body it is to inform, allowing for family traits we would generally ascribe to genetic influence.
7.4333d 3) Since the soul is a simple, spiritual substance, the soul is immortal.
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7.4334 Types of Souls:
7.4334a There exist vehemence (plant) and sensitive (animal) perishable substantial souls.
7.4334b The human soul contains the properties of these souls, which source the plant and animal functions in humans. (Runes)
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7.4400 The Soul-Substance Theory
7.4410 There is a unity in the number of special faculties of the soul. These faculties include sensibility, intelligence, and volition.
7.4411 This unity is made-up of a single, permanent, and indivisible spiritual substance.
7.4420 This theory is the basis for Rational Psychology, an outgrowth of Faculty Psychology.
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7.4500 The Chinese System
7.4501 Our discussion in this section is an explication of Chinese concepts and a comparison of these concepts with some Western ideas.
7.4502 We base this discussion upon our Western understanding of Chinese linguistic characterizations and root meanings. Our synthesis, then, we ought to hold to be general at best.
7.4503 Chinese ideograms are usually made-up of four characters. It is possible to glean ideas from at least two-character syntactic compounds and more clearly so from the traditional four character compounds.
7.4504 Thus, when we limit our discussion to single characters in isolation, do we limit the soundness of our linguistic comparisons.
7.4505 Thus, our discussion and resulting comparisons are peripheral at best.
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7.4510 General Considerations:
7.4511 Basic and elementary Chinese understandings of things are in terms of opposites. The Chinese do not hold these opposites as we (Westerners) would tend to hold them. Rather than opposites, per se, aspects of the same reality would be a more apt conceptual designation. For example, the two aspects of a 24 hour period from 12 midnight to 12 midnight are Day and Night. The two aspects of a coin are heads and tails. Each reality and reality itself is whole, and as a whole, the whole we can better come to appreciate by seeing its aspects. If we make aspect a verb, we can then better sense the reality permeating the whole of the phenomenal realm.
7.4511a Thus, do we find the expression yin and yang describing the two elemental material forms interacting with eachother to form the whole. We can equate Yin with the passive force and Yang with the active force. One cannot be without the other. Each contain a bit of the other, and so it goes throughout the myriad of things.
7.4511b Yin and Yang do what they do in response to two spirits interacting with each other within the whole and the whole of the whole. These spirits are Kuei, the opposing (negative) spirit, and Shan, the posing (positive) spirit.
7.4512 Chinese holds P'o and Hun as aspects of each human's being in the phenomenal realm.
7.4512a P'o is the spirit of a human's physical nature that s/he expresses in bodily movements.
7.4512b Hun is the spirit of a human's vital force that s/he expresses in intellectual activity and the power of breathing. (Chan, n., 12)

7.4513 In contradistinction to P'o and Hun, and within the same phenomenal human reality, the Chinese consider Li and Chi.
7.4513a Li carries the idea of principle in that "principle is one, but its manifestations are many." (Ibid, 564)
7.4513b Chi is "a psychophysical power associated with blood and breath." It is the "universal spring of movement, incipient movement, not visible outside."
7.4513c Li and Chi let each other be as the phenomenal reality is what it is. We might see the Western distinction of matter and energy. The Chinese, in the philosophical realm, do not allow this distinction to be. Yet, if this distinction was to be, it would be only in the domain of Chi. (Ibid, 784)
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7.4520 We have seen earlier that the Chinese in the domain of the Consciousness-Only School do not admit the reality of a self or an ego. Yet, we can see some correlation within the Western conception of soul.
7.4521 P'o (7.4512) as the "spirit of a human"s physical nature expressing itself in bodily movements" can echo the Aristotelian conception of soul as "the principle of life, the primary actualization of the natural organic body." (7.04211)

7.4522 Li (7.4513a) as the "unified principle with multiple manifestations" can echo System Theory's conception of soul (although System's theorists would not tend to use the label "soul") as "the unifying principle of the whole," which implies the existence of parts that this principle unifies.

7.4523 Hun (7.4512b) as the spirit of a human's vital force, expressing itself in a human's intelligence and power of breathing, can echo Scholasticism's soul, the substantial form of body and source of all vital and mental functions.

7.4524 Chi (7.4513b) as "the psychophysical power associated with blood and breath, the universal spring of movement, incipient movement, not visible outside" in the most abstract sense can echo the substantial form/prime matter composite of the Hylomorphic Theory (7.4332).
7.4524a In a practical sense, there is no correlation between Hun and Chi. The form/matter composite is a composite with reality only in the essential realm of being. Chi, on the other hand, maintains a definite locus that has as its focal point or emanation source the tanden or lower belly region of a human body. Chi we can experience directly through practice, such as by performing over a period of time T'ai Chi, a Chinese exercise of slow movement. The form/matter composite explains the essential composition of all things in the phenomenal realm only in the context of Aristotelian-Scholastic Philosophy and cannot ever be experienced directly, even through the process of phenomenological reduction.
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7.4600 A Phenomenological Perspective (Hegel)
7.4601 In that the phenomenological process, including the phenomenological reduction, can rest in the domain of a sequential unfolding contained within the written abstract of the phenomenologist, do we here quote at length part of Hegel's rendition of the self.
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7.4610 "Now, so far as the spirit which is certain of itself, in the form of a 'beautiful soul,' does not possess the strength to relinquish the self-absorbed uncommunicative knowledge of itself, it cannot attain to any identity with the consciousness that is repulsed (i.e., the not-beautiful soul), it cannot succeed in seeing the unity of its self in another life, cannot reach objective existence. The identity comes about, therefore, merely in a negative way, as a state of being devoid of spiritual character. The "beautiful soul," then, has no concrete reality; it subsists in the contradiction between its pure self and the necessity felt by this self to externalize itself and turn into something actual; it exists in the immediacy which alone is the middle term reconciling an opposition which has been intensified to its pure being or empty nothingness. Thus the "beautiful soul," being conscious of this contradiction in its unreconciled immediacy, is unhinged, disordered, and runs to madness, wastes itself in yearning, and pines away in consumption. Thereby it gives up, as a fact, its stubborn insistence on its own isolated self-existence, but only to bring forth the soulless, spiritless unity of abstract being.

7.4611 "The true, that is to say the self-conscious and actual adjustment of the two sides is necessitated by, and already contained in the foregoing. Breaking the hard heart and raising it to the level of universality is the same process which was expressed in the case of the consciousness that openly made its confession. The wounds of the spirit heal and leave no scars behind. The deed is not the imperishable element; spirit takes it back into itself; and the aspect of individuality present in it, whether in the form of an intention or of an existential negativity and limitation, is that which immediately passes away. The self which realizes, i.e., the form of the spirit's act, is merely a moment of the whole; and the same is true of the knowledge functioning through judgment, and establishing and maintaining the distinction between the individual and universal aspects of action. The evil consciousness ... affirms this externalization of itself or asserts itself as a moment, being drawn into the way of express confession by seeing itself in another. This other, however, must have its one sided, unaccepted and unacknowledged judgment broken down, just as the former has to abandon its one sided and unacknowledged existence in a state of particularity and isolation. And as the former displays the power of spirit over its reality, so this other must manifest the power of spirit over its constitutive, determinate notion.

7.4612 "The latter, however, renounces the thought that divides and separates, and the harshness of the self-existence which holds to such thought, for the reason that, in point of fact, it sees itself in the first. That which, in this way, abandons its reality and makes itself into a superseded particular 'this' (Diesen), displays itself thereby as, in fact, universal. It turns away from its external reality back into itself as inner essence; and there the universal consciousness thus knows and finds itself.

7.4613 "The forgiveness it extends to the first is the renunciation of self, of its unreal essence, since it identifies with this essence that other which was real action, and recognizes what was called bad — a determination assigned to action by thought — to be good; or rather it lets go and gives up this distinction of determinate thought with its self-existent determining judgment, just as the other forgoes determining the act in isolation and for its own private behalf. The word of reconciliation is the objectively existent spirit, which immediately apprehends the pure know-ledge of itself qua universal essence in its opposite, in the pure knowledge of itself qua absolutely self-confined single individual — a reciprocal recognition which is Absolute Spirit.

7.4614 "Absolute Spirit enters existence merely at the culminating point at which its pure knowledge about itself is the opposition and interchange with itself. Knowing that its pure knowledge is the abstract essential reality, Absolute Spirit is this knowing duty in absolute opposition to the knowledge which knows itself, qua absolute singleness of self, to be the essentially real. The former is the pure continuity of the universal, which knows the individuality, that knows itself the real, to be inherently naught, to be evil. The latter, again, is absolute discreteness, which knows itself absolute in its pure oneness, and knows the universal in the unreal which exists only for others. Both aspects are refined and clarified to this degree of purity, where there is no self-less existence left, no negative of consciousness in either of them, where, instead, the one element of 'duty' is the self-identical character of its self-knowledge, and the other element of 'evil' equally has its purpose in its own inner being and its reality in its mode of utterance. The content of this utterance is the substance that gives this spirit subsistence; the utterance is the assurance of the certainty of spirit within its own self.

7.4615 "These spirits, both certain of themselves, have each no other purpose than its own pure self, and no other reality than just this pure self. But they are still different, and the difference is absolute, because holding within this element of the pure notion. The difference is absolute, too, not merely for us (tracing the experience), but for the notions themselves which stand in this opposition. For while these notions are indeed determinate and specific relatively to one another, they are at the same time in themselves universal, so that they fill out the whole range of the self; and this self has no other content than this its own determinate constitution, which neither transcends the self nor is more restricted than it. For the one factor, the absolutely universal, is pure self-knowledge as well as the other, the absolute discreteness of single individuality, and both are merely this pure self-knowledge. Both determinate factors, then, are cognizing pure notions which know qua notions, whose very determinateness is immediately knowing, or, in other words, whose relationship and opposition is the Ego. Because of this they are for one another these absolute opposites; it is what is completely inner that has in this way come into opposition to itself and entered objective existence; they constitute pure knowledge, which, owing to this opposition, takes the form of consciousness. But as yet it is not self-consciousness. It obtains this actualization in the course of the process through which this opposition passes. For this opposition is really itself the indiscrete continuity and identity of ego; and each by itself inherently cancels itself just through the contradiction in its pure universality, which, while implying continuity and identity, at the same time still resists its identity with the other, and separates itself from it. Through this relinquishment of separate self-hood, the knowledge, which in its existence is in a state of redemption, returns into the unity of the self; it is the concrete actual Ego, universal knowledge of self in its absolute opposite, in the knowledge which is internal to and within the self, and which, because of the very purity of its separate subjective existence, is itself completely universal. The reconciling affirmation, the "yes," with which both egos desist from their existence in opposition, is the existence of the ego expanded into a duality, an ego which remains therein one and identical with itself, and possesses the certainty of itself in its complete relinquishment and its opposite: it is God appearing in the midst of those who know themselves in the form of pure knowledge." (Hegel, 675-679)
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7.4620 To recapitulate:
7.4621 One can know oneself as good only in so far as knows oneself as evil.
7.4622 On one side, we can know ourself as the continuity of the universal, knowing our individuality. We know ourself to be real and in the same moment can question that we are.
7.4623 On the other side, we can know ourself as absolute discreteness, knowing ourself as total unity.
7.4624 In between, we experience ourself giving expression to our ego in terms of irresponsible behaviors manifesting themselves in a myriad of forms.
7.4624a Sometimes in the beautiful image we would like to maintain for ourself, we find our reflection in the real world vacillating between pure being and empty nothingness. When we can handle this delusory dichotomy, we engage in inappropriate behavior patterns. When we can no longer handle the situation, we escape into madness and other forms of disordered or deranged behavior.
7.4624b We have labeled these latter behaviors in the domain of psychology as either neuroses, psychoses, or personality disorders.
7.4624c Neurotic behaviors we express in anxiety reactions which we can experience directly or deflect through one or more defense mechanisms.
7.4624d Psychotic behaviors we express in gross impairment of our mental functioning we allow so that we find ourself unable (unwilling) to meet the demands of daily life. We have described these behaviors generally as being either delusions (grandeur, persecution, etc.) or hallucinations either or both accompanied by profound changes in mood.
7.4624e Personality disorders are generally long standing patterns of socially maladaptive behavior. Here, we express our tendency to escape the present reality when we engage in extreme dependency behaviors, antisocial or sexually deviant behaviors, alcoholism, and/or drug addiction among others. (Hilgard)
7.4625 Through a process of each side canceling the other out of existence, because of their mutually felt pure universality, each relinquishes their separate selfhood and returns into the unity of the self, the reconciliation of opposites.
7.4625a This process we have given many labels such as psychotherapy, counselling, relationships, politics, religion, meditation, business, education/instruction, stress management, — just nearly every human endeavor, including balancing one's checkbook is a process of reconciliation.

7.4626 Pure knowledge is the absolute essential reality grounded in the opposition and interchange within the knowing subject.
7.4627 God or Absolute Spirit appears in the form of those who know themselves in the form of pure knowledge, where there is no opposition, just where there is
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7.5000 Concluding Remarks on the Nature of The Self:
7.5010 Earlier we posited the proposition that something or someone can exist in only one of two places.

7.5011 One can exist on Earth either as Earth is or in the mind.

7.5012 If one exists on Earth, s/he is free from delusive thought patterns. These patterns include (Sekida):
7.5012a the world of opposition between oneself and others,
7.5012b the cravings for the immutability and immobility of things,
7.5012c the constant groping for existence and a meaningful existence,
7.5012d the vain searching for the source or root of the ego,
7.5012e the vague sense of life being uneasy, uncaring, and/or dreadful,
7.5012f the running away from or the denial of the feeling of being thrown into life.

7.5013 Delusion and its attending bewilderment rests in our human "failure to grasp the secret of existence."
7.5014 In other words, delusion is the normal and natural state of being-in-the-world for those of us who select not to be on Earth but have chosen for the moment to be in the mind.
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7.5020 Earlier we posited that the general thrust of this handbook would be that of phenomenology. (C.f. 0.l310) Thus, not only have we found ourself reading "we" throughout, but we have also found ourself going through the phenomenological process itself as well. As we noted earlier, the reader and the author are one-in-kind experiencing what we are experiencing while reading (ploughing?) through these words. Each of us is creating these words and their meanings as we move along. Thus, we have found ourself looking at the mind from within the mind where the meanings of the words and this word now exists.

7.5021 In this section (7.0000), we again have been looking at the mind in general and the self or ego in particular as each relates with absolute being. From hereon out, we will be doing so from a metaphenomenological viewpoint. The metaphenomenological viewpoint, as we will explicate below, is the employment of the phenomenological reduction through, for the lack at this time of a better term, a Zen mode of perceiving being (taken in the most stringent and absolute connotation of both perceiving and being).

7.5022 To accomplish this task, we shall first look from Hegel's perspective at phenomenology in general and the phenomenological reduction of the self and mind in particular. We shall do this by looking at what he considers the subject matter of philosophy, then the phenomenological reduction in particular. Next, we shall look at another phenomenologist, Husserl, and his phenomenological reduction of the mind and self. This view, though, we shall take from a Zen perspective. Our consequent experience of phenomenological and metaphenomenological notions, coupled with this writer's own phenomenological apprehension of being and perceiving, will encapsulate what from hereon out we shall call a Zen mode.
7.5023 As suggested by 7.4627, we will further dwell into the experience of our ego, self, and who we essentially are when we remove the shades of opposition from our perception/perceiving apparatus, i.e., our brains. This we will accomplish by taking responsibility for our mind, and as Zen has it, our life — life and mind being one in the same reality, of which our brain is our chief tool through which we manipulate our own phenomenon in the phenomenal realm.
7.5024 Some have remarked that the great people of our planet and history experience no obligation to make themselves understood by others. Instead, they experience the world and their fellows have the obligation to understand them. Thus, do we find the works of these "great" people to be usually novel in design, subtle in the texture of their thought, comprehensive in their range, and equally penetrating in their vision. (Hegel, 29) In opening ourself up to experience Hegel, Husserl, and Zen, we need to accept our responsibility for the not-too-subtle fact that it is our obligation to accept them into our understanding. We do this by realizing that we are essentially who they are and thus what they produce in the manner they have.
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7.5100 The Phenomenology of Notion
7.5110 The medium of philosophy is "the supreme achievement of thought," a notion.
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7.5111 We experience a notion as a concrete universal. Within itself, a notion holds the particular. Thus, a notion we experience as "the organic unity of universality and particularity." Due to difference in notions, each notion we experience as a single identity. These different notions we know by their inherent nature refer to and connect intrinsically with each other — much the same way as we experience our own humanity, yet appreciating our own singularity we have labeled as ego or self. This interconnecting matrix we can experience when we are so inclined as "an organically articulated system, a self-contained structure of notion."
7.5112 We experience behind this experience the ground of notion. This grounding experience has two aspects, positive and negative. Negatively, we know that we do not derive our notions from nor are they dependent upon sensation or perception. Thus, we cannot, by our own delimitations, call a notion a "mere general concept." Thus, we know that a notion is not a "purely formal 'abstract' universal." Thus do we experience a notion as not having any rigid "fixity of outline." We experience a notion as being empty of all specific content, thus is applicable to any other notion and thus does not exclude all other possible relations with other notions.
7.5113 Positively, we experience a notion operating freely and independently within itself. Equally, we experience a notion operating under its own guidelines and conditions. We know a notion to be the ultimate principle that controls and penetrates "all thought wherever it appears, whether in sensation, perception, or abstract reflection."
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7.5120 The Etiology of a Notion
7.5121 We do not experience the development of a notion in time, but rather outside of time. We experience a notion coming to be as we experience the expression and the coherence of the notion's elements. We experience a notion "in terms of and for the purposes of complete thought."
7.5122 Thus, do we experience a notion as a process we realize with more or less completeness as an " operative individual unity." This unity of elements we can either implicitly assert or explicitly affirm whether or not we experience them immanently or as fully unfolded.
7.5123 We discover the forest of opposition when we encounter these elements. When we take an element of a notion by itself, we may say that it is the whole notion. But, just as soon as we make a one-sided affirmation, we become clearly aware of the inevitability of other possibilities. The element we know quickly calls forth its opposite and this process continues until the notion unfolds in its wholeness, expressing its indissoluble unity.
7.5124 This process we have come to label the Hegelian Dialectic, the unfolding opposition of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis — with the new synthesis becoming the new thesis, and so on. Eventually, from these abstract affirmations, a whole, concrete notion evolves that explicitly contains and co-ordinates all of its elements.
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7.5200 The Phenomenology of the Notion of the Self
7.5201 The unity of a whole is all-pervasive. The process of the finite parts of the whole maintains the unity of the whole.
7.5202 If we limit the scope of our experience to the Earth, we experience the world as a process. We experience this process as being self-contained within the perimeters of its own being. We have labeled this process as "sub specie temporis." We have labeled the whole as "sub specie aeternitas."
7.5203 In order to experience our experience of this process and the whole, we employ a basic working principle of explanation. This basic working principle we have labeled as mind. In that this basic working principle or mind comes to sense a unity, the mind itself must know of unity within itself.
7.5204 We experience this knowing as this "highest and the most universal function" of the mind's activity. This knowing is the "controlling essence of its individuality." We experience this knowing as the dominating force behind all other modes of the mind's expressions. We are present to the existential reality that this function of knowing unity makes all that passes through the mind's view lets all things be what they are, keeping them together as various "phases of its own individuality."
7.5205 Thus, we experience the mind's "supreme function of consciously unifying its own differences in a single focus of self-hood." We do not experience its content as the unity of the self, but rather we realize the "singleness of being or self-hood through the function of combining differences in unity."
7.5206 Thus, we experience the conscious operation of this knowing function as the reality of the self. We experience the self of our own individual mind as not only at once the unity of differences, but also as a concrete function and as being a single entity from first to last.
7.5207 Thus, we experience the being of our mind as its act. We are present to the fact that the act of our mind is to be aware of itself. Thus, this act we cannot hold as an abstract operation, but must hold it as "the essential principle operating throughout all the processes and expressions of the life of the mind." This being the case, we experience the existential reality that our mind can in no way or sense be separate from its expression.(Here we recall the Heisenberg Principle that states the examiner is a definite — and controlling — part of the examined and examining process.)
7.5208 Therefore, the self is always operating in a conscious way even if it is operating, as it would have it from time to time or moment to moment, in an "unconscious" way. The self is the "conscious unifying of differences." We conclude and label the self to be cognitive in the sense of "full awareness" by its demonstrated reflective and intuitive activity. We experience and have labeled this cognitive notion of the self as reason. (Hegel, 41f)
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7.5210 We "observe" through reason. What we experience ourself observing is the pure unity of ego and existence, which is the unity of subjectivity and objectivity. Within this gestalt do we appreciate the unity for-itselfness and in-itselfness as being implicitly immanent. Here and now do we experience the consciousness of reason finding itself.
7.5211 Within the moment of observation we experience the true nature of the observation being "the transcendence of this instinct of finding its object lying directly at hand." In observation we experience ourself passing beyond the unconscious state of instinctual finding to directly perceiving the category, "the thing simply found." Hence, we experience the thing simply "found" entering consciousness "as the self-existence of the ego — ego which now knows itself in the objective reality, and knows itself here as the self."
7.5212 Yet, we experience a one-sidedness in this feature of the category being-for-itself in opposition to being immanent within-itself. Suddenly, we experience the moment canceling itself.
7.5213 Therefore, we experience the category receiving from consciousness the character it possesses in its universal truth. Summarily, we experience the category as "self-contained essential reality." (Ibid., 457)
7.5214 Subsequently, we experience ordinance and harmony between the knower and known. Both confirm and complement the other. We experience the experience as an annihilation of both the knower and the known rather than as a confirmation of self and the known. We experience ourself as the experience within which the knower and known annihilate one another. (Ibid., 484)
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7.5220 Now, the moment of annihilation having occurred, we can experience the self entering existence as a self. When we, the spirit, experience certainty of ourself that is now not, we can then exist for others. In this moment of existing for others, our immediate act becomes not what is valid or real, nor the acknowledgment of or by others, nor even what we are doing, nor our inherent being. Our immediate act becomes "solely and simply the self knowing itself as such," and not that which is not.
7.5221 We experience, thus, the experience of perseverance and stability from our experience of universal self-consciousness. We can experience only the concrete reality of self-consciousness in that we now acknowledge the non-permanence of the elements of our experience, that actually are not in the first instance. (Ibid., 660)
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7.5230 We experience the process of our cultivation of our own individuality, ipso facto, as the "development of individuality qua universal objective being." In order words, we experience ourself coming into being as the development of the actual world.
7.5231 Through this developmental process of continual transcendence and attending cancellation of opposites, we can and do experience unity throughout the process. Our awareness of our unity matures as we process ourself through continual annihilation. Eventually, we experience an annihilation of annihilation and see ourself as one.
7.5232 In the beginning, according to the eyes of our self-consciousness, the world had come into existence by some process of its own individuality. The world, we experienced as being directly and primarily estranged and thus did we experience our self-consciousness having taken on a fixed and undisturbed picture of reality.
7.5233 Within the same moments, we experienced ourself as being sure of our own substance. We then experienced ourself taking this substance under our supposed control. We experienced ourself doing this from our acculturated experiences that we had been experiencing as asking for our conformation. We experienced ourself conforming to the extent and degree we allowed by the levels of our own bio/psychological givens.
7.5234 Our experience of ourself taking our substantial nature under our control — and thereby doing away with this substantial nature, not any longer experiencing a need to deal with it as such (and only perhaps later as maladaptive behavioral responses), did we first empty our self.This emptying established us as an objectively existing substance. In the phenomenal realm, we could have experienced ourself, among others, as the rebel, the conformist, or as the complacent individual. We emptied ourself of who we are to become what our culture asked us to be.
7.5235 We actualize this developmental process and reenter the phenomenal realm as who we are, as Absolute Spirit (for the lack of a better term) (cf. 7.4614), when what we know of our knowledge about ourself is in opposition with what we know and our knowledge about ourself. We experience an annihilation of both what we know ourself to be and how we know ourself to be — as well as between the source of our knowledge of what and how we are and ourself as having this knowledge of what and how we are. We experience ourself who we are, the oneness of all that is and is not.
7.5236 We sense and experience our self-identity as absolute contradiction, one before one and two.
7.5237 Once we experience our experience of ourself experiencing oneness, do we know. We do not know that we know, we know.
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7.5300 Phenomenology of Zen on Husserl's Notion of Self
7.5301 In this section we shall be experiencing the phenomenology of Husserl from the Zen mode of being-in-the-world.
7.5302 In the phenomenology of Hegel, we experienced our self coming to know that we are who we are through a dialectical processes of mutual annihilation of opposing sub-notions all part of the same existential whole. In Husserl's phenomenology we experience more the process of coming to know that we are being-in-the-world. Being so, who we are and what we are we cannot know as such. Our being-in-the-world transcends the reality of that we are, the ground of our being-in-the-world. In order to glean the meaning of Husserl, we read the following:
7.5303 "The ego as a person, as a thing in the world, and the mental life as the mental life of this person, are arranged — no matter even if quite indefinitely — on objective time; they are all transcendent and epistemologically null. Only through a reduction, the same one we have already called phenomenological reduction, do I attain an absolute datum which no longer presents anything transcendent. Even if I should put in question the ego and the world and the ego's mental life as such, still my simply 'seeing' reflection on what is given in the appreciation of the relevant mental process and on my ego, yields phenomenon of this apperception; the phenomenon, so to say, of 'perception construed as my perception.' Of course, I can also make use of the natural mode of reflection here, and relate this phenomenon to my ego, postulating this ego as an empirical reality through saying again: I have this phenomenon, it is mine. Then, in order to get back to the pure phenomenon, I would have to put the ego, as well as time and the world once more into question, and thereby display a pure phenomenon, the pure cogitatio. But while I am perceiving I can also look by way of purely 'seeing,' at the perception, at it itself as it is here, and ignore its relation to the ego, or at least abstract from it. Then the perception which is thereby grasped and delimited in 'seeing' is an absolutely given, pure phenomenon in the phenomenological sense, renouncing anything transcendent. (Husserl in Sekida, 188)
7.5304 So we experience ourself suspending our involvement of our ego as a person, as being-in-the-world. We do this through a phenomenological reduction. In so doing, we experience directly the pure phenomenon of our being. In short, Husserl accomplishes this by a simple shift in the attitude of his mind. This involves a shift in or even the elimination of what we experience as a habitual way of consciousness. (Sekida, 100)
7.5305 We experience our habitual way of consciousness when we sense people and things around us mechanically and as being mechanical. Our sense of the mechanicalness of people and things originates from what we have labeled as a discriminating ego.
7.5306 We develop a discriminating ego when we come to experience ourself in a world of opposition. Our key need in such a world is to survive. From out of our created need to survive, we acquire the habit of regarding others and things as equipment. We know that others, especially, are human. What we forget is that they, too, have feelings as we do. They are mere tools and equipment that we can use to accomplish what we might be, in the moment, thinking to be our task. Thus, we can tend to hold the other as an enemy, somehow out to get us. We return blow for blow, and do so very often in a completely unaware mode. "This is essentially the mood of an adult who has become a slave to the habitual way of consciousness." (Ibid., 140)
7.5307 Using the phenomenological reduction to perceive directly the ground of our being, if not being itself, we experience little use than the inside of our skulls. The external world remains transcendent and "epistemologically dead." The world of opposition still exists, we just bracket it for the moment or the duration of our reduction. Hence, we tend to think that we are at the ground of being, perceiving the unity and what not.
7.5308 Accomplishing Zen restoration, we come to experience the vacancy of our individual ego. Once we come to this experience, we maintain ourself apart from the world of opposition and bring about its destruction in our perceptual view of the phenomenal realm. We experience ourself as not necessarily one with everything and everyone else, but more so as everything and everyone else. With our individual ego no longer viable, we know ourself as the space within which all else occurs. And there is no "all else" for that we know to be ourself as well.
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7.5310 "Emptiness is a condition in which internal mental pressure is totally dissolved. When a thought appears in (our) mind, it is necessarily accompanied by internal pressure. Expressing the thought) discharges the pressure. A state of no-mind occurs. No-mind means no-ego. It means the mind is in a state of equilibrium. We think every moment, and an internal pressure is generated, and we loose equilibrium. ... (Our) ego is built up from a succession of internal pressures. When the internal pressures are dissolved, the ego vanishes, and there is true emptiness." (Ibid., 36)
7.5311 Rather than a mental exercise in abstraction, the phenomenological reduction, Zen restoration requires a discipline of body and mind. During a phase (absolute samadahi) of this discipline we experience delusive thoughts and patterns, space and time falling away. It is only after we have rooted out our "emotionally and intellectually habituated mode of consciousness" that we experience a state of pure consciousness. As we can sense here, the state of pure consciousness is not the pure phenomenon of the phenomenologist. (Ibid., 101)
7.5312 When we experience pure consciousness, we have let go of who, what, how, when, where, and why we are or think we are. "Letting go" could very well describe what the process of our living becomes. We let go of the ways in which we think — the many paradigms of our structured conscious life and modes of perceiving others and things. When we experience pure consciousness, we have let go of our values of what we hold to be good or bad, right or wrong, up or down, in or out. Once we have let go of the need for paradigms, a paradigm of clarity without form or structure or content takes place. We do not have to hold back for there is nothing to hold back. We have nothing to give because there is nothing to give. We enter existence as it is. We do not need to bracket our thoughts, feelings, or desires, for we have none — and when we do, we can let them go — just as we let ourself go to sleep when we do.
7.5312 We come to experience the external world as it is and as it is, without the blinders of our individuated ego that maintains itself through delusive thoughts in an illusionary world.
7.5313 We know who we are.
7.5314 We know what we are.
7.5315 We know how we are.
7.5316 We know when we are.
7.5317 We know where we are.
7.5318 We know why we are.
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7.5400 Hermeneutic Phenomenology (cf. 0.1315) of Who the Self Is
7.5400a The term hermeneutic we derive from the Greek term hermeneuein, to interpret.
7.5401 Who we are is the illusion of the world passing by.
7.5402 Who we are others and all else our individual identity has subordinated to.
7.5403 Who we are the limitations that are the context within which what we term the Infinite comes to be.
7.5404 Who we are the limitations that bring morality to the development of our individual character and significance to the expression of the Absolute.
7.5405 Who we are is change, change expressed in the changing of the seasons that creates order and time in the consciousness of life, which in turn, balances itself within the limits of the phenomenal realm.
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7.5410 Hermeneutic Phenomenology of What the Self Is
7.5411 What we are the correct ideals of who we are that do overcome inherent difficulties in the limitations of the phenomenal realm.
7.5412 What we are is the apparent pattern of intelligence expressed in the phenomenal realm.
7.5413 What we are is the pattern of being, experienced in winter, spring, summer, fall or in birth, growth, decline, death — every beginning being an end to a cycle.
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7.5420 Hermeneutic Phenomenology of How the Self Is
7.5421 How we are is our constant mood of duty and simplicity.
7.5422 How we are is both the arousing power of cosmic ideals and the meditative stillness of human affairs.
7.5423 How we are is conscientious, being humble to and with the demands of maintenance and restraint within the phenomenal realm.
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7.5430 Hermeneutic Phenomenology of When the Self Is
7.5431 When we are is in avoiding conflict.
7.5432 When we are is when inner worth is of value.
7.5433 When we are is in grasping the ultimately meaninglessness of the unending contest of the phenomenal realm.
7.5434 When we are is in resolution calling for powerful, non-violent methods; maintaining friendly, but uncompromising attitudes of the inner worth of value; and letting go of satisfaction.
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7.5440 Hermeneutic Phenomenology of Where the Self Is
7.5441 Where we are is insubstantial.
7.5442 Where we are is at the very center or core of chaos.
7.5443 Where we are is between conflict, opening the path to change.
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7.5450 Hermeneutic Phenomenology of Why the Self Is
7.5451 Why we are is to maintain a humble and devoted attitude.
7.5452 Why we are is to bring good fortune from small effort.
7.5453 Why we are is to follow with sensitivity the demands of change.
7.5454 Why we are is to actualize reality rather than realize potentiality.
7.5455 Why we are is to support all that is and is not.
7.5456 Why we are is to maintain objectivity that keeps our natural response pure while giving stamina of character and inner calm to what we do within the phenomenal realm. (Wing)
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Thought Creation

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