General Discussions > Philosophy

Self, Selflessness and the infinite

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Wendyway2:
Why would it bother you to believe in God even if there can be no proof. The self however is not an infinite amount of electrons and neurons in orbit in it own universe. I would like for this discussion to think of the self as a slightly larger sphere around your body. That allows for the responses from the stimulus you feed it. Let's say the seven deadly sins of lust , greed,anger,sloath gluttony,denial and power are all very mental but also extremely physical as well. If you could send yourself messages,what would they be? Mine would be to stop running from or in fear. Let's say that sphere was able to define your gender. Would it be based on a  decision, or a choice in all likelihood probably not. Gender identity seems to cover all the answers to all the insecurities we faced. Granting yourself permission to self identify your gender may feel like a choice or decision,but has a great deal to do with how our thoughts are perceived, and how our thoughts are conceived. Now going back to that sphere of self, are we entirely in control of our feelings and emotions, or as with the release of oxygen permeating into this sphere can we say that gender, and self are concepts based on thoughts we have come to accept or reject. If so, then virtue in terms of gender identity, gender conformity and non conformity derive  more from our response to our thoughts as a stimulus that are giving us permission to experience self expression.?

Paul Muad-Dib:
Seems evident to me that we are not in control of our feelings and emotions but that they primarily spring from biological processes. We have some control over the conscious aspects but I do believe the majority of our self-expression is not consciously chosen. Which is ironic, considering the nature of the term and the idea of "self" - we tend to think of it as something highly personalized and therefore something over which we have personal mastery. I don't think we do. My experience of the transsexual phenomenon convinces me that we do not. The only choice I had there was whether or not to accept the compulsions I have as gendered in some way, and tailor my transition to that. It might indeed be incorrect that my brain is more male than female - but I will accept it as an approximation that fits better than living or considering myself female. It was also important when deciding to transition or not that I was not making the decision based on "wishful thinking", but that I was making it based on observations of experience that were not "of my own making". In other words that my gender identity was not a choice, because I apparently have no reason to want to choose it in the first place (i.e. I don't want to transition... transition isn't the desired object or outcome). I only want to alleviate the psychological incongruity caused by it. I established there isn't a choice to be subject to the internal compulsions - they are there regardless what I think or do. Interestingly I would say choosing to allow those through is clearly one form of self-expression, but then so are the uncontrollable compulsions an expression of who one 'really is' as well. 

KathyLauren:
As a Buddhist, I don't believe that the "self" is an entity that exists.  It is a mental construction, and the harder one looks for it, the harder it is to find.

Gender identity is based in the physical structure of the brain.  There are about half a dozen gendered areas of the brain, allowing individuals to be predominantly masculine, predominantly feminine, or a mixture.  Our thoughts are constrained by the structures of the brain. 

Just as an Apple computer doesn't run Microsoft Windows quite as efficiently as Apple software, so a feminine brain doesn't run masculine software as efficiently as feminine software.

I had no choice about being trans-feminine.  That was a physical reality imposed on me.  My only choice was to stop running the wrong software and reboot with the right software.

Wendyway2:
In my case my transition was more genetic than social. I followed my mother into her arms long aftet it was acceptable. I also honored my twin sister as my social role model. It is interesting that we are discussing Buddhism. I must say that when I vow to save sentient beings. I am really vowing to save my female self, and all of the female archetypes that reign in my spirit. What of a transgender Buddhist psychology it must come down to three paradigms that in liberation we will find happiness. That being male to female is not a goal to accept, and then realize, and that gender as it relates to sex is not a social constriction but rests in the spirit of infinite lives in the universe.

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