To Self Or Not To Self, that is a question.

Since my favorite topic seems to have to do with my self, and with my selving, and it turns out even selving process more generally, I explicitly create a blog for related musings, immersions, obsessings, and curiosities.

By placing it as a Blog, I sort of give my self permission to hang a lot out there without obvious identification for integral, post-metaphysical, or spirituality. Hah.

Other people, you, may respond or place your own musings that may be stimulated in your self.

May I have the courage for honest revelation of the extent of my self-concern and involvement that waxes and perhaps graciously wanes, goes all gross and perhaps subtle, turgid and lightish through my sense of, well, self, and world.

May I, dear All, not embarrass or shame myself to the point of feeling and experiencing intense degrees of what self's very structure may have been largely designed to avoid and mitigate.

Hah, indeed.

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Comment by Ambo Suno on August 23, 2016 at 11:49am
It could be said that "self" is performance art.

Some of self, that might also be labeled 'persona', is adornment, vestment, costume, mask, visual flourish.

The value of the self is often judged by its performance by one's own self and by others. It's an art to play within that inevitable game and cultural circumstance while still retaining some sense of individual value and the many other required psycho-social navigations.

Some small thing like that.
Comment by Ambo Suno on August 15, 2016 at 9:59am
Hi again Edwyrd and others - I just listened to another presentation by Evan Thompson that was succinct and very resonant with the more vague way that I have been coming to understand how we function and how we are.
https://youtu.be/OJHCae1liAI

Though the particular topic of focused interest was "mindfulness", he expanded large and well on why *context* matters so much. To do that he laid out in a little over 20 minutes how acknowledging the reality and usefulness of addressing conceptions of mindfulness through the science [and I'll add, growing 'common sense' around understanding ourselves and our situations and conditions] of embodied cognition.

One term and developed concept that was new to me was "looping effect" that relates to how far and quickly afield we can become, how lost in images, figures, representations, metaphors, framings, and increasingly complex reifications of such, we can become. The image of a looping effect comes especially close to my self-characterization of 'convoluted' and certainly complex or complicated.

CONTEXT. Of course this is big and he looked at it through four researched qualities. Embodiment, embeddedness, extendedness, enactiveness. I got more extravagant and said 'All' was context.

The "self", and my personal idiosyncratic selving, and my layers and angles on moments of meta-selving for apparent efforts at orienting and stabilizing my variously uncomfortable and agitated self, notices my loop d loops and almost-futility.

One of my favorite cultureal self-criticisms and apologies to use the modern psychological term, neurotic. I feel almost ok about being neurotic said since Woody Allen has made it almost fashionable :) Or, I'm a mess. And so on, with various styles and emotional valences.

Okay, okay, I'm pretty fucked up. But that's a story I might have to let go of as more of this global story of homo fucksapiens is unpacked by good smart people like Thompson. Hah :)

And so on.
Comment by Ambo Suno on August 12, 2016 at 5:21pm
(These blog comments do not have a feature for editing and I like to edit after I post rather Han break my flow-and-release. I see now that it will be easy to have the auto-editing function on iPad or computer to slip some silly and even contradictory words into the mix. Not entirely unlike my mind and self. Self as flawed structure/self as quirky process.)
Comment by Ambo Suno on August 12, 2016 at 5:17pm
The motivation for the blog thread on my self, and thereby, selfless and selving, seems mainly to be personal, subjective, phenomenological, and introspective.

As someone who has been moved, much of the movement cognitive, by integral theory of Ken Wilber and others, I of course often feel and understand that the contexts for self content and orienting-process is much larger. Apparently the contexts comprise All of life and kosmic conditions.

The immediate impetus for writing here probably will usually come from strong feeling-imbued, inner experiences that are state-of-mind-&-being imbued. Often the feelings, ideas, images, scripts arise in the early morning during my personal inner-care and self-attention time before beginning my overt daily activities.

I become aware of how constrained and influenced by memory, conditioning, recurring patterns of mind/body/plus self I am.

What I write may be memoir-like (as *memory* imbues impressions, interpretations and conclusions) though maybe very introspective and interior-detailed, less daily-scaled social activity-based reporting.

Apparently I feel I want now to purposefully re-orient myself towards the initial intentionality of this thread that is the revealing of these very personal-feeling subjective phenomena. It is very easy to go in different directions, and Hugh I can and may, I want to keep this space primarily for airing my idiosyncratic interiority. (I am likely not totally alone in all of this.)

I'll continue at this moment by saying I have studied some of the academic and psychological attention given to "self". Though I haven't stayed with great discipline and comprehensivity in studying "self", I think I have gotten some larger sense of much that has been studied and written about self. One of my self-critiques and self-criticisms is that I tend to be a bit of a dabbler - a positive way of describing this facet of self is that I am usually more interested in breadth, flow, and proportion of an experience or topic as it unfolds for me than great articulate detail. This is a big topic of interest for me about my self, as well. Because self criticism and feared outer criticism touches on the embarrassment, guilt, and shame that I alluded to in my introductory post is frequently associated with these stories I tell about myself, this is a powerful topic. I suspect that to varying degrees and qualities the powerful emotional moldings of self and personality and personae are, or werein early formative years, a part of many of us.

We may be unconscious of very much of this. Part of how we have been molded around criticism and greater threat and risk has come to be formed as mental strategies and patterns known as "psychological defenses." I can often see how constrained and tweaked and convoluted I have become within the complexity of inner defenses and self-formation consequences to how I and greater life came and come, co-exist and flow together.

See what I mean? This may be some of how I speak about, how I see and think I know my self and life.

When I get started I can be relatively lost in the details of my self-experience and thinking.

Enough for now. Sheesh. Fingers crossed. Ta daa.
Comment by Ambo Suno on August 12, 2016 at 5:36am
Comment by Ambo Suno on August 12, 2016 at 5:32am
Hi Edwyrd - I haven't read the book by Thompson, but did see video(s) of his presentation that you probably linked. I like his material a lot.

Because of that appreciation, the last photo I placed here was of his slide on two views of self, a neuro-reductive paradigm and a process/co-enactive one. I keep that image foreground for me because it is a good concise rather objective reminder.

http://api.ning.com/files/L6yK1d-njaZaEXd2AD4E7usAvEQZRcfQ*qVBTGsi45LVKz0rlymDDhaBHiSlPgyhgeS-37NDUVTmTcELbVV91jwODTrskyg*/EvanThompson2selfstories.png
Comment by Edwyrd theurj Burj on August 11, 2016 at 6:45pm

Did you read Thompson's book Waking, Being, Dreaming? Therein he talks a lot about the self from  traditional Buddhist and modern neuroscientific views, and then his own take. If not we have a thread on it here.

What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

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