What It’s Self?

According to an online dictionary:

A person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

“Our alienation from our true selves”


Ego, I, oneself, persona, person, identity, character, personality, psyche, soul, spirit,mind, (inner) being

“Listen to your inner self”

The self is an individual person as the object of his or her own reflective consciousness. This reference is necessarily subjective, thus self is a reference by a subject to the same subject. The sense of having a self – or self-hood – should, however, not be confused with subjectivity itself.

There is a directness outward from the subject that refers inward, back to its “self”

A curious state of affairs, who, or what it’s this subjective Self?

Who is this mind who talks within ourselves, and we call the “I”?

A subjective me, separated  from my physical person, who can only be witnessed, and listened by myself, and no one else?

There are psychiatric conditions where such ‘sameness’ is broken include depersonalization, which sometimes occur in schizophrenia: the self appears different to the subject.

Schizophrenics they may hear ‘voices’ within themselves diffrent from their self.

Are You Talking To Me

Who we are, as a different , but particular individual, it’s not our subjective Self, but a given condition of existence.

Our name, sex, parents, city, and country we are born, or live, religion, economy, school, friends, occupation, work, profession, wife, husband, relatives, friends, factors that marked our physical identity given by genetics, and ancestors, geography, and what not.

None of them the it’s real Self, but circumstantial conditions given at birth, and the subsequent life story we live by such limiting configurations, all simply circumstantial, or happenstance of one kind, or another one, supposedly planed, or not, since we didn’t choose the initial conditions of existence, and the consequence of the many struggles we go through as individuals to establish the identity of our own choosing, sometimes contrary as to what others perceive as a given.

Counting Out Play

Although subjective experience is central to self-hood, the privacy of this experience is only one of many problems in the philosophical and scientific study of consciousness.

Personal Story

Well, at an early age, I was six, or seven years of age, when I heard an older friend talking about a philosophy class, he had and the teacher expounded on Buddhism about the Three marks of existence. In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkhaṇa; Sanskrit: trilakṣaṇa) of all existence and beings, what we namely call impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anattā).

And the five Skandhas (Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi) means “heaps, aggregates, The five aggregates or heaps are: form (or matter or body) (rupa), sensations (or feelings, received from form) (vedana), perceptions (samjna), mental activity or formations (sankhara), and consciousness (vijnana).

India Spirituality and Wisdom

The skandhas aggregates, as a concept, in contradistinction to the idea of a unified “being or individual”, and complements the Anatta doctrine of Buddhism, which asserts that all things and beings are without self. The ornate and “five aggregates” doctrines are part of the liberating knowledge in Buddhism, wherein one realizes that the “being” is merely made up of a temporary grouping of five aggregates,  inferences due to our five senses, who produce the illusion of a Self, each of which are “not I, and not myself”, and each of the skandhas is empty, without substance.

Now, of course all this explained in more simple terms by my friend, and very likely his teacher, as well, since my friend was nine, or ten years of age at the time, like pain,  suffering, and death being a given of existence, and our attachment to existence.

Remove Ego

Via Positiva Vs Via Negativa

Of course to those easily confused by the many Ways that exist I may refer you to a post I wrote on May 2012 titled: Via Positiva Via Negativa, and remind you form it’s emptiness, and emptiness it’s form, the difference it’s in the eye of the beholder.

The third century Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna taught, “Emptiness wrongly grasped is like picking up a poisonous snake by the wrong end.”  In other words, we will be bitten!

Emptiness is not complete nothingness; it doesn’t mean that nothing exists at all. This would be a nihilistic view contrary to common sense. What it does mean is that things do not exist the way our grasping self supposes they do.

Ramana Maharshi

In order of brevity, and not to make this post a treaty that would take many books, I will expose the simple, but profound words of the Ramana Maharshi, who was a Hindu sage and Jivanmukta. He was born as Venkataraman Iyer, but is most commonly known by the name Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. His message was simple, easily to understand, but with great wisdom.  Though Ramana’s answers explain and incorporate elements from Advaita Vedanta, his spiritual life is strongly associated with Shaivism.


Although many claim to be influenced by him, Ramana Maharshi did not publicize himself as a guru, never claimed to have disciples, and never appointed any successors.While a few who came to see him are said to have become enlightened through association,  he did not publicly acknowledge any living person as liberated other than his mother at death. Ramana never promoted any lineage.

I do not hold any particular Spiritual Path, to be better, than another one, neither claim to be this, or that, I am of the thought we all Men or Women come in all different guises, and likes, and dislikes, a Spiritual Path it’s unique to the individual, and it’s my firm belief that the problem, it’s not that there’s too many Religions, but too few, each person should be a Temple of the Light into his/her own heart, and have each their own, and unique Way, and should recognizes Universally Self, in every being. That by the way, according to Ramana Maharshi It’s the test, that confirm a person it’s an enlightened Being.

Rishi Vyasa

“Inquiring within Who is the seer? I saw the seer disappear leaving That alone which stands forever. No thought arose to say I saw. How then could the thought arise to say I did not see.” R.M.

“I cannot show you God or enable you to see God because God is not an object that can be seen. God is the subject. He is the seer. Don’t concern yourself with objects that can be seen. Find out who the seer is” R.M.

“When the identification with the body stops, any notions about death and rebirth become inapplicable, since there is no birth or death within Self.”  R.M.

Reincarnation exists only so long as there is ignorance. There is really no reincarnation at all, either now or before. Nor will there be any hereafter. This is the truth.


“O learned one if the mind going inside come backs again outside, it’s only called practice; knowledge it’s a very unfailling experience.” R.M.

“Realization it’s nothing to be gained anew. You are the Self. You are already and eternally That.” R.M.

There is never a moment when the Self is not; it is ever present, here and now. If Realization were something to be gained hereafter, there would be an equal chance of its being lost; this cannot be Liberation, which is eternal.” R.M.

“Investigate the nature of the mind and it will disappear. When you inquire to see what it is, you find there is no such a thing as mind. When the mind has vanished, you realize eternal Peace.” R.M.

“We need not acquire anything new, only give up false ideas and useless accretions. Instead of doing this, we try to grasp something strange and mysterious because we believe happiness lies elsewhere. This is the mistake.” R.M.

“Birds , and all caged pets are waiting for an opportunity to fly, or run out of their cages. Ramana remarks:

All want to rush out. There is no limit to going out. When happiness lies within and not without.”

Happiness Lies Within


About theburningheart

This entry was posted in Advaita Vedanta, Direct Spiritual Experience, Hinduism, Impermanence, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Knowing Self, Knowledge, Personal Story, Ramana Maharshi, Realization, Reincarnation, Shaivism, Siddha, Spirituality, Teaching, Transcendence, Transformation, Uncategorized, Via Positiva Vs Via Negativa and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. B says:

    YES. Wonderfull post. More people need to share in these words & moreover embibe them.
    This is the solution to all the supposed tumult in people’s lives. “Upon this realization, all good qualities spontaneously arise” R.M.

  2. Very interesting and thought provoking post.

  3. Lwbut says:

    “We need not acquire anything new, only give up false ideas and useless accretions. Instead of doing this, we try to grasp something strange and mysterious because we believe happiness lies elsewhere. This is the mistake.” R.M.Giving up false ideas and useless accretions that we have fought hard to gain over half a century is never easy.” 🙂

    But i’m working on it. 😉

    We are all projections of God the seer, encased in our own misperceptions that are often refelected to us in the form of others and/or our own introspections..

    That pretty much sums up what i meant by “God is within you.”

    Thank you for the fine post. 🙂

    • theburningheart says:

      In a way, there’s nothing to learn, actually it’s reversing the process the difficult thing, is unlearning what we had learnt!

      And see us as we really are, already.

      Thank you Bob, we appreciate your great comment. 🙂

      • Lwbut says:

        So – going back to a fresh beginning rather than moving forward to a ‘better’ understanding?

        “…except you become as a little child you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven”.

        Difficult…. if you ‘Think’ about it! 😉

        Thank you kindly for your sagacious comments.

      • theburningheart says:

        Yes, more like getting rid of things, rather, than acquire new ones, especially getting rid of that pesky little monkey we carry in our heads chatting all the time!
        Who with his constant noise, jumps, tricks, coming and going doesn’t give us a chance to hear, or see things clearly.

        Yes, practice it’s required.

        Take care Bob, blessings. 🙂

      • Lwbut says:

        Much appreciated! 🙂

  4. Ladegis says:

    I read with interest your posts. Enjoyed your opinion: and it’s my firm belief that the problem, it’s not that there’s too many religions, but too few,

  5. foodinbooks says:

    I read somewhere that the awareness of self is what differentiates us from any other living creature. I like the idea of getting to the point of Enlightenment where we can completely separate our ego and our wants from our concept of self. I don’t think it’s possible but it’s always a good thing to work toward. I also like the idea of everything being present at all times particularly when it comes to death and rebirth. My mother died recently and the thought of her still being somewhere, just in another realm, is very comforting. As always, your posts are fascinating and always make me think. Thank you and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, if you celebrate it. 😊

  6. theburningheart says:

    First, let me express my late condolences, about your Mother, losing our Mother it’s always a watershed moment in our lives, regardless of our relationship with her, I left home at seventeen, and never returned, but for sporadic, and far apart, and too brief visits after, however as years pass by her memory made me wish I should have been a better son, than I was.

    The process of realizing who we really are, it’s simpler than most people think it’s, but of course it requires a practice, even if at the end of the day you sit quietly, and in peace, not doing anything special, but on the contrary trying to not think on anything, for a few minutes, in time, you will find slowly who you are. 🙂

  7. selizabryangmailcom says:

    I’m fascinated, first of all, that your slightly older friend around nine or so was having such deep discussions with anybody! At nine or so, all I was concerned about was learning how to ride a bike and read adventure books from the library.

    It wasn’t until much later, after being depressed for many years starting in high school and into college, that a mentor of mine old me to read Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. I’m sure you’re aware of both, and that Gurdjieff said human beings are essentially “reaction machines”. So I spent many years after that trying to “be aware of myself”, like to realize when I was reacting to a comment from someone, good or bad, the weather, what thoughts or emotions would well up for any reason: where were they from and why?

    My efforts have been sporadic at best, nonexistent at worst. It’s hard work, trying to get past ideas of “self” and to arrive somewhere beyond. Although it’s comforting to know that it can be done. I guess consistency is key. Thank you for your post! It’s an inspiration and a nice little kick-in-the-butt reminder.

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, there’s a saying: God created them all, but then they get together with who they like, and are equals.
      As a child because my thoughtful nature, I tended to gravitate towards older, and wiser companions. And grew up debating, and arguing, more than playing. If you remember at school, or in your neighborhood, you found all kinds of characters, and you made friends with those you shared affinities.

      Yes I read both, long time ago.

      But things are simpler, we all already are in possession of true Self, it’s not acquiring these, that, or those, that will bring us to true Self, there’s many methods out there, and all of them require practice, after a while you may hit the proper one that will bring you to the realization it’s not a process of acquiring, but of getting rid of things, specially ideas, and the worst, that little chatting monkey we carry on our heads, and never stop talking!

      Until there’s real peace, and silence within us, then simply Self will shine in us.

      Thank you Stacey for your comment, we appreciate it. 🙂

  8. henrywest says:

    As always Outstanding!

  9. Roy Lando says:

    I love this topic. Not too long ago, I joined a group called Theosophical Society and always, the topic of conversation is self, ego, nothingness, illusion, transformation and the like. Very good post. Thank you.

  10. J.D. Riso says:

    “ each person should be a Temple of the Light into his/her own heart, and have each their own, and unique Way, and should recognizes Universally Self, in every being.” — this is exactly how I feel, too. When I was younger I tried to follow different faiths/philosophies, but just couldn’t do it. Pieces of them can be triggers, but following one religiously just isn’t for me. All of my major breakthroughs have come from the expanding emptiness within. I love the idea of each individual being his/her own Temple of Light. I think I’m going to borrow that idea 😉Brillant work, sir, as always.

    • theburningheart says:

      Ina way that’s the real purpose of every Human being, and every thing in existence, to be a receptacle of the Divine, and carry that Light with us, most people forget, or are unaware of it.

      Thank you Julie, for your nice comment, blessings. 🙂

  11. Paulina 007 says:

    who we are? where we come from? 😉 it’s the biggest mistery indeed!!! where are we heading? love this article and hoping for a revisit;-) Paulina from Poland, the passionate traveller

  12. oldpoet56 says:

    Very good article, a bit long but still very good. I am going to reblog this one for you.

  13. it’s very interesting!

  14. The biggest mystery of them all. Thank you for this very interesting post, raising a lot of poignant questions about who we are.

  15. sherazade says:

    Un lavoro complesso È per quello che ho potuto leggere molto ben strutturato.


  16. The biggest mystery!
    l have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award 🙂

  17. Yes, clarifying the view, cleaning off the dust. I also stick to the idea that we know everything about ourselves and about the universe and about anything in it via our subconsciousness just like our cells know everything about our body, they know their part function and goal, it is just a bit larger scale when it comes to human subconsciousness.
    It was a complex article, it would take me many hours to think about it.
    I’m getting ready to see a surgeon tomorrow, therefore, I leave it at: very interesting points.

    • theburningheart says:

      Yes, the subconscious, even if it has been explored by some, in a quasi-scientific approach by mostly psychologist, still lacks the seriousness given to other studies. The idea of the subconscious as a powerful or potent agency has allowed the term to become prominent in New Age and self-help literature,

      In my opinion, a good and, also a not so good thing, since many unscrupulous people are given to the task of exploiting people right, and left.

      In addition, critics have asserted that the evidence provided is usually anecdotal and that, because of the self-selecting nature of the positive reports, as well as the subjective nature of any results, these reports are susceptible to confirmation bias and selection bias.

      But I am with you, not in the belief, but in the knowledge, that there is a vast unexplored richness, far beyond of what we got today, given by practices, as the one that the Ramana Maharshi, talks about.

      Thank you Inese for your fine comment, we appreciate it.

  18. Alessandra says:

    We have to free the mind from the chatty monkey, this sounds like good advice … Congratulations on the interesting topics and forgive my bad English.

    • theburningheart says:

      Yes, that pesky, little chatterbox monkey if you let him run free, inside your head, will ruin your life.

      Thank you Alessandra for your comment, we appreciate it. 🙂

  19. dourdan says:

    very profound ideas. My grandma was a devout christian which caused my Dad to want to explore Asian religions and philosophies.

    So this brought back fond memories.

    • theburningheart says:

      I kind of smile about your father, nothing like growing up in a home with devoted people, to turn you away, from Religion, or make you explore other alternatives.

      Thank you Mary, you got a vivid imagination, keep polishing it. 🙂

  20. John Hodgen says:


    • theburningheart says:

      John you forgot to supply me with your email address, and this is a private business I cannot deal with it here, in the blog.

  21. Thanks for liking my original s am the only person on the whole planet who s put original cinema 35mm Bruce Lee game of death fist of fury enter the Dragon way of the Dragon green hornet the running man hard target all different 35mm flim reel cell s for fans I get no fun out of keeping Legacy s Alive kind of sucks now year’s and year’s keeping Legacy s Alive took a year’s break of glad you like,

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