Re: virus: self and speech

JakeHarvey (
Fri, 26 Dec 1997 15:07:56 EST

<<Marie L. Foster wrote:
> However, to truly accept that one must give up the idea of *I*. I
> contend that no one here, other than myself, seems ready to relinquish
> that most fundamental faith...

to use the word "I" in a sentance condemning people for not
abandoning the concept of Self is certainly a bit ironic.

it *does* appear that Self is not anything which can be located or
percieved (and is thus is not a description of the world but a retreat
from it) -- but, if this is so, *why is it* that not a single thinker in
history has succeeded in abolishing the self/other distinction from
their *speech* as well as their thought?

can this be simply a matter of habit?

this task -- of abolishing the Self in speech -- has been actively
running itself through my brain over the past weeks. are there any
ideas, in the amassed brains of this list, which can add some
metaphorical fuel to this process?>>

I oppose the abolition of the Self in speech or otherwise. "I" is a word that
refers to the self, which in turn is the center of perception and is
maintained through the combined activities of self-reference and perception.
"I" is also a meta-convention that supports such helpful conventions as
initiative and taking responsibility.

The importance of this meta-convention has led some to create delusions,
myths, and supernaturalisms such as the soul and karma to prop up and add
persuasive strength to the "I". IMO, while these do enforce adherance to the
concept and meta-convention, they also can undermine the useful conventions
that the meta-convention supports, (things like initiative and taking

Therefore, I accept the concept, but reject the delusional props. I will
cease to exist as an individual center of perception, thought, and activity
when I die. There will be no soul to go to heaven or hell and no stream of
karma that lives on through my death.

I am an individual as a cell within a larger organism. My existance is
eternal only to the degree that the greater organism endures. I strive to act
selflessly only to the extent that the organism actually benefits, and I
strive to act selfishly only to the extent that I maximize things like
initiative and responsibility.

I don't percieve anyone participating in this discussion that seems willing to
"give up the idea of *I*". I hope no one does. IMO anyone that is "ready to
relinquish that most fundamental faith..." is someone that is ready act
irresponsibly. On the other extreme I view someone who obsesses about such
things as soul or enduring karma, as someone who may be deluding themselves
out of taking initiatives and responsibility.

I am not in favor of promoting delusions, but I am in favor of utilities which
promote an enduring civilization. For the long run, which extends beyond the
horizon of my own death and my concievable heirs, I can think of nothing else
worthwhile other than that civization should endure.



<< to use the word "I" in a sentance condemning people for not
abandoning the concept of Self is certainly a bit ironic.>>

Yes, ironic and perhaps almost inevitable.

<< can this be simply a matter of habit? >>

Some habits are good habits. Some are even crucial. Very few things are
"simply" anything. But yes, I think it is a habit.