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good self, bad self

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good self, bad self
Answer
2/12/12 8:30 PM
So long as you have an ego operating, the following seems to be true:

-- Negative (painful) experiences make you feel like a bad person. Eg. Loss, trauma, abuse, etc.

-- Positive (joyful, happy) experiences make you feel like a good person. Eg. Gain, love, friendship, fame, recognition, etc.

In childhood, a painful event will automatically be interpreted as “my fault”, even if it is something seemingly impersonal like a lightning strike causing the house to burn down. I assume this is because ego defenses have not formed properly. Whereas an adult would employ any number of ego defenses to help lessen the blow ("it's just bad luck, at least insurance will cover it"), the child cops the full brunt, so it's more obvious how this mechanism is working. Bad experience => I am bad. But I'm sure the very same process happens in adults, just better hidden.

I just don't see the link. Is it cognitive or emotional or both or something else? How does one go from *bad experience* to "I am bad"? What's the link there?

Is it a cognitive link such as: "bad things happen to bad people" or some sort of belief in a rational, orderly and fair universe where people who are basically good will be looked after?? If so, is this the grand daddy of all ego defenses, or do bad things in fact happen to bad people? We live in a world where horrible things could strike anybody at any time - isn't that the reality we are trying to avoid? Or is there some order to it?

Thanks.

RE: good self, bad self
Answer
2/12/12 9:06 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Thanks Nick. Is the link something to do with karma perhaps?

According to the seed that’s sown,
So is the fruit you reap therefrom,
Doer of good will gather good,
Doer of evil, evil reaps,
Down is the seed and thou shalt taste the fruit thereof.
—Saṃyutta Nikāya

Because I find this distasteful. A universe that would create humans who are basically ignorant and prone to making mistakes, who will do what they need to survive, and pay a price for it. A universe that says "follow the rules mate, or I'll make you suffer. The only way out is to do what I tell you... and by the way, my rules are very hard to understand and implement, so work hard". It's like you're a teacher in charge of looking after a kid with autism who doesn't know what he's doing and who goes off the rails very easily.... and you just bash him till he learns to do things your way.

RE: good self, bad self
Answer
2/13/12 12:12 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Nick, you say "Our own ignorance at fault", but if the separate self is illusion (and capable of nothing of any significance), then it must be the universe that created this mass human ignorance. I didn't create my ignorance any more than I created my own birth. Why did the universe create mass ignorance (and hence suffering) - for fun?

I've only one tiny little understanding of the world, and that is that good things seem to happen when you feel good, and bad things tend to happen when you feel bad. This was something I read a long time ago, but I've since experienced it hundreds of times in different settings and seen it operating in others. That's my claim to fame as far as knowing what we are all doing here. Not much is it?

RE: good self, bad self
Answer
2/13/12 5:06 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Nick, you say "Our own ignorance at fault", but if the separate self is illusion (and capable of nothing of any significance), then it must be the universe that created this mass human ignorance.

Of course it was the universe that created this 'mass human ignorance'!!!! Why do you even explicitly state so unless you think otherwise? What else would create the ignorance? You? Who's that?

C C C:
I didn't create my ignorance any more than I created my own birth.

What 'I'? Why did you not create your ignorance? Was it not the universe that created ignorance? And if the universe created the ignorance, doesn't that mean you created it? If you believe otherwise, then you believe in the separate self illusion.

C C C:
Why did the universe create mass ignorance (and hence suffering) - for fun?

Why not? The universe doesn't care! It's not a Self, neither are you, and you're not separate from the universe - you and the universe are the same. And since the universe doesn't suffer and you're not separate from the universe, you don't suffer either, except that you do, so the universe suffers too.


*


C C C:
I've only one tiny little understanding of the world, and that is that good things seem to happen when you feel good, and bad things tend to happen when you feel bad.

Are you confusing cause and effect? Does good things seem to happen when you feel good, or do you feel good when good things happen?