Author Topic: Not knowing who you are  (Read 2309 times)

Hazmatac

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Not knowing who you are
« on: October 12, 2008, 09:50:35 AM »
Is it normal to feel like you don't know who you are? That happened to me. I felt like I knew nothing about me, and it was kind of discouraging. Any thoughts?

Rob

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Not knowing who you are
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 12:29:48 PM »
Rob

Was this in meditation? The Buddha's teachings say we do not really know "who we are". They say that we unconsciously identify with so many things, experiences, people and aspects of our inner and outer worlds we have no clue as to who we really are.

It is quite common to experience moments of emptiness even early on the meditative path, just being, not being anything but just being. Is this the sort of experience you are talking of or something else?

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Hazmatac

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Re: Not knowing who you are
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 09:43:01 PM »
No, it was a bad state of mind, feeling like I know nothing. Not really a feeling of 'just being'.

pamojjam

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Re: Not knowing who you are
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 10:23:57 PM »
Hi Rob,

still don't understand if your described way of seeing things happened in meditation or some other way..

However, in continued vipassana meditation it's quite natural that one's usual cosy sense of self gets shattered. And that feels really scary and unpleasant to that something (or might it even be nothing?) - now we barely know anything about.

These are natural stages of insight, though not in the sense of climbing a later - but feeling more like losing every ground. In ancient times these stages got much telling names like: stage of fear, ..terror ..disgust... But continuing investigation you might start to understand interrelatedness and become less dependent on something own.

Therefore, if such experiences arise naturally due to investigation as in vipassana - it's ok :-) As they arise on certain conditions, so they will pass.

So do even deeper abysses you might still have to face.

The very best ...

Hazmatac

  • Member
Re: Not knowing who you are
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 02:17:14 AM »
yes it was a part of a meditation. I meditated for a period of 10 minutes then soon after that 20 minutes. My normal time is usually just 10 minutes without going for that additional 20, so it probably is something that came from the meditation. Just a weird state of mind.

Rob
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 02:22:17 AM by Hazmatac »

Hazmatac

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Re: Not knowing who you are
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2008, 08:19:40 AM »
Update: My anxiety about this has diminished. I'm pretty ok now.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Not knowing who you are
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2008, 09:43:53 AM »
Rob - very glad to hear that. I think Pamojjam gave you some good information. It is quite usual, quite normal to have strange experiences and strange states of mind as you meditate. If you continue returning to the breath and working with equanimity and calm in meditation towards these manifestations they usually pass or grow into something informative.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

REALIZINGdotME

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Re: Not knowing who you are
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2008, 10:03:06 PM »
Congrats Hazmatac, in meditation, just as in cognitive and other therapy, the ego-self will fight back once it starts feeling threatened. It is a natural and healthy reaction. It also means that you are making progress in cutting the ties that are binding you. Not all reactions are supposed to be 'pleasant', in fact, they aren't supposed to be anything other than what they are. Please don't feel threatened by your mind's reaction.

When the mind speaks to you, it does so in images and symbols. Just as a feeling or vision of death is actually symbolic of a change in your life (rebirth), the feeling that you don't know who you 'really are' could be your subconscious working on the issue and those symbols are bubbling up to the surface. Once your conscious mind gets involved, things can get mis-translated because the subconscious and conscious minds speak different languages.

I believe that if you sit for a while and follow your thoughts, starting with imagining basking in the feelings that you're describing, that your misunderstanding will abate.

 

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