If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

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RiceCake
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If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by RiceCake »

Hope everybody's doing well!

I've been reflecting alot on deconstructing the conventional Self, but something i cant get over is how we feel touch.
If this body isnt truly "me", why do i "feel" it? Wouldnt i be able to detach from the sensations of the body at will if its not me? Instead im stuck to it.

(This isnt a rhetorical question btw, i believe im likely ignorant to the ways its possible)
Thanks
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

NateLeo wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:36 pm Hope everybody's doing well!

I've been reflecting alot on deconstructing the conventional Self, but something i cant get over is how we feel touch.
If this body isnt truly "me", why do i "feel" it? Wouldnt i be able to detach from the sensations of the body at will if its not me? Instead im stuck to it.

(This isnt a rhetorical question btw, i believe im likely ignorant to the ways its possible)
Thanks
Ok then, see if you can find the I that feels the touch. Where is he located? Do you feel touch on "your arm"? If your arm is "yours", then it can't be the same as you, rather it's something owned by you, where is the you that owns the arm? Is he in the rest of your body? If he is in the rest of your body, how can he be the same I that feels the touch?

In short, if you feel you have a self that feels touch you can investigate this, and see what you find. The fact that stuff happens (like perceptions of self via touch) simply means that you perceive a conventional sense of self, which is not something Buddhism denies the existence of.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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KathyLauren
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by KathyLauren »

NateLeo wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:36 pmWouldnt i be able to detach from the sensations of the body at will if its not me?
It is, in fact, possible to detach from physical sensations. I have regular electrolysis sessions that would be much more painful if I didn't detach from the sensations. I am not 100% successful at it, but it is quite effective. Someone with better training and better mindfulness would be more successful. If my body was my self, I wouldn't be able to do it at all.

Om mani padme hum
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by muni »

We feel touch because mind-body are no separations? If not it is just a corps.

But there is clinging to appearances, and to body as self ( identification), because nature like it appears-is, we do not see. Therefore the body is perceived as real independent. We have this body due to clinging, I remember a saying.

But this body is now as well tool or vehicle to realize nature.

When conventional truth and ultimate are no separations = nature like it appears - is, is all inclusive. While no grasping, nothing can be separate, like the moon reflection in the water.

We can only now take care of all, even life is sometimes called dreamlike = all appear dependently in mind. Be careful in our dream.

As long as we live there is condition by body but this is for all of us, what opens compassion, for example by equalizing self-other, what reduces as well extremes ( me-you).

There are many explanations, Awaken Nature-Master can help with practices what fits the best. Because there are medicines for all, to reduce our suffering. Or may all be free of it!
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
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seeker242
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by seeker242 »

Because nerve endings transmit electrical signals to the brain. This doesn't have to do with self/non self. It's just biology/physiology
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

NateLeo wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:36 pm Hope everybody's doing well!

I've been reflecting alot on deconstructing the conventional Self, but something i cant get over is how we feel touch.
If this body isnt truly "me", why do i "feel" it? Wouldnt i be able to detach from the sensations of the body at will if its not me? Instead im stuck to it.

(This isnt a rhetorical question btw, i believe im likely ignorant to the ways its possible)
Thanks
“Deconstructing” is the big hurdle for most.
If you start with, “I am here, now let’s prove that I’m not here” you will have a very difficult time.
Buddhism doesn’t teach that there is a ‘self’ which doesn’t exist.
Buddhism teaches that nothing exists which can be called the ‘self’.
Those two sentences sound like two ways of saying the same thing, but they aren’t. If you can tell the difference, the hurdle will not be so great.

What you are asking about, is why the pain is still there
instead of asking who, where, and what is the “me” that is feeling the pain. In other words, although you think you are addressing the illusion of ‘self’ you are actually wondering why it is so hard to deny the reality of the physical sensation. But the physical sensation is made of miles of physical nerves and a physical brain. What is the concept “me” that you experience made of?



When you are sick, is your body sick, or is your mind sick?
When you are hungry, does your stomach need to be filled, or does your self-identity need to be filled?
When you are sleepy, is your self-esteem sleepy?
Right now, is there any sensation of feeling on the tip of your nose? On the top of your head? On your knees? If not, and “you” are the body, then why not?

...
Be kind.
muni
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by muni »

When you are sick, is your body sick, or is your mind sick?
When you are hungry, does your stomach need to be filled, or does your self-identity need to be filled?
:namaste:

I have chronical pain, okay the body...
Meditating with Physical Sensations can be a help, but we can use guidance.
To a large extent, our sense of identity is intimately connected with the physical body. In meditation, we learn to use the various pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral sensations in our bodies as supports for awareness. The aim of this exploration is not to change what we feel, but rather to observe how the mind and body interact. Eventually, we come to see that our mental state does not have to depend on our physical condition. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

muni wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:11 pm
When you are sick, is your body sick, or is your mind sick?
When you are hungry, does your stomach need to be filled, or does your self-identity need to be filled?
:namaste:

I have chronical pain, okay the body...
Meditating with Physical Sensations can be a help, but we can use guidance.
To a large extent, our sense of identity is intimately connected with the physical body. In meditation, we learn to use the various pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral sensations in our bodies as supports for awareness. The aim of this exploration is not to change what we feel, but rather to observe how the mind and body interact. Eventually, we come to see that our mental state does not have to depend on our physical condition. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
All of the body’s experiences are coded in the brains neurotransmitters. It is awareness that experiences these brain impulses as sensation.
Be kind.
shankara
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by shankara »

seeker242 wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:43 pm Because nerve endings transmit electrical signals to the brain. This doesn't have to do with self/non self. It's just biology/physiology
This is just a Materialist theory, it's no more tenable than an Idealist one. An extreme, in fact.
SilenceMonkey
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by SilenceMonkey »

There are touch sensations because that's how the body is made up. The self comes in with how we instinctively respond to the sensations: attachment or aversion -- sense of clinging! "We" react. But the "you" feeling comes from a shadow in the mind, something that isn't actually there. Without this "me" the sensation is just bare contact. No mind games... no suffering...

So, no self means we won't suffer from the things that happen to us. We could get our arm chopped off by a sword and the mind won't freak out one bit. The aggregates may experience pain, but there will be no dukkha because the mind is completely free from clinging.
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SonamTashi
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by SonamTashi »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:47 pm
NateLeo wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:36 pm Hope everybody's doing well!

I've been reflecting alot on deconstructing the conventional Self, but something i cant get over is how we feel touch.
If this body isnt truly "me", why do i "feel" it? Wouldnt i be able to detach from the sensations of the body at will if its not me? Instead im stuck to it.

(This isnt a rhetorical question btw, i believe im likely ignorant to the ways its possible)
Thanks
Ok then, see if you can find the I that feels the touch. Where is he located? Do you feel touch on "your arm"? If your arm is "yours", then it can't be the same as you, rather it's something owned by you, where is the you that owns the arm? Is he in the rest of your body? If he is in the rest of your body, how can he be the same I that feels the touch?

In short, if you feel you have a self that feels touch you can investigate this, and see what you find. The fact that stuff happens (like perceptions of self via touch) simply means that you perceive a conventional sense of self, which is not something Buddhism denies the existence of.
This reminds me of when I was 7 or 8 years old and I asked my brother something like "is my arm me? Am I my arm?" And he just looked at me weird and said "of course not. Are you crazy?"
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:
fckw
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by fckw »

If I am me - why do I even distinguish between the one who is I and the one who is me?

Furthermore: If I have a body, why am I even distinguishing between the I as the owner of the body and the body as the owned of that owner? Aren't the two same thing?

It's like having an apple and calling it by two different names although it's exactly the same apple. Unless calling the apple by two different names demonstrates that the apple is actually not same when calling it by two different names.

Which then raises an interesting question: If calling a thing by different names, why should it become different? Does calling a thing by its name have a magical power to establish the thing in and by itself?

And so on.

If you get none of these points, then the recommendation is to first start with shamata and vipashyana practice. Once you've established that, then go back and ask the same questions while staying in a more subtle state of mind.
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seeker242
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by seeker242 »

shankara wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:41 pm
seeker242 wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:43 pm Because nerve endings transmit electrical signals to the brain. This doesn't have to do with self/non self. It's just biology/physiology
This is just a Materialist theory, it's no more tenable than an Idealist one. An extreme, in fact.
How is basic biology a theory? It is not a theory that nerve endings transmit electrical signals to the brain. It is an observable fact.
Wouldnt i be able to detach from the sensations of the body at will if its not me?
This is what's untenable because there is no basis to make that assumption to begin with.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by shankara »

seeker242 wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:12 pm
shankara wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:41 pm
seeker242 wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:43 pm Because nerve endings transmit electrical signals to the brain. This doesn't have to do with self/non self. It's just biology/physiology
This is just a Materialist theory, it's no more tenable than an Idealist one. An extreme, in fact.
How is basic biology a theory? It is not a theory that nerve endings transmit electrical signals to the brain. It is an observable fact.
Yes they have developed some knowledge about the effects of different neurochemicals and chemicals. But chemicals and matter don't explain consciousness, even if they do influence it. Consciousness is clearly not simply a product of matter.
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seeker242
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by seeker242 »

shankara wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:42 pm
seeker242 wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:12 pm
shankara wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:41 pm

This is just a Materialist theory, it's no more tenable than an Idealist one. An extreme, in fact.
How is basic biology a theory? It is not a theory that nerve endings transmit electrical signals to the brain. It is an observable fact.
Yes they have developed some knowledge about the effects of different neurochemicals and chemicals. But chemicals and matter don't explain consciousness, even if they do influence it. Consciousness is clearly not simply a product of matter.
Sure, but what does that have to do with self or non-self? It is not self/non-self that produces a sensation. Whether or not it's self/non-self is irrelevant. It is a sense organ and a sense object all coming together with consciousness that causes that to arise. Sensations don't arise just because of consciousness alone. If there is no coming together of those 3 things, then there is no sensation. Whether or not all those things are self or non-self isn't going to change that. Whether or not all those things are self or non-self isn't going to change anything when they do come together. Take the Buddha for example, perfect in every respect, no wrong views of anything whatsoever. All wrong notions of self/non-self have been abandoned. However, if he stepped on a sharp rock there is still going to be a tactile sensation, which means it doesn't have anything to do with self/non-self. Just because that process cannot be stopped at will by just anyone does not make it somehow self. It doesn't have anything to do with self/non-self. What does it have to do with then? A sense organ, AKA electrical signal and a sense object AKA rock and the associated consciousness. Now if a Buddha steps on a rock and senses a tactile sensation, what does he make of that? He doesn't make anything of that. It's just an electrical signal AKA sense organ coming together with a rock, sense object, and that's it, it's nothing more than that. The fact that there is also consciousness there is a given since it's obvious that consciousness is required to sense anything to begin with. Consciousness is clearly not simply a product of matter but matter is required in order for there to be a tactile sensation sensed by consciousness to begin with.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
shankara
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by shankara »

seeker242 wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:35 pm
shankara wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:42 pm
seeker242 wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:12 pm

How is basic biology a theory? It is not a theory that nerve endings transmit electrical signals to the brain. It is an observable fact.
Yes they have developed some knowledge about the effects of different neurochemicals and chemicals. But chemicals and matter don't explain consciousness, even if they do influence it. Consciousness is clearly not simply a product of matter.
Sure, but what does that have to do with self or non-self? It is not self/non-self that produces a sensation. Whether or not it's self/non-self is irrelevant. It is a sense organ and a sense object all coming together with consciousness that causes that to arise. Sensations don't arise just because of consciousness alone. If there is no coming together of those 3 things, then there is no sensation. Whether or not all those things are self or non-self isn't going to change that. Whether or not all those things are self or non-self isn't going to change anything when they do come together. Take the Buddha for example, perfect in every respect, no wrong views of anything whatsoever. All wrong notions of self/non-self have been abandoned. However, if he stepped on a sharp rock there is still going to be a tactile sensation, which means it doesn't have anything to do with self/non-self. Just because that process cannot be stopped at will by just anyone does not make it somehow self. It doesn't have anything to do with self/non-self. What does it have to do with then? A sense organ, AKA electrical signal and a sense object AKA rock and the associated consciousness. Now if a Buddha steps on a rock and senses a tactile sensation, what does he make of that? He doesn't make anything of that. It's just an electrical signal AKA sense organ coming together with a rock, sense object, and that's it, it's nothing more than that. The fact that there is also consciousness there is a given since it's obvious that consciousness is required to sense anything to begin with. Consciousness is clearly not simply a product of matter but matter is required in order for there to be a tactile sensation sensed by consciousness to begin with.
Yeah good point... I just have some aversion to the whole reductionist idea that we are "just neurochemicals".
SilenceMonkey
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Self is the illusion. The rest are skandha.
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by muni »

All of the body’s experiences are coded in the brains neurotransmitters. It is awareness that experiences these brain impulses as sensation.
Thank you.
Consciousness is clearly not simply a product of matter but matter is required in order for there to be a tactile sensation sensed by consciousness to begin with.
Okay.

There is a story of a very famous Dzogchen master known as Tsangyang Gyatso. This great master was introducing the nature of mind, so he asked his students to go out to find their minds and then come back to him. One rather dull student went out and had great difficulty because he thought he was really going to find something solid. He looked for it again and again. At the end of the week as he was coming back on the last day, he saw a nice stone on the road. It was an interesting looking stone, so he thought to bring it back and say that it was his mind. Of course every student had a different message to share, but when it came to him he held up the small stone and said, “Great teacher, I think that this is my mind.” Tsangyang Gyatso immediately got up and pushed him, threw him on the ground, and beat him. Then the student pleaded, “Master, please don’t beat me!” “Why?” asked the master. “Because it hurts,” he said. “Who hurts?” asked the master. At that moment, the student recognized the emptiness nature of his mind and later became a very famous practitioner.
Khenpo Rinpoches.
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: If the body isnt Self, why do we feel touch?

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

i always wondered, if i cut a thirtika just in half ¿wich half would contain "his self"?
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