Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's Not Just That There's No You...

In recent discussions, the notion of 'best direct pointers' has come up often. While accuracy of language and phrasing is entirely subjective and without a final truth to be landed upon, the question has led to an examination and refinement in the phrasing I use.  Let's take a look.  
Which pointer do you find more helpful in opening your mind up to a line of inquiry...

1.  There is no you.
2.  There is no tangible you.

I've used both, though feel that the first is more direct and effective.  But the second one is, for lack of a better word, more 'accurate'.

The problem with number 1 is that it can lead to a nihilistic view.  With number 2, the individual can try to work the concept of 'tangible' instead of working the concept of 'you'.  This has led to a pointing style in which I start off with "There is no you." and work into looking at how that phrase can be true when we compare tangible objects to the idea or concept of a self.  So we're looking at what is known to the five senses, and comparing that to what's ungraspable.

But that's only a first step, and with some, once the no(t) self insight comes,  I do further work on the nature of time and space, and then examine objects themselves.  This broader inquiry loosens the conceptual framework of that steadfast "I".

If I had to say which types of pointers reconcile the two statements made above, what's most true is this:

The YOU doesn't exist in the way it's assumed to.  There's no 'historical you', 'present you', or 'future you'.  There's no actual entity which lives through time and space, only thoughts which appear to pop up in time.  And thoughts appear just one at a time.

Ok, think about that.

Thoughts appear just one at a time.

This means that each time the 'I' or 'self' is referenced, it comes up, and then disappears along with the thought.

There is no entity moving from thought to thought.

But existing only within a single fleeting thought is not how humans see the self, even though that's actually the only way it can be said to Be.

Test this.  Thoroughly.

photo credit:  CommanderDex on Deviantart


  1. Hi Thassa. In addtion to "tangible" i try to use "intrinsic" or "inherent" or even "core" because, yeah, "there is no you" can be misunderstood to be nihilistic. There is no past, present,future or even, time. Nagarjuna already tore that up 2000 years ago.

    richard b

    1. I really like 'core'. That gets to the heart of it, doesn't it!

  2. I like tangible, because in this articulation of what's going on is that all there are, are collections of stories all of which are made up.

    they are not tangible in the sense that they are not a physical object like a desk or a chair (i know those two words are also concepts)

    Thanks Delma for this post. I also use There is no you a lot in my posts, but the "There is no tangible you" might be easier to bring up to a bystander rather than the more direct.

    Blessings to you missy,

    1. Thank you, Nick! LU uses 'separate self', which is think is even more useful than 'tangible self'. I do, however, think that there's room for both pointers within the same guiding session.


thanks for the thoughts...