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Is God Identical to Brahman?

1. Both Western and Eastern traditions, in their mystical variants, talk about the 'true self' verses the 'false self', which might be described as the 'ego'--that conglomeration of sensations and associations about ourselves as a subject and the world as an object. Both encourage finding, as it were, the true self (getting past the false self). In this context, how might we characterize the 'true self'? What do you think about this idea?

2.Philosophically, is God Identical to Brahman?:

Given the many attributes that are said to belong to Brahman, could the Judeo-Christian/Islamic notion of God allow it to be considered identical to God? Similar? Why or why not?

3.In its classic form, the problem of evil (POE) is an argument against the existence of God that goes something like this:

1. Evil exists.
2.God exists.
3. God is: a) all knowing b) all powerful & c)all good.
4. If 3a), God would know evil exists.
5. If 3b), God would be able to do something about it.
6. If 3c), God would want to do something about it.
7. Since it still exists, then either 2) is false or one of 3a,b, or c, is false.

Of course, theologians and philosophers have tried to find a way around this problem so that 1-6 remain true and 7 false.

Of the many Western solutions presented in the unit, which one is most compelling, why? Or are any of
the solutions compelling? What are their particular strengths or weaknesses?

Thank you.

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RESPONSE:

Let's take a closer look at these interesting philosophical questions. I also attached an informative article on the self.

1. Both Western and Eastern traditions, in their mystical variants, talk about the 'true self' verses the 'false self', which might be described as the 'ego'--that conglomeration of sensations and associations about ourselves as a subject and the world as an object. Both encourage finding, as it were, the true self (getting past the false self). In this context, how might we characterize the 'true self'? What do you think about this idea?

The true self is the exact opposite of the false self. The false self emergent disables the true self, which goes into hiding, and in extreme cases (mental disorders) never emerges except through intense therapy. It is a person's true character. However, there are different ways to conceptualize the true self.

Let's first look at what the true self in not-the false self- which can result in being diagnosed with disorders at their extremes.

In a book called "The Shadows and Echoes of Self--The False Self Born Out of the Core Wound of Abandonment in Borderline Personality Disorder?investigates the root cause of the false self in BPD. Included is a comprehensive look at the similarities and differences between Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The author, Mahari dives into the subject of cultural narcissism as a backdrop for the narcissism housed within BPD exploring the reality that narcissism -and it false self. Mahari explores various archetypes and myths aimed at increasing the readers understanding of narcissism in a cultural context of Western focus on individualism and ego.

With reference to Plato's Myth of the Cave and Jung's Shadow Self, Mahari defines and paints an accurate picture of the false self of BPD, its pathological narcissism, and its need for narcissistic defense mechanisms (e..g, I am the best; look at me) and the effect that this has internally for those with BPD and externally for those around them - non borderlines. Mahari knows from personal experience that it is only by becoming aware of one's borderline "false self?and its pathological narcissism that those with BPD can then do the work of uncovering and finding the lost authentic 'true?self. The authentic self that was lost to the core wound of abandonment in early childhood. This is the road to recovery for those with BPD. It must first begin with a mindful and radically accepting awareness and understanding of the borderline false self and its bubble of narcissism. (http://phoenixrisingpublications.ca/item.php?itemId=36&category=22)

People range between "a little wounded" or "very wounded," depending on (a) our social environment and situation, (b) how many subselves are vying to control us, and (c) how often they disable our true Self.

TRUE SELF BEHAVIORAL TRAITS

So, what is the true self?

The true self does not need defense mechanisms to hide from others. The true self accepts both the person's strengths and weaknesses and can openly admit its wrongs without shame and embarrassment. The true self allows us the freedom to fell, to make mistakes and to live without the need to hide behind the 'false self?and defenses.

Some identified behaviroal traits of the true self:

? Alert, awake, aware
? Generally "up" and "light," (mood)
? Usually realistically optimistic
? Focused, clear, and centered
? Compassionate, kind, forgiving
? Firm, strong, confidant, purposeful
? Calm, serene, peaceful
? Usually has a wide-angle, focus - accepts delayed gratification
? Balances long and short-term payoffs
? Usually patient, persistent, committed long range
? Appreciative, grateful, "glass half-full"
? Empathic, sensitive, genuinely
? Spiritually open, aware, "connected," receptive, growing
? Consistently self-nurturing without egotism
? Genuine, honest, open, direct
? Respectfully assertive
? Socially engaged and active
? Physically healthy: balanced diet, exercise, work and rest; gets preventive checkups
? Spontaneously expressive of all emotions real-time, without major anxiety or guilt
? Able to form with genuine bonds with others
? Able to judge who to dis/trust with what
? Realistically self-responsible
? Usually realistic about life and situations
? Spontaneously able to exchange love
? Comfortable receiving merited praise
? Often able to forgive self and others
? Frequently includes others in his or her "awareness bubble?
? Seldom gives double messages
? Able to grief losses spontaneously
? Seeks ...

Solution Summary

This solution addresses the three questions in some detail e.g. 'true self' verses the 'false self'; is God Identical to Brahman, and the problem of evil.

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