The Self Essay Research Paper The SelfIn

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The Self Essay, Research Paper The Self In a recent exercise in my small group class, my TA asked us to remain silent for a minute and a half and find and search for what makes us, us. I did my best to drown out my classmates, and the noise, and probed deep into my thoughts. I came up with a discouraging answer as to what makes me, me. It was an endless circle of my attributes, characteristics, and ancestry, and not very satisfying at all. So now I turn to what this class has taught me, at least in the past few months, to find out what self is, and to put it on paper. So now I will use my knowledge gained from the ancient cultures and religions to compare and contrast the idea of self. First I will look at the Hindu and Buddhist religions to see what they thought of the self

and its importance. I will continue by comparing their ideas to those of the Hebrews and the Greeks. Finally I will conclude with a discussion of the life suggested by the previous, and my own views of self. I believe that after this class I have a decent idea and grasp on the ideas of the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Their idea of self impresses and fascinates me, it gets my mind going. In the Hindu religion we get the first impression that self is not important. It is taught that everyday life and self are illusions and impale religious enlightenment. But at a second glance we see the importance of the deep self, the true way to achieve Brahman. The true self is called Atman, and when this is reached, you have achieved Brahman. You must sacrifice your ego to fulfill your

darmha, or purpose in life. So we see the deep true self has the utmost importance in this religion. In Buddhism, we see a different approach. The Buddhist believe that the self is a combination of ever-changing physical and mental forces and energies. The self is also said to be an aggregate, or fits into the five characteristics of the third aspect of Dukkha, or suffering. In essence, the self is a form or origin of the suffering that a Buddhist must escape. It is also taught that to think of everything in the form of self is a bad characteristic to hold. In the Buddha s fire sermon, he states that one can get burnt by desires especially from grasping to self. We see that the Buddhist find great suffering and much suffering stemming from the idea of self, and idea which one

must liberate themselves from. We see very different ideas from other religions and beliefs. The Hebrews follow the teachings of their god, and later Jesus. In these teachings it is shown that the self, each self is important and worthy of love and respect. Each person has something to offer and is a valuable and important being. It is also believed that each person has a soul, a deep self that must be kept pure and clean, apart from sin. With sin we find the teachings of Jesus and his Golden Rule, declaring that everyone treat others, as they would want to be treated, exalting the idea of self as the utmost important part of life. Their beliefs claim importance in both the everyday self and the deep self. The Greeks followed a similar view of self. The Greeks idea of excellence

centered on the idea of Arete. This idea basically says that every person has a duty to be the best they can be at which they are and what they do. While the idea of excellence is good and shows respect and for the self and others, it takes away from individuality and the idea of self. It is important to be your best, but to do that with the idea of self and something that sets you apart from others. The Greeks believed that if you were doing the best you could, that meant doing it for your polis, and community. We see that the idea of self is important to them, but in a lighter sense than that of the Hebrews. In the previous cases we see the idea of self, thrown in all directions. The Hebrews having respect for both forms of self. The Hindu religion holding only deep