Philosophy - 'true self' verses the 'false 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?

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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...ided people and high-nurtur-ance settings
? Evolving and living a clear life-purpose.
? Work, play, and rest are generally balanced (


In contrast, behavioral traits of the false self:

?Fuzzy, distracted, confused, numb
?Often "heavy," "down," gloomy, manic
?Usually pessimistic or idealistic
?Confused, vague, unfocused
?Blaming, critical and bigoted
?indecisive, worried cautious, and dodubtful
?"Upset," scared, angry, guilty and ashamed
?Usually has a narrow, short-term focus
?Usually seeks immediate gratification
?Often impatient, impulsive, uncommitted
?Bitter, jealous, resentful, "half empty"
?Selfish, arrogant, and disrespectful
?Spiritually unaware, skeptical, closed, scornful, or uninterested
?Consistently self-neglectful
?Dishonest, indirect, sly, controlling
? Timid or apologetic or aggressive
?Isolated or compulsively social
?Physically unhealthy; relies on prescribed or self-medication
?Anxious, guilty, or blocked about feeling and/or expressing some or all emotions
?Difficulty forming true (vs. pseudo) bonds
?Difficulty discerning who to trust with what
?Notably over- or under-responsible
?Frequent distortions and denials
?Difficulty giving and/or receiving real love
?Uncomfortable receiving merited praise
?Difficulty forgiving self and/or others
?Often focuses only on her/himself or a conversational partner - 1-person "bubble"
?Often gives double messages
?Difficulty grieving on one to three levels
?Unconsciously prefers wounded people and low-nurturance settings
?Unclear on or indifferent to a life purpose
?Work, play, and rest are often unbalanced (


The concept of losing one's self

Many religions refer to the self or the concept of "losing one's self"-"present in both Christian teaching and the Hindu scriptures. The nature of these concepts, however, is quite different. In Hinduism, the Self is the unified being in which all creation takes a part. This Self (Atman) knew his own nature and knew he was Brahman, and Self became All. The goal in Hinduism is to bring the individual person to the realization that indeed he is not a separate being, but rather a partaker of the great Self. So the saying is "Atman (self, soul) is Brahman.? The goal of the individual through yoga and spiritual exercise is to realize and know that he is Brahman.[1] In this context the idea of losing oneself is to come to a knowledge of the belief that the individual human being should not speak or think of being an individual self and should not act upon the desires and wants of the individual self. The goal in Hinduism is to attain detachment from self desires and wants, and to become one with the universal Self?[1] -Brahman.

However, in Christianity, the concept of "losing self?is very different where Jesus affirms the individual self as a real and true creature. This individual self is never lost or dissipated into some greater Self (Brahman, like in Hinduism), but is a created being with definite personal existence. The Christian teachings of Jesus is that the person will exist as an individual for all eternity in either a state of relationship with God (Heaven) or separation from God (Hell).[2] The problem with man is not one of mistaken knowledge. The problem with man according to Jesus is sin, rebellion against God. This happens when a separate and individual creature (man) chooses to live in a manner that does not honor and recognize God (a transcendent and independent being-separate from man). Jesus warned in very strong language against sin and the danger of the individual being consigned to hell for this rebellion.[3] The concept that Jesus taught of selflessness was to forsake the desires of a real, independent self that are in rebellion to God's ways. Jesus taught that man has lived in sin and separation from God ever since the fall or rebellion of Adam and Eve (the first man and woman God created). This sin is a part of the very nature of each individual man. To live for the self, according to Christian teachings through Jesus, is to live in sin.[4] Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.?(Luke 9:23). This means to abandon the sinful self desires that are a part of human nature.[5] This means to choose as an individual to live for others and for God. In this sense, the selflessness of Jesus?teaching is the virtue of abandoning the sinful and destructive desires of the sinful self and pursues ...