That word “self” is interesting.
We used it to refer to “I.” Finding who is that “I” is usually the issue.
Some believe it is the body. Some believe it is the soul. Some believe it is the brain, nevertheless; a “normal” person will identify himself through the face/body.
That is what we usually refer to “self.” Nevertheless, as pointed out in many articles already, the “self” is constantly changing, it is never the same at any second. Thus, what we are left with is called consciousness, awareness. Everything that exists has a different degree of consciousness. That consciousness although changing all the time, is imperishable.
When we perceive interdependence, when we perceive that truly there is no “I” at all at any time practically, not as a belief, then as long as there is existence (which is all there is) we are that.
Some call it, “we are part of it,” but that is a simplified version to make things easier to grasp intellectually; but we are not “part of it,” we are it.
That is we are eternal, just as existence is.
Jack and Jill were discussing deep ontological issues at the park while enjoying a nice meal together.
Jack: Once we perceive our own eternity, then everything else is eternal. There is nothing, which is not eternal. That is why every moment has to repeat again, exactly as it “was.”
Jill: How being conscious of our own eternity is related with things repeating?
Jack: Who are we? If we think that we are separated from everything else and we put a name, a label to that which we think we are, then obviously we cannot see the relationship. We will always see separation. Integration with the Totality means the experience of being selfless. We are every moment and every moment is eternal.
Jill: …but things repeating again?
Jack: It is simple. Nothing could be created nor destroyed. Everything that “is” only transforms all the time and after “sometime” it is bound to repeat again.
Jill: Let us say that I have a Rubik’s cube and the purpose of that cube is to get all the colors in every face of the cube to be the same. I keep turning it around until I get that, you say that my moves are bound to repeat?
Jack: That is the perfect example! Let us remember that if life was like a Rubik’s cube, there is no purpose whatsoever. The cube will keep on moving just as life is, but we believe that the purpose is to get all faces to be the same, being unaware that there is only a moment when that will happen and then everything will be mixed up again.
Now, there is only a limited amount of permutations (the way the cube could move) even if there are billions of different moves, eventually the permutations will have to be repeated.
In life, every face of one of the little cubes inside the big cube is “us.” “We” have created a personality for “me” and “you” that is called “ego,” but now we could grasp that life is moving us together in a certain pattern. We are all interrelated.
That is the built-in “intelligence” in life.
Jill: The issue will be when someone interprets the above in a different way. It could be interpreted as if the goal in life is to have all faces of the cube to be the same, and to become part of that and call that heaven, paradise, etc. Then fear could be instilled for the need to “get there” as the main thing in life.
Jack: Yes. Nevertheless, every interpretation of the above has its benefit for those who are in the same type of consciousness. That is how different religions/philosophies appear, each with its own view based on a particular interpretation of a perceived reality of separation.
Jill: So, if the Rubik’s cube will move in a particular way, which is repetitive, an eternal… what is there to “do”?
Jack: For a being conscious of his own eternity, to enjoy every move.