Originally Posted by OneSoul
We TEACH the child to RESPOND to the "NAME".
You are "NAME".
Child: "My name is NAME".
That is the beginning of the Ego. The mind.. and the separateness..
Then entire life is lived in building up this ego as the society programs us and wants us to do.
Much of what you say is true, OneSoul, but you leave out a possibility that I think is crucial. That possibility is the realization and experience of one's unique individual self, along with his/her name (life story, etc.), in terms of distinctness without
separation--, individuation and autonomy without
being divided from the cosmic wholeness which you call "Oneness".
There is an interesting episode in the intersection of "spirituality" and "psychology" that involves a certain Dr. Freud. An admirer of Freud wrote a letter to Freud, saying "By religious feeling, what I mean—altogether independently of any dogma, any Credo, any organization of the Church, any Holy Scripture, any hope for personal salvation, etc.—the simple and direct fact of a feeling of 'the eternal' (which may very well not be eternal, but simply without perceptible limits, and as if oceanic). This feeling is in truth subjective in nature. It is a contact."
Freud had no such experience of his own (not consciously, anyway! Repressed?), and tended to associate these sorts of experiences, including the often associated experience of "oneness" -- or of being identical with all of existence -- as a holdover from infancy: infantile, as he called it.
Myself? My life has been deeply influenced by "the oceanic experience" -- the occasional emersion in the certainty that I am not separate, but, if anything, merely distinct. I am James. My Jamesness no more separates me from all of existence than a particular leaf on a tree is separated from the tree, or a drop of water is separated from the ... well, the ocean.
The "spiritual" task we have before us is simply to deepen our sense of non-separation from all of existence -- and all other persons, animals, etc... -- while also deepening our experience and appreciation of our uniqueness, individulaity, and human personhood -- including our name and biography. This is the much less "infantile" approach than an all-dissolving "Oneness".
So I shall end with a greeting and a word of departure in India.: Namaste!