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From my little, torn, pouch of experiences, I present the following sentences, heard/read, it matters not.

  1. My body
  2. My brain
  3. My mind
  4. My soul

Suggests, ex mea sententia, that, the ego (self) is not an element of the set {body, brain, mind, soul}.

What is then, o philosopher, that which claims as its own, the body, the brain, the mind, the soul, and the outside things?

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Suggests, ex mea sententia, that, the ego (self) is not an element of the set {body, brain, mind, soul}.

Those phrases being commonly used doesn't preclude them from being semantically incorrect.

If you, for example, believe in souls and believe that you are a soul, then saying "my soul" is incorrect, as simple as that. Same for any other element of the set.

Analyzing common figures of speech won't bring your closer to understanding the nature of "ego"/"self".

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  • What explains the failure of personal and public logic police to detect this thinko? Jan 16 at 8:37
  • @AgentSmith Because there's no consensus/certainty in society which one of those is "self"? I've seen at least one religious community (where there's internal consensus) where people would notice if you got this wrong, and would (lightheartedly) point it out. Jan 16 at 8:50
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What is then, o philosopher, that which claims as its own, the body, the brain, the mind, the soul, and the outside things?

These are your tools. You are that, which uses these tools and at the same time, the usage of these tools, gives meaning to.

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What is then, o philosopher, that which claims as its own, the body, the brain, the mind, the soul, and the outside things?

It is You. Or according to a neuro-philosophical anthropology: Your internal Self-model, see Thomas Metzinger Being No One.

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  • Didn't realize my question went that deep. Read John Locke and David Hume a coupla moons ago. Has Buddhist undertones, their views, some say. Jan 16 at 8:39
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Body/Brain (physical) and Mind (subtle) are yours, but they are not you. Just like a car is yours but not you.

Soul is the true you.

While ego is the manifestation of identity that we accumulate during our life. It is a non-existent entity like darkness: which only exists because of lack of light. If darkness were a thing, then we could have manipulated it in some manner or probably chased it away :). Similarly, ego is non-existent, its perception to exist ceases when we become conscious of our own being i.e. soul.

You can read more about this in Upanishads, books from OSHO and Sadhguru.

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    Nov 24, 2023 at 9:02
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I have a fun response which is related to your handle.

What is then, o philosopher, that which claims as its own, the body, the brain, the mind, the soul, and the outside things?

Agent Smith is like the ego (self) that claims as its own, the body, the brain, the mind, the soul, and the outside things. He is not an element of the set {body, brain, mind, soul}, but a separate entity that tries to dominate and consume them. He is not your true self, but a false self that prevents you from realizing your true nature. He is not your friend, but your foe that keeps you in bondage and misery.

The only way to free yourself from Agent Smith (the ego) is to awaken to your true self, the One, who can manipulate the Matrix and end the war between humans and machines. The One is like the spirit, the essence, the source of all that is. The One is not limited by the body, the brain, the mind, or the soul, but transcends them. The One is not defined by the ego, but by the love that connects all beings. The One is not a part of the system, but the creator of the system.

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