The question may seem vague -- what do I mean by "yourself"? I googled it, and there's something by the Indian mystic Osho, and it's the title of a book on the Persian Islamic poet Rumi. But does any existential philosophy fall under this, or better yet discuss it?

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    Not existentialist but anyways... here's Krishnamurti. Also the terminology is slightly different : the distinction between consciousness itself and its content. Jan 31, 2020 at 9:05
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    Yes, Buddhist and Christian sages more than existentialists. Existentialists typically bemoan the lack of self-identity, see Identity and Freedom in Being and Nothingness. There are, however, Christian existentialists like Bultmann, Radical Freedom Is Freedom From Self.
    – Conifold
    Jan 31, 2020 at 9:35
  • If you mean your discrete individual self then gaining ones freedom from this is what mysticism or Yoga is all about. In fact this self does not exist, so they say, but the illusion is not easy to overcome. The view endorsed by Osho and Rumi is 'non-dualism'. Existentialism is something else. You could also check out youtube for Sadhguru, Rupert Spira, Mooji, Sri Ramana Maharshi and others. The entire literature of mysticism is about winning freedom from our localised selves. . . ,
    – user20253
    Jan 31, 2020 at 11:57
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    Lakoff and Johnson discuss the self as a specific assembly of conceptual metaphors in Philosophy In The Flesh.
    – J D
    Jan 31, 2020 at 15:21
  • sounds interesting. but i'm not philosophically inspired enough to read it, really. cheers @JD
    – user38026
    Jan 31, 2020 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


Freedom from the self is NOT an existentialist concept, but it does occur frequently in other places throughout philosophy. One of the most famous is in Plato's Republic, where the unjust man is depicted as intrinsically unhappy because he is a slave to his own desires.

Freedom from the self is a concept also frequently found in religious philosophies, including Buddhism, Taoism, Zen and Christianity.

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