Author Topic: No-self, not-self, true self  (Read 12469 times)

Offline songhill

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Re: No-self, not-self, true self
« Reply #300 on: June 22, 2013, 01:48:16 pm »

I've gone through this thread and removed some posts (many my own) and edited a few.  This was to remove a few personal attacks, irrelevant "Just Sit" sorta posts and stuff was essentially off-topic.

However, the topic here is elusive,  By the end of the thread it's a handful of members that continue to press their specific POV on the "subject".  IOW, this topic isn't really going anywhere.  It's an online shouting match.

Because there's nothing essentially "wrong" with a discussion going nowhere, I'll reopen the thread and you guys can have at it again.

Thanks for the letting it die a natural death. :-bd After all, all [conditioned] things are impermanent; the arise and perish. :D

Offline heybai

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Re: No-self, not-self, true self
« Reply #301 on: June 22, 2013, 06:49:31 pm »
Thanks for restoring it, GG. 

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: No-self, not-self, true self
« Reply #302 on: June 23, 2013, 02:29:01 am »
Yes, thank you GoGet for restoring this thread.  It is much appreciated.

Offline Tmurphy

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Re: No-self, not-self, true self
« Reply #303 on: April 11, 2015, 01:43:32 pm »
I just joined, mostly to add to this thread.

The concept of no-self is a confusing one.  For a few years, I've been working on a way of seeing it that works with today's brain science.   In my view, the sense of self is a hallucination.  It's not real, but its just as immediate as any other perception.  We feel that we exist, even though there is no specific sensation we can point to, and say "that's me".  We sense the self, but we can't perceive it directly.

One of the features of the normal sense of self is that the things that happen to us that we can perceive seem to be happening to "it" - to "us".  The sense of self identifies with things from our other senses.  Thus, "I" feel hot or cold; "I" am happy or sad; "I" see the computer screen, etc. The sense of self is unique in this regard (and I am using the phrase "sense of self" in its clinical meaning here.  Here is one example:  I'm not trying to say that the Tripitaka uses it at all).

Unlike vision, for example, the sense of self is integrated with all our other senses.  When our ears hear a sound, "we" hear it.  There is a name for this:

"Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway."

In other words, Synesthesia is the name for "hearing colors" or "tasting words".

I think the illusion of self is a case of - to put it simply - "selfing" all our other perceptions - identifying ourselves as that-which-perceives it.  Its an hallucination that's integrated with all our senses - a synesthetic hallucination.

Putting an end to the illusion of self, through enlightenment, does not mean that the self stops functioning.  It may only mean that we no longer identify it as our "identity", so to speak.

I do not pretend that this idea is Dharma.  I offer it here as a way of understanding the doctrine of no-self in terms of cognitive science.  You do not exist, but you feel you do, because you are hallucinating at all times, and everything that happens to the organism you inhabit is integrated with that hallucination.

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to link to the book where I present this idea in full, but here it is (foreword by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama):  The title is "Sacred Pathways: The brain's role in religious and mystic Experiences."
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 02:03:52 pm by Tmurphy »


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