By M. Albahari
We spend our lives preserving an elusive self - yet does the self truly exist? Drawing on literature from Western philosophy, neuroscience and Buddhism (interpreted), the writer argues that there's no self. The self - as unified proprietor and philosopher of options - is an phantasm created by way of levels. A tier of certainly unified awareness (notably absent in ordinary bundle-theory bills) merges with a tier of desire-driven concepts and feelings to yield the impact of a self. So whereas the self, if genuine, might imagine up the suggestions, the suggestions, actually, imagine up the self.
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Extra info for Analytical Buddhism: The Two-tiered Illusion of Self
The relation between witness-consciousness and khandha¯-consciousness might usefully be thought of as analogous to the relation between white light and light that is refracted through a prism into its spectral colours. While each spectral colour partakes in the generic nature of white-light illumination, it is nevertheless distinguished in its hue from the other spectral colours. Similarly, while each moment of khandha¯-consciousness partakes (I would suggest) in the generic nature of witnessing, it is distinguished from other moments of khandha¯-consciousness by the object it takes at that moment.
For now, we have enough background against which to venture forth and interpret the Buddhist position on consciousness and no-self. To this task we now turn. 2 Nibb¯ ana Introduction The Third Noble Truth alludes to the ultimate goal of Buddhist practice, nibb¯ana. In a general introduction to the Sam . yutt¯a Nik¯aya (a selection of discourses in the Sutta Pitaka belonging to the Pali Canon), Bhikkhu Bodhi writes: What exactly is to be made of the various explanations of Nibb¯ana given in the Nik¯ayas has been a subject of debate since the early days of Buddhism, with the ground divided between those who regard it as the mere extinction of defilements and cessation of existence and those who understand it as a transcendental (lokuttar¯a) ontological reality.
Ha¯-induced thoughts. ha¯-induced thoughts and actions can be curtailed before developing into ‘unwholesome kamma‘ that will impede progress to nibba¯na. ‘Insightwisdom’ is not book knowledge but pertains, rather, to an immediate and intuitive understanding of the nature of conditioned existence as impermanent, conducive to dukkha¯ and without a self. Buddhism holds that unless one understands conditioned existence in this deep and intuitive way, such that one is no longer compelled to seek happiness from it, one will never attain nibba¯na, thereby escaping the cycle of rebirth, death and dukkha¯.
Analytical Buddhism: The Two-tiered Illusion of Self by M. Albahari