Is the self an illusion?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Feb 27, 2024.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Is the self an illusion as Buddhism proposes? It seems to me it is, although it is a very socially enforced illusion that we are raised to believe in from childhood. We can hardly relate to other persons without some assumption of a self that they are on the inside. In any case, Sam Harris makes a convincing case for the self being an illusion and distinguishes it from consciousness which ISN'T an illusion. See what you think..

     
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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The term "self" can variously be referencing anything from the unity of consciousness, to possessing the memories of a specific individual, to being anchored in a particular body and its needs, to the supernatural or simulated reality belief in a soul or a system-stored information template, to any neglected points among or outside those.

    If "experts" don't specify what they mean by "self", then it's just another bait and switch game like what often transpires with respect to the umbrella concept of consciousness. "Oh, it sounded like you were claiming _X_ was an illusion, but you were really talking about _Y_."

    In this case, Harris maybe gives the context of a Buddhist view, but that might or might not entail the contingent baggage of some form of panphenomenalism (pervasive experience sans cogntive activity) or generic subjectivity.

    We can lose our personal-memory dependent focus on being a particular identity even when we're absorbed in watching a movie or reading a book. But the fact that that manner of "self" isn't "on" all the time (isn't absolute) doesn't necessarily mean it's an invalid idea. People aren't constantly having sex, either, but that doesn't render it an erroneous apprehension (that it occurs).
    _
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2024
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  5. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Yes... consciousness has evolved to a pont which makes the illusion of "self" posible

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    Not realizin that self is an illusion makes it much easier to judge others... an as a bonus... much easier to pull you'rself up by you'r own boot straps

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  7. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Sounds like a convoluted way of stating that mind is a function of the brain/body. We are not an entity driving around in a biological machine. We are the biological machine. I thought that was obvious, but apparently not.

    I do seem to be disconnected from the other biological machines around me, so in that respect "self" is a valid concept
     
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    β€œIt's difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you. No one really feels self-confident deep down because it's an artificial idea. Really, people aren't that worried about what you're doing or what you're saying, so you can drift around the world relatively anonymously: you must not feel persecuted and examined. Liberate yourself from that idea that people are watching you.”
    ― Russell Brand
     
  9. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    "I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together. Goo goo g'joob." - John Lennon
     
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    The video is gobbledigook. You can meditate the sense of self away or you can do it through drugs but that is irrelevant. Of course, as with all things involving philosophy, it depends on how you define a term, in this case "self".

    Sam has just made this "experience" a quasi-religious experience for him.
     

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