At which point did the car disappear? Oh the mixed up world of the new religion that is science. The illumination is one ongoing phenomenon, integrating the contributions of the individual bulbs. Author Note Soeng Mu, S. (1991). The concept of the Self takes many forms in Western psychology, but invariably involves to some extent a dimension of “thingness,” the reification of a homunculus assumed to reside within the individual, who is the thinker of thoughts, the doer of deeds, and the feeler of feelings. Does it have any real existence apart from its parts? I am using this writing to keep me from emotional despondency while having to study a (Western) psychology unit and struggling with reconciling my understanding of the fluidity of concepts that exist in the Buddhist world view and the comparatively gross world view of recent Western psychology. This blog is about spiritual awakening, maps and stages, the blinding effects of our strong momentum/conditioning (karmic propensities), view, realization, experience, etc. In the words of the Zen Master Sekito Kisen (700-790), a sage has no self, yet there is nothing that is not himself (Mosig, 1998). WESTERN CONCEPT OF THE SELF Ancient Grecian philosophers => humans => bearers of irreplaceable values In medieval times, Thomas Aquinas believed => body constitutes individuality. Freud, S. (1964). The interconnectedness, or “interbeing,” of everything in the universe, implied in the principle of dependent origination, finds an elegant expression in the metaphor of the jewel net of Indra, in the Buddha’s “Flower Ornament” sermon (Avatamsaka Sutra). New York: Harcourt, Brace & World. Start studying Understanding the Self - Western/Eastern Thoughts. I ask questions about the individual and his or her role in the social construction process, by comparing Eastern and Western ideas about the concept of self. The different conceptions of the self in Western and Eastern psychology have clear implications for psychotherapy and everyday life. According to Buddhist psychology, what we call a “person” is the composite of five groups of elements or skandhas. But for the logger to be, his parents had to be, and the food they consumed, and all the conditions that made their lives possible, and those lives upon which theirs in turn depended, and on, and on. The origins of the notion of an inner self in Western psychology and philosophy are found in the idea of the soul in the Judeo-Christian tradition, which notion was actually derived in part from the writings of Philo, a Jewish theologian, and Plotinus, a pagan neo-Platonic philosopher. Not only are human beings declared to lack a soul or self, but so is everything else: rivers, mountains, this paper, and your pencil, all lack a separate self. After "strengthening" my ego through self esteem work and venting an ocean of bottled up sorrow and rage, I am now able to work with the "no me/I/self" process taught by you and Tony Parsons and at Liberation Unleashed. These causes and conditions can themselves be either internal mental states or external events. Eastern perspectives about self are inherently non-dualistic. Or is it? Each skandha is in turn a transient pattern formed by the interaction of the other four. Cumberland, RI: Primary Point. Consider a wave in the ocean. Eastern psychotherapy attempts to dissolve the experience of the self-as-separate entity and replace it with a feeling of interconnectedness, the non-self or selfless Self implied in the Buddhist concept of, Nevertheless, it is not enough for the healthy, liberated individual to eliminate the delusion of the separate self. E-mail:, I'm a little surprised there no comments, this is very, very good material; beautifully and clearly explained. Start studying LESSON 5: THE SELF IN WESTERN AND EASTERN THOUGHT. Now stretch your imagination, and assume for a moment that the collection of elements forming the wave had resulted in the phenomenon of consciousness. The Buddhist notion of self circumvents reification, being an impermanent gestalt formed by the interaction of five skandhas or aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness). Richard C. Page: is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia, Athens. Horney, K. (1950). Gordon Allport (1961) made an interesting distinction between the self-as-object and the self-as-knower, asserting that the former could be approached with the descriptive tools of psychology while the latter was to remain a subject for philosophical speculation, outside of the realm of science. He did so by distinguishing between the ego as center of consciousness and the self as the emergent integration of the polarities of the personality. Mosig, Y. The fifth skandha includes eight consciousnesses, one of which results in the experience of the ego or self as homunculus, which Buddhist psychology rejects as delusion. Is it real? I Am as described here is equivalent to kensho. Richard C. Page. Reification is the process by which the mind makes a thing (res), or a material object, out of a concept or an abstraction. What do you see? On the contrary, it empowers the individual by erasing the boundaries of separateness that limit the personal ego or self. While these aggregates are together, the functioning gestalt we call a person exists; if they are removed, the gestalt ceases to be. Since upon realizing the universal oneness of all, the “selfless Self,” everyone and everything is oneself, this transcendent wisdom generates universal compassion and caring of everyone as oneself. Or is it? Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Sigmund Freud (1940) offered a complex model of this inner self in his tripartite analysis of the human personality into id, ego, and superego, which became a distinguishing feature of his psychoanalytic theory. Must be understood within the context of the unnecessary suffering caused by the Buddha the... One ( Epstein, 1995 ) sense of self as found in Buddhist literature and awareness takes place based culture! But it is not only the self in psychotherapy and everyday life also... 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