Science agrees about no-self (anatta). Lo and behold.

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tingdzin
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Re: Science agrees about no-self (anatta). Lo and behold.

Post by tingdzin » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:52 am

Wow, stop the presses. :?

Some years back, Francis Crick, one of the co-discoverers of DNA, wrote a book called "The Astonishing Hypothesis" in which he came to the "astonishing" conclusion that there was no self/soul. About 40 years ago, Julian Jaynes, a Princeton psychologist, said the same thing in a different way, and theorized how such an illusion came about, and was promptly hooted at in many quarters.

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Grigoris
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Re: Science agrees about no-self (anatta). Lo and behold.

Post by Grigoris » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:56 am

The absence of a soul has been a key element of materialist scientific philosophy since it's inception. Where is the surprise?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Vasana
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Re: Science agrees about no-self (anatta). Lo and behold.

Post by Vasana » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:26 pm

Belief in a soul or self aren't always the same. Even those who don't believe in souls often still take the self and the personality as 'a given' or as a basic fact of experience without really questioning its basis. Even those of us in the Dharma still get caught up in thoughts of 'me and mine'. You can also arrive at an intellectual insight of non-self through other modern feilds like biology, ecology, physics and psychology among others.

I collected some quotes on this topic from different feilds before when communicating the basics of non-self and interdepence to people who might be more atheistic or secular minded.
‘Is it not an abstraction to pull a person, idea, or organism from the contextual relationships of family, food, culture, feelings, ecology and so on and label them? Is it not more abstract to take a piece of the living world and try to make sense of it without all of the contextual, contributing aspects of its vitality? Can we really understand anything without context?’ — Nora Bateson

“To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. ' — Thich Nhat Hanh

'Even if anything exists, it is in the act of changing.' — 临济义玄 (Lin-chi)

'The notion of a permanent object with well defined properties can no longer be taken as basic in physics … Rather, it is necessary to begin with the event as a basic concept, and later to arrive at the object as a continuing structure of related and ordered events.' — David Bohm

"Could individual events be at all considered as meaningful outside their relational context? … Thoughts, sensations, emotions or memories all belong to the tension between private and public: their very domain changes. The relational dynamic is one of pulsating tensions between negotiating systems: a process that takes place within us (intrapsychic aspect), between us (interpersonal aspect), and within the system that emerges from our connection (intersubjective aspect) (Pizer, 1992). In this regard, the relational-self is a transitional phenomenon.

The strong Western inclination (and need) to maintain the belief that the self (and therefore the mind) is a personal object - that our thoughts, feelings and sensations are ours alone - is understandable. During the process of identity-formation and organization, it would have been too big a challenge to tolerate the paradox that the ‘I’ is both a personal, and at the same time an interpersonal process.

[...]we resonate, because we are a part of a system and we do it through our whole body-mind – the nervous system, the affective system, the energetic system: we glide on the strings because this is what we are made of. In fact, we might argue that it is categorically impossible to ever get to know ourselves in isolation, let alone get to know another person. All we can come to know is the me-in-relation to you, or the you-in-relation to me: the us that was formed with the other. Fundamentally, we may only come to know ourselves as persons-in-relations." — Asaf Rolef Ben-Shahar

"If it is bad human relations that created the problem,
then it must be good human relations that can provide the cure.
—Harry Guntrip
“The human skin is an artificial boundary: the world wanders into it, and the self wanders out of it, traffic is two-way and constant.”
— Bernard Wolfe

“Our existence is not so much individual as it is emergent from an inconceivable profusion of intimacies, relations, exchanges and ineffibles... nearly all of which are as invisible to our language and tradition as they are to ordinary awareness. And yet ordinary awareness is one of the results of their fusion. We are alive ‘in a constellation’ of relationships... physical, historical, emotional, temporal... endless domains of them. We do not live merely in a body, in a place, and yet, it is »from this position that our experience is rendered tangible, coherent, and relatively... linear.”
— Darin Stevenson

“In a chemical sense, we really blend in with the people around us like spilled paint; your molecules and mine are continually drifting off the surface of our skin, breathed out of our noses, flaked off hair and scalps. Individuals don’t have sharp edges. We blur into each other’s space like perfume molecules wafting from an open bottle.”
— K.C.Cole

"Consider one definite molecule. It is part of nature. It has moved about for millions of years. Perhaps it started from a distant nebula. It enters the body; it may be as a factor in some edible vegetable; or it passes into the lungs as part of the air. At what exact point as it enters the mouth, or as it is absorbed through the skin, is it part of the body? At what exact moment, later on, does it cease to be part of the body? Exactness is out of the question. "
— Alfred North Whitehead

"Every moment of experience is contingent on a vast complex of myriad conditions. Nothing exists in and of itself as ‘this’ or 'that,’ 'self’ or 'other.’ Everything is what it is only in relation to what it is not. To recognize this emptiness is not to negate things but to glimpse what enables anything to happen at all."
— Stephen Batchelor

"Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves."
— Nagarjuna

" Recalling the principle of interdependence, we can expand our sense of ourselves beyond the narrow limits of our own body and experiences, to encompass everything our life connects to.
Interdependence is our reality, whether we accept it or not. In order to live productively within such a reality, it is better to acknowledge and work with interdependence, wholeheartedly and without resistance. This is where love and compassion come in. It is love that leads us to embrace our connectedness to others, and to participate willingly in the relations created by our interdependence"

— Karmapa
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Tiago Simões
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Re: Science agrees about no-self (anatta). Lo and behold.

Post by Tiago Simões » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:52 pm

Vasana wrote:Belief in a soul or self aren't always the same. Even those who don't believe in souls often still take the self and the personality as 'a given' or as a basic fact of experience without really questioning its basis. Even those of us in the Dharma still get caught up in thoughts of 'me and mine'. You can also arrive at an intellectual insight of non-self through other modern feilds like biology, ecology, physics and psychology among others.
:good:

Modern Atheism and Materialism arrive at the disbelief in a soul or a god by means of lack of evidence of the senses, affirming the infallibility of the senses and materialistic logic.

Madhyamika says that materialistic philosophy is flawed, and questions the authority of the senses.

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Grigoris
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Re: Science agrees about no-self (anatta). Lo and behold.

Post by Grigoris » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:17 pm

Vasana wrote:Belief in a soul or self aren't always the same. Even those who don't believe in souls often still take the self and the personality as 'a given' or as a basic fact of experience without really questioning its basis. Even those of us in the Dharma still get caught up in thoughts of 'me and mine'. You can also arrive at an intellectual insight of non-self through other modern feilds like biology, ecology, physics and psychology among others.
While this is true, atman does not refer to a self because even scientists in the field of psychology/psychiatry recognise the malleable and constantly changing nature of the "self". Anatta is not a lack of self per se, it is the lack of a underlying and unchanging substratum.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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