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On 3 Aug 2001, at 8:40, Bill Spight wrote:
> Dear Joe,
> > > But that "I", for me, depends on my brain, and could not have been
> > > a giraffe. That's the illusion I was referring to.
> > >
> > The fact that the self depends upon its material substrate brain for
> > its existence is a point in favor of the existence of the self, not
> > an argument against it. But your existence is not an illusion
> I am not arguing that the self or personal existence is an illusion.
> The illusion is the belief that the self has an existence that is
> independent of one's physical existence, and thus could have been a
> giraffe, or a rock, or anything else.
True enough. When the doctrine was put forth in eastern circles
that the self was nothing, this was meant to indicate that the self
was no-thing, that is, not a thing. Thinghood is not, however, a
prerequisite for existence; both subjects and objects exist. What
happened was that the doctrine that there was no such thing as an
abiding self was meant to counter the belief in an immortal and
immaterial-based soul which could exist independently of a
physical substrate, but the caveat was, by some, mistakenly taken
literally and fundamentalistically, rather than metaphorically, to
mean that the emergence of bodily-dependent selves from their
material substrate was itself an illusion, and that selves did not
exist at all, a position fraught with irretrieveable self-contradictions.
Selves exist in dynamic interrelation with their environing world,
that is, they are neither mindlessly merged into identicality with it
not nonrelationally bifurcated from it. "Neti, neti", the sage said,
meaning not this, not that, and such sums up the self's relation
with the world from which it emerged, to which it nevertheless
belongs, and which it recursively views; we are at once not and not-
not the world in which we find ourselves. To be between
nonrelationality and identicality is to be in relation.
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> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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