Re: Macguffin

From: Dace (
Date: Sun Aug 05 2001 - 06:02:02 BST

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    Subject: Re: Macguffin
    Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001 22:02:02 -0700
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    > Dear Joe and Vincent,
    > > > Was there a "self" in the primordial soup? Isn't self a macguffin
    > > > (Blackmore thinks it's a memetic macguffin, or more accurately concurs
    > > > with Dennett's notion of the self as a benign user illusion).
    > > >
    > > > Vincent
    > > >
    > > Self is no macguffin; nether is it an illusion
    > The sense of self arises from the formation of the Self-Other
    > distinction.

    And how does this distinction get drawn? Does it draw itself, or is it
    drawn by an actual self demarcating itself from nonself, i.e. "other." Of
    course, if you pick the former possibility, you've established self-nature
    in the line of demarcation itself. Either way, you're stuck with intrinsic
    (self) existence. In other words, life.

    "Other" and "self" are the same thing from different viewpoints. Without a
    (deluded) self, there could be no belief in the opposition and absolute
    distinction between these terms.

    > But illusions of self do arise with thoughts such as "I might have been
    > a giraffe." The "I" in that sentence is just a pronoun, not a self. ;-)
    > Best,
    > Bill

    Of course. And "Bill" is just a name. You're not Bill. That's just what
    you imagine yourself to be. What you imagine, even if it's ingrained in
    your belief-system, is still just a bunch of images. You're not really all
    those things you identify with, personal and collective, but you go through
    life believing it anyway. When your favorite team loses, you feel bad, as
    if a part of *you* has lost. Pure hallucination. We're not actually ego.
    We're not this self-image around which sensory information is organized in
    the pursuit of personal desire. Dennet recognizes this point but doesn't
    understand what it means. It doesn't mean we literally don't exist. It's
    just that our actuality is not the same our concept of it.

    That he can be mistaken on this point demonstrates Dennet's self-existence.
    After all, the point itself cannot be mistaken. Or can it? Is
    self-existence something we have ourselves? Or is it a function of that
    great Other? Do *we* make the distinction, or is "Distinction" a
    self-creative "entity"?

    What is it that lives? What is it that has not merely existence but
    reality? What is intrinsic? What do we find when we look "within"?

    Ted Dace

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