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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.
Don't give up so easily, Joe. The self, by definition, is singular. It's
not a composite. Physics is the analysis of things according to their
relations, both internal and external. It's not that the "self" is an
independent entity apart from the body, but that the body *itself* is whole
and self-referential. How can the concept of self be refuted by taking on a
"self" which is defined apart from something else? Self-existence is that
which is defined in accord to itself. You've conceded to a strawman
> 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.
If we're not the world, then whatever we are is defined in contrast to the
world, that is, in relation to it. You can't be "nonrelationally
bifurcated." Bifurcation from something implies a relationship to it. But
it's not a set of extrinsic relationships that defines us. The physical
world is the relation of its parts to each other. We are the world in
relation to itself. Like the world, we are whole.
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