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western vs eastern concept of self

Language has developed as a system of communication for myriads of reified concepts, and consequently consists primarily of reified labels. I cannot imagine how I could have gotten anywhere with Self Inquiry or the "no-me" pointers BEFORE repairing my extremely damaged ego/self thanks to very bad parenting. The same is true for anything else in the universe, including a person. In this example, the electricity that activates them is the equivalent of the, Western psychotherapy, in its efforts to heal the neurotic individual, attempts to strengthen the ego, or to foster the development of a stronger “self,” and yet it is this very notion of self which Buddhist psychology sees as the root cause of human suffering. The delusion of the separate self is likely to be stronger in individuals raised in individualistic societies, such as those of Europe and America, and may be weaker in collectivistic societies, such as those of China or Japan, where the harmony (, Conceptions of the Self in Western and Eastern Psychology, 1) Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment, 2) On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection, 4) Realization and Experience and Non-Dual Experience from Different Perspectives, 5) Differentiating I AM, One Mind, No Mind and Anatta, 6) A Summary of Seeing that Frees by Rob Burbea, 7) Experience, Realization, View, Practice and Fruition, 8) Book Recommendations 2019 and Practice Advices, Awakening to Reality: A Guide to the Nature of Mind, Soh’s Journal and Notes on Spiritual Awakening, General Buddhadharma Discussions: Dharma Connection, Chinese Translation of Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment, The Concept of Sunyata (Emptiness) in Mahayana Sutras, Dream Datum: Self discovery paths related articles, Buddhist Forum: ~ Buddhism: Wisdom Bliss ~. A still forest pool: The insight meditation of Achaan Chah. The delusion of the separate self is likely to be stronger in individuals raised in individualistic societies, such as those of Europe and America, and may be weaker in collectivistic societies, such as those of China or Japan, where the harmony (wah) of the group takes precedence over the needs of the individual. Vol. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 13, 125-136. What would remain of it if you removed form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness? For discussions you are welcome to join the. . Mosig, Y. Zen keys. The theological dimensions of the concept of soul were elaborated by Augustine of Hippo as well as by Thomas Aquinas, from where it passed into the hands of Rene Descartes, and from there, almost unchanged, but referred to as “mind,” into the realm of 19, Although some Eastern conceptions of the self, most notably those derived from Hinduism, which center on the Vedic notion of the, Reification is the process by which the mind makes a thing (res), or a material object, out of a concept or an abstraction. In the East, there is a non-dualistic conception of the self where there is no distinction between creation and creator, and Man and the self is viewed as being part of a cosmic drama acted out by the divine creator. The delusion of separateness results in cravings, grasping, clinging, greed, selfishness, hatred, fear, feelings of alienation, loneliness, helplessness, and anxiety, which afflict those “healthy” as well as “unhealthy.”. 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. This blog is about spiritual awakening, maps and stages, the blinding effects of our strong momentum/conditioning (karmic propensities), view, realization, experience, etc. Is it real? True wisdom is automatically manifested as universal compassion, just as true compassion manifests itself as wisdom. & Breiter P. (1985). The same is true for the seed and the fertile soil, and for the logger who cut the tree down, for without them, the tree would not have been there for the paper to be. https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/ojur/vol1/iss1/1, Comparative Methodologies and Theories Commons, Culture may play a critical role in this process. What would remain of it, if one removed one’s perception of it, one’s feelings about it, one’s impulses to act on it or with it, and one’s conscious awareness of it? London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Yozan Dirk Mosig, Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, Nebraska 68849. Buddhist training consists largely of short-circuiting the reification process, by using non-verbal, non labeling experiential practice (such as meditation) to become “awakened” to the “as-it-is-ness” of inexpressible reality. It certainly seems to be. Now all we have is a pile of parts—where is the car? Is it real? This is one of the reasons why “ultimate reality” is essentially “ineffable.” As Lao Tze put it, “the tao that can be told is not the real Tao.”. Learn more. It is the source of all the troubles in the world, from personal conflicts to wars between nations. 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. My Account | Psychotherapy East and West. This in turn prepares the individual to transcend the isolation of the separate self through the realization of the universal interconnectedness stressed by Buddhist psychology as the gateway to wisdom and compassion. Although it is true that the car, the road, our bodies, and everything else are nothing more than temporary collections of countless particles (or fluctuations of energy, at the quantum level of analysis) and that all there is, is an ocean of energy, where car, road, and person have no more reality than the transient shape of a wave on the surface of the ocean, unless we act in the relative plane, and get out of the way of the car, the collection of skandhas that allows this awareness to occur will be promptly dissolved. These “seeds,” upon development, produce all sorts of mental phenomena. (1942). The teaching of “dependent origination” is at the core of the Buddha’s teaching or Dharma. Richard C. Page: is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia, Athens. Daniel N. Berkow: is a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, University of Georgia, Athens. New York: Knopf. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. The self is located at the center within the individual through which the world is perceived. 1, In Search of the Self: Eastern versus Western Perspectives, Derek C. Wolter, Oglethorpe UniversityFollow. The eight consciousnesses should not be conceived as separate, but rather as eight manifestations or functions of an ongoing process. Accessibility Statement, Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Research, Comparative Methodologies and Theories Commons, Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion Commons. Below is the manovijnana, the integrating basis of the five sense consciousnesses, which has functions such as knowing, evaluating, imagining, conceiving, and judging. For this reason, the self can be said to be “empty” of reality when separated from its component aggregates— a view of the self radically different from Western perspectives. They are the consciousnesses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Karen Horney (1950) distinguished between the “real self” and the “idealized self,” the former being regarded as a unique central inner force common to all people and the latter as a fantasy resulting from social pressures and expectations. To some extent Western formulations of the self evidence a homunculus-like quality lacking in some Eastern conceptions, especially those derived from the Vijnanavada and Zen Buddhist traditions. 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. Skinner, B.F. (1971). But it is not only the self that is empty, and cannot exist by itself; the skandhas themselves are also empty. Associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services. It's nice to know that there really is no separate me and that Life is just happening - for no one.Thanks for your magnificent articles,jim :). However, Western psychotherapy is designed to effect such change in persons experiencing psychological or behavioral disorders, while Eastern disciplines affect primarily the practical everyday life of normal or healthy individuals. While understanding universal interconnectedness and absolute reality, the emptiness or nothingness of Buddhism, the person needs at the same time to experience reality in the relative sense, where individual identities exist. Richard C. Page: is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia, Athens. In analyzing a mythological work, a proper understanding of the nature of the self and its relation to the Cosmos is essential. . Perhaps it was Carl Gustav Jung (Jacobi, 1942) who provided the most significant expansion of the homuncular thesis in psychology. Close your hand into a fist and look at it. Just like the term “fist” is a convenient label to designate a particular (and transient) arrangement of the fingers, the term “self” or “I” is nothing but a label for an impermanent arrangement of the, The psychological insights of the Buddha were explicated by a number of commentators after him. There is no separate, independent self or soul that would be left if we removed form (which includes the body), feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness.

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