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July 26, 2022


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Jay Garfield makes explains self very well: -

“… we have no reality at all outside of the context of the stories in which we figure. This is why we are persons, and not selves.”
Without a doubt, we are stories; a self being a construct consisting of information. And yes, we exist as persons, as human beings.

“So, to know that others have minds is not to know that they have mysterious inner worlds . . .”
True, minds are not mysterious, again, a mind is information from which a ‘self’ is constructed.

“...When we recognize each other in this sense -- a kind of recognition absolutely fundamental to our collective lives -- we recognize our interdependence, not our independence. . .”
It’s all very Zen, reiterating Zen’s teachings of no separation.

Jay quotes Dogen, although the quote I know of is slightly different , but points to the same thing.
'To study the Buddha way is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be actualised by myriad (a great number – or everything) things.
When actualised by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away.'
No trace of realisation remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.

All in all, I believe Jay Garfield renders a good description of the false self and I recognise his attempt to bring about our interdependence as being persons with similar minds, although minds can also be experienced as contributing to independence (separation) as being fonts of programmed cultural information, each persons’ mind is potentially a source of separation.

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