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December 04, 2022


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"You can't be a self by yourself."

Is it that --- in Barrett's opinion --- our sense of self depends on other CONSCIOUS beings, other selves, in other to be a self ourselves (so that Tom Hank's character needed to construct one, given his memory of such in the past, over in that island of his)? That's a very interesting proposition, and great food for thought if true.

Although if that is indeed what she means, then one would need to know whether that's science, or merely her personal opinion, merely her philsophizing. And if she claims it as science, then it would be interesting to know how exactly one might have scientifically arrived at such a conclusion.

Or is it merely that one needs other objects other than oneself, not necessarily other consciousnesses? In which case it's all kind of moot, isn't it, because its obverse could only apply to a solipsisitic universe consisting of nothing other than just oneself.

Be great to have some clarification on this, in case Barrett's touched on this, spelled it out, elsewhere in the book.

It's interesting and enlightening to see that science is beginning to embrace the chief causes of human conflict and suffering. Barrett is one of many over the past few decades who identify the little understood 'self' as being a major cause of conflict for ourselves and in the world.

The idea that we (or rather our brains, minds if you like) construct our realities has been obvious to many who have made a study of themselves. They realised that the self – that is the identities we build – do not comprise of some mysterious essence but arise from moment to moment in our interactions with our environments.

I quite like the idea that we construct our emotions according to the (given) situation and it is quite feasible that we construct our sense of self in a similar way. As I mentioned on a previous blog, our human experiences, wired into the brain's network, have the survival ability to predict situations in our environment as they arise. Although the physical surroundings exist separately from the observer, the mind (or brain) determines the nature of the situation and acts according to its established experiences.

Individual minds are many and varied depending on the environment and the culture one is brought up in – its a matter of survival, physically and psychologically. Its not that we 'need' each other in a dependence way, its the fact that in developing a balanced sense of who I am (a self) we incorporate much of what society is, how our parents and peers think and behave etc. In Romania, many children ended up in awful orphanages with little stimulation or social interaction. Their minds and sense of self were severely impaired.

The idea of deconstructing emotions and aspects of the self is also part of the understanding that Buddhists and others engage with. They incorporate such undertakings through various meditation techniques. Modern research calls such enquiries mindfulness.

Do the legs also walk??

Our self is just a construct? It's just a bromide that, at best, is only half true.
If it were actually true, then those who actually believe in it would live their lives as if it's true, including suicide.
But they don't opt for suicide, for they know they have a soul. They know their existence and their self has inherent worth and meaning, and that not everything is just a dream or a mental construct.
That kind of belief is common to sociopaths.
Yes, it's probably useless to point all this out, as the author never considers the shallowness of his arguments and keeps spitting out these half-baked pseudo-Buddhist missives.
The full answer is that we can refine our minds.
That's what true Buddhism is about.
It's also what Sant Mat is about, not that this would ever be admitted in a million years.

PS: Still waiting for that bombshell ev on Shabnam.

Hi, um. 👋 Long time!

Not sure why you think mind-and-self-as-construct would translate to suicide, G77.

It might, sure. Equally, it might equal soaring joy, and freedom, and also blase acceptance. Anything at all, depending.

..........I can see, though, how someone brought up mired in theistic soul ideas might find this sort of thing nihilistic, and unsettling. Is that what you mean? If so, I can empathize, to an extent. Except, of course, reality is what it is, whether one likes it or not.

To me, the self as a construct seems obvious and sensible, and allows one to understand the workings of the human mind. From birth, the brains absorbs experiences and forms a self structure based on experiences. Barrett's' research shows that emotions can also be understood as a construct formed from experiences.

The cognitive aspects of being human are all likely to be mental constructs – thoughts, emotions, memory, perception, reasoning and so on. As the brain is mostly geared toward survival, creating constructs from basic experiencers in order to instantaneously asses (mostly unconscious) would be a great survival attribute.

In a recent Psychology Today article entitled: - “Understanding why we have a multiplicity of self-states” relates - “If you have ever been surprised by how you acted or felt confused, conflicted, or uncertain about who you truly are, or realized how dramatically different you feel in different situations or in different moods, then you know that this thing we call the "self" can have many different and often competing facets and states—and if you haven’t had this experience, then you probably have not been paying too much”!

It is generally accepted in psychology that we have a number of selves that arise for different situations, it is not difficult to extend the multiple selves theory, to understand that selves, as with emotions (and perhaps all cognitive states) can be realised as constructs.

“If you have ever been surprised by how you acted or felt confused, conflicted, or uncertain about who you truly are, or realized how dramatically different you feel in different situations or in different moods, then you know that this thing we call the "self" can have many different and often competing facets and states—and if you haven’t had this experience, then you probably have not been paying too much”

Interesting, that. I've heard of the different selves thing, but as cases in psychiatry, as instances of mental illness. Apparently, basis what you quote, this is a universal condition. That's ...very interesting.

Can't say I've experienced that, though, no. Sure, I've acted enough times in ways that I've regretted subsequently, without a doubt there've been many times that I've wished subsequently that I'd acted differently back then: but I don't remember ever having acted in ways that actually *surprised* me, acted in ways that that I found inexplicable even on reflection and analysis, no.

Sure, could be I haven't paid enough attention. That is, while meditating I'm often amazed how I sometimes catch my attention drifitng off into all kinds of thoughts, and oftentimes they drift off very far indeed before I finally get around to "catching" them; and it could be the same kind of "not paying attention" may have kept me from observing what you discuss --- that is, what you quote them discussing --- about different selves.

Emotions can easily be manipulated, just think how marketing influence our buying behaviour by appealing to our emotions, like the emotions of love or making us feel inadequate to create a connection or define a need. Isn't this what RSSB institution and Gurinder singh dhillon, the clown, practice to gain a massive sangat following. Look at his calculated white image , sitting high on a stage all signaling a god like figure and that we, the minions, are unworthy and unclean in front of him. In this information age, we are able to see the truth behind this sniddy person, the image he constructs as a God like figure in satsangs, and the contrasting real hidden personality of a greedy, angry, overbearing, narcissist, and now a murderer of baba of beas, that cares for no one but him self and his sons Gary and kirat. They are all guilty of living a lavish lifestyle from siphoned money. You are all exposed as an evil, satanic, cult. GSD is in etherical form of a sex demon. He actually has all his sexual pleasures with sangat souls on inner realms and ensures they are eternally in a cycle of suffering, subservience, and are made to be totally tolerant to his abuse of our mind body and soul. You are exposed , the truth about your cult is coming out you pervert baba of beas.

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