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. Horney, K. (1950). Furthermore, in the alayavijnana, the “seeds” affect each other in various ways. Because of the delusory nature of any labeling process, with its consequent reifications, any attempt to offer a name for the unnamable Reality must always fall short, although sages have offered terms such as Thusness, Tathagatagarba, Buddha Nature, Dharmakaya, Suchness, the Big Self, the Absolute, or the Tao. The different conceptions of the self in Western and Eastern psychology have clear implications for psychotherapy and everyday life. Each of these jewels reflects the whole net, so that the entire universe is contained in each part of it (Loy, 1993). Jacobi, J. 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. Essentially the soul, mind, or self was viewed as an inner substance or entity, different from the body, in charge of volitional processes, essentially a “little man inside of the head,” a homunculus within the individual, ultimately responsible for the person’s thoughts and actions. The “seeds” of the alayavijnana, on the other hand, can be made stronger or weaker through selective attentional and reactive phenomena. Now stretch your imagination, and assume for a moment that the collection of elements forming the wave had resulted in the phenomenon of consciousness. Mosig, Y. Similarities and differences in society. The same is true for anything else in the universe, including a person. Jacobi, J. It seems so real, and yet, if we look deeply, we can see that there is no thing called “wave” there at all; all there is, is the movement of the water. By extension, it is making a thing out of a form, a shape, a configuration, a. 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. Zen Buddhism. Nevertheless, it is not enough for the healthy, liberated individual to eliminate the delusion of the separate self. These “seeds” are “watered” by con scious activities, so that, for example, engaging in kind or compassionate thoughts makes the seeds of compassion ripen and grow (i.e., become more powerful), so that it will be easier to think compassionately next time. Author Note 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. Everything is dependently arisen, everything exists only if the necessary conditions are there. Is it Time for Another Mainstream No You Book? While these aggregates are together, the functioning gestalt we call a person exists; if they are removed, the gestalt ceases to be. 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? 450-474). Mosig, Y. The Buddhist notion of self circumvents reification, being an impermanent gestalt formed by the interaction of five skandhas or aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness). Now consider your self, your ego. True wisdom is automatically manifested as universal compassion, just as true compassion manifests itself as wisdom. It is also true of cognitive or mental states, because for every emotion, for every perception, for every thought, there are necessary causal conditions without which they would not have come into being. According to Buddhist psychology, what we call a “person” is the composite of five groups of elements or skandhas. It is often suggested that contrasting Eastern vs. Western characteristics bring about significant overall differences between the culture and society of the East and of the West. Language automatically fosters further reifications, in a vicious cycle which prevents the individual from effectively communicating in a non-reifying, nondualistic manner. Adler, A. Re: It could be argued that the self needs to be strengthened before it can be abandoned. 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