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  • Writer's pictureHai Xiang

Why the Sense of Self is Probably an Illusion

1. Do spiritual awakening reveal the truth of our feelings – or are they the result of brain dysfunctions. Brain tumours can cause your brain to dysfunction, not necessarily awakening of spiritual world.

2. The notion of soul is intuitive, but not logical. When we imagine ourselves without body, we are probably imagine what it’d be like to have no awareness of our bodies, but our bodies are still present, which does not allow us to image our souls separately. People are capable of imaging all kinds of sensations under the influence of psychedelic drugs, but these feelings does not make it tangible truth.

3. Multiple personality disorder illustrate the subjectivity of our experience. Multiple personality is a result of childhood trauma. As the trauma is so great that he has to make sense what happens in the world and to him. So he delineated himself and trying to find an answer as an outsider > the multiple personality emerges.

4. Our sense of self, which varies from culture to culture, is shaped by how society perceives us. Different cultures shape our sense of self in diverse ways, in the west, the sense of self centers on the individual. When transformed from male to female, the person subtly feels she is constantly ignored and disrespected.

5. The existence of ego is a trick of the mind. One’s sense of self always emerged in relation to a sensation or emotion. One is incapable of experiencing himself in any other way. The illusion arises from a sequence of experiences and emotions that seem connected in out consciousness, though they are essentially fragmented. The ego’s trick involves constructing a sense of identity out of these feeling, haphazard perceptions.

6. The idea of the self as an illusion is both found in western philosophy, but in Buddhist teachings too. Through living and experiencing, we come up with the concept of “self”, which is merely a collection of perceptions, experiences and feelings. The “self” is not something we are born with.

7. If we have no soul, we might not have free will either. Decisions are made simply because the mechanical outcome of the body and brain interacting with environmental changes in alignment with physical laws, you should also deny the existence of free will. This does not necessarily mean that the choice is predictable. Human behaviours being unpredictable, which is as a result of conscious and unconscious minds, does not mean we have free wills.

8. Technological and cultural changes are transforming the sense of self. Over the past two decades, due to globalisation and cultural transmission, children no long form cohesive and identical life experiences, which results in them diversely identifying themselves.


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