The Self is an Illusion - You Do Not Exist

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Published at : 29 Dec 2020
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Sam Harris, Susan Blackmore, Thomas Metzinger and Shunyamurti talks about the illusion of a separate self or ego.

Excerpts:

"I’m not making any spooky claims about its metaphysics. What I am saying, however, is that the self is an illusion. The sense of being an ego, an I, a thinker of thoughts in addition to the thoughts. An experiencer in addition to the experience. The sense that we all have of riding around inside our heads as a kind of a passenger in the vehicle of the body. [...] Now that sense of being a subject, a locus of consciousness inside the head is an illusion. It makes no neuro-anatomical sense. There’s no place in the brain for your ego to be hiding. We know that everything you experience – your conscious emotions and thoughts and moods and the impulses that initiate behavior – all of these things are delivered by a myriad of different processes in the brain that are spread out over the whole of the brain. They can be independently erupted. We have a changing system. We are a process and there’s not one unitary self that’s carried through from one moment to the next unchanging."
- Sam Harris

"We may give up cartesian dualism, we might be absolutely sure that there isn't mind stuff and physical stuff, or matter and consciousness, you know, we say we are monists, but actually, we still believe in a kind of experiencing self. The experiencer and the experience. This doesn't fit with how we know the brain works at all."
- Susan Blackmore

"The self is not a thing, but a process. It is a very interesting and fascinating process; it is that special process that gives you the conscious experience of being someone."
- Thomas Metzinger

"You do not exist. Sorry. Despite all the plans you have made, and all the nice clothes you bought, and all of that. You don't exist. It was all for nothing."
- Shunyamurti



Credits:

★★★ Spoken words

★ Sam Harris
Excerpts are from his BigThink interview:
https://youtu.be/fajfkO_X0l0
Sam is the author of Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion:
http://a.co/i0xlR9g
His Youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/samharrisorg
His website:
https://www.samharris.org/

★ Susan Blackmore
Excerpts are from Susan Blackmore's talk at Science and Nonduality Conference 2012 in The Netherlands:
https://youtu.be/Mb_0dCgVnFI
Susan is the author of Consciousness: An Introduction:
http://a.co/5bfxHtl
Her website:
http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/

★ Thomas Metzinger
Excerpts are from his TEDxRheinMain talk:
https://youtu.be/ZFjY1fAcESs
Thomas is the author of The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self:
http://a.co/7r4hyON

★ Shunyamurti
Excerpts are from Sat Yoga Institute's Ego Death and Divine Rebirth retreat, recorded on the evening of Sunday, April 1, 2012:
https://youtu.be/Px54l5dJZz8
Read more about Shunyamurti at Sat Yoga Institute's website:
http://www.satyogainstitute.org/shunyamurti/


★★★ Music

★ Androids Always Escape by Chris Zabriskie
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://chriszabriskie.com/honor/
Artist: http://chriszabriskie.com/

★ Prelude No. 10 by Chris Zabriskie
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://chriszabriskie.com/preludes/
Artist: http://chriszabriskie.com/

★ Prelude and Nostalgia by Yanni:
https://youtu.be/tKVzm0SBYtQ
Yanni's Youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/yannivideos
His website:
http://www.yanni.com/


★★★ Quotes

“For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception."
- David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature

"Is the truth depressing? Some may find it so. But I find it liberating, and consoling. When I believed that my existence was a further fact, I seemed imprisoned in myself. My life seemed like a glass tunnel, through which I was moving faster every year, and at the end of which there was darkness. When I changed my view, the walls of my glass tunnel disappeared. I now live in the open air."
- Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons


★★★ Photo

The photo is taken by Rula Sibai:
https://unsplash.com/@rulasibai
selfillusionego death

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