Anatta in Scientific American Mind

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Nibbida
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Anatta in Scientific American Mind

Postby Nibbida » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:04 am

The July 2010 issue of Scientific American Mind has an article on the nature of the self:


* "We perceive the “I” as stable, but the self is actually a construct that the brain works constantly to maintain.
* Self-knowledge involves both simple mental processes, such as knowing where one’s body is in space, and complex ones, such as fabricating a life story out of past events.
* A critical aspect of self-awareness is the ability to recognize and temper one’s emotions."



http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=me-myself-and-i
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana

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Kim OHara
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Re: Anatta in Scientific American Mind

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:45 am

...and an article on gaps in perception at New Scientist
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627660.900-gorilla-psychologists-weird-stuff-in-plain-sight.html
Which feeds right into the other one, since our sense that we perceive things reliably contributes to the myth that we 'are' unitary, cohesive 'selves'.
:namaste:
Kim

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Nibbida
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Re: Anatta in Scientific American Mind

Postby Nibbida » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:43 pm

It's amazing how much attention is the foundation for what we perceive as reality.

Thanks for posting that.
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana

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tiltbillings
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Re: Anatta in Scientific American Mind

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:52 pm

Nibbida wrote:It's amazing how much attention is the foundation for what we perceive as reality.

Thanks for posting that.
Attention is the core of the Buddha's teaching about reality, which can be wrongly perceived or rightly perceived based upon the nature of the attention we cultivate. viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4853&p=74628#p74628
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Goedert
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Re: Anatta in Scientific American Mind

Postby Goedert » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:13 pm

This is a good article.

But the Buddha discovered it a long time ago.

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octathlon
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Re: Anatta in Scientific American Mind

Postby octathlon » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:57 am

Thanks, Nibbida. I'll read that when I go to the library. I like those kinds of articles.

Kim, on that video... I wonder if someone proficient in vipassana meditation would be more, or less, likely to notice the changes? Just the other day I saw a related demonstration:
http://www.quirkology.com/UK/Video_Colo ... rick.shtml

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Kim OHara
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Re: Anatta in Scientific American Mind

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:07 pm

Absolutely relevant :smile: and pretty neat, too.
I don't know if vipassana meditation would help anyone be more aware of all the changes.
I think the main difficulty is to do with how many things we can can give our attention to in the time available. We ignore what we think is unimportant so that we can maximise our attention on what we think is important. That is a pretty good survival strategy - and that is probably why we do it: if our ancestors stopped to admire the butterflies when a sabre-tooth tiger was after them, they didn't live long enough to become our ancestors.
Some people are better at observing than others, and most can improve with practice and training. (Look up "Kim's game" (named after the character whose name I adopted, not after me) for instance .)
And I recommended Quirkology to Cooran just a couple of days ago ... small world, huh?

Kim

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octathlon
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Re: Anatta in Scientific American Mind

Postby octathlon » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:09 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:And I recommended Quirkology to Cooran just a couple of days ago ... small world, huh?
Kim

Oh, that is probably how I wound up on that site, then. :D :thanks: I couldn't remember how I came across it. The internet is a lot like our minds, click click click, one link leads to another, and another, and another. :juggling:


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