john_j_enright (john_j_enright) wrote,

That Pesky Self

I just finished reading The Music of Life: Biology Beyond Genes, by Denis Noble.

I found it very educational and enjoyable. 

Toward the end he tackles the subject of "the self," and whether it can be found in the brain, or whether it's a process of the whole body, or what else it might be.

He proposes that the self is "an object we hang onto because of our language and culture make it very difficult to do otherwise".

He compares our culture to Asian cultures, which he says lack a strong sense of self.  He goes on to mention that the aim of Buddhist meditation is the elimination of the sense of self.

That gave me pause.  If they don't have a strong sense of self... why do they have to meditate so much to get rid of it?

If losing your self is meditation's aim,
doesn't that really give away the game?

Something that's so hard to overcome,
must be as natural as an opposable thumb.

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