Delusion and the self

If you've been following my efforts to explain delusion then you'll know that
a) it is necessary
b) there's a layer of interpretation between what we think is going on and what is actually going on

Now, here's the next step. The layer of interpretation is hugely complicated because it is doing hugely complicated things, and our whole lives are an investment in the way it operates. Not only this, because it has a model of how it thinks the world should behave it is then able to screen out large amounts of information and work in abstract ways. We can exist entirely inside our heads, like I am doing now, writing this.

This mental construction gives us a sense that we are separate from the world and we feel that there is something real causing the separation - our sense of self.

So, to summarise, because it is physically impossible to process all the information coming to our senses, we need to have something that cuts it down and chops it up for us. This activity of interpreting information creates a abstract world that is invested with our experiences and ideas. These ideas are separate from reality - they seem permanent, filled with truth - and we rely on them. This becomes who we think we are - a separate, identifiable self.

I think that's enough for now. I'm not trying to denegrate the self, just identify it. This identification then leads to other things.


Popular posts from this blog


A standard view of the Jhana states (what happens when we meditate)

A nice exercise in whole body awareness