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The Neurology of “Self”

The Neurology of Awareness and Self: Part Four

written by Rick Hanson January 17, 2020
The Neurology of

Part Four: The Neurology of “Self”

No self, no problem. – Monks . . . and death row inmates.

Properties of “Self” in Your Experience

So what do we have so far?

“Seeing for yourself,” as the Buddha and other teachers have advised, what have we observed about the properties of the self as it is directly experienced, such as in the exercise in Part Three?

It is:

  • An object of awareness – not awareness itself.
  • Associated with the events experienced by a particular body and brain.
  • Activating and deactivating as a means to the ends of the organism, circuits lighting up to survive, then settling back down again when survival-needs diminish . . . there is a process of selfing rather than a static, fixed, unchanging entity.
  • Especially triggered by greed and hatred – by clinging . . . notice how desire generates selfing.
  • Variable, inconstant – impermanent.
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