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Self and Self-Transcendence

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Abstract

This chapter explores the foundations of the Buddhist doctrine of the anattā or “non-self,” and what the concept means and does not mean. It then examines the utility and limitations of the doctrine and proposes that the self is best understood as a set of interrelated reflective organismic processes. The chapter explains why Buddhism views the self as problematic and explores the degree to which self-transcendence may be possible. In the section on self-transcendence, the chapter discusses the nature of non-dual experiencing in spontaneous, meditative, and psychedelic contexts. It includes a discussion of the degree to which insights gleaned from non-dual experiencing can be integrated or fail to be integrated in ongoing behavior.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.White PlainsUSA

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