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Sense of self an anomaly?

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What if the true mystery was how a sense of self developed?

Even more so, what if the sense of self was an error that rose up within all this? Our identities having just risen up through a series of faulty processes within an omniscient existence, eventually leading to where we are now.

Trapped within the confines of a single experience within an infinite existence. Each unique experience of individual being just another segment that has forgotten our sense of one in a long string of errors (aka life).

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"Self," or a soul or mind is an illusion. It is not a delusion -- it has an origin other than derangement -- but it is still not real.

If you sit quietly and "watch" yourself think (basically look at memories of what your brain was up to a few moments in the past) you see that what seems to be self is really not a "thing" (object) at all but a process -- a flow or wave or series of somewhat interconnected events. Thoughts, memories, sensations enter our consciousness, all in a loosely interwoven thread that sometimes seems to move about randomly, sometimes purposefully. There is no substance in this -- no "soul," as it were.

Now plainly it is brain doing all this, and creating something we do not understand. Emotions and sensations and thoughts are what are often called "qualia," and are the center of debate between those who think that mind is entirely mechanical (the "materialists" or "physicalists") and those who maintain there is no way to even begin to imagine how such phenomena could arise out of physical matter by itself, unless it has properties science knows nothing about (the "idealists").

All that aside, there is no homunculus, no being inside us. This conception leads to infinite regression. Instead, our mental existence is process, not "self."

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All that aside, there is no homunculus, no being inside us. This conception leads to infinite regression. Instead, our mental existence is process, not "self."

:tu: Who are you between two thoughts? What happens when this "mental existence as process" ends? What remains after the thinking mind is quiet?

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"Self," or a soul or mind is an illusion. It is not a delusion -- it has an origin other than derangement -- but it is still not real.

If you sit quietly and "watch" yourself think (basically look at memories of what your brain was up to a few moments in the past) you see that what seems to be self is really not a "thing" (object) at all but a process -- a flow or wave or series of somewhat interconnected events. Thoughts, memories, sensations enter our consciousness, all in a loosely interwoven thread that sometimes seems to move about randomly, sometimes purposefully. There is no substance in this -- no "soul," as it were.

Now plainly it is brain doing all this, and creating something we do not understand. Emotions and sensations and thoughts are what are often called "qualia," and are the center of debate between those who think that mind is entirely mechanical (the "materialists" or "physicalists") and those who maintain there is no way to even begin to imagine how such phenomena could arise out of physical matter by itself, unless it has properties science knows nothing about (the "idealists").

All that aside, there is no homunculus, no being inside us. This conception leads to infinite regression. Instead, our mental existence is process, not "self."

Do you think that the awareness that you are thinking, is the same as the act of thinking?

Edited by sarah_444
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"Self," or a soul or mind is an illusion. It is not a delusion -- it has an origin other than derangement -- but it is still not real.

If you sit quietly and "watch" yourself think (basically look at memories of what your brain was up to a few moments in the past) you see that what seems to be self is really not a "thing" (object) at all but a process -- a flow or wave or series of somewhat interconnected events. Thoughts, memories, sensations enter our consciousness, all in a loosely interwoven thread that sometimes seems to move about randomly, sometimes purposefully. There is no substance in this -- no "soul," as it were.

Now plainly it is brain doing all this, and creating something we do not understand. Emotions and sensations and thoughts are what are often called "qualia," and are the center of debate between those who think that mind is entirely mechanical (the "materialists" or "physicalists") and those who maintain there is no way to even begin to imagine how such phenomena could arise out of physical matter by itself, unless it has properties science knows nothing about (the "idealists").

All that aside, there is no homunculus, no being inside us. This conception leads to infinite regression. Instead, our mental existence is process, not "self."

That might be true if materialism/physicalism didn't fail miserably under scrutanty.

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