Saturday, September 6, 2014

The ego is part of enlightenment

I explored the idea that meditation states are in fact developing skill with the "evolutionary...deeper, more primary levels of being." And that said traditional and metaphysical interpretations of such states, maybe appropriate for their time, must now move into the postmetaphysical. I included some of Bonnie's (and many others') work on this in this IPS thread.

Damasio calls representational cognition the narrative self. Thompson explores how meditation goes below it to the core and proto-selves. Which are themselves still higher functions of 'mind,' as there are still more primal levels of 'awareness' before mind, a distinction Steven is getting at. However I've contended that it is an aspect of narrative self or rational ego that is the tool doing the witnessing of such states. And another aspect of this tool, the synthetic ego, is what is doing the integrating and transforming of those states, using the work of Engler and Epstein. The narrative or representational self (aka rational ego) is not the devil here, on when it dysfunctions as 'proliferation,' as the Buddhists call it. So yes, proliferation does require 'deconstruction,' but not the narrative self in toto. And when the lower selves are integrated, thoughts and cognitions are just as much a part of 'enlightenment' as the other states.

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