Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Loy sauce

Continuing in the states/stages/lattice thread, I’m also using Loy’s history of Buddhism, as it arose during the Axial period when egoic rationality was on the rise (see here and here). In this post I quote Loy: "Shunyata is not 'nothingness' but the formless potential that describes awareness prior to identification with any form" (166). Which brings me back to Damasio’s different selves or Thompson’s ipseities. This post relates them to meditation practice.  In the post following I argue that states like shunyata arise in the core self via meditation.

“Also of interest from the last article is how in the beginning it compares what I've excerpted above with Descartes' dualism, the mind being an immaterial 'ghost in the machine.' At the end he comes full circle, noting this same dualism is inherent to not only Husserl's transcendent consciousness but also to traditional Buddhist notions of transcendent awareness.

“This has been of course one of my own criticisms with various brands of shentong above and in other threads. I explained it as an aspect of the rational ego, the autobiographical  self or formal operations in MHC-speak. That's where the Cartesean split occurs, so that when we unwind in meditation to the core self, that first reflective 'I,' we misinterpret it as some form of world-transcendent, metaphysical entity.

“Hence the next step beyond the autobiographical self, the centaur, takes us into postmetaphysics, once again grounding these natural states with neuroscience, validating the states but refuting the transcendent interpretations. And as I've said above and elsewhere, we can get more complex in our 'operations,' but until we re-embody and anchor those in our core and proto-selves via meditation or some similar methodology it's all just more complex, yet less integrated, psycho-babble still caught in Cartesian dualism.”

Now I'm thinking that our proto-self, which is what the core self observes, is where the image schema are happening. (Or maybe the predecessor 'mind'?) And it is here where we are accessing in small part some of those endo-relations I keep mentioning but have as yet explicated with any semblance of coherence. That's because I'm feeling my way into it, backing in, as it were, within and throughout the middle of what I already know. For image schema themselves arise in the middle of things, in media res, and this is the path of my Muse I must follow.

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