Tuesday, April 21, 2009

think Buddha on not taking oneself too seriously.
In the book Hofstadter develops an astonishing – but, I think, rather convincing – view of the self (or even of the “soul”): not as some kind of non-material or spiritual entity beamed down from God (remember Him?) knows where; but instead as something that arises out of the world, something that is fluctuating and changing yet nevertheless semi-stable, and something that is impossible to locate in a single place within the cranium, but that is smeared out across the world; in our own heads, certainly, but also in the heads of those who we know, of those whom we have encountered. My self, that is to say, is not so much a thing, as it is a mass of self-reflexive, loopy patternings.


[W]e might conclude that the trick is not to try to jettison the idea of the self, but instead to not take ourselves so seriously. And yet this, too, doesn't seem to ring true. Part of the strange loopiness of the hallucination of the self is that we cannot find a place to stand outside the self from which we can not take ourselves seriously. In Being and Time Heidegger talks about how we are beings for whom our own being is always an issue: taking ourselves seriously is simply a part of the deal.
In other words, not takings one's self too seriously.
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