Lochlan, Wow. Exceptional the way you put out these thoughts.
“It may seem that our sense of self is deeply ingrained but science is pretty unequivocal — the evidence shows that in many situations the self is a fiction that we are each continuously rewriting.
From a neuroscience perspective, stories or narrative in its broadest sense, seem nothing more than a curious byproduct, something to be discounted from empirical consideration. There is no “I” or “we” except for in the made-up stories we tell ourselves”.
Most don’t see that we are trapped in the mental picture we have created. We wake up each day repeating the same old story. Maybe a new twist here and there. But we see this as the only way.
Seeing life through the evidence of neuroscience provides a life changing context.
This is the freedom I sought all my life to discover. I knew early on the way we live is ridiculous.
You begin to question the holes in truths you are indoctrinated in from society and education. But life wears you down and you lose the will to challenge the status quo. You become complacent that this is all there is to life. To fight to maintain and defend the self that is constructed by thought.
We search for more and more freedom in thought. Elevating our thought to higher and higher places. Accumulating tremendous knowledge. But freedom remains out of reach.
Lachlan, thank you for sharing that neuroscience has demonstrated the illusion of the self. That falseness that we mistakenly build and cling to as if it were life itself. It is a false reality that causes incredible suffering…Some pleasures too. But no freedom.
Life for many is spent vacillating between pain and pleasure of the self. Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. We see no other way. And then we die.
How about die to thought now before physical death. Stop using our attention to cram it full of what we believe will make us survive and be important.
Let survival of the made up identity in thought and its importance go in favor of freedom, creativity and love.
Then life takes on an entirely different meaning. You have seen the holes and transcended the importance of thought as life itself.
Skill in thought based on memory is the intellect. It is a program. It is not life itself as thought wants us to believe. Why would thought ever want to see this? It would mean the ending of itself as the ruler of life.
That is the only death there ever is. To see that the self is nothing but thought.
You still use thought to drive a car or read a book. But now thought has taken its right place and is no longer a placeholder to love.
The psychological identity built up in thought is seen for what it is. Nothing.
Not a gal darn thing. But yet we take our thoughts to mean everything. This is non-freedom. To cling to our identities in thought as if it were life itself. Many like the comfort they have built in thought of who they are.
They will go down swinging if you try to challenge this.