Neuroscience backs up the Buddhist belief  that “the self” isn’t constant, but ever-changing - Deepstash





Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

Neuroscience backs up the Buddhist belief  that “the self” isn’t constant, but ever-changing

Neuroscience backs up the Buddhist belief  that “the self” isn’t constant, but ever-changing
You may believe that your essential being has always been the same. But Buddhism—and science—tell us that's an illusion.


Key Ideas

Save all ideas

The Self: Buddhism vs Science

The Self: Buddhism vs Science

Buddhist teachings state that nothing is constant, including the self. The notion of an ever-changing self, where the body and the brain are constantly in a state of flux, is now being supported by scientific research.

According neuroscience papers, there is scientific evidence to show that our brain is always in self-processing mode, extending to a diverse range of fluctuating neural processes.




Sleep Theories

Ancient Indian theories differ from the standard neuroscience view about deep sleep being a blackout state where nothing is left, not even consciousness.

It is stated that a certain subtle awareness is present, even in dreamless sleep, though there is no time measurement tool for the brain to put that in memory. That is why the brain does not know the time when we wake up from deep sleep.



Meditation And Sleep

A 2013 study showed that meditation has some positive effect on electro-physical brain patterns during sleep, enhancing our capacity to process information and also maintain a heightened level of awareness.



The Existence of the Self

Science has the standard approach of being stubborn in its existing ‘theories’, however unproven, and disregarding ancient science, like the denial of the existence of the self, claiming that it is just an illusion created by the brain.

Once again, ancient Buddhist and Indian science is way ahead and maintains that there is a self, something supported by many neuroscientists too.




The passage of time is subjective

The passage of time is subjective

Time is the product of physics, but how we perceive the passage of time is the product of the mind.

Your perception of time is subjective and malleable - it changes in res...

Time is manipulated by the things we do

When our minds are not stimulated, it can feel like time is moving very slowly.

When we are fully engaged, especially when we are busy with activities that keep us in a state of flow, our sense of time seems to speed up or even disappear. This "flow state" is where one is wholly absorbed in a mental or physical activity.

Improvisation and flow

Improvised art forms, such as music, acting, or comedy is an example of a flow state. Improvisation is a highly complex form of creative behaviour. The ability to improvise requires cognitive flexibility, divergent thinking and discipline-specific skills.

During musical improvisation, there is an increase in the area of the brain involved in intentional self-expression and the pursuit of goal-oriented behaviours and a decrease in the brain areas involved in conscious self-monitoring, focused attention, and evaluation of planned actions.

one more idea

The Zen View Of Morals

The Zen View Of Morals

Evil cannot be destroyed, any more than good can, because they are polar opposites of the same thing. Destruction and creation, chaos and order; opposite aspects of reality, in tension with one ano...

The Zen View Of Life

For Zen practitioners, life is transitory and insubstantial. There is no security and thinking otherwise is a waste of time. 

They also don’t believe in an afterlife. Reincarnation can be more accurately thought of as a constant rebirth, of death throughout life, and the continual coming and going of universal energy before and after death.

The Zen View Of The World

The word 'Zen' means emptiness or void. This is the basis of Zen — that all that exists is based on a dynamic emptiness. Which is also what quantum science says.

In this view, there is no difference between matter and energy. Look at anything closely enough and you will see that it is an event, not a thing. Furthermore, there is not a ‘multiplicity of events’. There is just one event, with multiple aspects, unfolding. 

The Hard Problem of Consciousness

The Hard Problem of Consciousness

Consciousness could be described as the feeling of being inside your head, looking out, or of having a soul.

How we learn, store memories, or perceive things, are easy prob...

Between Science And Philosophy

The problems of consciousness straddle the border between science and philosophy.

  • Some argue that conscious sensations, such as pain, don't really exist, others, that plants and trees must also be conscious.
  • A handful of neuroscientists have come to believe that the problem is about to be solved if we are willing to accept the conclusion that computers or the internet might soon become conscious too.

Ignoring The Problem

Science has been trying to ignore the problem of consciousness for a long time.

  • In the 1600s, René Descartes declared that nothing is more obvious and undeniable than the fact that we are conscious. Your consciousness can't be a fantasy. At the same time, your consciousness does not obey any of the usual rules of science. It doesn't seem to be physical. It can't be observed or really described. Descartes concluded that it had been bequeathed to us by God.
  • This Cartesian dualism remained the assumption into the 18th century. But it was unacceptable to the secular scientist that took the position that only physical things exist.
  • As late as 1989, the British psychologist Stuart Sutherland declared that it is impossible to specify what consciousness is, what it does, or why it evolved.
  • In 1990 Francis Crick and Christof Kock mentioned in a paper that most of the work in both cognitive and neurosciences makes no reference to consciousness because most don't know of a useful way of approaching the problem.