Today in Zen, before Kenney kicked me out because she was covering material she covered in Religion in Japan, we talked about Non-Self, one of the most important ideas in Buddhism. As you know, after the Buddha came up with all that about suffering and how it was escapable, he became a selfless teacher. But selfless means more than altruistic. In this case, Non-Self.
I used the word abstraction in the title because I am a student of computer science and abstraction is what we do, more or less. Self is an abstraction, it takes a complex system, say the brain( reptile, and the other later bits), the body, and mind(the patterns in the brain) and makes it seem like it is one entity. I think that this is a useful thing. Thinking and being aware of all the connections of those subsystems takes a lot of time and energy, so it is simpler just to roll it into one idea.
The same is true of many things like cars, computers, skyscrapers, etc. (more…)