Emptiness and Self

Reference: Mindfulness Approach


The Buddhist concept of “emptiness” is described at Emptiness.

EMPTINESS is the ultimate reference point from which all phenomena can be understood objectively without any pre-conceived notion.

The Buddhist concept of “self” is described at The Structure of “I”

There is no unmoving mover behind the movement. It is only movement.

It is not correct to say that life is moving, but life is movement itself. Life and movement are not two different things. In other words, there is no thinker behind the thought. Thought itself is the thinker.

If you remove the thought, there is no thinker to be found.

Here we cannot fail to notice how this Buddhist view is diametrically opposed to the Cartesian cogito ergo sum: ‘I think, therefore I am.’ Buddhism is counter-intuitive, indeed.

So, in nirvana, fixation on the idea of self simply disappears into emptiness.

The self is simply a mock-up. It is however you mock it up. Underlying the fixation of self is emptiness.

You stop mocking up the self, and you disappear too.

For most people that is terrible, indeed!

But the disappearance of “you” or “I” means the disappearance of the fixations (fixed ideas, prejudices, assumptions) that distort perception.

What remains is the universal viewpoint with no preconceived notion.

Buddhism is the only system based on the OBJECTIVITY of “emptiness”, and not on the SUBJECTIVITY of “self”.

Buddha said, “The Absolute Truth is that there is nothing absolute in the world, that everything is relative, conditioned and impermanent, and that there is no unchanging, everlasting, absolute substance like Self, Soul, or Ātman within or without.”

All systems of religion and philosophy (other than Buddhism) are based on the subjectivity of “self”.

The basic-basic that Hubbard was looking for in Scientology is the fixation on thetan (soul, self) that installs an arbitrary pre-conceived notion as the reference point in one’s thinking.


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  • kimkaydavis  On May 8, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    My personal thoughts…Emptiness is neither a good or bad state. Although I find it enlightening, it does not seem to be a place you can stay. I am certain that even if I could, I do not want to. This brings me to motive. People move because of motive. Whether it be needs or wants. I find motive an interesting topic and even more interesting to observe. Motive, btw, is derived from emotion, whereas reason comes from conscious thinking.


  • vinaire  On May 8, 2018 at 9:29 AM

    Disappearance of self means the disappearance of all filters. Only the universal viewpoint remains.

    Please see: https://vinaire.me/2017/10/11/emptiness-the-universal-viewpoint/


  • marildi  On May 8, 2018 at 11:42 AM

    Hi Vinaire,

    Is there any difference between what you are calling “self” and what is called “ego” defined as follows?

    “Self-concept, a collection of beliefs about oneself that embodies the answer to ‘Who am I?’ ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ego


  • vinaire  On May 8, 2018 at 12:44 PM

    Looks like about the same thing. What do you think?


    • marildi  On May 8, 2018 at 1:35 PM

      I would agree. Furthermore, there are those who consider the so-called “no soul” doctrine of Buddhism to be a misinterpretation. Quoting from an article on this point of view:

      “How was it possible for the Buddha to recall former lives if there was not a continuous individual stream of consciousness that remained in existence over the span of those lifetimes? Continuity of consciousness is necessary for such recall.
      The Buddha taught students to cease identifying with the five aggregates. He taught you are not your physical body; not your mind; not your perceptions; not your feelings; not mental imprints. Those qualities are not self. He taught cessation of attachment to those aggregates. The purpose of the practice was to free oneself from attachment and identification with that which was not self, the aggregates.” http://visitunderthetree.com/philosophical-roots/philosophy/the-buddhist-paradox/

      There are other arguments in that article for this point of view.


    • vinaire  On May 8, 2018 at 1:38 PM

      The doctrine of anatta should be interpreted is the doctrine of “no permanent soul”, rather than the doctrine of “no soul”.


      • marildi  On May 8, 2018 at 3:15 PM

        The soul may or may not be “permanent,” but even according to our friend George White (who, together with his wife, is basically a Buddhism scholar) the soul exists for a “very, very long time,” quoting him.


      • vinaire  On May 8, 2018 at 7:13 PM

        My scientific view of immortality is as follows:

        1. When a person dies, the physical atoms of his body get mixed with the atoms of the universe; and his identity and soul gets absorbed in the identity and soul of the universe.

        2. People are dying as well as they are being born. Death is the absorption of the identity and the soul. Birth is the precipitation of an identity and a soul.

        3. The universe acts as the big reservoir. Absorption and precipitaion of identies is the true meaning of reincarnation. It doesn’t mean that the same identity absorbed is re-precipitated.

        People assume that identities are permanent. That is just an assumption. The soul is a form of identity. The soul is not permanent.


        • marildi  On May 8, 2018 at 7:51 PM

          How does the fact that the Buddha talked about HIS OWN past iives fit in with what you say?


        • vinaire  On May 8, 2018 at 8:06 PM

          The effect of actual actions continues even when the people die. This is the karmic cycle that continues in the living world.

          A new person who comes into this world inherits the environment of those karmic cycles.

          The DNA programming of that person interacts with that karmic environment. Where those relationships resonate a connection is made.

          There is no continuation of a past self as such. Thus, there can be an idea of past lives without the idea of continuation of the same self.


        • marildi  On May 8, 2018 at 8:15 PM

          That doesn’t seem to explain why the Buddha talked about HIS past lives.


        • marildi  On May 8, 2018 at 8:56 PM

          I see nothing there that cogently explains it at all.

          What is your own answer to why the Buddha spoke of his own past lives? Not “a” past live or past lives in general — it was HIS past lives that he talked about


        • vinaire  On May 8, 2018 at 9:09 PM

          In my view, the connection is only in terms of cause-effect and not in terms of some common identity. It is more in terms of some programming that he saw continued from the past that applied to thinking or behavior in the present life (something like what makes scientists relate humans to monkeys). Buddha’s past lives were not only human, but non-human too.

          Why did Buddha talk about these past lives? Per https://www.thebuddhistsociety.org/page/previous-lives-jataka-stories:

          “After Enlightenment, on different occasions, Gotama Buddha recounted the stories of his previous lives, to illustrate different aspects of his teaching. He often identified the persons with him in his current life with the characters in the story. These are the Jataka stories (or tales from the previous lives of the Buddha). The bodhisatta (bodhisattva) was born as a human being, animal, bird and fish, male and female, over many lives. The theme that runs through the Jataka stories is the persistent effort to perfect those qualities which led him to attain Enlightenment as Samma Sambuddha. There are about 550 Jataka stories.”


        • marildi  On May 8, 2018 at 9:34 PM

          Quotes from that paragraph assert again and again that the Buddha himself had past lives:

          “Gotama Buddha recounted the stories of his previous lives…”

          “The bodhisatta (bodhisattva) was born as a human being, animal…over many lives.”

          These are the Jataka stories (or tales from the previous lives of the Buddha).

          “The theme that runs through the Jataka stories is the persistent effort to perfect those qualities which led him to attain Enlightenment as Samma Sambuddha.”

          The point of the article was simply to give the reasons for WHY the Buddha talked about his past lives – which was to illustrate his teachings. It said nothing to refute the idea that the Buddha did have his OWN past lives. It concludes with the following [emphasis in caps is mine]:

          “Ascetic Sumedha [who was Gotama Buddha in a past life] was delighted to hear these words, and determined there and then to work towards progress as a Buddhist pilgrim and become a Samma Sambuddha. LIFE AFTER LIFE, he practised and perfected the qualities, paramis (paramitas), needed to progress on this path.”


        • vinaire  On May 9, 2018 at 5:20 AM

          It all depends on how one interprets it. From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jataka_tales):

          “The Jātaka tales are a voluminous body of literature native to India concerning the previous births of Gautama Buddha in both human and animal form. The future Buddha may appear as a king, an outcast, a god, an elephant—but, in whatever form, he exhibits some virtue that the tale thereby inculcates.[1] Often, Jātaka tales include an extensive cast of characters who interact and get into various kinds of trouble – whereupon the Buddha character intervenes to resolve all the problems and bring about a happy ending…

          “According to A. K. Warder, the Jātakas are the precursors to the various legendary biographies of the Buddha, which were composed at later dates.[4] Although many Jātakas were written from an early period, which describe previous lives of the Buddha, very little biographical material about Gautama’s own life has been recorded.[4]…”

          Many of these tales have appeared as Aesop’s Fables.


        • marildi  On May 9, 2018 at 1:32 PM

          “It all depends on how one interprets it.”

          Sorry, but I see nothing in that Wikipedia quote that can be interpreted as meaning the “tales” were not true. Incidentally, according to George White’s scholarly findings in his study of Pali scriptures, the Buddha also spoke about witnessing a number of big bangs in his past lives.


        • marildi  On May 9, 2018 at 1:34 PM

          p.s. Instead of “in his past lives” I should have said “.. in his past existance.”


  • vinaire  On May 9, 2018 at 8:50 AM

    Buddhism is the only system based on the OBJECTIVITY of “emptiness”, and not on the SUBJECTIVITY of “self”.

    Buddha said, “The Absolute Truth is that there is nothing absolute in the world, that everything is relative, conditioned and impermanent, and that there is no unchanging, everlasting, absolute substance like Self, Soul, or Ātman within or without.”

    All other systems of religion and philosophy are based on the SUBJECTIVITY of “self”.


    • marildi  On May 9, 2018 at 1:22 PM

      Vinay, I found that quote and it is not a direct Buddha quote – it’s just someone’s interpretation or opinion.

      Any of the direct Buddha quotes (translations) that I’ve seen do not include both terms, “self” and “soul,” and state that neither one exists. The quotes I’ve seen only say there is no permanent “self,” and the descriptions of self are the same as that of the ego. If there is a Buddha quote states that there is “no soul,” then I would question the translation for the simple reason that the Buddha not only spoke about past lives but about rebirth, and also taught that there is individual karma.

      I’m not just trying to be right about this point. I honestly have no vested interest and am simply interested in what the Buddha actually said.


      • vinaire  On May 9, 2018 at 2:57 PM

        Marildi, it is okay to disagree, Please checkout the concept of ANATTA from the following link.

        Click to access 6-the-doctrine-of-no-soul.pdf


        • marildi  On May 9, 2018 at 6:18 PM

          Thanks, Vinnie, but it’s kind of patronizing of you to imply that I need to be told it’s okay to disagree. 😉

          To sum up my point of view, based on what I’ve read, the Buddha did not say there is no self – he only said there is “no permanent self.” Added to that were his teachings about rebirth and karma – and the statement that the self ceases to be when nirvana has been reached. All that says clearly that the self/soul does exist, and does so for a very long time.

          So I think it’s misleading to state that the Buddha said there is no soul and not include the rest of what he taught – in essence, that the soul exists and, although it is not permanent, it exists for many, many lifetimes.

          In fact, what you wrote below about Hubbard installing “an arbitrary pre-conceived notion as the reference point for one’s thinking” is also true of the reverse statement about “no soul,” period. But that statement is not what the Buddha taught, first of all – and secondly, it too might give one a false reference point for one’s thinking.


        • vinaire  On May 9, 2018 at 9:42 PM

          Got you. Thanks.


        • marildi  On May 9, 2018 at 9:52 PM



  • vinaire  On May 9, 2018 at 8:55 AM

    The basic-basic that Hubbard was looking for is the idea of soul, self or thetan that installs an arbitrary pre-conceived notion as the reference point for one’s thinking.


  • vinaire  On May 10, 2018 at 8:34 AM

    Underlying any disagreement there are always ideas that need to be looked at more closely. One is the idea that that is being disagreed upon. Other is the reason why a person is disagreeing with it.

    One may disgree on what Buddha said. Did he say, “There is no soul”? Or, did he say, “There is no permanent soul”? There is no way of confirming it either way. It was over 2600 years ago that Buddha existed. He never wrote down anything. His words were remembered by his followers and documented. Then those documents were commented upon. We do not even know if we have the original ducuments.

    Does it matter what Buddha said? Should we treat Buddha as the absolute authority? Or, should we observe the same area that Buddha observed and see for ourselves what is there? What do we see?

    NOTE: The same argument may be used for other figures used as “authority”. Even when they wrote down their thoughts, different interpretations shall exist as people read them in different contexts.


    • vinaire  On May 10, 2018 at 8:48 AM

      So, I must look at the area of disagreement more closely in total honesty to myself. What does “soul” truly mean to me? Do I see it as a thing, as a feeling or as a concept?

      I definitely see it as the “essence” of a person. I do have a fundamental essence. I can feel it. It is what I am. In that sense it is same as “self”. I can even see it as “atman” too. So, I have no disagreement with “soul” as a concept.

      But is soul a distinct entity that exists separate from the body? This is where the disagreement seems to arise. This is like asking, does space exist separate from matter.


      • vinaire  On May 10, 2018 at 9:15 AM

        But even after making lot of observations, and combining them with the observations of others, how do I know that I have come to the correct conclusion?

        I observe that after a person dies, his body is cremated according to the Hindu rites. The atoms dissipate and mingle with the atoms of the universe.

        Even when a body is buried according to the rites of other religions, it may retain its form for a while; but that form gradually disintegrates. Ultimately, it is dust to dust.

        The truth is that the body does not retain its form after death as it did when it was alive. Does the same thing happen to the soul?


        • vinaire  On May 10, 2018 at 9:27 AM

          A question very pertinent to this observation is, “When the body and soul were alive, were they integrated as one, or were they separate?” The answer to this question may help us determine what happens after death.

          It is a very common occurrence to feel completely separate from the body when alive. This may happen when one is about to fall asleep. This may also happen in meditation. It is called “exteriorization” in Scientology. But is this phenomenon of “exteriorization” simply a subjective feeling, or is it objective?

          A question that may establish the objectivity would be, “Can space be separated from matter?


        • marildi  On May 10, 2018 at 2:42 PM

          “But is this phenomenon of ‘exteriorization’ simply a subjective feeling, or is it objective?”

          A lot of anecdotal data has been collected about exteriorization/OOB experiences as well as NDE (Near Death Experiences), the sheer numbers of which should get more attention from research scientists than it does.

          That said, actual scientific research on NDE – which also includes exteriorized perception – indicates very similar experiences across cultures, age groups, etc. Scientifically speaking, this points strongly to the conclusion that these NDE’s are not imaginary.

          With regard to proof of exteriorization/OOB in general, there have been documented cases in which there was no other explanation for what the subject was able to objectively perceive in that state.

          Once such documented case, according to an article I read, was done by Dr. Charles Tart, “a transpersonal psychologist and parapsychologist known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness (particularly altered states of consciousness),” His research findings in that particular case is briefly summarized by the paragraph below, taken from his book and quoted in the article (see further details about it at the link provided):

          “The number 25132 was indeed the correct target number near the ceiling above here bed. I had learned something about designing experiments since my first OBE experiment, and precise evaluation was possible here. The odds against guessing a five-digit number by chance alone on one try are hundreds thousand to one, so this is a remarkable event! Note also that Miss Z had apparently expected me to have the target number propped up against the wall behind the self, but she correctly reported that is was lying flat. She had also hoped to pass through the wall or closed door and see a second target number in the control room, but could not do so.” https://www.near-death.com/experiences/out-of-body/charles-tart.html


        • vinaire  On May 10, 2018 at 6:45 PM

          The exteriorization/OOB phenomenon is very common. This fact alone, however, does not establish the objectivity of this phenomenon. Much more study is needed. It requires a better understanding of the phenomenon of consciousness.

          My intuition is that there is another spectrum of much lower frequencies than the electromagnetic spectrum, which may be responsible for consciousness. The electromagnetic substance at higher frequencies quantizes and condenses into material substance. Similarly, it appears that the consciousness substance “quantizes and condenses” into the electromagnetic substance,


        • marildi  On May 10, 2018 at 7:35 PM

          “My intuition is that…”

          Not to evaluate, but beware that what might seem like “intituition” could possibly be another phenomenon that Dr. Tart talks about. In the same article above, there is a review of Tart’s book “The End of Materialism.” Here’s an excerpt of the review:

          Tart confronts this issue of belief and knowledge, and how we humans struggle with meaning. He (page 25) writes:

          “Things that we believe that we don’t know we believe, though, are like a set of chains. They just automatically affect our perceptions and thoughts, and trap us.”

          Tart (page 34) writes:

          “If you don’t consciously see that you have competing, clashing views of something, it won’t feel as if you have a conflict. But, at a deeper, psychological level, your psyche is not whole when you do this; the conflict will exact a price from you on less-conscious levels.”

          This struggle is most apparent in a misplace[d] certainty given to a science turned scientism, with materialistic philosophy at its core. Tart (page 37) writes:

          “Scientism has uselessly hurt enormous numbers of people, and we must distinguish scientism from science if we want any hope of science and spirituality helping each other.”

          Tart (page 38) writes:

          “Until we learn to distinguish essential science from scientism, we remain vulnerable to false invalidation, which seems to have the full power and prestige of science behind it but is really an arbitrary, philosophical opinion. And we lose the ability to constructively apply essential science to increase our understanding of and effectiveness with spirituality.”

          Tart (page 67) writes:

          “Pseudoskeptics aren’t actually skeptics in a genuine sense; they’re believers in some other system, out to attack and debunk what they don’t believe in while trying to appear open minded and scientific, even though they’re not.” Tart continues: “Various media love to report in these controversies stirred up by pseudoskeptics, and usually give the pseudoskeptics high, expert status and make the arguments sound serious, either because (1) the people running a particular reporting medium are themselves pseudoskeptical, committed to scientific materialism, (2) as cynical media people have put it for decades, controversy sells more newspapers than accurate reporting, or (3) both.”

          Tart (page 192) writes:

          “Try to always notice when I write [scientism] rather than [science]. A major aspect of my personal identity is being a scientist and thinking like a scientist, and I consider science to be a noble calling that demands the best of me. I want to use genuine, essential science to help our understanding in all areas of life, including the spiritual. Scientism, on the other hand, is a perversion of genuine science. Scientism in our time consists mainly of a dogmatic commitment to a materialist philosophy that dismisses and [explains away] the spiritual, rather than actually examining it carefully and trying to understand it.”


  • vinaire  On May 10, 2018 at 7:40 PM

    I have a nice “General Principle of Objectivity” that helps me judge if I am on the right track or not. This principle is as follows.

    “The essential criterion of objectivity is continuity, harmony and consistency among all observations.”

    The details of this principle are available here.



    • marildi  On May 10, 2018 at 9:29 PM

      That seems like a good principle. However, you stated your views but didn’t include any actual observations that they were based on. So what are the observations, direct or indirect, that form the basis of what you described?


      • vinaire  On May 11, 2018 at 5:04 AM

        It is pretty much all my education and expriences. I continue to educate myself through the experiences of others. Currently I am deeply engaged in studying Faraday. I describe what I am getting out of it in real time at my page “The Mindfulness Approach” on Facebook



  • vinaire  On May 11, 2018 at 6:05 AM

    Faraday’s “conservation of force” may include what we consider as SPIRIT.


    • marildi  On May 11, 2018 at 2:46 PM

      Okay, I get the idea. I would even agree with how you envision it if you didn’t limit it to one lifetime and the death of the body. There are far too many observations by far too many people that indicate otherwise and thus can’t be dismissed as merely subjective. Those observations include such things as exteriorization/OOB, NDE, and past lives. Added to those is the perception by many people of bodiless beings or spirits – and to my way of thinking. if such spiritual entities can be perceived, they apparently do have a type of “body” albeit of a much lighter density than what we call “physical.” I think it’s sometimes called the “subtle body.”

      This whole point of view would also accommodate what the Buddha stated about the soul not being permanent as well as his implication that it persists for many lifetimes – i.e. to the point of nirvana. That would be the point when your idea about conservation of force could take place, which makes sense to me too.


      • vinaire  On May 11, 2018 at 3:54 PM

        I shall now continue with my research. 🙂


        • marildi  On May 14, 2018 at 12:33 AM

          Here’s some relevant research data for you. It’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Ervin Laszlo’s new book *The Intelligence of the Cosmos*, the section titled “Mind beyond Brain: Evidence for a New Concept of Consciousness”:


          “If mind is a real element in the real world [and is] only manifested rather than produced by the brain, it can also exist without the brain. There is evidence that mind does exist on occasion beyond the brain: surprisingly, conscious experience seems possible in the absence of a functioning brain. There are cases—the near-death experience (NDE) is the paradigm case—where consciousness persists when brain function is impaired, or even halted.

          “Thousands of observations and experiments show that people whose brain stopped working but then regained normal functioning can experience consciousness during the time they are without a functioning brain. This cannot be accounted for on the premises of the production theory: [which is] if there is no working brain, there cannot be consciousness. Yet there are cases of consciousness appearing beyond the living and working brain, and some of these cases are not easy to dismiss as mere imagination.

          “A striking NDE was recounted by a young woman named Pamela. Hers has been just one among scores of NDEs;* it is cited here to illustrate that such experiences exist, and can be documented.

          *For a more extensive sampling see Ervin Laszlo with Anthony Peake from The Immortal Mind (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2014).

          Pamela died on May 29, 2010, at the age of fifty-three. But for hours she was effectively dead on the operating table nineteen years earlier. Her near-demise was induced by a surgical team attempting to remove an aneurism in her brain stem.
          After the operation, when her brain and body returned to normal functioning, Pamela described in detail what had taken place in the operating theater. She recalled among other things the music that was playing (“Hotel California” by the Eagles). She described a whole series of conversations among the medical team. She reported having watched the opening of her skull by the surgeon from a position above him and described in detail the “Midas Rex” ¬bone-cutting device and the distinct sound it made.

          About ninety minutes into the operation, she saw her body from the outside and felt herself being pulled out of it and into a tunnel of light. And she heard the bone saw activate, even though there were specially designed speakers in each of her ears that shut out all external sounds. The speakers themselves were broadcasting audible clicks in order to confirm that there was no activity in her brain stem. Moreover, she had been given a general anesthetic that should have assured that she was fully unconscious. Pamela should not have been able either to see or to hear anything.

          “It appears that consciousness is not, or not entirely, tied to the living brain. In addition to NDEs, there are cases in which consciousness is detached from the brain in regard to its location. In these cases consciousness originates above the eyes and the head, or near the ceiling, or above the roof. These are the out-of-body experiences: OBEs.

          “There are OBEs where congenitally blind people have visual awareness. They describe their surroundings in considerable detail and with remarkable accuracy. What the blind experience is not restored eyesight, because they are aware of things that are shielded from their eyes or are beyond the range of normal eyesight. Consciousness researcher Kenneth Ring called these experiences “transcendental awareness.”

          “Visual awareness in the blind joins a growing repertory of experiences collected and researched by Stanislav Grof: “transcendental ¬experiences.” As Grof found, these beyond-the-brain and -beyond-here-and-now experiences are widespread—more widespread than anyone would have suspected even a few years ago.

          “There are also reports of ADEs, after-death experiences. Thousands of psychic mediums claim to have channeled the conscious experience of deceased people, and some of these reports are not easy to dismiss as mere imagination….”

          The above and more of the same section can be found here: http://www.laszloinstitute.com/a-new-concept-of-consciousness/


        • vinaire  On May 14, 2018 at 8:10 PM

          Of course, consciousness is a fundamental element of the universe. It appears that there is a THOUGHT SPECTRUM that underlies the Electromagnetic spectrum. Hubbard came up with a Tone scale, which may be a good starting point for understanding this Thought Spectrum.

          The bottom of the Thought spectrum would be what is shown as the top of the tone scale. Thought spectrum would be an up-side-down view of the Tone scale. Inertia increases with increasing frequency, which coincides with decreasing tone.


        • marildi  On May 14, 2018 at 8:55 PM

          Interesting, but again it’s a change of subject – otherwise known as a Red Herring or, in Scientology terminology, Q&A, man’s deadliest disease.

          Specifically, you still haven’t responded to the subject at hand – which has to do with the strong evidence that exists for out-of-body experiences, i.e. perception from a location distant from the body. Such experiences can’t be explained in physical universe terms, regardless of how much some scientists might be invested in such terms as opposed to being on an actual quest for truth whatever it turns out to be – a quest I thought were were on.

          I’m starting to wonder if your lack of a response is simply an admission on your part that you refuse to even consider the research evidence of OOB/exteriorization – perhaps because such a phenomenon would suggest there is truth to the idea that the soul exists (even if it isn’t permanent) and that it is distinct from the body? That’s how it comes across so far.


        • vinaire  On May 15, 2018 at 6:42 AM

          A review of the following may help you understand the mental attitude of a researcher. Actual quantitave measurements are very important.



        • marildi  On May 15, 2018 at 4:08 PM

          The point I’m trying to make is that researchers do use anecdotal evidence for suggesting new hypotheses – especially when there is a lot such evidence, as in the case of OOB/exteriorization, NDE, and other types of anecdotal evidence of a soul that is distinct from the body. Unless, of course, the researcher is operating on some preconceived idea. A real scientist does not have his mind solidly made up ahead of time as to what he intends to prove – he’s simply trying to find out what is true, what the actuality is.

          You must know all this, but for whatever reason you won’t address the topic of discussion directly. Instead, you keep deflecting away from it by talking all around the subject rather than directly on it. I give up.


        • vinaire  On May 15, 2018 at 7:53 PM

          I shall appreciate if you do your own research and let me do mine.


        • marildi  On May 15, 2018 at 11:49 PM

          Sure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a discussion about it. This is what doesn’t compute. Anyway, I’ve said my piece.


        • vinaire  On May 16, 2018 at 5:39 AM

          If you want to discuss with me you must follow the rules of mindfulness discussion.



  • vinaire  On May 14, 2018 at 6:47 AM

    “OT Levels” of Scientology basically represent Hubbard’s research into the phenomenon of EXTERIORIZATION, which is commonly known as OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE.

    Hubbard’s research into this phenomenon is, however, incomplete. It is my understanding that “body thetans” are a reification of considerations.

    One is basically handling one’s considerations on OT Levels. This can get very tricky. This is my understanding of the MYSTERY OF OT LEVELS.



    • marildi  On May 14, 2018 at 6:01 PM

      But you’ve changed the subject from the one we were discussing – which had to do with actual research data (i.e. observations, to use your word) directly in the field of out-of-body experiences, such as what is described in the book excerpt I quoted above.

      The author of that book, Dr. Ervin Laszlo, is a renowned scientist “generally recognized as the founder of systems philosophy and general evolution theory….He is recipient of the highest degree in philosophy and human sciences from the Sorbonne, the University of Paris…and awards include four honorary doctorates….Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (2004, 2005), he got Goi Peace prize (2001). He has authored more than 70 books, which have been translated into twenty languages, and has published in excess of four hundred articles and research papers….” http://www.laszloinstitute.com/a-new-concept-of-consciousness/ As you can see, Dr. Laszlo has credentials as a scientist.

      And for the same reason that you consider “Hubbard’s research into this phenomenon [exteriorization/OOB] is incomplete,” your research, or anybody’s research, would likewise be incomplete if the known data/observations were to be ignored in favor of mere philosophizing – and doing so from unrelated data, or indirect data, at best.

      How about completing the discussion we were on before getting into some other topic?


      • marildi  On May 14, 2018 at 6:04 PM

        In other words, a reply to my last comment would be appropriate.


      • marildi  On May 16, 2018 at 10:10 PM

        Well, Vin, I’m glad you got me thinking again about the meaning of “self” and further resolving the question in my own mind, especially as it concerns the Buddha’s teachings which I happen to believe are misrepresented on this point by many people.

        I’ll leave you with one additonal quote from Chapter 1 of Ervin Laszlo’s book *The Intelligence of the Cosmos.* This quote concludes the section of the chapter titled “Mind beyond Brain: Evidence for a New Concept of Consciousness,” and it is relevant to the topic of this exchange:


        “The above-cited cases illustrate that there is remarkable, and on occasion remarkably robust, evidence that consciousness is not confined to the living brain. Although this evidence is widespread, it is not widely known. There are still people, including scientists, who refuse to take cognizance of it. This is not surprising, given that the evidence is anomalous for the dominant world concept. Those who strongly disbelieve that such phenomena exist, not only refuse to [i]consider[/i] evidence to the contrary, they often fail to [i]perceive[/i] evidence to the contrary.

        “Nonetheless, the view that consciousness is a fundamental element in the world is gaining recognition. The Manifesto of the Summit on Post-Materialist Science, Spirituality and Society (Tucson, Arizona, 2015) declared: “Mind represents an aspect of reality as primordial as the physical world. Mind is fundamental in the universe, i.e., it cannot be derived from matter and reduced to anything more basic.”



  • n0madoh  On June 18, 2018 at 12:33 PM

    Buddhism AND physics? Why haven’t I found this blog earlier? “Emptiness is form. Form is emptiness.” Exactly! Humanity is moving at the speed of light and going nowhere. 😉 I temporarily “died” when I was 17 and my NDE/OOB experience could not be reconciled by science nor religion but “I” experienced “it”. The Disturbance Theory (I just read today) mixed with the essence of Buddha’s teachings are the closest approximation of that experience. What IF the “conscious soul” was the phenomena of a massless perpetual wave of energy interacting with our temporary corporeal bodies “here” and “now” and “we” are all somehow connected to all energy & consciousness in the cosmos? “As above, so below.” Literally. From the infinity of the “universe” to “quantum” sub-minutiae. All complexly intertwined with everything in between just a phenomena of all energy states and it’s waves in the eternal void. I, you, we, reality, mass, etc all a delusion of ego & limited perception from this tiny, perfect planet? It has all made sense to me since that bloody day but it’s taken me decades to find the concepts, words and meaning. I’m still seeking…
    “God is the Universe. Humanity is a subset of that Universe. We are all God.” / “What time is it? Now. But you just missed it.” / “Infinity is my lucky number. And why I’ve never won the damn lottery.” 😀


    • vinaire  On June 19, 2018 at 3:45 PM

      Good to hear from you.


    • marildi  On June 19, 2018 at 10:58 PM


      Based on your comment I thought you might be interested in Ervin Laszlo’s model of reality. Above, in this comment thread, I posted some info about him and quoted from his most recent book, *The Intelligence of the Cosmos*.

      Also, below is a very brief summary of Laszlo’s integral model of reality and his basic integral view, which I’ve taken from a paper comparing Laszlo’s and Ken Wilber’s “Theories of Eveything.”

      Ervin’s Integral Model:

      • Cosmology, by way of physics.

      • Most fundamental element of reality is the
      quantum vacuum, the energy-and information-filled
      plenum that underlies, generates, and interacts
      with our universe and human experience.

      • In-formation, a process that actually “forms”
      the recipient.

      • “Akasha is an all-encompassing medium that
      underlies all things and becomes all things…
      that populate the manifest world.

      • ” The cosmic proto-consciousness… eternally
      is.. the SELF REALIZED MIND OF GOD.”




      Click to access LASZLOWILBERCOMPAR.pdf



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