Thoughts on Poems, Film, Books, and Music.

Books: The Ego Tunnel –

The science of the mind and the myth of the self.

My friends and I often have ongoing and entertaining discussions about the “self” as something that exists or doesn’t exist. In Buddhism and Zen Buddhism, (as opposed to Zen and Tao) it’s very popular to use the party line that there is “No self.” I myself translate everything in that arena into “There is no Separate self.” Which as a statement feels very true. Ecologically it’s a very sound way of seeing us in our experience. We are interwoven with everything around us. We do nothing in a vacuum. In fact, we are both time and experience weavers and continuously use our ability to weave thoughts from the past and into the future.

Metzinger points to something called the “Ego Tunnel” which refers to the creation of an apparent “world” that was built as a survival necessity. He states, and I agree, that we don’t actually “see” the world as it is. The one example I love points out the we aren’t visually seeing the world as it exists. We don’t directly see the light waves, reflections, energy transfers and systems. Through the filtering of eyes and the brains interpretation of the information we receive, we can only engage as using the interpretation of said dynamics. Interpretation forms the structure of the Ego (self) tunnel created to make sense of the world.

I found much of this book displaying a valuable reference frame on how a sense of the separate self is formulated and developed. How our perspective appears to be the only perspective that we always use to engage with life. It is as though while living in illusion and delusion by default, our evolution generated a schema that allows us to make sense of our very existence. I found all of this terribly interesting.

The downside, as in most books focused on the state of being, is the second part of the book lapses back into speculation and hypothesis. Granted that Metzinger is careful to point this out to us so we understand how much the hypothetical vision applies to any study of ego. Still much of it hangs together with how I experience my life.

Take care of you and all you love,

Bryan

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