Disputes Among Three Mirrors

Westernized Neo-Buddhism is eager at every opportunity to point out that Self is maya, an apparition, while the doctrine of no-self, anatta, is an early gleaned fruit on the path. I think this is both wrong and an incomplete interpretation. In truth, the conception of Self is evolving, and must do so more, especially now. This is the openly secret message behind the radical Gospel indication of I AM, most clearly evidenced in John. There are stages of I-ness which unfurl to the aspirant, qualities shed and cultivations added. A faucet spills liquid ceaselessly in a theater of consciousness. First we are the water; then with considerable effort we may become the faucet; perhaps later still the force of will which regulates the whole meshugina. But this is still only a beginning… Happy Easter!

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Nagel Summarizes Nagel

The subtitle of Thomas Nagel’s 2012 book, “Mind and Cosmos”, makes evident why it unleashed such a stir within the scientific and philosophical establishments: ‘Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False’. That’s two sacred cows skewered in one fell swoop, the first a kind of hidden dogma not generally exposed to the light of agoric day, and the second a beloved and enshrined foundational darling! What made things worse was that Nagel was/is a serious respected philosopher with decades of establishment credibility, including avowed atheism, prompting figures like Pinker and Dennett to publicly wonder what had gotten into their old colleague. Nagel’s book is not an easy read. You have to keep awake on every page, go slowly, and double back sometimes. Due to this and the ensuing ruckus, he offered a short clarifying summary of the book’s core thesis in a brief NY Times essay a year later, which is the subject of this current article.
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