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No Self, No Problem: How Neuropsychology Is Catching Up to Buddhism (English Edition) Format Kindle
Description du produit
Biographie de l'auteur
Détails sur le produit
- ASIN : B07PLRZVTT
- Éditeur : Hierophant Publishing (3 septembre 2019)
- Langue : Anglais
- Taille du fichier : 1200 KB
- Synthèse vocale : Activée
- Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
- Confort de lecture : Activé
- X-Ray : Activé
- Word Wise : Activé
- Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 184 pages
- Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon : 30,494 en Boutique Kindle (Voir les 100 premiers en Boutique Kindle)
- Commentaires client :
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Second, I should have known better because anyone who feels they need to put "PhD" after their name is trying to get you believe what they say due to "authority" rather than valid argument. Oh wow he's a PhD ...everything he says must be true! That is, it is aimed at the more lay and maybe uncritical market.
This book's thesis is that the "self" is not a thing but a process. There is no elemental nugget that you can call you. No unchanging essence that arose when you were born and continues to this day. That is an illusion, a construct of the brain to get by in everyday life. Because it is a construct, a fake, it gives rise to the troubles of our human condition. If we see the truth of this we can live far happier lives. Buddha got there first of course.
I have no problem with this message, it is an important one...but also repeated many many times in many many books. So why did Chris write this one one should ask.
Well the Amazon blurb said this was a "groundbreaking" book. Chris is an academic (Slippery Rock University) and so perhaps one could look forward to some really original thinking and analysis. At least, you might think, an academic should be steeped in the research in his area of interest and so be able to compare and contrast many different sources and draw carefully reasoned and novel conclusions.
Well , sadly, this book does not break any ground whatsoever. Chris says "his" idea is that the self is illusory (to be fair he may just mean that it is an idea he has, rather than he thinks he invented it). This was old when I first considered these things 40 years ago. In fact I could find nothing original here at all. Nor is there any meaningful discussion of other work...no nuanced analysis or any analysis. In the early chapters you get reference to a few neuroscience results , then later chapters massively exaggerate the meaning of these and they are used with sleight of hand to give spurious credibility to what he wants to say. You will come across lots of "it could be.." "Maybe..." Perhaps...." Then these suppositions are taken as fact as fast as he thinks he can get away with it.
The neuroscience referred to is about split brain patients and how the different hemispheres of the brain when severed. Interesting stuff. But Chris assumes that this indicates how the hemispheres behave when they are not severed. That is a massive leap that he completely fails to support with any evidence whatsoever. One might think that two linked hemispheres may behave differently...being severed after all is not a natural condition for a brain hemisphere. As an analogy from ethology of the sort of error possible here, early work on wolf behaviour came to wrong conclusions about wolves (they exist in packs with an alpha male winning his place by conflict) because wolves in captivity were studied and the researchers assumed wolves in the wild would behave the same way. (They don't packs a re familial groups and the parents are alphas...roughly ) . Similarly severed hemispheres are not joined hemispheres, obviously.
Its not long before Chris just starts making things up. Chris points out that neuroscience has found no location in the brain for the the existence of the self...and yet by page 71 Chris has surpassed those boring fact based neuroscientists, he knows where the ego lives...."it is a left brain construct only". Wow...surely that is nobel prize material...must have taken years of careful work to prove that. Sadly Chris does not share with us the careful research that enabled him to be the first to track down the ego. But he is not finished there, he has discovered more ...on the very next page we have more "The practice of meditation ....also brings you into right-brain consciousness." Another major discovery both about meditation and consciousness ! And so it goes on...now he's lost any pretence at being serious and descends into increasingly emotional polemic. Of course according to Chris if you don't accept all he says that's because your left brain is in control! No Chris, its because of what I've read your book adds zero to human knowledge.
And here's the sad thing, I love reading about real neuroscience. I completely agree that there is no continuing self...all is impermanent...and I completely agree that fully understanding this this is an important route to ease suffering. Just this book does all these ideas a disservice...and reads like an attempt to cash-in.
This review is harsh because the writer rests on his academic status but does not deliver the goods....if you want a book that has the worth of your next door neighbour going on about their pet subject, this is for you.
If you want to read a philosophical discussion on why the traditional "self" is a not a sustainable idea, try another academic, Derek Parfit (Oxford University), 'Reasons and Persons ' who didn't feel a need to put PhD after his name (funny that). Although this book is only for the really seriously interested reader...it is closely but clearly argued.
If you want a summary of the neuroscience on brain hemispheres read the early chapters of Iain McGilchrist's "The Mastery and his Emissary" (you may judge Chris's book a pale imitation of this). But be warned once Iain gets off the neuroscience he too descends deep into hobby horse land...but with a Christian bent not Buddhist. Very far from the "masterpiece" Chris thinks it is.
If your interest is piqued about meditation, try Pema Chodron "How to meditate" Very clear step by step.
If you want to know more about Buddhism and no-self try Thich Nhat Hanh's translation and commentary on The Heart Sutra...or any of his books really.
If you are interested in someone who is happy to talk about their ongoing experience of living without the usual overriding sense of permanent self try Robert Saltzman's The Ten Thousand Things.
He explains the functions of both the left and right sides of the brain, and how they impact on our lives.
Full of fascinating stories that help illustrate his ideas.
I personally would say this book is life changing.
Through a series of explorations, I was able to understand the ideas presented, and put the advice given into practice.
If you are plagued by that incessant inner voice that never stops - like most of us are, then this is the book for you.