this is quite an interesting thread, too bad there is more argumentation than investigation! then again, it is a webforum that's supposed to try to increase knowledge right?
i'm not a scientist, but i've been knocked unconscious a few times. due to some of the cause n effect nature to memory, it's difficult to recall anything during those times. But, i can say, from my last major concussion, i woke up on the ground answering peoples questions about whether or not i was ok. in which i kept saying "oh yea, i'm fine!" meanwhile blood was pouring down the side of my head, and i had no idea either. science has been somewhat helpful over the years, but not very much.
anyways, the following is an excerpt of an interview conducted back in 1999, so please forgive me if progress has been made.
the subject is about the self and consciousness and i thought i might enhance this thread, not start arguments.
first off COS is Claus Otto Scharmer, then there are translators speaking for Master Nan Huai Chin.
"COS (to Zhao): I know that I have asked my question already four times. But I do not think that I’ve got the answer yet. So if I was to ask one more question, I would ask this question a fifth time. Do you think I should?
Professor Zhao: Go ahead.
X. On the Origin of the Self
COS: My last question concerns the nature of self. What is the nature of the self, both the self with the small s and the Self with the capital S – what is the nature of these selves and where is the source from which they originate, both individually and collectively?
Master Nan/Professor Zhao: The small self and the big Self come from the same source. The mind comes from the same thing. One origin for both of them. The whole universe is just one big Self. Religious people call it God. Philosophers call it the fundamental nature. Scientists call it energy. Buddhists call it the Atma. Chinese call it the Tao. The Arabs call it Allah. So every culture, in a sense, they know there’s something there, ultimate something.
Religious people, we just personalize this. Make him like a person, like a god. Okay, so this god is this supernatural, has all these super capacities, etc. That’s religion. Philosophers use logic to analyze it and try to get down to the bottom of the conclusion. The scientists want to uncover or try to find the big Self in all of this, you know, the physical research, etc. If you really look at human culture, they say it starts with religion and then people begin to have doubts about religions, and why, and then they begin to do research on them. Then you come to philosophy. And then there’s still doubt about it. It’s all based on reason and logic. It’s too abstract, it’s not real. So they want to do experiments with it, and then that’s how science became to evolve, to emerge. That is the Western civilization’s development. From religions, to philosophy, to natural science.
Religion, science, philosophy, they’re all trying to look for this big Self, this origin of life. This big self was originally just one body, altogether in one. Let’s give you a metaphor analogy.
Electricity. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, right? But it’s all over the place, actually, with energy. The source of energy is actually one thing. Everything from that system is one thing. It should be that the big Self, that we all have this. Part of it can come out and generate this, another part of it could come out and give you this.
So this is the large Self. Of course, when this is a small self, you are going to have many things happening there, also. Layers and layers and layers. So there’s a self there. So for cultivation, learning Buddhism, the first thing you do is try to get rid of this view of the [small] self.
Once you reach the state of no self, the small self, you reach the state of the big Self. Getting rid of the small self you reach the state of the big self or the large self. Compassion, loving, etc., all of that originates from the big Self. You no longer will be selfish from that large self.
XI. The Consciousness-Only School
This is actually a whole system. If you are able to spend some time in really studying the consciousness and then go back to Germany and publish them in German? As he said, you would probably make a big name for yourself. Most people were talking materialistic or only the spiritual or the only the realistic school of thought. Well, in Entering the Seven Meditative Spaces of Leadership this one batch of Buddhist studies, they call them the consciousness the consciousness-only school, can also become very scientific, also.
The Americans, the British, all of them have touched upon these, but haven’t really gone into it. If you spend like a few years on this consciousness-only, then you’d become a big figure in the field.
You’re still young. You have many years till you’re 80 years old, right? You can spend like a few years, five or six years, and study this. Then you can make really something out of it. They already have some English translations of the consciousness-only school teachings, but then you have to create new words in German, put them into German. Nobody really knows it, so if you are able to publish that it will be shocking to the intellectual community.
Especially when Teacher teach this to you, he will combine them with science, and that will make it even more in touch with the reality now. This we just talk about, we’re just chatting about it. It doesn’t mean I’m asking you to do this. I’m not asking you to do this. I say this because if looks like you are very serious.
That’s why I mention this. Especially since you came all the way just to have a talk. I’ll feel bad if you go home empty-handed."
*i broke it up due to poor copy/pasta.