View Full Version : Perception, Consciousness and Self

16 Oct 15, 20:55
An entry from Brad Warner's Blog. (Soto Zen teacher)

Perception, Consciousness and Self

"Here’s a question I got by email:

“Is it fair to say that perception is consciousness? If the I is just the I reaction to stimulus then without perception there is no I.”

This is one of those questions people in my line of work often get. We try our best to answer them. But sometimes the answer is just as confusing as the question. Here goes anyway.

Perception is a word. Consciousness is a word.

Let’s take consciousness first, since it’s the word religious and philosophical people seem to like best. The word “consciousness” is like any other word. It takes one aspect of reality away from the rest and tries to consider it by itself, like the word “carrot” or the word “freedom.”

This works in lots of practical applications. Take, for example, an exchange between a surgeon and an anesthesiologist" ....

CONTINUED HERE: (http://hardcorezen.info/perception-consciousness-and-zen/4058)

Any comments about what he has to say in the whole of the article at the link ?


Seiun An
10 Dec 15, 04:02
I think his article was a little confusing but appears to be consistent with my Order's philosophy.

But to me his essential point (I think) was
This is why we try our best to get past our own thought bubbles by seeing them for what they are rather than trying to explain them to ourselves.

In my Soto Zen order the most central book is "Opening the Hand of Thought" by Kosho Uchiyama. The idea embodied by the above quote is the central point of the book. One quote is (p12)
What we call "I" or "ego" arises by chance and accident, so we just let go instead of grasping thoughts and "I". When we let go of all our notions about things, everything becomes really true. ... Dwelling here and now in this reality, letting go of all the accidental things that arise in our minds, is what I mean by "opening the hand of thought."