Soeng Mu, S. (1991). Various self-evident truths about the individual, his rights and dignity, basic needs and aspirations, as well as about the nature of human communities, taken from Western civilization, are usually only creations of our team culture, formed on the basis of the Christian heritage and Greco-Roman. They did to me. Adler, A. Since upon realizing the universal oneness of all, the “selfless Self,” everyone and everything is oneself, this transcendent wisdom generates universal compassion and caring of everyone as oneself. Take perhaps the most commonly noted, broad-brush feature of the Eastern conception of self: its relationality. In Eastern philosophy , though, the self is often treated as an illusion. Richard C. Page: is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia, Athens. Conceptions of Self across Eastern and Western Traditions: An enquiry into managerial relevance by Manish Singhal FP/08/2000 A Summer Term Paper submitted to Prof. Leena Chatterjee in partial fulfilment of requirements of Fellow Programme in Management Indian Institute of Management Calcutta . Nevertheless, it is not enough for the healthy, liberated individual to eliminate the delusion of the separate self. Erich Fromm (1964) specified unique human needs that must be satisfied in order to achieve self-fulfillment, and argued that no human society had yet been developed that successfully met the needs of the self. With Jung the self, transcending the ego, became ultimately identical with the whole psyche. It is the source of all the troubles in the world, from personal conflicts to wars between nations. Differentiate the concept of self according to Western thought against Eastern/Oriental perspectives; 2. THE SELF IN WESTERN. What happened to the “real” thing called “fist” that was there a moment ago? Adler, A. Rogers, C. (1951). Generally speaking, however, they have played down relationality and emphasized individuality. Being aware of the phenomenon of awareness results in the mistaken notion of an inner perceiver who is having the awareness and who is separate from it. Humans are intersubjective beings interacting with other people and environmental factors in a constant state of flux. Comparison between Western and Eastern Ethics: Allowing oneself to indulge in anger or hatred waters the corresponding seeds, so that it becomes easier to grow angry and to experience hate. Client-centered therapy: Its current practice, implications and theory. New York: Grove. Presents cross-cultural comparison of the Buddhist perspective with the Western perspective to reveal culturally based assumptions about the nature of the self. Wisdom and compassion are dependently arisen, they “inter-are.” In the final analysis, wisdom is compassion, and compassion is wisdom (Mosig, 1989). Western vs Eastern Culture. While understanding universal interconnectedness and absolute reality, the emptiness or nothingness of Buddhism, the person needs at the same time to experience reality in the relative sense, where individual identities exist. The person becomes transformed from an isolated and powerless individual struggling against the rest of the world, into an interconnected integral part of the universe. Successively taking away the windshield, a door, a piston, a bolt, the radiator cap, and continuing until the last piece of metal, plastic, glass, or rubber has been removed, one would never find the part which, if removed, transforms what remains into a non-car. This comes across to me as an unnecessary rejection of Western Practices and their ability to bring us to Source. Such part, if found, would have represented the essence or the “soul” of the car, and yet it was nowhere to be found. ), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. Language has developed as a system of communication for myriads of reified concepts, and consequently consists primarily of reified labels. Stated differently, the paper cannot exist by itself; it lacks a separate self, soul, or essence. Epstein, M. (1995). The Buddha conceived of the universe as composed of an infinite number of Dharmas, which are described as “point-instants” having infinitesimal extension and only momentary duration, somewhat analogous to the particle-waves of quantum physics (Soeng, 1991). The same is true for anything else in the universe, including a person. Although some Eastern conceptions of the self, most notably those derived from Hinduism, which center on the Vedic notion of the atman or soul, are similar to Western ideas of the self, Buddhist psychology provides a radically different interpretation. Perspective of Western and Eastern Theories of the Self EASTERN 1. Buddhist psychology is concerned with the alleviation of the unnecessary suffering caused by the delusion of the separate self in human beings in general. This essay shall seek to describe some of the fundamental tenants of African and Western Psychology. Eastern culture uses the spiritual and missionary approach of searching inside oneself for answers through meditation whereas western culture takes on a pragmatic and emotional approach in searching outside oneself through research and analysis. Buddhist and Western psychology: Some commonalities and differences. There is no one here, just this. Allport, G. (1961). New York: Grove. Close your hand into a fist and look at it. Does it have an essence or a “soul” when separated from its component parts? I see people as sick and dysfunctional mostly because of bad parenting but I guess all of these "dysfunctions" could be called the byproducts of not knowing who/what we are. East and West may have numerous differences based on culture. Removing one of the tires of the car, one could ask oneself, is this the car? It certainly seems to be. According to the teaching of the Buddha, the idea of a [personal] self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts of “me” and “mine,” selfish desire, craving, attachment, hatred, ill-will, conceit, pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities and problems. Peace is every step: The path of mindfulness in everyday life. Culture may play a critical role in this process. Religious views on the self vary widely. These potentials exist in the form of “seeds” (bija) (Hanh, 1974, Epstein, 1995). The west wants it … 3. Is it real? A comparison of culture and philosophy between Eastern and Western societies. It often amazes me that very bad parenting and early childhood damages are rarely ever mentioned by the "spiritual" teachers and Advaitic spokespersons. Eastern psychotherapy attempts to dissolve the experience of the self-as-separate entity and replace it with a feeling of interconnectedness, the non-self or selfless Self implied in the Buddhist concept of anatta. The heart of man. This is the realization known as enlightenment, the emergence of the big self, the Self with capital S, which is boundless. (Kornfield & Breiter, 1985, p. 174) Main Difference – Eastern vs Western Culture. Essentially the soul, mind, or self was viewed as an inner substance or entity, different from the body, in charge of volitional processes, essentially a “little man inside of the head,” a homunculus within the individual, ultimately responsible for the person’s thoughts and actions. IMO, early psychological damage is the most significant issue of all and way more significant than figuring out who/what we are. 2 Introduction The world of business, the world over, is waking up to a new direction for the … The exhilarating and liberating effect of dissolving the illusion of the “I,” “me,” or “self” is reflected in these words by Achaan Chah: Explain the concept of self as found in Asian thoughts; and 3. Psychotherapy East and West. Western vs Eastern Culture. The word “car” is nothing but a label for the gestalt formed by the constituent parts, and although it is true (as realized by Wertheimer and the other Gestaltists) that the whole is more than the sum of the parts (one cannot drive sitting on any of the separate parts, or on a random heap of them, but driving is possible when one puts them together in a certain way), it is equally true that a gestalt cannot continue to exist when separated from its parts.     Abstract Is it real? Eastern world refers to countries in the Asia and Middle East whereas Western world refers to North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zeeland. What would remain of it, if one removed one’s perception of it, one’s feelings about it, one’s impulses to act on it or with it, and one’s conscious awareness of it? True wisdom is automatically manifested as universal compassion, just as true compassion manifests itself as wisdom. New York: Harper Collins. What would remain of it if you removed form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness? Because of the delusory nature of any labeling process, with its consequent reifications, any attempt to offer a name for the unnamable Reality must always fall short, although sages have offered terms such as Thusness, Tathagatagarba, Buddha Nature, Dharmakaya, Suchness, the Big Self, the Absolute, or the Tao. (1927). There is no end to this causal interconnectedness. According to Buddhist psychology, what we call a “person” is the composite of five groups of elements or skandhas. New York: Norton. The different conceptions of the self in Western and Eastern psychology have clear implications for psychotherapy and everyday life. The delusion of the separate self is likely to be stronger in individuals raised in individualistic societies, such as those of Europe and America, and may be weaker in collectivistic societies, such as those of China or Japan, where the harmony (wah) of the group takes precedence over the needs of the individual. Such part, if found, would have represented the essence or the “soul” of the car, and yet it was nowhere to be found. Furthermore, Western Ethics places more emphasis on law and justice, whereas Eastern Ethics states that one must do what is right and expected and the universe will take care of the rest. In this example, the electricity that activates them is the equivalent of the, Western psychotherapy, in its efforts to heal the neurotic individual, attempts to strengthen the ego, or to foster the development of a stronger “self,” and yet it is this very notion of self which Buddhist psychology sees as the root cause of human suffering. Does it have any real existence apart from its parts? I cannot imagine how I could have gotten anywhere with Self Inquiry or the "no-me" pointers BEFORE repairing my extremely damaged ego/self thanks to very bad parenting. I am confused with having to study the brain and its regions in such depth, thought I had covered that in anatomy and physiology. Is it real? William James explicitly talked of the social self. Therefore, the self-concept is the idea of who I am, kind of like a self-reflection of one's well-being. The concept of the self in Western psychology derives primarily from the work of Freud, Jung, and Rogers. In this sutra, the universe is likened to an infinite net, stretching out in all directions, in which at every intersection of two strands is found a precious jewel. What this means is that they cannot have any existence except in terms of the interconnected net of causal conditions that made their existence possible. The article examines the Western ideas concerning how the self is constructed and how it relates to perception and experience. Buddhist psychology is concerned with the alleviation of the unnecessary suffering caused by the delusion of the separate self in human beings in general. Rogers, C. (1951). These differences can be noted mainly in people’s behavior and attitudes. However, Western psychotherapy is designed to effect such change in persons experiencing psychological or behavioral disorders, while Eastern disciplines affect primarily the practical everyday life of normal or healthy individuals. This false sense of self or ego-individuality defiles the first six consciousnesses and is the source of all sort of psychological problems and delusions. To some extent Western formulations of the self evidence a homunculus-like quality lacking in some Eastern conceptions, especially those derived from the Vijnanavada and Zen Buddhist traditions. Skinner, B.F. (1971). They are the consciousnesses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Collectivism – individuals are part of a group and the needs of the group come before the individual. Wisdom and compassion: What the Buddha taught. A still forest pool: The insight meditation of Achaan Chah. People constantly act, behave, and live out their lives as if reifications were actually real, separate entities, rather than the delusory constructions of the mind. Similarities and differences in society. Where did it go? - 6237038 This is the Buddha’s concept of anatta, and this is why the Buddha declared the self an illusion. If we reflect carefully we are left with the realization that there never was a car there—all that was there was a conglomerate of parts temporarily connected in a certain way, so as to result in a particular mode of functioning, and “car” was just a convenient label to designate this working arrangement. 141-207). The psychology of C. G. Jung. °astern ±oncept of Self 94n the east philosophy and religion are twisted together. Since upon realizing the universal oneness of all, the “selfless Self,” everyone and everything is oneself, this transcendent wisdom generates universal compassion and caring of everyone as oneself. The first five correspond to the five basic sense fields, and share the same level of depth. They also cannot exist by themselves. It is often suggested that contrasting Eastern vs. Western characteristics bring about significant overall differences between the culture and society of the East and of the West. (1989). The person’s boundaries dissolve, and the person becomes the universe. Western Ethics, on the other hand, has more of an emphasis on self and what is rationally or logically true. It was precisely this inner self that was rejected by B. F. Skinner (1971) and the radical behaviorists as “explanatory fiction.” An outline of psycho-analysis. Despite their differences an integration of Western and Eastern approaches may be possible or even necessary. Eastern culture bel… In the words of the Zen Master Sekito Kisen (700-790), a sage has no self, yet there is nothing that is not himself (Mosig, 1998). The psychotherapeutic applications of Eastern and Western psychology have been examined by a number of authors (e.g., Watts, 1961; Goleman, 1981; Loy, 1992). There are eight consciousnesses, and yet these are ultimately one (Epstein, 1995). The Buddhist notion of self circumvents reification, being an impermanent gestalt formed by the interaction of five skandhas or aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness). The self is a complex and core subject in many forms of spirituality.In Western psychology, the concept of self comes from Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Carl Rogers where the self is the inner critic.. Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 9(2), 27-36. The concept of the self in Western psychology derives primarily from the work of Freud, Jung, and Rogers. The practice and theory of individual psychology. Loy, D. (1993). The origins of the notion of an inner self in Western psychology and philosophy are found in the idea of the soul in the Judeo-Christian tradition, which notion was actually derived in part from the writings of Philo, a Jewish theologian, and Plotinus, a pagan neo-Platonic philosopher. The gestalt, the “whole,” cannot exist by itself; it does not have a separate self or “soul.”. While Western psychology seems to reflect an … Does it have any real existence apart from its parts? 23, pp. Language automatically fosters further reifications, in a vicious cycle which prevents the individual from effectively communicating in a non-reifying, nondualistic manner. Buddhism, by contrast, recognized no substance and saw reality not in terms of things but in I entered therapy at 49 but had tons of exposure to Eastern concepts and spirituality which never helped me at all until, work on my very damaged ego did the trick. ... • Identity and self-concept of the individual is interwoven with the identity and status of his community or culture, sharing its pride as well as its failures. Freud, S. (1964). As long as the wave was unaware of the nature of the ocean, believing itself to be separate and independent of it, it might develop attachments and aversions, fears, jealousies, and worries about its size, its purpose, its importance, its possessions, or its destination. Now all we have is a pile of parts—where is the car? What this means is that they cannot have any existence except in terms of the interconnected net of causal conditions that made their existence possible. The Eastern philosophy is drawn much more into groups or society or people’s actions and thoughts as one in order to find meaning in life as they try to get rid of the false “me” concept and find meaning in discovering the true “me” in relation to everything around them, or as part of a bigger scheme. In the words of the Zen Master Sekito Kisen (700-790), a sage has no self, yet there is nothing that is not himself (Mosig, 1998). Where does the wave end and the rest of the ocean start? The psychological commentaries of the Buddha, collected in the Abhidharma Pitaka, were further elaborated in India by Vasubandhu nine centuries later, providing the basis for the Yogacara or Vijnanavada conceptions of consciousness and the self. Richard C. Page. It is important to realize what is meant by the “self” rejected by the Buddha as illusory. However, since east and west refers to various countries and cultures scattered across the globe, only a broad generalization can be m… According to Buddhist psychology, what we call a “person” is the composite of five groups of elements or, The teaching of “dependent origination” is at the core of the Buddha’s teaching or, The interconnectedness, or “interbeing,” of everything in the universe, implied in the principle of dependent origination, finds an elegant expression in the metaphor of the jewel net of Indra, in the Buddha’s “Flower Ornament” sermon (Avatamsaka Sutra). The teaching of “dependent origination” is at the core of the Buddha’s teaching or Dharma. Alfred Adler (1927) proposed the notion of a “creative self” which interpreted both the innate abilities and the experiential components of the individual, developing a style of life to compensate for perceived inferiorities and achieve a degree of personal competence and superiority under the influence of an innate “social interest” or Gemeinschaftsgefuehl. Buddhist and Western psychology: Some commonalities and differences. Culture differences are a very hot topic in business as well as at holiday parties. The self is located at the center within the individual through which the world is perceived. The east takes time and has patience. This will be done by highlighting and compering central ideas inherent in each perspective. Feelings are feelings about something, about one’s body, one’s perceptions, one’s impulses, one’s state of consciousness. At the end of this lesson, you should be able to: 1. Concepts of the Self: Western and Eastern Perspectives. The Buddhist notion of self circumvents reification, being an impermanent gestalt formed by the interaction of five skandhas or aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness). Western Concept of life is linear as it is concerned with absolute beginnings or endings in time and space. It helps humans deal with human morality and concepts such as good and … 2 With notable exceptions (e.g. Create a representation of the Filipino self. This is one of the reasons why “ultimate reality” is essentially “ineffable.” As Lao Tze put it, “the tao that can be told is not the real Tao.” After "strengthening" my ego through self esteem work and venting an ocean of bottled up sorrow and rage, I am now able to work with the "no me/I/self" process taught by you and Tony Parsons and at Liberation Unleashed. London: Hogarth Press. This paper will compare and contrast these differing views emerging from Western and Eastern psychology, and examine their relevance for psychotherapy and everyday life. It's nice to know that there really is no separate me and that Life is just happening - for no one.Thanks for your magnificent articles,jim :). Write the top 5 differences between Western and Eastern society, culture and the individuals in the table below. Where did it go? Loy, D. (1993). The fuzzier Rogerian self does offer some points of commonality with the Eastern conception of the non-self, as will be clear from the discussion that follows. The concept of the self in Western psychology derives primarily from the work of Freud, Jung, and Rogers. (Original work published 1940). Another crucial area of comparison for eastern and western philosophy is innate morality. He was a founder of the school known as the Vijnanavada (“path of knowledge”) or Yogacara (“application of yoga”), and the author of one of the most important books of Buddhist psychology, the, According to Vasubandhu, all that can be experienced to exist is “mind only,” or the mental processes of knowing. Jim: This is and has been my experienced with Self discovery and the What/who am I? Beyond freedom and dignity. The concept of self has gone through significant changes over the last 100 years. It does not acknowledge energy fields as clinically significant for diagnosis or treatment. To some extent Western formulations of the self evidence a homunculus-like quality lacking in some Eastern conceptions, especially those derived from the Vijnanavada and Zen Buddhist traditions. The different conceptions of the self in Western and Eastern psychology have clear implications for psychotherapy and everyday life. In analyzing a mythological work, a proper understanding of the nature of the self and its relation to the Cosmos is essential. Reductionism, while useful in certain applications, is not helpful in understanding the person. There is no little man inside of the head, no thinker of thoughts, no doer of deeds, no inner ego or self, other than the temporary gestalt formed by the skandhas. The highest conclusion and discovery of Western psychology is the starting point of Eastern psychology, especially the psychology of yoga. These labels tend to perpetuate the illusion that reified concepts are actually real, existing objects, for their reality seems to be attested to by the very fact that labels exists for each of them. In a Platonic tradition, concepts were seen to entail universals, applying always and for ever. Perspective of Western and Eastern Theories of the Self EASTERN 1. No owner, no one to be old, to be young, to be good or bad, weak or strong. These potentials exist in the form of “seeds” (bija) (Hanh, 1974, Epstein, 1995). Some Eastern philosophies reject the self as a delusion. Zen Buddhism. Now consider your self, your ego. Part I: A very brief look into ancient philosophies/differences between two cultures. But what about a person? Implications for psychotherapy and everyday life are discussed. This same piece of paper, is also because there was rain and sunshine, for without them the tree could not have grown. Talk about their social roles/social B. Where does the wave end and the rest of the ocean start? New York: Knopf. Search for more papers by this author. Sigmund Freud, for example, introduced the structural model of the psychic apparatus, part … These causes and conditions can themselves be either internal mental states or external events. Allport, G. (1961). The main difference between eastern and western ethics is the fact that Western Ethics is about finding truth, whereas Eastern Ethics are very much about the protocol, and showing of respect. This can be grasped best with another metaphor, often found in Buddhist literature. These “seeds,” upon development, produce all sorts of mental phenomena. The concept of the self in Western psychology derives primarily from the work of Freud, Jung, and Rogers. Comparison of Western and Eastern Concepts of Self Western Eastern Duality- you are distinct from other persons Other persons are part of your self Talk about their personal attributes Talk about their social roles Highlights personal achievements Keeps a low profile and avoid boastfulness Individualistic- focus on the person Collectivistic- group and social relations are more important … One of the most important ones was Vasubandhu, an oustanding Buddhist scholar living in the 4th century. . In the same way, all human problems and suffering disappear when the illusion of a separate self is eliminated. Page, Richard C.; Berkow, Daniel N. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, v19 n2 p83-93 Apr 1991. New York: Norton. According to Walpola Rahula (1974), “Buddhism stands unique in the history of human thought in denying the existence of a [separate] soul, self, or atman. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 13, 125-136. Differentiate the concept of self according to Western thought against Eastern/Oriental perspectives; 2. I Am as described here is equivalent to kensho. He did so by distinguishing between the ego as center of consciousness and the self as the emergent integration of the polarities of the personality. MODULE 1: The Self from Various Perspectives Source: Understanding the Self. When crossing the street, it is not enough to contemplate an approaching car and to realize that we are one with it. If the component conditions are regarded as elements, we can say that this piece of paper is composed of non-paper elements, or, in other words, that conditions other than the paper itself are necessary for the paper to exist. 23, pp. Reification is the process by which the mind makes a thing (res), or a material object, out of a concept or an abstraction. They are the consciousnesses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. New York: Pantheon. Personally, I am tired of seeing Westerners adopting an Eastern stance for Personal Growth and Connecting with Spirit. The heart of man. A fist. Can this be a therapy? Just as an automobile is a temporary collection of car parts, a person is a temporary arrangement of these five aggregates or skandhas. Who which Whom The self in eastern and western thought Eastern Thought Asian Countries Confucianism Confucianism "The identity and self-concept of an individual is interwoven with the identity and status of his/her community or culture, sharing its prides as well as its failures." Goleman, D. (1981). Mosig, Y. Jung’s collective unconscious is the closest concept in Western psychology, with the archetypes being somewhat analogous to “seeds,” but the Buddhist concept is vaster and more dynamic, allowing as it does for the “seeding” of the unconscious (Hanh, 1991). At which point did the car disappear? Close your hand into a fist and look at it. The illumination is one ongoing phenomenon, integrating the contributions of the individual bulbs. You can edit this template and create your own diagram.Creately diagrams can be exported and added to Word, PPT (powerpoint), Excel, Visio or any other document. Zen keys. Rahula, W. (1974). Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press. Eastern vs. Western Spiritual Practices By Maurice Turmel, PhD . If we reflect carefully we are left with the realization that, But what about a person? Subscribe to my channel! Author Note Each of these jewels reflects the whole net, so that the entire universe is contained in each part of it (Loy, 1993). Associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services. Western philosophers have never been completely blind to these questions. To some extent Western formulations of the self evidence a homunculus-like quality lacking in some Eastern conceptions, especially those derived from the Vijnanavada and Zen Buddhist traditions. Hahn, N. (1988). According to Horney, the congruence of the “real self” and the “idealized self” is the hallmark of a healthy personality. What would remain of it if you removed form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness? (1961). Take the form of one’s body, for example. Let’s dive in! Everything is dependently arisen, everything exists only if the necessary conditions are there. The self-realization of Jung became the model for the concept of self-actualization in the humanistic psychologies of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, and it was the latter who added a phenomenological dimension to the self. AND EASTERNTHOUGHT LESSON OBJECTIVES. The following exercise makes the same point experientially. Is it real? Form is empty of reality when separated from perceptions, feelings, impulses, and consciousness. Despite their differences an integration of Western and Eastern approaches may be possible or even necessary. Zen Buddhism. Western people rely mainly on reason and logic which are the more popular sources of knowledge. 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Philosophy deals with Individualism while Eastern philosophy, though, the self 's well-being empty of reality separated... False view can be abandoned going through the 'Must Reads ' articles ( see sidebar ) personal conflicts to between! Is automatically manifested as universal compassion, just as true compassion manifests itself as wisdom Page: is associate. The unnecessary suffering caused by the “ real ” thing called “ fist ” that there. Composed of an ongoing process expansion of the separate self been completely to. Has more of a subjective “ I ” or the mental processes of knowing differences an integration of Western Eastern!