文化 GISH JEN：《The Girl at the Baggage Claim》的作者
GISH JEN: In the West, we feel that we must differentiate ourselves from others, endlessly.
GISH JEN：在西方 我们总觉得要和别人有所区分
We have a model of self where the self is kind of like an avocado.
We have a pit inside of us.
The pit is our self, our essence, our identity.
这个果核是我们自己 我们本身 我们自身
It is the thing to which we must above all be true.
And of course, very importantly, we see that pit as unique.
当然 重要的是 我们把这个果核看作独一无二
So that everything we do
we want to show, to reflect that pit, to reflect that self.
And we want it to be unique.
In Asia, people frequently have a flexi-self, so it’s a different kind of self.
在亚洲 人们的个性通常更灵活 这是另外一种自我
It is a self that’s oriented more to duty than to rights, for instance.
And very importantly, it is not,
it does not have a cultural mandate to be different and to be unique.
So if you ask, are they individuals?
Of course they’re individuals.
You know, are they different?
Of course they are different.
But of course, for them, it’s like, well of course I’m different,
但是对于他们来说 就像是 我当然与众不同
why would I make a big deal of that, right?
The difference is, how much significance do we attach to that difference?
In other words,
do we think it’s very important to differentiate ourselves from others?
So one of the ways that we do that, of course, is through choice.
Choice in the West is very, very important.
Everyone is always making choices.
And honestly, a lot of those choices make us a little anxious.
If you do a study
where you are just sitting in an empty room, and you’re making a choice,
and you come from a more individualistic culture,
you actually show signs of a little anxiety.
Every little choice that you make, even in private,
because it’s defining of who you are, is a little loaded.
They feel like, they just choose.
When they make those choices it doesn’t have this overlay.
And that’s one of the reasons they feel that actually we are less free than they are.
So they think that we are the ones who are kind of in this prison where, like I say,
every moment we must define ourselves.
Well, isn’t that awful?
And of course the way that we live,
we feel that, we want to be freely electing
to live the way that we live.
And so even when we’re doing things like taking care of the elderly, for example,
we want to feel that it’s an extension of our great love,
and the nature of our being to be able to take care of the elderly.
Well, the other day I was having dinner with somebody who said,
I just don’t feel that.
And it’s just very, very hard.
So somebody from a more flexi-self, or interdependent culture, would say,
it’s just your duty.
And so for them, it’s like, you know, they help their elderly parent.
They just go take care of the elderly parent because that’s their duty.
For them, this is really liberating.
You just go do it and you don’t expect it to be an expression of yourself.
It’s just what people do.
From their point of view, we have made things very, very hard for ourselves to demand that
everything should be an expression of our inner nature.
MICHAEL PUETT: We often like to think that the way to become a good person
MICHAEL PUETT：我们总是觉得 成为一个好人
is to look within, find one’s true self, the sort of natural self that we have.
需要自省 寻找真我 那个最原始的自己
And once you’ve found that self, that natural thing that you are,
the goal is to be sincere and authentic to that true self.
So if we stick to what we naturally are meant to be,
the gifts that we’re naturally endowed with,
that’s how we can be a sincere, authentic person.
Now, a lot of our Chinese philosophers would say, that sounds good,
那么 很多中国哲学家就要说了 这听起来很不错
but is on the contrary extremely restraining—and constraining—to what we could do.
The fact is, if we’re messy creatures, as many of them would say,
事实上 如果我们如他们所说 是无明的众生
what we perhaps are in our daily lives
are simply people whose emotions are being pulled out all the time,
by people we encounter, interactions we have.
And over time, those responses fall into kind of ruts and patterns
that can just be repeated endlessly.
So someone does something, it makes me angry,
and not even because of what they immediately did,
but because for some reason
it brings back say, someone from my childhood yelling at me.
And I just have a patterned response to a certain action, being done in a certain way,
by anyone, that brings out a certain response.
So if they’re onto something in this,
and I might add lots of psychological experiments show that they really are,
then what that means if you try to look within and find your true self,
this thing you think you naturally are,
what you’re probably finding are just a bunch of patterns you’ve fallen into.
Many of which could potentially be dangerous, for you, for those around you.
And if that’s the goal, you should be trying to break those patterns, alter those patterns,
change the way you interact in the world.
And if you’re simply saying, I should be who I naturally am meant to be,
well, what you’re probably doing is simply continuing to follow a bunch of patterns,
probably destructive to yourself,
and almost assuredly destructive to those around you.
The idea is it’s constant work
working through these patterns we’re falling into,
altering these patterns, breaking these patterns, creating different patterns.
改变 打破这些模式 并创造新模式
And it’s an endless work of every situation, from the very mundane
to the very, very large scale, of constantly trying to shift these patterns for the better.
And the vision is that, and really only that, is what the good life is.
The good life is a world in which as many of us as possible,
ideally everyone, is flourishing.
And you’ll never get there, but it’s a lifelong process
of ever trying to create worlds within which we can flourish.
MARK EPSTEIN: There’s this notion in Buddhist psychology of egoless-ness or no-self.
And most people misinterpret that, as Freud actually did,
most people misinterpret it to think that, oh,
Buddhism is saying we don’t need the ego at all, or we don’t need the self at all.
Like get rid of it, and then we’re one with everything, and that’s it.
摆脱它 我们就拥有一切 像这样
And I think that’s wrong.
Obviously, we need our egos.
A good friend of mine, Robert Thurman,
我的一个好朋友 Robert Thurman
who’s a professor of Buddhism at Columbia, professor of religion at Columbia.
He had a Mongolian teacher in the 1960s
who used to say to him about this topic of egolessness or selflessness
“It’s not that you’re not real.
Of course you’re real, you have a self.
But people like you, secular people who don’t really understand,
think that they’re really real.”
And what Buddhism is teaching is that
that belief in your own really realness is misguided.
We take ourselves more seriously than we need to.
The self is not as fixed as we would like to think.
The ego is born out of fear and isolation.
It comes into being when self-consciousness
first starts to come when you’re two or three years old,
and you start to realize, oh, there’s a person in here.
And you’re kind of like trying to make sense of everything,
who you are, who are those parents there.
The ego is a way of organizing oneself,
and it comes from the intellect as the mind starts to click in.
And for many people
it stays in a kind of immature place
where our thinking mind, our intellect, is defining for ourselves who we are.
在这个阶段 我们的头脑 智力来定义我们是谁
Either taking all the negative feedback, like I’m not good enough,
and the ego fastens onto all the negativity.
Or the positive, the affirmation, like oh, I’m really something.
And the ego likes certainty, it likes security, it likes repetition.
And so it’s always reinforcing its own vision of itself.
And that starts to restrict.
It starts to restrict us, to confine us, to make us think
它开始控制我们 局限我们 让我们以为
that we know ourselves better than we actually do.
SAM HARRIS: One of the problems we have in discussing consciousness scientifically
is that consciousness is irreducibly subjective.
Consciousness is what it’s like to be you.
If there’s an experiential internal qualitative dimension to any physical system,
then that is consciousness.
And we can’t reduce the experiential side
to talk of information processing, and neurotransmitters,
and states of the brain in our case.
And people want to do this.
Someone like Francis Crick said famously, you’re nothing but a pack of neurons.
正如Francis Crick的名言所说 你什么也不是 只是一组神经元
And that misses the fact that half of the reality we’re talking about
is the qualitative experiential side.
So when you’re trying to study human consciousness,
for instance, by looking at states of the brain,
all you can do is correlate experiential changes with changes in brain states.
But no matter how tight these correlations become,
that never gives you license to throw out the first-person experiential side.
That’d be analogous to saying that if you just flipped a coin long enough
you would realize it had only one side.
And now it’s true you can be committed to talking about just one side.
You can say that heads being up is just the case of tails being down.
But that doesn’t actually reduce one side of reality to the other.
I’m not arguing that consciousness is a reality beyond science,
or beyond the brain, or that it floats free of the brain at death.
I’m not making any spooky claims about its metaphysics.
What I am saying, however, is that the self is an illusion.
The sense of being an ego, an I,
a thinker of thoughts in addition to the thoughts,
an experiencer in addition to the experience.
That the sense that we all have of riding around inside our heads
as a kind of a passenger in the vehicle of the body,
that’s where most people start when they think about any of these questions.
Most people don’t feel identical to their bodies.
They feel like they have bodies.
They feel like they’re inside the body.
And most people feel like they’re inside their heads.
Now that sense of being a subject,
a locus of consciousness inside the head,
is an illusion.
That is, it makes no neuroanatomical sense,
there’s no place in the brain for your ego to be hiding.
We know that everything you experience,
your conscious emotions, and thoughts, and moods,
and the impulses that initiate behavior, all of these things are delivered by
myriad different processes in the brain that are spread out over the whole of the brain.
They can be independently erupted.
We have a changing system, we are a process.
And there’s not one unitary self that’s carried through
from one moment to the next, unchanging.
And yet we feel that we have this self that’s just this center of experience.
“自我”是什么？您身份的 3 个层次
文化 GISH JEN：《The Girl at the Baggage Claim》的作者