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The Fractal SelfScience, Philosophy, and the Evolution of Human Cooperation$
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John L. Culliney and David Jones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824866617

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824866617.001.0001

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From Self to No-Self to All-Self

From Self to No-Self to All-Self

(p.149) 9 From Self to No-Self to All-Self
The Fractal Self

John L. Culliney

David Jones

University of Hawai'i Press

Chapter 9 explores how individuals working to attain peak performance are at their best when intimately embedded and engaged in their chosen sector of the world, moving with and helping to shape its creative turbulence. Primarily focusing on the Buddhist notion of an enlightened self, we propose the sage ideally represents the fractal self with Confucian and Daoist philosophies complementing Buddhist thinkers in their conscious struggle against problems arising in selves devoted to an integrity way of being. The Buddhist self becomes the paradigmatic model for a self of intimacy. In intimacy, knowledge resides at the interface of self and world and free-will manifests in our evolved nature with our option to choose constructive engagement with our world—from family harmony to international well-being and biospheric sustainability. This chapter takes readers into discussions that may seem paradoxical, as in the concept of no-self and the sources of suffering, barriers to approaching nirvana. The Western notion of an individuated human soul dissolves into the unbounded vision of the self of intimacy that Buddhists believe is realized in traveling the “Eightfold Path.” Bash?’s poetry evokes the Path and opens vistas of compassion and enlightenment in the quest of a fractal self.

Keywords:   anatman, dukkha, nirvana, Eightfold Path, soul, Basho, compassion, free will, enlightenment

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