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The Void

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As a society we may look to religion and community for grounding. We are socialized into experiencing guilt. Many people suffer from a consciousness of sin, but are offered no explanation except that which is given by traditional religious doctrine. Freud paralleled the libidinal development of an individual with societal development. Both requiring the internalization of a superego which leads to inevitable conflict with instinctual urges. Lack is thus created when the existence of a self-conscious is repressed. Anxiety manifests repression. The self is as a result of this anxiety, and of repression and denial. An ungrounded awareness represses anxiety.

Buddhist perspective view anxiety as essential to the ego because it is a manifestation of its own groundlessness. The illusion of guilt and anxiety provides an explanation for our sense of lack and suffering. The need to suffer is felt because it is too painful to experience pure lack. Therefore, guilt provides a sense of responsibility. Thus, there cannot be a real lack because there is no self that exists apart from the external world. The autonomy of self consciousness is a delusion. So there has never been a self to be annihilated. The desire to become real is what Buddhists define as spiritual yearning.

Human suffering stems from desire and ignorance, as a result of our lack of self. The sense of self must be deconstructed in order to end suffering. The Buddhist path is aimed at absolving suffering, or lack, through meditation. Meditation cultivates the ability to let of the the idea of 'self'.

Since we cannot become or abolish something by grasping it, to end anxiety means an end in the sense of self as autonomous and grounding. If there ceases to be an object, there can no longer be a subject.

The five skandhas, or mental factors, that create the illusion of 'self', in Buddhism, are also known as the five forms of grasping. They are form, or physical body, feelings and sensations, perceptions, mental formations, habits and dispositions, and consciousness. The ego self is a temporary manifestation arising from what is called th twelve links, the perpetual cycle of dissatisfaction in seeking grounded-ness. Each link is conditioning and conditioned by all others. They are ignorance, volitional tendencies, karma, consciousness, mind-body, sense-organs, contact (between organs and sense objects), sensation, craving (for sensation),



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