Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> But if you realize that there has never been a person to begin with,
> But this contradicts immediately my present consciousness feeling. I  
> am currently in the state of wanting to drink water, so I am pretty  
> sure that there exist right now at least one person, which is the one  
> who wants to drink water. I might be able to conceive that such a  
> person is deluded on the *content* of that experience (may be he  
> really want to smoke a cigarette instead), but in that case a person  
> still remains: the one who is deluded.
Why does there have to be a person in order for there to be experience? If
there is a feeling of wanting to drink water, this only shows that there is
a feeling of wanting to drink water and the ability to experience that.
But why would that ability to experience be equivalent to personhood? It
rather seems it is something that transcends persons, as it is shared by
different people, and can occur in the absence of experience of personality,
like you yourself experienced during meditative states.

This might just be a vocabulary issue, but why would one call something that
is beyond body, rational mind, individuality, etc... a person? You might say
what is most essential to a person is her experience, and here I would
agree, but it seems a step to far to identify person and experience.
I would rather call this consciousness.

Indeed I agree with Dan that it is quite accurate to say that there is no
person in the sense that experience is not personal, it doesn't "belong" to
anyone (but it is very intimate with itself nontheless).

I think we only fear the elimination of personhood because we confuse being
conscious as an ego with being conscious. We somehow think that if we in the
state of feeling to be a seperate individual cease to exist, we as conscious
beings cease to exist, which is simply not true. Probably we are just so
used to that state of consciousness, that we can't conceive of consciousness
in another state than that.
It is just a big change of perspective, and we fear that as we fear the
unknown in general.

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