Final Exam Notes: Second Half

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Department
New College
Course
NEW232Y1
Professor
Tony Toneatto
Semester
Winter

Description
1. It means that one needs to develop a strong ego before you can realize the empti ness of self. In order to accomplish this, one has to pass through a series of stages or level s of development-from lower to higher level. This model implies that Buddhism is suitable only for persons with advanced pers onality development and that meditative practices are only for those with a cohe sive sense of self. This idea is part of Engler's Developmental Model which attempts to integrate Bu ddhism and psychoanalysis. The Developmental Model has been criticized by Rubin who believes that models such as the developmental model impede the integration of Buddhism and psychoanalysis because they assume uniformity of one's identity, while in reality one can function "higher" at some levels and "lower" at others . 2. Epstein belives that meditative practices can transform narcissism into authe ntic self by transforming the ideal ego and the ego ideal. The ideal ego is an idealized image of the ego as solid, permanent and perfrect. It is based on the memory of infantile narticissm, when one existed in a symbiotic fusion with the mother and all one's needs were immediately satisfied. The ego ideal embodies a state of becoming - it is the highest potential self that one yearns to become. It is also based on the memory of infantile perfection. Classical psychoanalysis argues that experience of meditation is a regression to an earlier, infantile s tate and reflects the merger of the ego with the ego-ideal. Epsein, however, arg ues otherwise: he believes that meditation can in fact transform both the ideal ego and the ego ideal. In order to understand how this is possible one needs to distinguish between two types of meditation: concentration meditation and insigh t meditation. Concentration meditation keeps the mind focused, produces a sense of well-being and enhances the ego ideal. Insight meditation is an alert awarene ss of the field of consiousness that develops into insight and wisdom and result s in the clear perception of impermanence, emptiness and unsatisfying nature of self and one's field of experience. However, this realization can give rise to a nnihilation anxiety because the false view of the self is threatened and one und erstands that one cannot identify with the content's of one's mind and that one is unconditioned and free of essence. Thus, insight meditation challenges the id eal ego, since it confronts the illusory ontology of oneself as real, substantia l and eternal ("not me, not mine, not myself"). It is neccessary to strengthen t he sense of ego ideal thought concentration meditation in order to combat the an nihilation anxiety and be capable of releasing the ideal ego (i.e. the ego ideal acts as a transitional object-it allows the individual feel stable while their realize the 3 truths of existence). After that, one can let go of the ego ideal. Thus, both concentration and insight meditation are neccessary in order to overc ome the infantile narcissism, which is conceptualized in our minds as the ideal ego and the ego ideal. 4.Buddhism and Psychoanalysis Similarities: 1. Concerned with relieving suffering. 2. Intimate relationship between practioner and teacher->potential for abuse 3. Encourage openess to all experience (PA-explore unwanted desires and thoughts , B.-nonjudgemental observation of one's mind, acceptance of all thoughts) 4. Acknowledge hinderances to self-knowledge (B. karmic formations, PA defence m echs) 5. Unconscious is important (PA-unaddressed conflicts and desires originate in t he unconscious, Buddhism- the anusayas) 6. Self-result of the past experiences and conditioning (PA-early experiences ar e central, B-12 links of dependent origination) Differences PA+ 1. Buddhism does not adress defence mechanisms-PA contrb. 3. Buddhism ignores transference and countertransference-PA contrib. 3. Buddhism ignores transference and countertransference-PA contrib. B+ 4. PA focuses exclusively on illness and is not concerned with the relief of com mon suffering. Buddhism addresses the problem of all-pervasive suffering and sug gests a solution (the realization of the 3 marks of existence, the 8 fold path, the 12 links of DO etc). 5. PA excessively focuses of strengethening the ego -Buddhism contrb 6. PA ignores moral aspects of relationships, while Buddhism adresses this vital issue, for example, through the 8 fold path. Other 7. PA empasizes reconstruction, while Buddhism emphasized deconstruction. 2. In Buddhism, conditioning can be overcome, while in psychoanalysis it is impo ssible to overcome conditioning and the goal is to understand and control its un wanted effects). 3.Behaviorism vs. Buddhism Similarities 1. Stress conditioning (B.12 links, Beh-behav is shaped by consequences) 2. Empirical and atheoretical- observation based 3. Practical, problem solving approach 4. Action based 5. Here and now focus 6. Lack of essential or unchanging self 7. Functional analysis: - All behavior has conditions/ causes - You can change behav by identifying causes and modifying them 12 links of DO is an example of FUnctional Analysis Differences 1. Mental events epinophenomenal in behav but central to Buddhism 2. In behav mental events have no causal efficacy 3. Mental
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