NEW232Y1 Study Guide - Final Guide: Samatha, Ego Ideal, Functional Analysis

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11 Oct 2011

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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
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
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)
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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.
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.
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
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
1. Mental events epinophenomenal in behav but central to Buddhism
2. In behav mental events have no causal efficacy
3. Mental constructs such as the unconscious do not exist in behav
4. In behav, animal psych is model for human psych, but not in Buddhism
5. Prediction and control of behav is aim of behav, and not the attainment of wi
sdom or highest human potential
6. No inrospection in Behav
7. Mind=body in behav, while in buddhism body is one of the skandhas.
*See notes for more similarites
- Meditation can be behaviorally analyzed
- Counterconditioning=replacement
- Control of negative thoughts-behav analysis
4. 8 Issues with evaluating research on MM
1. Can effects of MM be studied using Randomized Control Trial Methodology?
2. How do we know that subjects are actually practicing MM?
3. Do MM instructors need to practice MM?
4. What is the relative impact of MM vs. other componetns of M. interventions (e
.g. yoga, breathing etc)
5. Are there clinical populations that should not practice MM?
6. Are there toxic effects of MM?
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