Hebrew and buddhist selves: A constructive postmodern study

Asian Philosophy 17 (1):47 – 64 (2007)
Our task will be to demonstrate that there are instructive parallels between Hebrew and Buddhist concepts of self. There are at least five main constituents (skandhas in Sanskrit) of the Hebrew self: (1) nepe as living being; (2) rah as indwelling spirit; (3) lb as heart-mind; (4) bāār as flesh; and (5) dām as blood. We will compare these with the five Buddhist skandhas: disposition (samskāra), consciousness (vijñāna), feeling (vedanā), perception (samjñā), and body (rpa). Generally, what we will discover is that both Buddhists and Hebrews have a 'bundle' theory of the self; both see the body as an essential part of personal identity; both overcome the modernist distinction of the inner and the outer; and both avoid language about the will as a distinct faculty. In sum, both present us with a fully somatic and nondualistic view of being human.
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