Don’t you just love living in this time where science is increasingly able to prove beliefs that have been held by religions and old cultures for ages?!
Although you may have been raised to believe that you are you, never changing on the inside (but hopefully growing older and wiser through time ;-)), professor Evan Thompson (specialized in philosophy of the mind at the University of British Columbia) and author of ‘Self, No Self?‘ argues differently. From a neuroscience point of view, your brain and body are ever-changing, he has found out. Buddhists have always suggested for thousands of years that the self is an illusion. Now science is there to agree. This means, that you are not the same now as you will be in one year.
Good thing about that notion is, that if there is no consistent self, “you don’t have to take everything so personally”, says also Rick Hanson, PhD, author of ‘Buddha’s Brain‘ and ‘Just One Thing‘. Your thoughts, your emotions and external events do not define you. You are not your emotions.
Buddhist teacher Kadam Morten says that “Everything that buddhims taught can be empirically tested. We can understand from our own experience that happiness comes from our own inner peace. […] Through meditation you can see it is not difficult. Learn to let go of unhappy thoughts and your mind becomes peaceful. You can experience yourself that your mind has an unlimited potential for peace, love, kindness, etc.”.
Read more on the notion that ‘There is no ‘You”.
There is no consistent self. Here is why that’s really okay. There is tremendous liberation in not identifying ourselves with thoughts, or a set idea of who we are. It is then that we can grow and change, with the help of neuroplasticity. There is then hope that we can overcome our vices or bad habits (of mind and body), because if we aren’t stuck with the self-limiting beliefs inherent with a consistent self, we may orient ourselves toward becoming more of who we want to be.