The 'self' Illusion (please see description)

Kanages Ramesh

Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Artist's Description

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“Who Am I?

Unlike many other animals, adult humans have a powerful sense of self. When we look in the mirror, we see unique, conscious individuals, each with our own opinions, beliefs, and experiences. We feel as though there is a an inner “self” that inhabits and controls the body. Yet there is no explanation for how this self receives information from the brain, nor how it exerts control over it. In fact, the more we learn about how the brain works, the less room there is for the idea of another controller inside it. Many scientists and philosophers believe that the concept of a conscious self is simply a useful illusion that gives our lives meaning: it is the “I” in all the stories the brain tells itself, but there is nothing that actually corresponds to the word “I”. Most people find it very hard to accept that there is no such thing as a self, despite all the scientific evidence pointing to this. In fact, a majority of the world’s peoples still find comfort in the idea of a soul or spirit that gives unity to a person’s life and that may even continue to exist after his or her death. "

- “HUMAN – The Definitive Visual Guide” Editorial Consultant Prof. Robert Winston – Published by Dorling Kindersley Ltd (2004), a Penguin company)

The island itself is an illusion: a capture cropped, duplicated ,mirrored and combined for this construct. If you look closely you will see a further construct added: a “self”, itself an island, centered amidst this illusion. The self, ego or I on which we ‘center’ our-selves. The size of the ‘land’ being decided by the importance we give to it. On “seeing” the self for the ‘construct’ it is , we begin to observe the further extensions through identities we have built and added to this – racial religious national etc. – which further isolate ourselves into such illusory islands or conceptual groupings. On seeing the ‘construct’, we pierce the illusion, transcend such concepts/ groupings (or isolations), and work towards bringing an end to suffering such concepts bring – both within and without – by ending ignorance. The illusion seen the ‘land-filling’ too ceases. You are finally released from your own ‘self’ imprisonment; no more a slave to its dictates, you are truly liberated. Buddhist teachings deny the existence of a permanent or unchanging ‘self’ but instead point towards seeing the self for the ‘construct’ it is : a mental ‘conditioning’ , dependently arising and ever changing. Consciousness itself is but “the firing of nerve cells within the brain”.

Kanages Ramesh ( Monsoonfrog)

“To all those who seek Truth”

Artwork Comments

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