Open Individualism and Empty Individualism

Cláudio Cruz, modified 2 Years ago.

Open Individualism and Empty Individualism

Posts: 26 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
What are you guys thoughts on the concepts of Open Individualism and Empty Individualism?

The philosopher Daniel Kolak argues that the Buddhist view is Empty Individualism, but seems to me that could be both.
Stickman2, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Open Individualism and Empty Individualism

Posts: 375 Join Date: 7/24/17 Recent Posts
HI Claudio, I'll play a bit. The diagrams on the web page show the sense of being an individual in a point on a linear time stream.

What if time doesn't really follow the number line in the way mathematicians and clock makers like to depict it ?
And hence the point from which individuality is constructed, from memories and fantasies etc., isn't on a line, and maybe isn't necessarily one point ?

We've had an updated conception of time from Einstein, and we also know that a perfect, Platonic, smooth, infinite number line can't be found in nature. Notionally straight lines tend to disappear (ie into atoms, fractals etc) when examined closely, why should this not be the case for the time line of a personal life ?

In short, if we don't construct our personalities from a straight time line, what do we really do ?

(BTW please don't use any chairs, tables or trees in your answer, philosophers are really tedious in their illustrative  example choices).
streamsurfer, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Open Individualism and Empty Individualism

Posts: 97 Join Date: 1/19/16 Recent Posts
Taking the assumption that time is linear ( emoticonemoticon ), I would categorize buddhism this way:

Empty individualism:
There is the illusion of self - a function of mind which refers back to itself. It not really is a permanent thing itself, but creates the trick of continuity due to reference points which are made up. Basically the pattern: Taking a coordinate in reality and cling to it as seperate, refer back to it to create the illusion of identity, doing this process again and again to create continuity. But this is a functionwhich is empty of identity - since open.

Open individualism:
The self is a illusion, it doesn't exist. All the qualities of experience, that arise, come and go and none qualifies as a stable ground for identity. 
Where do they arise? That's the part, where you could stick buddhism to open or empty individualism. If there's anything permanent, a experiencer, a watcher, a self, an awareness, etc. etc., which could be located in the time stream of reality, it would be empty.
But buddha menant: no waaaay there's anything like that - so it's open. I guess Kolak is taking the mind stream or something as paradigm that qualifies for empty.
Stickman2, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Open Individualism and Empty Individualism

Posts: 375 Join Date: 7/24/17 Recent Posts
Thank you for not referring to any chairs or trees. emoticon

We do have a knack for creating continuous things out of discrete things. And also vice versa.

In the buddhist view of the self which predominates here, the self is shown to be an illusion once examined closely.

But I wonder if this only happens at one level, or it has multiple layers of continuity, discreteness, continuity, discretenes - ad infinitum ?

Take a mosaic as an example -

From a distance the mosaic seems to have continuous lines
Closer still and the lines are seen to be made of pieces
Closer still and you can see that the individual pieces are continuous, have continuous edges and form.
Look even closer at a piece and once more it seems made of smaller pieces.

The self as described hereabouts doesn't seem to work like this, or does it ? One comes to a point where continuity stops.
Correct me if I'm wrong.