What I mean is an "I" needs faith.
1) A strong reason for religion is a promise of comfort in and after death.
2) You can not have a fear of death if you have no self awareness.
3) So it stands, bar the laying out of the scientific proof, that self awareness brings forth a fear of death and so a need for religion.
Onwards to my point...
Not a strictly Taoist view but one I have drawn from Taoism is that we, I, me, you, rock, bird, protein, snail, stone, atom, rain drop, star, billion cubic light years of space, cupcake, cow turd, politician even, are expressions of an unbroken whole. Hmm, OK, it is pretty Taoist but for the phrasing.
What I have seen from scientific commentary is that we use the model of our times to describe the picture; The mind was like a TV processing signals, then like a computer crunching programs and data and now they say it is like a network of neurons comparable to the internet. The description will surely alter again with our next technological step.
From my view of oneness though I will not take such a model, I'll instead say that the whole universe is, as one, leading to us all seeming to be, and in this way "I" is not someone right here who'll die. I was not even born. Being unborn and with then no local self, I can't die and so have no calling to religion as a saviour. I'm an expression of an ever shifting and changing universe. The forms are fleeting, temporary and not real in themselves. They are a magical shifting oneness.
Yet somehow this sounds and smells a lot like a dogma to shield me from death. I do though completely doubt my own existence as a separate autonomous entity. I doubt free will, I doubt what makes a human is limited to electrical fizz in a lump of meat. I see in the science I study and the world I see around me a vast interwoven fabric, threads going back so far in time they fade but which carry information vital to life as it is now, threads wrapping sideways through other species, chemical behaviours, properties, essential, unchangeable - Unchangeable that is because were any one apparent thing just a little different, then everything would be different. The way things are is due to everything, ever, and to come.
In this way "I" is not the body, mind, neural network, it is the universe. In this way I was unborn, have constantly shifted form, and can't die. If this is religious dogma then it is certainly a unique way of fooling myself! I don't mind at all as the "I" apparently being fooled is the one I don't believe has a true existence anyway!
When I look at the huge contradiction between science, which says we are an illusion cast up from an interaction of neurons (something I find has great merit but is, as yet, incomplete) and common religion, which says we are an eternal soul which will live on beyond the life of the body (something I ridicule and laugh at) then I find my own stance, while unproven and open to criticism, quite magical.
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