1st Edition

The Selfless Mind Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism

By Peter Harvey Copyright 1995

    This careful analysis of early Buddhist thought opens out a perspective in which no permanent Self is accepted, but a rich analysis of changing and potent mental processes is developed. It explores issues relating to the not-Self teaching: self-development, moral responsibility, the between-lives period, and the 'undetermined questions' on the world, on the 'life principle' and on the liberated one after death. It examines the 'person' as a flowing continuity centred on consciousness or discernment (vinnana) configured in changing minds-sets (cittas). The resting state of this is seen as 'brightly shining' - like the 'Buddha nature' of Mahayana thought - so as to represent the potential for Nirvana. Nirvana is then shown to be a state in which consciousness transcends all objects, and thus participates in a timeless, unconditioned realm.

    Introduction; I: Exploring the Notion of Selflessness; 1: The Question of Self; 2: The Meaning of ‘Not-Self'; 3: Developing a Self Without Boundaries; 4: Personal Continuity and Responsibility; 5: My World and its End; 6: The Life-Principle and the Between-Lives State; II: Sa?s?ric and Nibb?nic Discernment; 7: The Centrality of Discernment; 8: Discernment and Conditioned Arising; 9: Discernment and the Perceptual Process; 10: Bhava?ga and the Brightly Shining Mind; 11: Nibb?na as the Timeless ‘Stopping' of the Entire Personality; 12: Nibb?na as a Transformed State of Discernment; 13: Seeking The Tath?gata; 14: Conclusion


    Peter Harvey

    'Anyone interested in Buddhism, psychospiritual/yogic processes, and the phenomenology of meditation/ecstasy will unquestionably find this book a treasure trove.' - www.yrec.info