There are at least two possibilities, and no doubt many more besides.

The first one turns around the Cartesian dictum, "Cogito ergo sum", "I think therefore I am". René Descartes got off to a brilliant start and then promptly took a wrong turn, completely missing the point of his inadvertent discovery.

He turned right, taking the very 'doubt' that he took as evidence of his 'existence', making it the keystone of his entire intellectual edifice. Instead, he should have turned left and investigated it. So as to realise it's causal factors, thereby realising it's true nature, "... thus I am simply the result of that thought".

The second possibility considers the two Grail Legend questions. "What does it mean?" and, "Whom does it serve?" The first investigates the object of attention. The second investigates the subject himself, using the same principles, in the same way, to find the same answer.

One could also think of a teaching given to Carlos Castaneda, Don Juan's "second attention": though others might not agree.

closed as too broad by THelper, Unrul3r, Crab Bucket, Andrei Volkov Aug 20 '14 at 11:38

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    This is a yes\no question with two gigantic umbrella terms. As the question stands, I'd answer simply yes, but if the question was modified to ask for a description of that relation, I wouldn't venture describing it because there are "...no doubt many more besides.". The only thing I can suggest is to try to break the question down so that it narrows the possible answers. To help in this endeavor, you can also ask for certain kind of answers. Depending on how the question is asked, it can, nonetheless, be a fruitful topic. – Unrul3r Jul 15 '14 at 16:40
  • This question is put on hold - Why? - I think it should be reformulated as "How can one relate Buddhism to Western epistemology?" - It is however a very profound question, particularly on the subject of Attention (and "second attention;") as it introduces the concept of the second extreme, related to the Cartesian/Buddhistic view of Attention. In other words, can we (ourSelves) fabricate an even worse master (than our Self,) that would perpetually enslaves us into this world? – user635 Aug 20 '14 at 16:48
  • Rob, it certainly is addressing profound and important issues, but it just contains too many to be a good SE style question as it is. For example, what exactly is meant by "relating" in the context? Then, "western" epistemology is a simply vast subject, and I doubt the Buddhist side is much smaller. So to get useful answers, it would need to focus on a specific aspect of those areas. Again, I agree that Peter's question sits on top of some key areas, but it's sitting on a mountain of such areas. It's like asking, "How can we relate medieval French literature to its Spanish counterpart." – tkp Aug 21 '14 at 2:30
  • We are not discussing epistemology in general, but epistemology of thought and attention. I understand that thought is a vast subject; although it is here confined to the link between thought and Ego (Ahamkara). However, Attention is a very important point to consider, both in Buddhism and Western philosophy. As well as the impact, import and range of "second attention." Of import. Anyway, may be should this question be better split in two. – user635 Aug 21 '14 at 11:47

I. "I think therefore I am". In Buddhist and Hindu Meditation, thought is simply one more aspect of samsara. Thought is ultimately realized to be a hindrance. The goal is to "go" beyond thought and beyond no thought to one's "natural self" (Hinduism) or "dharmakaya" (Buddhism). One realizes the ultimate truth. (I.e., thinking is part of awareness. In meditation, moving past awareness into realizing one's natural self, or dharmakaya, is possible.) (There is something past or beyond "thought and no thought". There are (seem to be) many alive today in that state of Liberation. )

So, your statement, " I am simply the result of that thought", does make sense. No thought, no "I", but something is still there. Meditation helps you learn what that is/you are.

II. Different strokes, etc. This question actually divides certain Tibetan Schools of Buddhism. Well, seems to. It's more like there seem to be many Buddhist Traditions, and "schools" within those traditions. If everyone thought the same way, only one tradition, indeed only one religion would be needed. My experience has shown me that I am the type that prefers to investigate the subject, "me", as I seem to have more success in that type of meditation. (And don't get me started on Carlos Castenada. I was so disappointed that his books turned out to be fiction. Never read another word after that revelation. Was a fun read up to then, though.)

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