What would be the proper terminology to define the different geospatial perspectives of myself?

If I envision myself inside my body viewing an experience in front of me, such as when I watch a movie, is there better terminology to use other than "first person perspective"?

What about if I envision myself still from a first person perspective, however with the added perspective of 3 dimensional awareness. Is there different terminology for this?

What about if I envision myself outside of my body looking at myself from a third person perspective?

Is there more descriptive terminology I can use to define these experience perspectives?

  • 1
    I don't think this is a topic is addressed in the suttas. Why do you think it's related to or answered by Buddhism?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 21:16
  • Because to study the way is to study the self. And to study the self you have to understand the different aspects of the self and their corresponding perspectives on your personal reality. And to best understand and explain those corresponding perspectives on my personal reality I need to be aware of the proper terminology that would best describe these experiences. Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 0:35

2 Answers 2


The first perspective, watching TV, is called "ego-centric".You are using "I" as the central reference point, and all action is described in relation to that. (If you think about it, it's not necessarily that you watch TV. It maybe that a stream of information gets projected at a memory store, triggering reactions and associations.) To think that you are the one watching gives too much credit to the role of being a sink.

The second perspective is called "mixing mind with space". It is what we sometimes use in meditation. To be aware of the space around you helps avoid falling asleep.

The third perspective, people watching you, is called "imaginary importance". You imagine that people's eyes and thoughts must be directed at you, as if you were so important as to occupy the central place in their minds. But the people looking at you in your imagination are not real people, they are your projections, figments of your imagination. Real people are occupied with their own interests. Your importance to them is imaginary and is a sign of vulnerable and hungry ego. Cultivating this perspective is twice as bad as the regular egocentric perspective, so you should avoid it like a plague.

The right way to see things, according to Buddhism, is from thousand-miles-high point of view, the so-called "divine eye". Divine eye is the impersonal perspective, completely neutral, not taking any sides.

The ultimate way to see things is "Buddha's eye". This means, to see things from all perspectives at once.

  • I'd like to learn more about this. Who are you quoting?
    – user11699
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 8:35
  • I'm drawing on an extensive body of Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings I had the luck of encountering in both written and spoken form.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 13:14
  • I understand it's buddhist teachings, but that is a bit general. Does this mean that there are no specific references?
    – user11699
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 14:07
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    That is correct. Well, something about this was in Trungpa's "The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma" Volume 2 or 3, I don't remember.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 14:12

I think he most accurate technical expression would be in terms of this or that kind of perception.

This is actually a very good question but i don't think you will get a definitive answer.

There is this passage in satipatthana sutta;

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html

It is not clear to me what exactly all of the various instances are but i thinks the answer you are looking for is among those listed.

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