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The Curse of the SelfSelf-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life$
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Mark R. Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 March 2021

Religion and Morality

Religion and Morality

(p.146) 7 Religion and Morality
The Curse of the Self

Mark R. Leary

Oxford University Press

Most spiritual traditions explicitly teach that the self impedes spiritual attainment because it interferes with spiritual insight and leads to selfish, immoral behavior. This chapter examines the insights of major religious traditions regarding the self, along with their distinctive prescriptions for minimizing the detrimental influences of the self. Cultures differ greatly in how they view the self — for example, as something to be strengthened versus obliterated — and religious and spiritual traditions play an important role in a culture's perspective on the nature of self. The views of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Hinduism, and indigenous religions will be discussed, with an emphasis on mysticism and the role of meditation in quieting the self.

Keywords:   self-awareness, self and sin, Buddhism, Zen, mysticism, meditation

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