By David J. Kalupahana
SUNY sequence in Buddhist experiences, 236 pages
Publisher: country Univ of latest York Pr (July 1987)
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Additional resources for The Principles of Buddhist Psychology (Suny Series in Buddhist Studies)
Suicide, coupled with mass destruction of life, human as well as non-human, could result from an utter shrinkage of our personality, from a sort of conversion of ourselves into nothingness, which is a dangerous psychological phenomenon. "No-self" (anatta) or "emptiness" (sunfiata), in their absolute forms, could be nihilistic (uccheda), encouraging not only a life of hedonism, but also acts of self-destruction, sometimes hailed as altruism. 88 If "no-self" or non-substantiality (anatta) or "emptiness" (sufniata) were to be applied in a more restricted manner, that is, to imply the denial of a metaphysical self and/or eternal substance, one would not fall into the extremes mentioned above.
As a person with feelings and emotions, he does not not remain completely unaffected by the evils and suffering in the world.
Elsewhere, discussing "The Powers of Men," James condemns the popular notion of conscience. Conscience makes cowards of us all. Social conventions prevent us from telling the truth after the fashion of the heroes and heroines of Bernard Shaw. We all know persons who are models of excellence, but who belong to the extreme philistine type of mind. tA, from being a questioning moralist to a man of unwavering faith in the social convention of his day, represents the triumph of this form of "conscience" condemned by James.