In my previous essay, ‘The Mistake of Intelligent Design’ I had said that the Hindu thinker claims the self to be the only unchanging entity. Let us look at this more closely. He says that man lives in a universe where everything keeps changing and the only entity that can be relied upon is the cosmic consciousness. According to this claim, consciousness is omnipresent. There is only existence and the objects that you see in the world are projections of illusion. The question of whose illusion it is can seldom be answered. It is inferred as a consequence that the illusions are those of ‘Brahman’. This Brahman is what the Hindu thinker refers to as ‘the changeless Self’. But if it has been identified as a ‘self’ that is ‘the other’ to the ego of the individual, there can neither be an individual nor the other. This means that both the individual self and the objects around are part of the illusion. If this were to be the case then any ethics that arrives out of it cannot be treated seriously. Any logic born out of illusion must ultimately be a fallacy. But even Brahman is part of this illusion and you end up with circular arguments. Brahman or the cosmic consciousness cannot be identified as the self in the first place because it is not an individual self. It is an idea created by a human being and this idea must therefore also be an illusion.
Self is not an entity as a body is because the concept of self is a converging point of sensations which is not a material phenomenon. All sensations together constitute consciousness and the meeting point is what language calls self because it is the origin of duality. Without self-reference there can be no language and no transaction with the outside world. The solipsistic syndrome is akin to it because there is a disconnection experienced as a result of the detachment with the world. The point is that the meeting point or self is a convergence consciousness of all the sensations of the mind and the body. If there is no concept of self then the individual floats in objective reality and cannot be grounded in the firmament. If this syndrome were not to be the case then the individual forcibly denies the body and deceives himself that it is to be discarded when he needs the body to identify himself for the convergence happens in the body alone. Therefore the result of this is neurosis where this individual wants two contradictory things. He wants the body to the extent of wanting to deny it and he wants the dissociation because he wants permanence which the body or the objects in the world cannot give him.
The individual concerned is trying to lift the chair on which he is sitting. This is impossible but he thinks it is possible in the mind when in fact it is only possible in language. The mind also depends on the body for its chemicals. Neither the body nor the mind can be denied forcibly. What is achieved is only self-deception. The solipsistic syndrome is no intellectual phenomena but an outcome of experiencing dissociation with the world either from trauma or from being separated. The convergence-consciousness in such an individual identifies its limits correctly which the one without this syndrome cannot do. The self as the convergence of sensations cannot be treated as changeless or cosmic in the context of universal illusion/reality when it is its very consequence.