Gestalts & Aggregates

The aggregates in Buddhism are very similar to the gestalts of gestalt psychology.

There are sensations, feelings and thoughts arising in space. There is attention to some of these, a searchlight which brings some of these into focus. And there is the awareness it all unfolds within. All of these together make up the gestalt of “I”. A mostly coherent image of an “I” to which all of these are attributes.

A gestalt – including that of “I” – is an idea imposed on temporary phenomena to create an impression of coherence.

Of course, when we explore this more closely, we may find that there does not appear to be any “I” in any of the components nor in their combinations. They all just happen, within this stainless awareness.

I am not sure if the gestalt psychologists went that far.

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