Journal Article — Ideology and Manas — by Sujin Choi and Marc Black




Freedom from ideology is quite different from freedom within ideology. This article, which problematizes the sense of separate self, seeks to help approach this distinction by connecting some early writings of Marx with Thich Nhat Hanh’s explanation of manas. Ideology, as an unexposed system of thought, may constitute the self. Also, manas, as a level of consciousness or as a type of awareness, constitutes the self. In both cases, self, ego, or individuality, becomes an isolating and disempowering condition that seems to be who we are. Exposure of the ideological trap of self, however enticing, and awareness of interconnectedness can help surmount the divisions between people and lead toward new forms of empowerment and freedom. There may be some forms of empowerment and freedom within ideology, but those forms can be quite limited when they prevent awareness of species being, interconnectedness and the compassion that can develop with such awareness.

Recommended Citation

Sujin Choi and Marc Black. 2008. “Ideology and Manas.” Pp. 73-80 in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Sociological Imagination: Essays and Commentaries on Engaged Buddhism (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VI, Issue 3, 2008.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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