Atman in Hinduism refers to the immortal aspect of existence, and that, which never changes. Atman equates the self to the soul, which is separate from the external body and the mind and goes beyond the temporary designations people ascribe themselves to, in terms of gender species, nationality and race. This concept survives demise and transmigrates into a new life. The western philosophy, on the other hand, views the self as what defines a person as a unique individual. This philosophy holds that the self is defined by the continuity of the body, and not the continuity of the mind. Both ideologies hold that the self is unique and this explains uniqueness of every person. However, they hold that this self ends with death since the body undergoes destruction after death. This defines the difference between the Atman Hinduism and the western philosophy. Atman holds that after death, the soul transmigrates to another body and a new life formed. However, the westerners hold that the self-vanishes with the death of the body.
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Buddhists hold that there are three marks of existence; impermanence, suffering and non-self. Impermanence according to the Buddhists refers to the fact that things are in a continuous state of change, and nothing ceases to exist completely; the things only change into another form in a different appearance. For instance, when a leaf falls from a tree, it decomposes and its components make materials that enable other plants to grow. Suffering result from the fact that nothing in the world, both physical and psychological can bring deep, long-lasting satisfaction. For instance, there are rich people who have a lot of wealth, but they still look for more wealth and money. Non-self refers to the illusion of self, which means lack of a fixed, persistent self, and what people call our self is a combination of different physical and psychological states. For instance, we judge people by their looks, financial and social status, and education rather than judging them by whom they really are in person.
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