Shamanic-Healing Provenience of Bauddha & of Neo-Platonic Metaphysics
Logical Origins of Bauddha Cure against Duskha ('Suffering'); together with
Logical Origins of Neo-Platonic Tripartite Universal Consciousness
The strange doctrine that the atman ('self') is non-existent (with the rather strained deduction that therefore upon one's convincing one's self of the truth of this doctrine that one's self is non-existent, suffering will become non-existent for one's self) is most likely derived from a more natural proposition. The most natural source for such a mechanism for eluding suffering may be found in shamanic reasoning : shamans seek to cure ailments by convincing the deities who praeside over those ailments that their patient (who is suffering from such ailment) either is not guilty of any offense deserving of punishment by means of ailment, or (usually in the case of young children) is simply not worthy of ailment-entailing attention from such deity. Young children are often, e.g., given worthlessness-meaning names (such as 'trash') in order to make then seem unworthy of the ailment-deities' attentions.
The origin of the Bauddha method of eliminating suffering by teaching the doctrine that the atman ('self') is non-existent could, therefore, have been derived from a persistent endeavour to convince that suffering-entailing deities that mortal humans are not worthy of the suffering-entailing deities attentions simply because said humans are in reality non-existent; that humans' apparent existence is mere illusion.
If this be the true origin of this Bauddha doctrine, then of course the Bauddha religion at its inception was very much fully theistic. Shamanic religions are the most intensely theistic of all religions, and commonly deal more with ailment-causing and suffering-causing deities than with purely benevolent (and therefore otiose) ones. (This is because, in shamanic terms, benevolent deities cannot relieve suffering because they did not cause it and therefore have no control over it. The only deity who can relieve suffering it the one who caused it.)
The less fundamental Bauddha doctrine that having praeferences and making choices is a cause of suffering would naturally derive from a slightly more devious reasoning, but based upon the foregoing technique of convincing ailment-causing and suffering-causing deities of a metaphysical principle. If those deities can be convinced that any praeferences and making choices by the mortals whom they are afflicting was derived not from any conscious willfulness on the part of such mortals, but was instead imposed upon the the mortal humans by another category of deities, then surely (by shamanic reasoning) the ailment-causing and suffering-causing deities will desist from harassing mortals lest in doing so they incurr the wrath of such category of deities – namely the deities who praeside over praeferential choice-making.
These several categories of deities may be perceived in the Neo-Platonic description of universal consciousness (indicating that Neo-Platonism is likewise based on the shamanic metaphysical model) :
the Universal Soul (/psyche/ 'soul' is literally /psukho-/ of the meaning 'coolness, chill' http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dyu%3Dxos) which would indicate the guardian-angels of the sick patients, overcome by febrile chills in sickbed;
the Universal Intellect (/intellectus/ is literally 'choosing-between' http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08066a.htm) which would indicate the deities who praeside over praeferential choice-making; and
the Universal Mind (/no[h]o-/ < */noso-/ cognate with the name of the Nasatya gods who rescue the drowning – R.c Veda 116:5 http://books.google.com/books?id=HF80jlFPpc4C&pg=PA251&lpg=PA251&dq= discussed in Ronzitti, Rosa. 2010. “Bhujyu and Rigveda X.129: an Unexplored Relationship”. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DIACHRONIC LINGUISTICS AND LINGUISTIC RECONSTRUCTION 7: 83–96 cited in JOURNAL OF AMERICAN ORIENTAL SOCIETY 132.4 (2012) p. 5 http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/nikolaev_haecataspa_and_the_divine_twins_0.pdf) which would indicate the deities who praeside over (and therefore can rescue from) lungs' drowning themselves in their own secretions during pulmonary sickness.
[written Dec 26th Wedn 2012]