The brain and Dzogchen...

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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby deepbluehum » Tue May 01, 2012 7:44 pm

John Searle is famous for disposing of mind/body dualism by making the argument that consciousness is biological.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue May 01, 2012 7:48 pm

I would love to see one biological property of consciousness. I'd even settle for a physical one. :smile:
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Andrew108 » Tue May 01, 2012 7:50 pm

Thanks deepbluehum - I hadn't been aware of John Searle - very interesting.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby deepbluehum » Tue May 01, 2012 7:52 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:I would love to see one biological property of consciousness. I'd even settle for a physical one. :smile:


Eat a mushroom and see. It's just a chemical process like digestion.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Andrew108 » Tue May 01, 2012 7:53 pm

To Dechen Norbu:
As Namdrol said:
Consciousness is clearly defined in the ancient Dzogchen tantras, as well as seminal instructions such as the Khandro Nyinthig, as a physiological phenomena.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue May 01, 2012 7:56 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:I would love to see one biological property of consciousness. I'd even settle for a physical one. :smile:


Eat a mushroom and see. It's just a chemical process like digestion.

That's not a physical, much less biological property of consciousness. What you are saying is that consciousness can be affected by physical means. The opposite is also true.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue May 01, 2012 7:57 pm

Andrew108 wrote:To Dechen Norbu:
As Namdrol said:
Consciousness is clearly defined in the ancient Dzogchen tantras, as well as seminal instructions such as the Khandro Nyinthig, as a physiological phenomena.

I guess it depends on what we consider consciousness, if it has levels and so on and so forth.
If you imply that once the body dies we become unconscious, a la anihilationism, such is not implied by the tantras. But Namdrol can confirm and also refine the terms.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Andrew108 » Tue May 01, 2012 8:13 pm

Yes it would be good if Namdrol would clarify this.
But the tantras are different from Dzogchen - this needs to be pointed out.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby deepbluehum » Tue May 01, 2012 8:16 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:I would love to see one biological property of consciousness. I'd even settle for a physical one. :smile:


Eat a mushroom and see. It's just a chemical process like digestion.

That's not a physical, much less biological property of consciousness. What you are saying is that consciousness can be affected by physical means. The opposite is also true.


Two objects may have a causal connection only if they are within the same domain. Here is where we enter the realm of the middle way.

So to be quite blunt, your use of the groupthink ideas of dualism and property metaphysics is morbid. Try to steer your Titanic away from these Western ideas. It is useful to wrestle with ideas, but one must be ready to let that conditioning go.

Let me say this another way, there is no question of whether there is a physical or biologic property of consciousness. Consciousness is a result of biological processes, like metabolism. If you don't eat, drink and breath, you pass out, unconscious. It really is this damned starkly simple.

Then, rebirth is not a question of a mind floating on somehow. The karmic mechanics are beyond comprehension, so Buddha says. A rebirth is simply the continuation of an eventuality. "Karma makes all possibilities arise," says Jestun Milarepa. The assemblages of conditions for the continuation of a sentient being simply can't be stopped from recurring, without the path. To really understand rebirth, you need to be enlightened. I don't understand it that well, I studied what Buddha said.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 01, 2012 8:17 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:To Dechen Norbu:
As Namdrol said:
Consciousness is clearly defined in the ancient Dzogchen tantras, as well as seminal instructions such as the Khandro Nyinthig, as a physiological phenomena.

I guess it depends on what we consider consciousness, if it has levels and so on and so forth.
If you imply that once the body dies we become unconscious, a la anihilationism, such is not implied by the tantras. But Namdrol can confirm and also refine the terms.


Matter is conscious. Speficially, the function of consciousness is connected with rlung, the air element. They are actually one and the same. When this body dies, in the bardo a "mental" body is formed out of the air element. In this our stream of afflictions and karmas continues. There is no contradiction between rebirth, and the notion that mind and matter are not two different things. Instead, we must come to understand that minds are a function of matter, and specifically, teachings like Dzogchen (and Vajrayāna to a lesser extent) show this because our liberation is entirely dependent on understanding our physical embodiment, why it happens, how it happens and what to do about it.

In a real sense, however there is neither mind no matter. Mind and matter are equally produced through non-recognition of the basis i.e. essence, nature and energy.

N
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby deepbluehum » Tue May 01, 2012 8:18 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Yes it would be good if Namdrol would clarify this.
But the tantras are different from Dzogchen - this needs to be pointed out.


He did. Consciousness is a physiological process. You guys have your Philosophy 101 blinders on.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 01, 2012 8:19 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:Yes it would be good if Namdrol would clarify this.
But the tantras are different from Dzogchen - this needs to be pointed out.


He did. Consciousness is a physiological process. You guys have your Philosophy 101 blinders on.


Yes, consciousness arises from the admixture of karmavāyus with the rtsal of rigpa located in the heart.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 01, 2012 8:20 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Yes it would be good if Namdrol would clarify this.
But the tantras are different from Dzogchen - this needs to be pointed out.


Dzogchen tantras are not different from Dzogchen. They define, delineate, explicate and explain Dzogchen since they arise out of the state of realization of Samantabhadra directly.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby deepbluehum » Tue May 01, 2012 8:23 pm

Namdrol wrote:In a real sense, however there is neither mind no matter. Mind and matter are equally produced through non-recognition of the basis i.e. essence, nature and energy.


The essence is emptiness (the middle way). Nature (clarity) and energy (continuous) are also emptiness, let's not forget. There's no unified field of consciousness. So I don't fully agree with "matter is conscious." Nothing is conscious. Consciousness is just an illusion. I think the Dzogchen tantras support my take. Without this key bit, Dzogchen becomes Upanishadic.

___

Adding this bit here that I'm not a nihilist. Wind is a movement of karmic propensities in space that casts a reflection (tsal). This glint in space is all we are.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue May 01, 2012 8:24 pm

In any case, if you are wondering,
Namdrol wrote:In Dzogchen, the differentiation between mind and matter is considered a delusion, as is the differentiation between sentient and non-sentient.

this is how I stand on this issue.
When talking about consciousness, well this is a western word.
We are conscious during the bardo, after death, but that consciousness can't be affected by, let's say a mushroom, but can be affected by other events. This consciousness we have during the bardo is too defiled.
Both life and death are deluded aprehensions of reality. In both we fail to recognize the manifestation of energy aspect of the Base, see it as external phenomena, in a dualistic way, and keep revolving in Samsara.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue May 01, 2012 8:28 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Matter is conscious. Speficially, the function of consciousness is connected with rlung, the air element. They are actually one and the same. When this body dies, in the bardo a "mental" body is formed out of the air element. In this our stream of afflictions and karmas continues. There is no contradiction between rebirth, and the notion that mind and matter are not two different things. Instead, we must come to understand that minds are a function of matter, and specifically, teachings like Dzogchen (and Vajrayāna to a lesser extent) show this because our liberation is entirely dependent on understanding our physical embodiment, why it happens, how it happens and what to do about it.

In a real sense, however there is neither mind no matter. Mind and matter are equally produced through non-recognition of the basis i.e. essence, nature and energy.

N

Very well. I had the bold part figured, as it was as I learned.

But the first paragraph is quite interesting. I was under the impression that matter was a particular type, or case if you prefer, of mind and not the other way around.
This is interesting and I need to deepen my understanding about it. :smile:
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 01, 2012 8:33 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
Namdrol wrote:In a real sense, however there is neither mind no matter. Mind and matter are equally produced through non-recognition of the basis i.e. essence, nature and energy.


The essence is emptiness (the middle way). Nature (clarity) and energy (continuous) are also emptiness, let's not forget. There's no unified field of consciousness. So I don't fully agree with "matter is conscious." Nothing is conscious. Consciousness is just an illusion. I think the Dzogchen tantras support my take. Without this key bit, Dzogchen becomes Upanishadic.


I haven't forgotten.

I did not say there was a unified field of consciousness. Nor is there a unified field of matter.

It is incorret to say nothing is conscious. This is to deny the illusion. The best thing you can say is that consciousness is like a moon in the water, it is neither true nor is it false. But the same goes for matter.

Practically speaking however, ancient Dzogchen tantras and instructions completely dispense with the lower yāna dichotomy between nāma and rūpa. For example, the Rigpa Rangshar names the vāyu or rlung, that generates consciousness in the body.

So little has been published on the important Dzogchen tantras, that most people (apart from those literate in Tibetan who are not wasting their time translating repetitious sadhanas) really have very little idea what the true position of Dzogchen as a system is regarding this or that.

N
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 01, 2012 8:36 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
But the first paragraph is quite interesting. I was under the impression that matter was a particular type, or case if you prefer, of mind and not the other way around.


In Abhidharma yes, matter comes from mind. In Dzogchen, no. Matter comes from the non-recognition of the five lights.

N
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby deepbluehum » Tue May 01, 2012 8:37 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:We are conscious during the bardo, after death, but that consciousness can't be affected by, let's say a mushroom, but can be affected by other events. This consciousness we have during the bardo is too defiled.


Oh it's affected by the mushroom. A user of psychedelics will be accustomed to the bardo experience and (depending on their karma) that experience will have an effect on their visions in the bardo. Strong psychedelics basically induce bardo. Depending on your path you can see Yama or Vajradhara.
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Re: The brain and Dzogchen...

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue May 01, 2012 8:37 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Two objects may have a causal connection only if they are within the same domain. Here is where we enter the realm of the middle way.

This is something you define apriori. It's a preposition.

So to be quite blunt, your use of the groupthink ideas of dualism and property metaphysics is morbid. Try to steer your Titanic away from these Western ideas. It is useful to wrestle with ideas, but one must be ready to let that conditioning go.

Thanks for the advice. It's very good.

Let me say this another way, there is no question of whether there is a physical or biologic property of consciousness. Consciousness is a result of biological processes, like metabolism. If you don't eat, drink and breath, you pass out, unconscious. It really is this damned starkly simple.

What isn't "damned starkly simple" is why you then become conscious if you happen to die. Or if you have an NDE, for instance, with your brain functions completely impaired. Namdrol provided an interesting hypothesis from the tantras.

Then, rebirth is not a question of a mind floating on somehow. The karmic mechanics are beyond comprehension, so Buddha says. A rebirth is simply the continuation of an eventuality. "Karma makes all possibilities arise," says Jestun Milarepa. The assemblages of conditions for the continuation of a sentient being simply can't be stopped from recurring, without the path. To really understand rebirth, you need to be enlightened. I don't understand it that well, I studied what Buddha said.

Oh it floats, alright. At least if we are to consider Padmasabhava's teachings on the six bardos.
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