Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:46 am

Sigh... it's hard for me to feel compassion for the likes of Mr Bachelor, even though he is the type of person who really needs saving :(
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:51 am

Food_Eatah wrote:Sigh... it's hard for me to feel compassion for the likes of Mr Bachelor, even though he is the type of person who really needs saving :(
Saving? Dude you have to drop that crypto-Abrahamic terminology!
Repent! Repent! And you will be saved by the grace of ...insert name of favorite Abrahamic deity... :tongue:
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby beautiful breath » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:58 am

Preaching a false dharma of materialism cloaked in Buddhist garb will only mislead and confuse people.


Thats the scary bit
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby muni » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:05 am

This youtube is been used in university:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDdv7YWs_IY

How can what is body/brain parts contein "selves", neglecting the empty space without nothing ever can exists?
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:55 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:Sigh... it's hard for me to feel compassion for the likes of Mr Bachelor, even though he is the type of person who really needs saving :(
Saving? Dude you have to drop that crypto-Abrahamic terminology!
Repent! Repent! And you will be saved by the grace of ...insert name of favorite Abrahamic deity... :tongue:
:namaste:

Yo, Buddhist practice involves three practices:

Precepts, Meditation and Repentance
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:33 am

Food_Eatah wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:Sigh... it's hard for me to feel compassion for the likes of Mr Bachelor, even though he is the type of person who really needs saving :(
Saving? Dude you have to drop that crypto-Abrahamic terminology!
Repent! Repent! And you will be saved by the grace of ...insert name of favorite Abrahamic deity... :tongue:
:namaste:

Yo, Buddhist practice involves three practices:

Precepts, Meditation and Repentance

Ta emphosis ma point:

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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Quiet Heart » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:56 am

muni wrote:This youtube is been used in university:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDdv7YWs_IY

How can what is body/brain parts contein "selves", neglecting the empty space without nothing ever can exists?

----------------------------------------------
That is where your error lies.
Why do you suppose that "nothing exists"? Much less to say categorically that "nothing ever can exist".
Both Form (the object/entity) and Emptiness (the totality of the percieved form and the object/entity) are inter-dependent.
That entity you call Self and the entity you call Not-Self (as it could be called), are two sides of the same coin....one can not exist without the other.
In fact it is often said that objects have no "inherent self-referring independent existance".
Sometimes students hearing this make the mistake of skipping over those adjectives, and understand that statement as, "objects have no......existance"
That's where they fall into error....they've missed the essential part...those adjectives.
It's a common error.
:smile:
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:23 am

beautiful breath wrote:If the mind is a formless phenomena how then does it interact with the brain.

If the mind is merely an emergent property of the brain then there is nothing to be re-born nor is there anything to receive the (potentially negative) consequences of this life.




This is my favorite topic.
One of the reasons why it is difficult to answer is that there are some flaws in the question.
"the mind" is not a formless phenomena. "it" is not a single, solitary thing formless or otherwise.
As an analogy to this, consider a wind or a breeze. We call air movement a breeze, and we say the breeze blows the leaves around. But the breeze is merely the apparent result of air pressure, temperature, and so forth. So we can talk about the mind that way, as a formless phenomena, for conventional purposes. But when are talking about the mind in this context, relying on that convenience becomes an obstacle. "Mind" is really a lot of things happening.

It is my understanding that "mind" has no color or shape or duration of its own. It does not reside anywhere in the body. However, depending on the composition of the brain and the senses, mind assumes various characteristics.

As an analogy, consider the way reflections are different in various types of distorted "fun house" mirrors. So, if you are born as a human, then Mind assumes the qualities that can be supported, or reflected, or however you want to call it, by a human brain. If you are born as a dog, then mind assumes the characteristics available to it through a dog's brain, as well as the senses which are much sharper than a human's.

Mind is not produced by the brain, just as a deer is not produced by a forest. At the same time, the deer and the forest have evolved together over time, so in a sense you can say that the forest produces the deer and vice-versa. Or you might say that tall trees produce giraffes. The forest provides an environment for the deer, and the brain provides an environment for the mind. Sometimes the environment changes (the example of hallucinogens was given) and then the mind also changes. Behavior can change both the mind and the brain.

The Mahamudra Lineage (Kagyu) prayer contains this line: The essence of thought is dharmakaya. If you are not a Buddha, you don't get the whole picture. You only get a limited view of so-called "reality" meaning everything. What you get is dependent on what you have to work with, which is an expression of karma. It's all out there, but because of limitations, we do not see everything.

Somebody mentioned photons. So, consider the light of a full moon against a black night sky. Of course, the moon is reflecting photons that are coming from the Sun. Those photons are reflected toward us and when we look at the Moon those photons go right into our eyeballs through the pupils. Wow, what a journey!

In fact, there are just as many photons, maybe more, in the black sky all around that big white moon. If it weren't for that big old moon getting in the way, all those photons would be whizzing by unnoticed. But we only see the ones that are reflected. The photons do not become visible light to us until they are reflected off that moon, into our eyeballs, and detected by our brains. Then, the mind experiences that photon activity as "light". If it is cloudy, or we are blind, or dead, it won't work.

Likewise, the Dharmakaya, the 'reality' of everything, is just like a night sky full of photons. But we are primates, and we only experience the part of reality that is available to a primate brain. If we were bees with bee brains we could see ultraviolet colors. If we were dogs with dog brains we could smell last week's lunch. So, you can think of the brain as being like the moon, reflecting a small part of everything, and what experiences that reflection, what 'sees' that 'moonlight' is the activity of the mind. The fewer the obscurations, the more the mind experiences (becomes the experience) of the Dharmakaya.

So depending on the brain, you are going to have different experiences of Mind. But the thoughts are not produced by the brain any more than musical sounds are produced by a saxophone. Musical sounds only "come out of" a saxophone when the conditions are right, when air is vibrating a reed in the mouthpiece, and that vibration vibrates our ear drums, and our minds call that music. the saxophone provides the physical conditions for something non-physical to appear. the air is physical, but the vibration of that air is not physical.
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:10 am

Food_Eatah wrote:Yo, Buddhist practice involves three practices:

Precepts, Meditation and Repentance
Yo-yo, I was talking about the salvation bit! Focus, you're slipping!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby beautiful breath » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:48 pm

:offtopic:

...can we stick to the subject in hand people - lets leave Nazis out of the Mind/Body problem eh?

Ta!

BB
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Adamantine » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:48 pm

beautiful breath wrote::offtopic:

...can we stick to the subject in hand people - lets leave Nazis out of the Mind/Body problem eh?

Ta!

BB


Just curious BB, are you not satisfied so far with the myriad answers/reflections given on your question?
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:25 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:Yo, Buddhist practice involves three practices:

Precepts, Meditation and Repentance
Yo-yo, I was talking about the salvation bit! Focus, you're slipping!
:namaste:

What jo got against da Catholics? Saint Mariah seems like a good shella!
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:30 am

Okay, the Nietzsche stuff has been split out and placed in the lounge. I'll try to give it a new title.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby daelm » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:23 pm

beautiful breath wrote:Hi all,

I am halfway through Stephen Batchelors book "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist" - a good and honest read.

Something has jumped out at me and i would dearly like to hear others take on the matter. His contention is effectively this:

If the mind is a formless phenomena how then does it interact with the brain.

If the mind is merely an emergent property of the brain then there is nothing to be re-born nor is there anything to receive the (potentially negative) consequences of this life.

I have always struggled with the Mind/Body issue and have't visited it again up until reading this...

...as ever all responses welcome - if I don't reply straight away I will as soon as I can.

Cheers,

BB



the premise that the emergent property theory rests on is (plainly put) that "brain gives rise to mind". the evidence adduced for this (basically, the experience of the natural world) unfortunately also supports the notion that "minds gives rise to brain". that is, there is no part of the world that would be noticeably different if one were true and not the other. (try it as a thought experiment and see.) since the same body of evidence supports either position, there are no definitive grounds for settling on one or the other. thus the decision to claim one or the other is an ideological decision, not an evidence-based one. alan wallace has done a lot of work on this.

when stephen batchelor makes the claim that the mind is a formless phenomenon and therefore cannot interact, he is simply stating the limit of his analysis, not anything more factual than that. waves interact with each other in dazzlingly complex sequences, to create, sustain and enact the lattices we call "the world", all through the medium of matter in various degrees of subtlety - light, sound, etc. nevertheless, waves are formless. and when he makes the claim that the mind is an emergent property of anything, he is merely stating an ideological position, as already explained - and ideological positions are shorthand for "i need to have some kind of certainty now, whatever the state of the evidence".

his approach might be useful, purely in tactical terms - i haven't read it and its worked-out implications - in allowing modern practitioners to realistically engage with core Buddhist premises, but if you use it that way you should navigate his terrain in full awareness of the nature of the tactics and their expedience. anyway. :)

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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby muni » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:15 pm

Quiet Heart wrote:
muni wrote:This youtube is been used in university:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDdv7YWs_IY

How can what is body/brain parts contein "selves", neglecting the empty space without nothing ever can exists?

----------------------------------------------
That is where your error lies.
Why do you suppose that "nothing exists"? Much less to say categorically that "nothing ever can exist".
Both Form (the object/entity) and Emptiness (the totality of the percieved form and the object/entity) are inter-dependent.
That entity you call Self and the entity you call Not-Self (as it could be called), are two sides of the same coin....one can not exist without the other.
In fact it is often said that objects have no "inherent self-referring independent existance".
Sometimes students hearing this make the mistake of skipping over those adjectives, and understand that statement as, "objects have no......existance"
That's where they fall into error....they've missed the essential part...those adjectives.
It's a common error.
:smile:

Thank you Quiet Heart for your care. No thing without emptiness. "By emptiness all is able to unfold. Appearances as reflection of empty mind".

Thank you and bye. :namaste:
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Richard » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:00 pm

Adamantine wrote:Don't overestimate the importance of the "matter" of the brain.


If you destroy the brain then the person loses consciousness. That makes the brain absolutely essential. Absolutely important.

If you think you can get by without a brain, then how about volunteering for a scientific experiment or two? Test your philosophy!
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:19 pm

Even if the person remained conscious somehow, without brain or body, how would we know? We can't measure consciousness directly.
In an analogy of sorts, what you're stating is the same as saying that if a primitive man who encountered a TV, knowing nothing about EM waves, destroys it, he will also believe he destroyed the source of information being transmitted by it, because he believes the TV is the sole source of what's being transmitted. Why does he think that? Because if he a damages the TV a little, it may go black and white. Another bit, it loses sound and so on. He can't detect the waves, so he believe the TV set is the sole responsible for making the presented information. This is just a rough analogy, so you don't need to debate it or abuse it.

Build me a conscioussness-o-meter. Then, when you fail to detect consciousness after death, come back and tell me.
Right now you're only dispensing materialist propaganda, metaphysical predilections rooted in a paradigm unfit to deal with consciousness from which all sorts of erroneous assumptions about the nature of consciousness stem.
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:58 pm

Our mind, being our "self, spirit, or inner Buddha" is energy that acts through our brain/body in my opinion.
Now energy can not be created nor destroyed. It may change forms, but it is always there.
In rebirth, we have talents, abilities and possibly memories. Our energy remembers what it has experienced in other lives. The brain is just the "host" for this energy. Be it human or animal, each has a brain.
As stated before, the senses may be different, as in if you came back as a dog rather than a human.
But the life energy is still there, the same "being" that has returned however many times.
Now this is just my take on this.


Kind wishes, The Seeker
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They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:40 pm

Richard wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Don't overestimate the importance of the "matter" of the brain.


If you destroy the brain then the person loses consciousness. That makes the brain absolutely essential. Absolutely important.

If you think you can get by without a brain, then how about volunteering for a scientific experiment or two? Test your philosophy!


I prefer the term "cognitive awareness" rather than "consciousness" because a person can have a fully functional brain, yet be unconscious. Likewise, the brain manages many functions of the body such as motor control and digestion, things that we are essentially unaware of (until something goes wrong). "Cognitive awareness" also suggests the idea of a witness of sorts. The appendix isn't 'aware' that it is an appendix. But if you get appendicitis, it is through brain activity that the condition is witnessed felt, and experienced as pain.

All that is happening in the brain is a lot of chemistry and electricity moving around. So, in this respect, the brain isn't much different from any other organ. However, brain activity also provides the conditions for cognitive awareness: I am thinking, and I am aware that I am thinking. If there is something i don't know, such as the number of craters on the moon, I am even aware of the fact that I don't know it.

I think it is important to distinguish between cognitive awareness and the causes of cognitive awareness. If you cut off somebody's brain activity, all of the ordinary events associated with brain activity come to an end. But this doesn't mean that the causes of cognitive awareness come to an end. It's somewhat like talking about plat seeds. Even without being planted, they contain everything they need, when the correct external conditions (soil, water, sunlight) to become plants. So, a seed contains the cause of a plant.

If we think of consciousness as a continuum, as an unchanging thing, then we are really talking about atma, or a soul. And many people will say that your soul is with you your whole life, even as your body changes from that of a baby to an adult and then up until death. But this is not the Buddhist understanding.

Rather, your cognitive awareness is a sort of constantly replicating, ever slightly changing template. One thought follows another in rapid succession, and ordinarily we experience this as a continuum. It is similar to moving picture film, where separate and slightly different still images follow one another at a speed of 24 per second so as to create the illusion of continuous movement.

So the thing is, when someone asks a Buddhist, "what happens to your consciousness when you die?" the appropriate answer should probably be something like: "do you mean the consciousness I had a couple a moments ago, the one I have now, or the one I am likely to have in the next few seconds?
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby kirtu » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:24 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:So the thing is, when someone asks a Buddhist, "what happens to your consciousness when you die?" the appropriate answer should probably be something like: "do you mean the consciousness I had a couple a moments ago, the one I have now, or the one I am likely to have in the next few seconds?


Yeah but they mean what happens to the stream of experience or the stream of mental experience and that continues in some form. Exactly what Bachelor is at least agnostic about.

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