Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:14 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Memory and Impermanence
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:18 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am
Posts: 614
Location: Oregon
An interesting idea from the thread on Evolution and Reincarnation.

Absent a memory like a human being with a healthy mind, is there the experience of impermanence and the suffering of impermanence?

_________________
Namu Amida Butsu


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:30 pm
Posts: 1444
If memory was absent or the ability to retain memories deteriorated, the individual's condition would still remain in a state of dumbed down indeterminate indifference. There would be no experience of impermanence just as there's no experience of impermanence in unconscious states. But that isn't equivalent to a true liberation from impermanence etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm
Posts: 1270
Location: Gone Bush
asunthatneversets wrote:
If memory was absent or the ability to retain memories deteriorated, the individual's condition would still remain in a state of dumbed down indeterminate indifference. There would be no experience of impermanence just as there's no experience of impermanence in unconscious states. But that isn't equivalent to a true liberation from impermanence etc.

It is not memory that makes a being aware, and it could be argued that memories serve to detract from awareness of the moment, so I question whether a being without memory would be in any way "dumbed down". There would be indifference to impermanence, but not necessarily any decrease in awareness.

And there would still be suffering based on unpleasant sensations.

_________________
May all beings be happy


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:30 pm
Posts: 1444
dharmagoat wrote:
It is not memory that makes a being aware, and it could be argued that memories serve to detract from awareness of the moment, so I question whether a being without memory would be in any way "dumbed down". There would be indifference to impermanence, but not necessarily any decrease in awareness.

And there would still be suffering based on unpleasant sensations.


True, memory does not necessarily make a sentient being aware, meaning; cognitive processes continue to function in the absence of the ability to retain memory. However there would be no retention of cognitive information and therefore one's condition would be no different than that of a newborn infant. Hence why working with individuals who suffer from dementia is essentially equivalent to working with a child.

'Dumbed down' is appropriate in this case because this scenario would be equivalent to simply functioning in the causal ālaya, with no hope of acquiring the type of insight needed to be liberated from a predicament of that nature.

Now on the other hand, if the individual is able to cut through memory via direct insight into its emptiness, that is a different story. In that case the influence of memory would be pacified through prajñā, and that species of insight would most likely collapse the ālaya, inducing a freedom from the delusory reference point maintained by memory and imputing ignorance. Quite the opposite of the 'dumbed down' abiding in the limited, karmically influenced structure of mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group