YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

"Brain in a jar" feeling? - Dhamma Wheel

"Brain in a jar" feeling?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
ricketybridge
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:15 am

"Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby ricketybridge » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:20 pm

Hi everyone,

3rd topic today, lol. I got a lot of questions. :)

Once again, sorry if this has already come up before, but after doing a bit of vipassana meditation over the last several weeks, it occurred to me that the purpose, the type of insight is leading to, is to feel like a "brain in a jar"--i.e. since reality is nothing but sensory input, we could just be brains in jars being stimulated in various ways. I guess like The Matrix (sorry to mention that movie a second time; I swear it's not my favorite movie or something). And when we think that way, we feel separate or detached from reality, given that it may as well be an illusion.

I'm sure this is an over-simplification, but I guess I'm just asking if I'm on the right track, i.e. would it be good if this sensation became even stronger, or is this is some blind alley that I need to avoid?

Thanks,
rick

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:55 am

Hi Rick
It is what it is. All sensations arise to pass away.
It is just a sensation. It has a beginning, a middle, and and end.
It is either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
It is ephemeral fleeting phenomena. Clinging to it (or its absence) will result in dukkha.
My own practice is vedananupassana (observation of sensation) and we are instructed to just observe.
Many of my co-practitioners often report of tactile hallucinations that occur in meditation. Strange feelings. I too have experienced weird sensations like the one you describe and others. Its not the point of the practice nor is it a barrier to progress. Its just stuff that's coming up (and passing away).
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:31 am

Hi Rick,

Note that vipassana does not 'create' a matrix-like situation for the sake of some particular end result- all you are doing is seeing in much more detail how reality is being created in the mind. We think that we inhabit a room for example, but we begin to see that actually the mind builds up a 3D illusion of a room, one sense impression at a time. By doing vipassana we get as close as possible to the limits of what can be actually known.

Since the flow of sense impressions happen so fast it looks like all the sense faculties are working at the same time-but they are not-it is sequential (but very fast) not simultaneous. What felt like a continuous smooth flow of sensory input, now upon closer inspection, is seen to be fragmented. We see that these sense impressions arise and pass away, moment by moment.

It sounds like you are on the right track- you should let the 'matrix sense' get deeper. It is a 'truer' version of reality than what you had known before, even though it may not be as satisfactory!
:twothumbsup:

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby kirk5a » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:19 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby kirk5a » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:36 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

ricketybridge
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:15 am

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby ricketybridge » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:18 pm


rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:41 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:30 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:07 am

Hi kirk,

Ah, I see. From my understanding conventional reality and ultimate reality is the difference between experiencing the 'Tree' and experiencing the aggregates which make up our perception of the tree. Not, the labelling of the Tree and the bare experience of the Tree, which are both conventional. What do you think? :smile:

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:09 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: "Brain in a jar" feeling?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:57 pm

I find that it is a bit more difficult to break into (deconstruct into) the Nama rupa level (the first insight knowledge) using the sense bases, as in 'hearing only in the hearing' instruction (kamatahan) seems to suggest (probably suggests more). What if you see each moment of hearing (for example) as broken down into it's material element (sense base plus object-rupa), whether it is unpleasant, pleasant or neutral to experience (vedana), it's label (sanna), any other thoughts or intentions about it (sankhara), and finally consciousness or 'knowing' (vinnana). That is to say each moment of experience contains within it these elements- simultaneously. It is interesting to focus on each of these aspects of experience in that single moment of experience. To see just one of these aspects arise and pass away, is to see an aggregate arise and pass away. As can be understood, a certain good degree of concentration is required to be able to do this. This is where samadhi gives rise to panna. Hope this is an interesting angle to explore. The Buddha seems to have used this method more frequently, than the purly sense base approach, which might have been more for those with very advanced faculties, who could break through even with very little instruction (not saying you can't :smile: ).

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


Return to “Vipassanā / Satipaṭṭhāna Bhāvana”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine