Alex123 wrote: Even if brain alone is not sufficient for cognition, but as long as brain is REQUIRED for cognition, then when the brain ceases - so does the mind. How can rebirth occur then?
mind ceases, but not the awareness component of mind.
what is meant by "rebirth" needs some clarification.
It is not a continuation of mind. It is a re-emergence of awareness.
In the example of a tulku
("reincarnated lama") for example
it is not a matter of mind being somehow pulled out of one body and into another,
It is a matter of awareness
(rather what is referred to as primordial awareness, I think)
which is referred to as self-arisen
because it is self referential, self evident,
persisting as the bodies come and go
not much different from a sense of continuity that you have that feels like you are the same person today as you were yesterday, or that you were when you were 6 years old.
Awareness doesn't come or go. It's these meaty things we call bodies that keep showing up and leaving.
One doesn't need to find the cause of awareness because the simple fact of awareness cannot be refuted.
If anyone suggests that there is no such thing as awareness,
it would be ridiculous because then that suggestion would not even exist.
If somebody says there is no such thing as awareness
then they cannot verify that they even said it.
If they say that awareness is caused by physical matter
they cannot prove it because physical matter cannot be shown to be aware of its own awareness.
But awareness shouldn't be confused with mind or with thought.
In this meaning it is not the same as sensory awareness, which in fact relies on sensation.
Alex123 wrote: I don't get this. There is definite begining and the end. For example I've thought about this sentence at 11:12am and finished writing it it at 11:14.
No, you cannot find a definite point where 11:12 begins. Sure, You can see a crude reference to the keeping of time by looking at a digital clock and when the LED numbers show 11:12 you can say "see, there it is" but ultimately, no. Any second can be divided infinitely. Further, you cannot determine that a thought has arisen purely on its own without a predecessor. Even if you say "okay, I'm going to make my mind a blank and then when the buzzer goes off, I am going to write down the first thing that pops into my head" all that stuff is a precursor leading up to that "first thing".
As a sideline to this, the minutes and hours you mention are merely a device made up. A way of chopping up what after all might as well be one very long single moment. Outside of the mind, minutes and hours do not really occur. Before there was a planet Earth, nothing was light years away from anything, because there were no light years.
Alex123 wrote: Sense of Self, egoism, etc, is required trait for survival of the organism so that it could pass its genes for future generations.
Well, I believe in evolution. So, I am not sure that early micro organisms, from which we have evolved had what we would call Sense of Self, egoism, etc, but as I have suggested, basic awareness arising as mind
when coming into contact with phenomena.
At least, this is what Buddhists texts discuss, as subject and object, 12 links of dependent origination, and so on. Awareness responds to events and that response itself
is the arising of mind. Attachment to the notion of an actual self - and - other scenario results in the arising of deluded mind, because ultimately no 'self' can be located, and 'other" is empty of any "real' or finite essence. Awareness arising without delusion is Bodhi.
So, I don't think that on this point there is too much disagreement. It is precisely this sense of self and ego that perpetuates what is called samsara
Of course, in evolution there is also the matter of process of elimination. Those that don't have the right stuff for survival don't survive. hence, no day-glo polka dot zebras.