Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Yudron » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:26 am

Even an intact brain does not contain cells from only one person:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=scientists-discover-childrens-cells-living-in-mothers-brain

"We all consider our bodies to be our own unique being, so the notion that we may harbor cells from other people in our bodies seems strange. Even stranger is the thought that, although we certainly consider our actions and decisions as originating in the activity of our own individual brains, cells from other individuals are living and functioning in that complex structure."
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:26 am

You read and understand in the Madyamaka literature that eye is empty of eye, brain empty of brain, mind empty of mind, present moment empty of present moment and so on. So you might wonder 'where do I stand?' 'What is all this emptiness appearing?' So we look for answers and meditate and study and reflect and hope to get it and are afraid we won't get it. The brain plays it's part and the mind does too but still we have emptiness appearing.
So we look 'what is this emptiness appearing?' 'Is it just an echo of my awareness?' 'Is it just my brain being in time and not being able to catch time?' What can it be?
If we look at the characteristics of 'emptiness appearing' we can see that it is extremely fresh. We see that no effort is needed to bring it about. We can see that it doesn't really evolve or get established because it is so fresh. It seems to be spontaneous and vivid. We can't call it mind because that would make it stink and not fresh. We can't give freshness a duration. We can't call it brain because it seems that the brain reacts to it rather than causes it. We can't call it awareness because that would be saying that it flows, and it's too fresh to flow. So what do we do? We enjoy it and identify it and eventually become it - represent it. There seems to be a wisdom to it. And the brain? Stuck in dualism. And the mind? Stuck in dualism? So.......emptiness appearing will do for me.
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: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby takso » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:18 am

Mind versus Matter

In Buddhism, the mind-stream is referring to the stream of consciousness. So to understand our minds, we need to understand our consciousness. Basically, there are two terms of the mind i.e. conscious and sub-conscious. In turn, consciousness can be categorised into four layers i.e. mind consciousness, sense consciousness, store consciousness and manas consciousness.

Mind Consciousness

It is regarded as the ‘working’ consciousness or the mind-in-command i.e. the mind that can lead, take charge, concentrate, make decision and convey action. In other words, it is a conscious mind that makes judgments and plans. Basically, the conscious mind is closely related to the physical body or more specifically, the brain. This means there would be a biological clock being attached within it i.e. there would be duration for staying awake and for resting. Without the brain, there would be no conscious mind in existence. Therefore, brain is a necessary pre-requisite for all the mind consciousness to exist; without it, the mind consciousness would be impossible.

Sense Consciousness

It is a consciousness that is derived from our five senses i.e. sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Sense consciousness is sometimes called the ‘gate’, and always engages with three elements – the sense organ, the sense object and the experience of what we are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching. In other words, physical body is a necessary pre-requisite for the sense consciousness to exist; without it, the sense consciousness would be impossible.

Store Consciousness

It is also known as the sub-conscious mind that is somehow independent from the physical body. Store consciousness would act like a museum whereby one could discern with the memory and the information aggregates. This is because within the sub-conscious aggregates, one would discover the sub-memory aggregates. Within the sub-memory aggregates, one would discover the sub-information aggregates. In other words, it is a place whereby one could see through the ‘seed treasures’ of Kamma accumulated from the retained sub-information throughout the series of one’s past lives.

Store consciousness is responsible for the birth and rebirth conditions of individuals. When a person is lying dead, all the aggregates of consciousness would leave the body. However, only the store consciousness would sustain in liberated conditions out of the physical body but not the mind consciousness and the sense consciousness. The switch of the mind consciousness and the sense consciousness would be turned off and it would not carry on beyond the grave because these two types of consciousness are dependent on the physical body for arising – just like shadow follows the body.

In other words, store consciousness (where all kinds of seeds and information are kept) would stay behind in a condition known as the stream of consciousness (always flowing, always present, never interrupted) and the basic cause for the persistent re-arising of personality is the abiding of store consciousness in ignorance; when ignorance is uprooted, rebirth ceases. Ignorance and memory aggregates are closely inter-dependent of each other. The memory aggregate has two main functions i.e. deposits and withdrawals of information – the act of retaining and recalling facts. The rise of ignorance has to depend on the withdrawal of deposited information from the previous events and the deposited information can only be redeemed from the memory aggregate.

Therefore, it is not correct to mention that a newborn being has no memory of a previous life. Every single newborn being would surely bear with the seeds of Kamma deriving from the previous lives. The seeds of Kamma are comparable to deposits of information and the fruits of Kamma are comparable to withdrawals of the deposited information upon maturity. In other words, it is not that the newborn being has no memory of a previous life but rather the fruits of Kamma have not ripened yet. Only upon maturity could the newborn being start to recall events related to his or her previous lives. As a conclusion, without store consciousness, the law of Karma would be impossible in the realm of existences.

Manas Consciousness

It is also known as the cogitating consciousness that is always embracing and attaching to store consciousness. Manas arises from store consciousness and embraces store consciousness as its object. The function of manas is to appropriate store consciousness as its own.

http://archive.thebuddhadharma.com/issues/2006/summer/consciousness.html
Last edited by takso on Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:43 am

Source for this please? Thank you!
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Parasamgate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:14 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Hey "Parasamgate",

Check this out http://dharmawheel.net/search.php?keywords=brain&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=titleonly&sr=posts&sk=t&sd=d&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

Should be enough there to keep you busy for a while! :smile:


Thanks Greg. By the way my name is Adam and I live in Boston and attend Kurukulla Center. I think I was being a bit pretentious when I adopted this moniker from the Heart Sutra I'm afraid. Thanks for the link it will indeed keep me busy.
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Parasamgate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:25 pm

undefineable wrote:Even if there were, splitting a mind by splitting a brain would be insufficient proof of mind-brain identity, which has in all honesty been done to death on Dharmawheel :rolleye: {A good-summing up would be that the theory is as self-evidently nonsensical as it is scientifically demonstrable :shrug: }


I'm afraid I don't understand this. That is the summary of previous threads on this board regarding mind v brain? What theory are you talking about as 'self-evidently nonsensical' and 'scientifically demonstrable'?

I have to agree that this research is not necessarily dispositive one way or another, but to my obscurations it does seem to provide evidence against the hypothesis that the two are different 'substances'. Does no one else understand why these qualms arise for me given this research?

undefineable wrote:In short, assuming, as you do, that there's no difference between the honesty of the research findings and the splitting of the minds involved is to 'jump' two 'guns' :guns: .


Indeed I am asking for a lot of assumptions for the sake of argument. Point taken.

undefineable wrote:The idea of one conscious awareness splitting into two certainly shakes our ordinary sense of how things are, but it makes sense to remain open-minded about what's actually going on on a subjective level, as well as about what that really means.

Parasamgate wrote:It is posited that the two are substantively different and that they have a different basis and are composed of different 'substances
By whom? ;)


Point taken again. I am trying to remain open minded. It has occurred to me that I will never really know the outcome of this severing unless I were to undergo the procedure. Not a happy idea. Moreover, even were I to undergo the procedure and find that half of my body was no longer under "my" control "I" still would not know the mind of whatever has taken that control. "I" would only be able to infer that a separate mind existed. Still wrestling with this as you can see...
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Parasamgate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:37 pm

jeeprs wrote:
It is posited that the two are substantively different and that they have a different basis and are composed of different 'substances'.


Significant use of quotation marks there. What is a 'substance'? ... With this qualification in mind, there is a Buddhist argument along the lines that 'like gives rise to like', that is, that something that is caused, must have a substantial relationship to its cause.

An example of this is given in HH The Dalai Lama's statement on the question of the re-incarnation of the Dalai Lama, in which he says

There are many different logical arguments given in the words of the Buddha and subsequent commentaries to prove the existence of past and future lives. In brief, they come down to four points: the logic that things are preceded by things of a similar type, the logic that things are preceded by a substantial cause, the logic that the mind has gained familiarity with things in the past, and the logic of having gained experience of things in the past.

Ultimately all these arguments are based on the idea that the nature of the mind, its clarity and awareness, must have clarity and awareness as its substantial cause. It cannot have any other entity such as an inanimate object as its substantial cause. This is self-evident.


Precisely what I was getting after by my paraphrase and quoting 'substances'. This is the argument that I think this research undermines if not overturns. I am not sure that it is self-evident that the brain can not give rise to mind. Indeed this is the 'hard problem of consciousness', but it does not mean that it is inherently unanswerable. Just because we have not yet discovered the precise way in which the brain gives rise to mind does not mean that it does not.

jeeprs wrote:I interpret this as meaning that the nature of mind is fundamentally different to the nature of inanimate matter. There is no way to derive mind from matter.


That is my interpretation as well and what I was trying to paraphrase, but it is not self-evident to me that this is correct. Why is there, 'no way to derive mind from matter'? How has this been proven?

jeeprs wrote:Personally, I believe that the ultimate constituents of reality are more like the nature of mind or consciousness, than material entities. After all physics itself has not been able to establish the existence of any ultimate material entity, without invoking fields, and also without depicting such objects in purely mathematical terms. And mathematical ideas are assuredly not material entities, they only exist in a perceiving rational intelligence.


Ahh, I think I follow as I have a physics background, but I do not think that positing that matter is empty of 'material' helps refute that the mind is of a different substance than the brain. By saying that matter is not made up of 'material' you are saying that it is formed of the same constituents as mind? This is saying that the brain and mind *are* of the same substance which is precisely what HHDL was disputing above.

jeeprs wrote:So - my advice is, if you have this idea that brain is mind, get over it. It is simply one of the delusions of Mara, but one which has virtually the entire western culture in its vice-like grip.


I'm trying to get over it :) But my obscurations are deep and caked on. I'm asking questions here precisely to help get over it.
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Parasamgate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:43 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:This is a really fascinating topic. Thanks for bringing it up.


I am happy that someone else might find it beneficial :)

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I am not sure that "One continuous stream" is entirely accurate.
My understanding is that the 'stream' is a bit more like a chain of falling dominoes,
but with each domino giving rise to the next.


Right, so this research is pointing for me to the conclusion that by splitting the brain you can make the fall of one dominoe give rise to the subsequent fall of two dominoes.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I don't think this contradicts the Buddhist idea of brain/mind.
I think it confirms the notion that
awareness manifests as mind when "reflected" in the physical activity of the brain.
I have used the analogy of a mirror before,
and if you drop a mirror and it breaks in half,
you get two different reflections instead of one.
Split brain activity, I think, is somewhat like that.


Great analogy, but which shard of the mirror carries forward with which karmic bag? If the mind is truly split, then how is the karma split or is it?
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Parasamgate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:55 pm

Adamantine wrote:Well, I believe this area of inquiry is far more mysterious than your few examples. It may do you good to look into and contemplate neuroplasticity, the way that behavior and action changes the pathways and thus the very shape and material of the brain. For instance, specifically studies on meditators who have clocked 1000's of hours of meditation have shown significant shifts in brain function and shape. Likewise, a trained pianist will have an exceptionally functional and enlarged area of the brain related to their cultivated art. If actions and behaviors change the brain, then the brain simply can-not be the "source" or the substance of our mind.. there is clearly a reciprocal relationship, a give and take.. the brain changes according to our will as much as our perception can be affected by injury to the brain or a lack of nourishment to the brain.


The science and philosophy of consciousness and how it relates to neuro science is full of many mysteries for sure. However, I'm not sure that neuroplasticity shows that the brain can not be of the same substances as the mind though. Is it your contention that no thing can act upon itself? That if a thing is found to act upon itself that there must be two different substances involved?

Isn't Buddhism teaching the mind to act upon itself in order to change itself? In other words, isn't the path that we travel according to the dharma all about using our mind to subdue or mind? If we can use our mind to change our mind doesn't this refute this contention? Wouldn't the conclusion according to the contention be that our mind is somehow of a different substance than... our mind??
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Parasamgate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Huseng wrote:If the foundation of matter is comprised of mental events, then matter arises from mind.


If matter arises from mind, then according to the argument of only like can beget like that would mean that matter and the mind are fundamentally of the same substance. Right?
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Parasamgate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:03 pm

takso wrote:In Buddhism, the mind-stream is referring to the stream of consciousness. So to understand our minds, we need to understand our consciousness. Basically, there are two terms of the mind i.e. conscious and sub-conscious. In turn, consciousness can be categorised into four layers i.e. mind consciousness, sense consciousness, store consciousness and manas consciousness.


Hi Takso, according to this the store consciousness is not dependent upon the body... aka the brain? If this is so and the other consciousness are split when the brain is split, then does the store consciousness get split as well or does it somehow serve both of these two separate split minds?
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Adamantine » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:32 pm

Parasamgate wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Well, I believe this area of inquiry is far more mysterious than your few examples. It may do you good to look into and contemplate neuroplasticity, the way that behavior and action changes the pathways and thus the very shape and material of the brain. For instance, specifically studies on meditators who have clocked 1000's of hours of meditation have shown significant shifts in brain function and shape. Likewise, a trained pianist will have an exceptionally functional and enlarged area of the brain related to their cultivated art. If actions and behaviors change the brain, then the brain simply can-not be the "source" or the substance of our mind.. there is clearly a reciprocal relationship, a give and take.. the brain changes according to our will as much as our perception can be affected by injury to the brain or a lack of nourishment to the brain.


The science and philosophy of consciousness and how it relates to neuro science is full of many mysteries for sure. However, I'm not sure that neuroplasticity shows that the brain can not be of the same substances as the mind though. Is it your contention that no thing can act upon itself? That if a thing is found to act upon itself that there must be two different substances involved?

Isn't Buddhism teaching the mind to act upon itself in order to change itself? In other words, isn't the path that we travel according to the dharma all about using our mind to subdue or mind? If we can use our mind to change our mind doesn't this refute this contention? Wouldn't the conclusion according to the contention be that our mind is somehow of a different substance than... our mind??


I don't think anyone is positing two "substances". Mind is beyond substance, or no substance. Mind is pure, beyond duality. It is confusion and obscuration that patterns karmic form and arising. The brain is obscured. The mind is not. The brain is impermanent. The mind is not. The brain changes, based on behavior, activity, as we see in the above studies. When we get to the highest levels of practice: Dzogchen and Mahamudra, it would be considered quite a fault to declare: "Buddhism is teaching the mind to act upon itself in order to change itself" as you have. Maybe this is your obstacle. We are not trying to change the mind, really we are just trying to see through the obscuring distractions to the essential nature of mind, that is perfect from the beginning, not subject to change, etc. This aspect of Dharma gets quite confusing because it is beyond the conceptual "mind" (yes there are divisions of "mind" in our clumsy translations but don't confuse them) and talking about it too much will be hopeless. It requires a real relationship with a realized being to help point it out to us.

In regards to your brain inquiries though, you may find these links of interest : http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=enriched-environments-memory
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=split-brain-patients-reveal-brains-flexibility
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Vidyaraja » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:06 pm

I always thought that Mind in Buddhist terminology is equivalent to awareness or consciousness and that this consciousness is conditioned by the brain but does not arise from nor ultimately depend on the brain. To observe a brain or to know there is a brain requires an awareness or sentient entity to do so and the same could be said about any fact or thought about the world, whether scientific or not. According to most non-dual philosophies, perceiver, perceived, and perception are really all one, and therefore there could be no world (which includes forms such as "brain") without consciousness. I think this short talk by B. Allan Wallace touches on these subjects to some degree:

Part 1--




Part 2--

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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby odysseus » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:55 pm

The mind is stored in/around the brain, but the brain is not the mind.
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:58 pm

odysseus wrote:The mind is stored in/around the brain,
Really? Where?
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby undefineable » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:56 pm

Parasamgate wrote:
undefineable wrote:Even if there were, splitting a mind by splitting a brain would be insufficient proof of mind-brain identity, which has in all honesty been done to death on Dharmawheel :rolleye: {A good-summing up would be that the theory is as self-evidently nonsensical as it is scientifically demonstrable :shrug: }


I'm afraid I don't understand this. That is the summary of previous threads on this board regarding mind v brain? What theory are you talking about as 'self-evidently nonsensical' and 'scientifically demonstrable'?

My apologies - I sometimes forget to repeat the term I'm referring to in complex sentences! :juggling: :emb: :idea: :thanks:

Even if there were sufficient evidence that splitting a brain splits a mind, it wouldn't be enough to prove the current neuroscientific thinking -known as 'mind-brain identity' and popularised by thinkers such as Dennett- which (as the term and your thread title suggest) asserts that the mind is the brain. If this is asserted in the literal, matter-of-fact way in which it's actually meant, rather than dressed for public consumption in airs of academic mysticism as an ultimate, 'hidden' truth, then many will agree it is self-evidently nonsensical. The fascinating thing is how close it apparently comes to being true, given how -as they say- 'all the evidence points towards it' _ _ _
Parasamgate wrote:I have to agree that this research is not necessarily dispositive one way or another, but to my obscurations

:reading: Eh? :tongue: ;)
Parasamgate wrote:it does seem to provide evidence against the hypothesis that the two are different 'substances'. Does no one else understand why these qualms arise for me given this research?

They came up for me for many years too.
Parasamgate wrote:It has occurred to me that I will never really know the outcome of this severing unless I were to undergo the procedure. Not a happy idea. Moreover, even were I to undergo the procedure and find that half of my body was no longer under "my" control "I" still would not know the mind of whatever has taken that control. "I" would only be able to infer that a separate mind existed.

There's a lot of things we can end up dreading when we discover the logic of cyclic rebirth, but I speak from first-hand experience when I say that whilst some of samsara's more uncanny experiences are even wierder than you're likely to imagine (see 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat' etc.), they're more or less easily "do-able" if one never knew any different, or if one begins to practice equanimity. For example, split-brain 'patients' and others could well experience a somewhat 'split' consciousness, and might not imagine anyone else hiding in their 'other' half.

Yet my understanding of Buddhadharma is that the basic awareness with which one experiences such conditions is no different to anyone else's at any other time, because it never had any substantial characteristics to begin with - Behind every "wierd" there's a "normal" that includes everything, but to try and describe that "normal" analytically would miss the point. :alien:
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby undefineable » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:16 pm

Parasamgate wrote:Just because we have not yet discovered the precise way in which the brain gives rise to mind does not mean that it does not.

A Buddhist response might be: If the rest of known reality follows a law of cause and effect whereby A can give rise to B but not to Z, then why should mind/brain be any different?

Of course, if you then say that brain is A and mind is B in this case, but we'd then need to consider exactly what brain -as well as mind- actually are - at any and all levels.

If you say that A gives rise to Z all the time, an appeal to science might well be tricky :thinking:

Parasamgate wrote:This is saying that the brain and mind *are* of the same substance which is precisely what HHDL was disputing above.

I don't think he was - See elsewhere r.e. the lack of substances in Buddhist philosophy.
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby undefineable » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:22 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:You may find this interesting, especially the photographs:
Meditation Alters Perceptual Rivalry in Tibetan Buddhist Monks
http://visionlab.harvard.edu/Members/Ol ... talk06.pdf

Perceptual rivalry involves looking at two separate things, one with each eye, at the same time.
What happens, generally, is that your mind focuses on what one eye sees, then on what the other eye sees, alternately, jumping back and forth (hence the term, "rivalry") rather than on focusing on two separate, visually introduced objects at the same time. Testing on monks resulted in findings that suggest meditation slows or stops this.

So a Buddhist monk will never look you in the eye (i.e. eyes ;) )? :jumping:
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:45 pm

Parasamgate wrote:
jeeprs wrote:I interpret this as meaning that the nature of mind is fundamentally different to the nature of inanimate matter. There is no way to derive mind from matter.
That is my interpretation as well and what I was trying to paraphrase, but it is not self-evident to me that this is correct. Why is there, 'no way to derive mind from matter'? How has this been proven?


If you approach the question through current, analytical philosophy, or indeed through neuoscience or cognitive science, it is very daunting indeed. There is a website of papers and references on Philosophy of Mind, which is dedicated to this debate, containing in excess of 28,000 papers. Furthermore, the mainstream of academia, particularly in the USA and Britain - somewhat less so in Europe - is firmly on the side of philosophical materialism, that 'mind is the product of brain'. So there are a large number of people, many of them with serious qualifications, who would dispute that 'there is no way to derive mind from matter'. Most of them would say insist you can, and might indeed quote the kind of sources that you mention in your OP.

Contrary to that, there are neuroscientists such as Nobel Prize-winning Sir John Eccles, who formed the view on the basis of both neuro-science and philosophical analysis, that the physical and mental are separate domains. You can find an entry in Wikipedia. There was another famous neuroscientist, Wilber Penfield, who also asked very deep questions about these issues on the basis of his experience.

In relation to the quotations you provided in the original post - I think that saying 'the mind and brain are different' carries some baggage. I will try and explain why.

We know what the brain is (although I think you can argue that the human brain is the most complex known object in the natural world). But if you extend the question to 'what is mind', I think it is a missapplication of the kinds of methods that are used to ask the question 'what is the brain'? But in saying that, we are entering the realm of philosophy, as distinct from science.

You will notice that at this point, certain deep underlying assumptions of contemporary culture come into play. One of these is that philosophical questions are able to be subordinated to scientific analysis. To assert that 'mind is a product of brain' is to do exactly that. Why? Because we are relying in that matter on objective analysis of some substance or object, namely, the brain itself. We are asking questions about how it works, what it does, and defining mind in those terms. We are saying 'well, let's analyse mind in terms of what the brain does'. And if we accept that, then the physicalist account has basically succeeded in bringing the debate onto its terms. At this point, the argument is already lost, as far as I am concerned.

So I want to radically question that. I don't want to even concede the point that 'mind' is something that can be understood in objective terms, in the way that cognitive and neuro-sciences need to understand subjects. Mind and its attributes and characteristics, including reasoned inference, imagination, intuition, symbolic representation, and so on, have epistemic priority over the methods of the natural sciences. The natural sciences must assume such things as reason and order. But science has no idea, nor even needs to have an idea, of what is the origin of reason or logical order or symbolic language, and so on. Those capabilities are really foundational to the very act of knowing, and so to any kind of scientific endeavour whatever. And when science tries to turn around and ask what these kinds of things are, it is asking questions of an entirely different kind to those of the natural sciences - but, usually, without grasping this vital distinction.

So I say that these fundmantal attributes of mind can't really be reduced or understood in terms of any combination of physical substances, hormones, molecules, or whatever. I say this because it is information on a different order or level, to the kind of information that can be understood in terms of the analysis of physical systems. To even believe that you can understand the nature of reason, intuition, imagination, and language, in terms of the physical objective sciences, is the gross error of physical reductionism which plagues much modern thinking.

So when you say
Parasamgate wrote: Just because we have not yet discovered the precise way in which the brain gives rise to mind does not mean that it does not.


My philosophical view is that something very like 'mind' has in fact given rise to life itself (and omitting many volumes of detailed argumentation for the sake of brevity). Very briefly, the order which characterises the universe itself, and which human beings are able to detect through their rational faculties, precedes and underlies the very formation of stars, planets, and living beings. This does not have to be conceived in terms of a Creator-God or anthropomorphic deity. In fact one of the best models for it in early Western thought was the Stoic idea of 'Logos', which is the inherent organizing principle in nature herself, which manifests as mind in intelligent beings - that which 'steers the all through the all'. There are some resemblances (with numerous caveats) between the Logos and the very idea of Dharma itself (now there's a research paper that might be worth doing.)

There is something very similar to this idea in the 'Santiago Theory of Cognition' which was developed by Maturana and Varela.

The central insight of the Santiago theory is the identification of cognition, the process of knowing, with the process of life. Cognition, according to Maturana and Varela, is the activity involved in the self-generation and self-perpetuation of living systems. In other words, cognition is the very process of life.


Source.

This became the basis for Maturana and Varela's works on 'embodied cognition'. Varela, of course, then went on to help found the Mind and Life organization, of which HH the Dalai Lama is patron.

See also Aping Mankind Raymond Tallis, and the controversial current title by prominent philoospher Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Mind Is Brain!! Is Mind Is Brain??

Postby LastLegend » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:58 pm

"Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form." This essentially is the same as, "mind is matter, and matter is mind." Why is this? According to dependent origination, things arise interdependently. So that means that there is no such thing as the fundamental particle because such particle depends on other finer particles, these finer particles depend on other finer particles, and so on and so forth. We know that mind is empty that it is not a concept or a thing or anything at all. So then we can conclude that matter is mind, then it follows that mind is matter since they are both but emptiness.

The problem of suffering is when we claim this lump of fresh as self and have thinking to reinforce it. We see nothing else as self but only this lump of fresh. This contradicts with reality that everything comes from the same suchness, and at the physical level we can say everything comes from atoms. Also, the problem with material science is it becomes stuck with appearances or physicality, and thinks that, "this must be it."
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