PadmaVonSamba wrote: But the ground of awareness is still there.
another word to describe this is latent
I am not sure if your question was in response to my sytatement or to the other statement,
Matt J wrote:Two things about this: if there is a prior to awareness, then awareness is not absolute.
In relation to this topic: How can one rule out the brain as "the ground of awareness"?
but I'm going to run with it.
First, it may in fact be the case, and some day proven (to my satisfaction, anyway) that the ground of awareness itself is rooted in brain activity. After all, what we call 'life" seems to be composed completely out of non-living elements...molecules of carbon, water, salts, acids, and so on. So, if this stuff can pull itself together and regenerate, I suppose it is possible that it can start thinking, all on its own, as well. But so far, I don't know that this has been established, and from the Buddhist view, doesn't make sense:
All arguments I have encountered, or articles on the subject, never quite escape the loop. They only point to new findings on brain activity, but never quite explain how the "who" appears out of that brain activity, that imagines "I
am thinking with my
If you argue that everything a person "is" , meaning their cognitive being, is generated out of the brain,
then whatever constitutes or defines that person must exist as a subset
of brain activity.
You could even go as far as to say it is a figment of the imagination.
So, among other functions, it is argued that the brain creates a "person"which bears witness to its own activity.
Somewhat like a fiction writer inventing a literary critic to review his or her work.
But the thing is, that personification, that character that has been conjured up by the brain,
turns around and says "my brain".
If we regard the brain as a computer,
Its a case of the computer creating its own user.Why would it do that?
(Wouldn't a brain be much too smart for that?)
In Buddhist thinking, this is unworkable.
Buddhist thinking would argue ("thinking would argue?")
that because the brain is composed of a constantly changing stream of component elements,
and is not a singular thing itself,
no single the source of awareness can be found in it.
This doesn't mean that the arising of mind doesn't depend on the brain,
even on a constantly changing physical brain
or on constantly changing activity of the brain
just as a constantly changing, flowing stream powers a water-wheel.
But Buddhist thinking regards mind
as an arising event, a result, rather than as a cause.
So, I am suggesting that there is no prior to awareness
and, while this may be cheating a little,
I am saying that simply because awareness is self-evident and cannot be denied,
it needs no other, prior cause.
You don't have to find something that "causes the ground of awareness"
exactly as you don't have to find what causes the space between two trees to occur.
Two trees grow in a field, in the space that is already there.
the space between them is the same space, only we can define that chunk of it with a yard stick
and say these two trees are so many feet apart.
Likewise, physical brain activity, molecules buzzing around, occur is space that is already there
and that molecular activity becomes, in awareness, the experience of "thoughts".
The field of awareness, is already
present in all beings.
Inside them, outside them, it's all the same. Just like space.
"being", meaning all sense of personal cognitive experience,
arises out of awareness.
If we say that being produces awareness,
this doesn't make sense. It's putting the cart before the horse.