If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

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Aemilius
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Aemilius »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:52 pm
Aemilius wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:33 pm Who is pointing, is ir body or mind? Obviously it is not mind, because mind is immaterial and it cannot point at anything. So the pointer must be the body.
You mean it’s pointing as an automatic reflex?
How can a body intentionally point to something?

What you are saying now is that the body is the self.

You are only physically pointing at something if your mind is focusing in that. The action of “pointing” has no bearing on this.
You are being attached to words, like the words "self" or "mind". There is a reality that is free of words.

In emptiness there is no mind, consciousness, form or body. (Heart of Perfect Wisdom sutra).

The idea is that because mind cannot point at anything it doesn't exist by itself.

Can you live without the word "self" or its opposite?

Lankavatara sutra says that through its practice you can become free from non-self, and that non-self is also a projection of mind.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

consciousnessdualism wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:46 am My argument is based on that Observable Consciousness's Functionalities must be dependent on brain's functionalities,
Yes, in our case this is true. At the same time,
One has to define what they mean by consciousness and this is snag. Personally, I use it to refer to awareness of an object outside of ones personal existence, evidenced by intentional response to that object.
By this definition, all sorts of alive subjects have some kind of rudimentary consciousness, even though they do not have brains. For example, spermatozoa intentionally swim towards an ovum. White blood cells intentionally attack invasive bacteria. The roots of a willow tree grow towards a source of water. This kind of movement is different than, say, dandelion seeds that just randomly land anywhere and maybe they will grow and maybe they won’t. There is a phenomenon in biology called taxis which refers to this. For lack of a better term, I call it “awarity” meaning awareness without any known means of awareness: no brain, no sense organs. The living subject just “knows” about something out there in its surrounding environment.

and the course of Self Continuation is controlled by the integration/separation of cooperative functionalities of system (e.g. brain), at least in the premise of our physical world.
Yes. The big question is, how does that become a conscious experience? If I bang a drum, the drum doesn’t have a conscious experience. But if the sound of that banging vibrates my eardrum, that produces an electrical charge in the brain structure. But then, I don’t hear electrical activity, I have a conscious experience of the banging of a drum.
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by DNS »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:56 pm By this definition, all sorts of alive subjects have some kind of rudimentary consciousness, even though they do not have brains. For example, spermatozoa intentionally swim towards an ovum. White blood cells intentionally attack invasive bacteria. The roots of a willow tree grow towards a source of water. This kind of movement is different than, say, dandelion seeds that just randomly land anywhere and maybe they will grow and maybe they won’t. There is a phenomenon in biology called taxis which refers to this. For lack of a better term, I call it “awarity” meaning awareness without any known means of awareness: no brain, no sense organs. The living subject just “knows” about something out there in its surrounding environment.
:thumbsup: Well said. Consciousness is not the brain nor "in" the brain. Adherents of physicalism and even some religionists believe that, but this is not the case. It is dependent (Dependent Origination) on the skandas, but not the skandhas.

See also: philosophical zombie.
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Miorita »

DNS wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:09 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:56 pm By this definition, all sorts of alive subjects have some kind of rudimentary consciousness, even though they do not have brains. For example, spermatozoa intentionally swim towards an ovum. White blood cells intentionally attack invasive bacteria. The roots of a willow tree grow towards a source of water. This kind of movement is different than, say, dandelion seeds that just randomly land anywhere and maybe they will grow and maybe they won’t. There is a phenomenon in biology called taxis which refers to this. For lack of a better term, I call it “awarity” meaning awareness without any known means of awareness: no brain, no sense organs. The living subject just “knows” about something out there in its surrounding environment.
:thumbsup: Well said. Consciousness is not the brain nor "in" the brain. Adherents of physicalism and even some religionists believe that, but this is not the case. It is dependent (Dependent Origination) on the skandas, but not the skandhas.

See also: philosophical zombie.
Of course it isn't! :rolling: That's why we have Halloween, the most beloved holiday in Earth.
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by consciousnessdualism »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:56 pm
consciousnessdualism wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:46 am My argument is based on that Observable Consciousness's Functionalities must be dependent on brain's functionalities,
Yes, in our case this is true. At the same time,
One has to define what they mean by consciousness and this is snag. Personally, I use it to refer to awareness of an object outside of ones personal existence, evidenced by intentional response to that object.
By this definition, all sorts of alive subjects have some kind of rudimentary consciousness, even though they do not have brains. For example, spermatozoa intentionally swim towards an ovum. White blood cells intentionally attack invasive bacteria. The roots of a willow tree grow towards a source of water. This kind of movement is different than, say, dandelion seeds that just randomly land anywhere and maybe they will grow and maybe they won’t. There is a phenomenon in biology called taxis which refers to this. For lack of a better term, I call it “awarity” meaning awareness without any known means of awareness: no brain, no sense organs. The living subject just “knows” about something out there in its surrounding environment.

and the course of Self Continuation is controlled by the integration/separation of cooperative functionalities of system (e.g. brain), at least in the premise of our physical world.
Yes. The big question is, how does that become a conscious experience? If I bang a drum, the drum doesn’t have a conscious experience. But if the sound of that banging vibrates my eardrum, that produces an electrical charge in the brain structure. But then, I don’t hear electrical activity, I have a conscious experience of the banging of a drum.
Starting from beginning my view is in line with your view that "Consciousness is more than the system's intelligent behaviors". ChatGPT has already passed Turing Test but nobody considers it as conscious. You can see my arguments starting from the beginning that I defend a modern "Interactive Dualism" view, which agrees with you that "Consciousness is more than the system's intelligent behaviors" - more factor is required to produce consciousness in additional to conventional information processing. From your writings, I guess you defend the Panpsychism view which is the difference between your and my view. Panpsychism does NOT require intelligent behaviors to differentiate conscious from non-conscious. The debate is long-standing in Philosophy of Mind. Currently I suspect objective detectable criteria of Consciousness may have something to do with Mutual Information of random information in the brain. For each random signal there is no information, but consider a set of them as a whole bit by bit information (0/1) can be retrieved (information from unknown factor (Atman?)). My conjecture is not too outrageous because noise signals in brain is positively correlated with conscious level, which is pretty strange from system's efficiency point of view. Also the discrete nature of consciousness instances in consciousness stream look like bit by bit (0/1) information is transmitted to the brain from (Atman?). The transmission is very inefficient, most of the tasks have to be done by subconscious and brain operations. The function of consciousness may be to slowly steer brain operations during leisure moments, and interrupt brain operations during critical moment, for producing more creative intelligent behaviours beneficial for the survival of the creature. Those are all my conjectures ONLY so you do NOT have to believe them. Nobody knows yet how consciousness is produced until this moment, and it is beyond my scope of this post. This post only takes ground on Operational level to deduce a reasonable solution in response to the Split-brain question asked by someone in this forum.
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Aemilius »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:52 pm
Aemilius wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:33 pm Who is pointing, is ir body or mind? Obviously it is not mind, because mind is immaterial and it cannot point at anything. So the pointer must be the body.
You mean it’s pointing as an automatic reflex?
How can a body intentionally point to something?

What you are saying now is that the body is the self.

You are only physically pointing at something if your mind is focusing in that. The action of “pointing” has no bearing on this.

The thing you said that makes sense is:
Experientally it is not true that everyone has the experience that they are situated in their head or in their brains.
It really doesn’t matter where in the body that one feels a ‘self’. There’s no place in the physical body where a self can be located.
We have the exeperience of being in some place. We are not everywhere. We are not in the Andromeda galaxy, for example. You can have the experience of being outside of your body. Many people have had this experience.

It doesn' t matter so much what you call this thing that is located some where in the universe or somewhere in the body. The phenomenon of location of consciousness or the experiencer is true nevertheless.

There are the practices of ejection or transference of consciousness in Buddhism. That would not be possible if consciousness didn't have a location. You can go to some other place, if you are in some place to begin with.

The event of entering the womb is also described in the Sutras and the Abhidharma. In Sravakayana sutras/suttas we have the gandharva/gandhabba, the being and consciousness that enters the womb.
Passages concerning this topic have been translated numerous times in the past. Now we have complete translations of the sutra:

Garbhavakrantisutra, the Sutra on entry into the womb, 2014, tr. by Robert Kritzer

The Noble Great Vehicle Sūtra “The Teaching to Venerable Nanda on Entry into the Womb”, Āryāyuṣmannanda­garbhāvakrānti­nirdeśa, 84000
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Aemilius wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 8:38 am We have the exeperience of being in some place.
Yes, that’s true. I feel like I’m in my house or at the store or whatever.

But that’s not what you were talking about before. That’s external.

You were talking about feeling the location of a self somewhere within the body. That’s internal.

Do you see the difference?

If you say “I feel that my ‘self’ is in my heart” then you are speaking as the possessor of that feeling. That possessor can’t also be the thing that it possesses.

The reason why people have a sense of being “in their head” is that the head is the location of seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting. Of course we can also feel with the head too. When we get upset or nervous, there is often a strong sensation in the chest and stomach. So sometimes people think that the self is located in the heart.

But there is no place where an owner of the body, thoughts, or feelings and emotions can actually be found. This is one of the early teachings of the Buddha and a person can explore and verify it “themself”.
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Miorita »

It's hot outside and I was in need of some chills. I watched The First Omen with "beautiful" dark music - the piano keys pouring down stairs. voices of the spirits howling around unanchored to anything material...

You need a body and then you can have the birth of the anti-
Christ as 'some dark segments of the Church designed it in the movie.
Bwahahaha, the problem is not new! They already thought of this, I mean, Mother Superior and the rest of her party.

:juggling:

It even starts with a guy whose brain is cut in 2 by falling glass shards from a beautiful stained glass painting hanging above by the hand of some builders or renovators. The shards land on his head and cut it open. And he was standing there on his feet with his 2 halves separated open.
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Aemilius »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 1:10 pm
Aemilius wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 8:38 am We have the exeperience of being in some place.
Yes, that’s true. I feel like I’m in my house or at the store or whatever.

But that’s not what you were talking about before. That’s external.

You were talking about feeling the location of a self somewhere within the body. That’s internal.

Do you see the difference?

If you say “I feel that my ‘self’ is in my heart” then you are speaking as the possessor of that feeling. That possessor can’t also be the thing that it possesses.

The reason why people have a sense of being “in their head” is that the head is the location of seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting. Of course we can also feel with the head too. When we get upset or nervous, there is often a strong sensation in the chest and stomach. So sometimes people think that the self is located in the heart.

But there is no place where an owner of the body, thoughts, or feelings and emotions can actually be found. This is one of the early teachings of the Buddha and a person can explore and verify it “themself”.
Thanks!

There are at least two separate things here. We should not confuse the experience itself with the view that there must be a possesser of that experience, that you call "self". If there must always be a possessor of sense experience, then we cannot experience anything without your "self". But this is not the case.

If we acknowledge that there can be pure sense experience, why do you then postulate a "self" on top of it? If there in fact always is pure sense experience, and the experiencer is one of the six consciousnesses, we don't have to bring in a metaphysical "self".

I haven't said that a "metaphysical self" is in my head or in any other place. We can also use the word "self" in the dictionary meaning of "that which is not other". The word "self" that is used to distinguish you from others has a purely relative and practical meaning.

A person I once knew lost consciousness in a dentist's chair. He found himself at the ceiling looking down at the dentist and the nurse, who were frantically massaging the feet of his apparently unconscious or 'dying' body in the dentist's chair.

His consciousness was observing from a point near the ceiling. This is quite typical in the out-of-the-body experiences. You don't have to jump to the conclusion that it is the "metaphysical self"! Or that "this is a proof of the metaphysical self"! No such thing or philosophical position has been claimed or assumed. Nevertheless, the observer or consciousness tends to have a well defined location in space or a point of observation, in this type of experiences.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Aemilius wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 4:40 pm If we acknowledge that there can be pure sense experience, why do you then postulate a "self" on top of it?
that’s the whole point, isn’t it? That’s what samsara is. Why do we postulate a self? That’s what the Buddha’s second noble truth is about. There isn’t one but we feel like there is one, we cling to that and then seek rebirth.

Nevertheless, the observer or consciousness tends to have a well defined location in space or a point of observation, in this type of experiences.
I think that’s accurate. The sense of a self always assumes a specific place where it is perched. It’s also why we imagine an “inner world” of our thoughts and feelings and an “outer world” of the physical space around us.

A lung surgeon once mentioned to me that we think of the lungs as being inside the body but they are also outside of the body, meaning that they are just as exposed to the “outside world” as your hair is.
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Aemilius »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 5:48 pm
A lung surgeon once mentioned to me that we think of the lungs as being inside the body but they are also outside of the body, meaning that they are just as exposed to the “outside world” as your hair is.
Our body doesn't really end at the surface of the lungs, because we are totally dependent on air or oxygen. Our body will die pretty fast without oxygen, therefore oxygen should be counted as an integral part of our body.

We constantly breath out CO2 and water vapor. They are also part of "us", or part of the process that is our body. Where is our body's outer limit really ? Its outer limit is hard to find and hard to locate.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Aemilius
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Aemilius »

Nagarjuna's Mula-madhyamaka-karika, tr. Jay Garfield, Chapter XIV, Examination of Connection, verse 5.:

"It is not tenable for that which depends on something else
To be different from it."
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Miorita »

Therefore the peripheral nervous system is no different than the central nervous system.
In order to have 2 viable hemispheres, and be ready for the de-entanglement, the body better come up wth 2 brainstems, 2 peripheral nervous systems and enough cerebrospinal fluid.

The 2 hemispheres could do and they do lateralization, but I doubt that each will take over the functions that the other hemisphere has. Even if you see them as being separated, they are working together. You'll need to do another de-entangling of these.

It's too much copying of the original! It's not meant to happen in this subroutine. The natural way via DNA, offspring, growth and development is the better adaptation.
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Aemilius »

There is no "original sentient being". Nagarjuna says that you are "like an illusion created by an illusion", or "like an apprition created by an apparition".
In Seventy Verses on Emptiness, Shunyata Saptati: verses 40.. 42.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
Miorita
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Re: If a sentient being's brain is to be cut into two halves, which half will carry the original sentient being?

Post by Miorita »

You have to see this intricacy straight from the lab:


Image



Image


Photos aapeared in 'See the most detailed map of human brain matter ever created',

© Google Research & Lichtman Lab (Harvard University). Renderings by D. Berger (Harvard University)

These would be 1 cubic mm of gray matter, roughly about 16,000 neurons or
extra-fortified connections are the sort of hyper-fast pathways that enable “automatic use of the brain” for well-established, learned actions.

Another new observation: many dendrites (the branching extensions of neurons that generally receive inputs) seem to mirror each other–pointing symmetrically in one of just two directional arrangements out of infinite three-dimensional possibilities.
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