View Full Version : Science Agrees!!!

02 Apr 16, 09:31
More thoughts from Soto Zen teacher Brad Warner.

"Whenever I read a headline that screams about how SCIENCE AGREES with anything Buddhist I cringe."

Continued at the link:

Any comments about the article?


02 Apr 16, 18:13
This stuff just makes me tired.


Additionally, however, there is the constant pulling-in of various pan-Buddhist thinkers willy-nilly when virtually anyone tries to write on this topic. This makes good, consistent, integrous Dhammic philosophy difficult to accomplish, it seems to me, because of the heavy metaphysical load that this glut of resources carries (in the article, this is the Zen basis & the Dogen references & so on which highlights a Mahayana set of luggage, all while discussing modern secular luggage).

So, he hits the mark when he writes that the five aggregates are together the sum total of experience, of which one aspect is consciousness. But these five aggregates aren't 'the human being', they are all that's required to describe a given human experience.

In this, the fact that consciousness is tied up with perception and feeling is important to draw out; I think the sorts of definitions of consciousness that Warner is exploring are probably more often than not an aspect of both/either perception (sanna) & feeling (vedana); consciousness is just the presence of the aggregates as experience, not a 'thing' that's 'also present'.

Using the six sense spheres will pull consciousness out a little more clearly, I think.

Here, there are three components to any experience: the sense faculty, the sense form, and awareness of it - i.e. consciousness. The interplay of consciousness with sensory namarupa is the baseline of all the sense spheres, of all experience in fact, and consciousness is just the presence of an experience, the occurrence of it for an individual.

There's no real reason to build up a huge set of views about it; this is explicitly warned against in the Suttas, in fact. Consciousness is just the overall knowing "it's happening", a knowing that sits beside & is tied up with the "it" (sense form) and the "happening" (sense faculty).