Thread: Two Fundamental Issues

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    Forums Member daverupa's Avatar
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    Two Fundamental Issues

    1. "I am the best interpreter of my private phenomenological experiences."

    This seems to be a very, very common idea ...but why accept this as true?

    2. "The mind has access to a realm of knowledge independent of all other sensory input."

    The idea here is that numinous/spiritual/et al experiences are of real things, as opposed to being 'just' mental experiences. In other words, that the mind can experience real visions or telepathy or travel independently of the body and so forth, instead of being limited to only constructed input such as with dreams, hallucinations, imagination, etc.

    Again, why think that the mind has such special access?

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    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Hi, Dave.

    ... why think that the mind has such special access?"
    Truth is: I don't.

    My experience has been that the mind is simply arisen from the brain and human nervous system as a notable kind of compiler / generator of mental factors, a virtual viewing screen for projections from the brain and the senso-neural pathways part and parcel of a complex nervous system we humans have evolved, which constantly draws upon life-long memories stored in various parts of the human brain in association and interaction with all of the other five senses .

    Interestingly the other five senses detect in the almost, but just a little late now, what is experienced from the perspectives and capabilities of the other sensory detectors simultaneously retrieving and comparing past experiences to make sense of what is currently being experienced. These senses include touch, including sensory pressure, pain, pleasure, heat, and cold; smell, including any and all airborne and fluid borne chemicals; taste, including any and all chemical compounds from any exterior or interior sources; hearing, due to variations in the pressure waves by both frequency and amplitude received by any and all sources within the range of detection, and through any and all media of transmission; and sight, the system collecting all light within the visible range reflected from exterior sources.

    Driven & guided by human intellect both physical and mental processes resulted in scientific discovery, invention, engineering and development of technologies humans have learned to go beyond our biological limits to detect the presence of chemicals, temperatures & pressures, visible and audible wavelengths, frequencies, & amplitudes of sound & the electromagnetic spectrum, ordinarily outside of the detectable ranges of human sensibility.

    Ironically, with the discovery & understanding of the vast cosmological and subatomic perspectives humans have learned that mind alone cannot be trusted as anything more than a container of thoughts and other mental factors including false beliefs, because it is so easily satisfied by the current mass educational status quo, and fooled by the teachings of those who think they know various theoretical /or religiostic concepts to be true, "Flat World and Earth Centered Universe" being only two excellent examples of such intellectual absurdities. But, as we humans have found over and over again since embracing science and technology, such beliefs and thinking have proven to be false and gross underestimates & distortions of reality.

    One such very recent example is the finding that we are only aware of less than 10% of the stuff that makes up the very universe in which we live :

    Dark Matter and Dark Energy: https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysic...is-dark-energy

    Mind as we currently understand it has no particular value other than that of a bio-chemo-electric mixing bowl of mental factors, some admixtures / combinations of mental factors resulting in benefits, others resulting in damaging and even lethal outcomes. As such, this mixing bowl, and container, this human mind deserves no more regard than that of an interface with the rest of the human neurosensory system both conscious and unconscious, both receptive bringing us awareness, and directive bringing us influence upon our environmental surroundings, interior and exterior.

    Decisions and intentions to act or not --> perhaps to be formulated elsewhere in some yet to be discovered unknown locus of the human brain. Decisions always to be distrusted and always to be questioned, requiring testing, verification and validation, at least compared to results and outcomes from our storage of memories. Best to Always Question! Best to always ask the more experienced for their opinion before acting or implementing plans. Always cautiously considering: Who, how, when, where and with what expected consequences before acting. What time is lunch?

    Then ....... there is our inclination in a pinch to be reflexive, habituated in behavior with the time tested tried and true. Worse yet with regard to mental reflection is the autodrive of our subconscious mind, which regularly ignores the conscious mind less we miss a needed breath, or heart beat.

    Know for a fact: The subconscious and autonomic neurological system pays "no mind" to the conscious mind. In fact it will shut it down, when it determines a need to do so for urgent benefit of the process at large we call the mundane self.
    Last edited by Olderon; 28 Jan 18 at 09:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daverupa View Post
    1. "I am the best interpreter of my private phenomenological experiences."

    This seems to be a very, very common idea ...but why accept this as true?

    2. "The mind has access to a realm of knowledge independent of all other sensory input."

    The idea here is that numinous/spiritual/et al experiences are of real things, as opposed to being 'just' mental experiences. In other words, that the mind can experience real visions or telepathy or travel independently of the body and so forth, instead of being limited to only constructed input such as with dreams, hallucinations, imagination, etc.

    Again, why think that the mind has such special access?
    Some deep stuff here, which throws light on some central aspects of Buddhism as I see it.

    1. We are only dimly aware of the totality of what goes on in how we experience of the world. Our self-conscious selves have to make do with the construct of the rest of our brain, serving both as a backup plan in case things go wrong and as a strategy for predicting future patterns to inform about possible future responses. Only around 10% of what we sense comes from sense organs, and even that is hijacked before we become aware of it. We see the results of the rest of our brain projecting a sense of reality onto us. 90% is a made-up experience projected onto the self aware part of our minds. Consequently even the private phenomenological experiences are constructs which, viewed like this, are open to many interpretations.

    2. So what are the consequences for Buddhism? It's not that we can access new 'outside' knowledge, or partake in astral projection, or anything like that. It's that we can work on accessing and changing those parts of the brain and mind that are deeper than our self-consciousness. By meditating and following the path we can alter those things that give rise to self-conscious awareness and which then allow us to see things in a different way. We can make permanent changes which are structural within the brain and which allow us to live different lives, responding to the world in different ways.

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