Thread: The Material World is Totally Mystical

  1. #1

    The Material World is Totally Mystical

    I found the title of this video intriguing and here's Soto Zen teacher Brad Warner talking for approximately 12 minutes:

    Any thoughts in connection with the video?

    Here's a link to Brad's blog post "Brain and Brain What is Brain" which also contains a link to the Michael Taft article "A Universal Theory of Awakening" which was mentioned in the video.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2017
    An interesting talk about some deep questions on the nature of reality. He starts talking about Taft and his idea that, 'Full-blown awakening means to notice clearly that everything you experience is a brain-generated virtual representation.' There is truth in this, of course. Everything we perceive is a result of our brains interpreting those perceptions and presenting them to us as its 'representation' of reality. For Taft awakening allows us to 'wake up' from this 'dream.' Brad Warner points to a flaw he sees in that we are still using our brains, which are still giving us representations and not reality.

    Which brings us to the 'hard question' of consciousness itself- what is it and how does it arise from our material brains made of chemicals and electricity? I follow a lot of discussions outside Buddhism around this, mainly through science magazines, but also through the magazine 'Philosophy Now' which continues to have a number of related articles. 'What is brain?' asks someone in the Star Trek episode. What indeed. What is needed for consciousness to arise? Obviously the bundles of chemicals and structures we know as the brain, together with the associated electrochemical processes, but at what stage does it arise? Can we rocognise consciousness in other animals? Plants? Any living thing? Non living things? Computers?

    All interesting questions which Brad sums up by referring to Dogen and his definitions of 'mystical' and 'strange' where mystical is a mystery, but not strange, out-of-this-world mysteriousness.

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