The heart as the physical base of the mind?

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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:24 pm

Hanzze wrote:there is so much stress between my eyes :-)


Image

:jumping:
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby O'seeker » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:51 am

Nice.

This isn't specific to the Buddha, either. It seems to be found in the New Testament;

Mark 7:21-23 (New International Version)
" For it is from within, out of a person’s HEART, that evil THOUGHTS come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

:heart:
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:01 am

O'seeker wrote:Nice.
Mark 7:21-23 (New International Version)
" For it is from within, out of a person’s HEART, that evil THOUGHTS come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

:heart:


Interesting, though I take references like this to be metaphorical. You know when somebody says they're thinking with their heart, not their head? So "heart" stands for emotion / feelings, "head" stands for rational thought. But it's all mental activity.

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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby O'seeker » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:28 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Interesting, though I take references like this to be metaphorical. You know when somebody says they're thinking with their heart, not their head? So "heart" stands for emotion / feelings, "head" stands for rational thought. But it's all mental activity.

Spiny


Well I can tell you this for sure. I had quit smoking cigs for a week and that clinging emotion that was is my heart area and solar plexus caused thoughts and images of attaining smokes to run through the mind almost continuously and vice versa.

I think it works that way with many things.

I ask you to pay attention to what happens the next time you feel anxiety in a certain situation. Next time you are startled by something, too... from where do you feel it?

Rational thought is also connected with emotion, too. Be it wanting to be correct, wanting to seem intelligent (Arrogance/Ego/Pride)
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby Nibbida » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:29 pm

Individual wrote:
Nibbida wrote:Sure. Certain findings seem pretty consistent, whether from Heartmath or other people. Negative states of mind are associated with low heart rate variability, meaning that the heart does not have the normal responsiveness to situations and demands, changing as needed.

Oh, I see now. I didn't know at first what you meant by "heart rate variability". As I see it, this is nothing special; that is, it says nothing about how thoughts or consciousness are somehow governed by the heart, only that certain emotional or psychological problems can affect cardiovascular health. For instance, this article:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/ ... _heart.htm

Unhealthy emotions create an unnecessary trigger of the fight-or-flight response, which could conceivably reduce the body's capacity to respond to stress appropriately (which includes heart rate variability, it also includes things like cortisol, but would you equate the adrenal glands with "mind"?).

Also, I still don't see the credibility or relevance of Heartmath. This website (assuming this is them) definitely looks misleading:
http://www.heartmathstore.com/

Even if it were true that consciously monitoring heart-rate and comparing it with emotions could work to extend life (a self-diagnosis made by a completely unqualified person with no medical or educational background??)... Even if this were true, with right mindfulness one can be aware of the heartbeat and emotions without paying for a machine. :)




I think it means more than that. It means scientists are increasingly looking at the brain and heart as an interdependent system where both play essential parts, in concert, in cognition and emotion. I'm not saying that our thoughts emnate from the heart. Clearly the effect of a heart attack and a stroke show different roles for the heart and brain in thinking and emotions. But it also doesn't seem accurate to say that the heart is just a pump and the brain thinks, given their highly interconnected and interactive relationship. Antonio Damasio in Descarte's Error, made a strong case that the brain "thinks" but it does so in the context of the whole body, and as a result, emotion and reason are not as separate as philosophers once thought, but inextricably intertwined.

Research like Damasio' and others' falls under the heading of "embodied cognition." Maybe ancient people didn't have the anatomical knowledge and the technical tools to tease apart the relationship between body, mind, brain, and emotions, but the did produce keen subjective observations. I may not understand something like chakras in a literal sense, but I won't dismiss it entirely either. Keep in mind that our entire experience of our body is not literally our body but our mental representation of our body. What seems like my body right now is a mental construct. I know very little about chakras, but from the perspective that our body (and entire sense of reality) is a mental construct, chakras and citta may at least have metaphorical value.

Or maybe I'm just flapping my gums. :-)
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:33 am

O'seeker wrote:
I ask you to pay attention to what happens the next time you feel anxiety in a certain situation. Next time you are startled by something, too... from where do you feel it?


Yes, there are physiological aspects to emotions, and we experience bodily sensations in conjunction with mental states due to hormone release etc. But that's not the same as saying that bodily organs are somehow conscious. I find that the scientific model of human biology makes sense to me, and feel no need to look for alternative explanations.

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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby Ben » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:51 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:and we experience bodily sensations in conjunction with mental states due to hormone release etc.

Not just hormone release. Vedana arise dependent on past kamma, physical nutriment, climate, and lastly, but not least, phassa (contact). The scientific model of human biology is fine, but its not complete.
kind regards

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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:01 pm

Personally i think the True Self is located in the big toe. The left one.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby David2 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:35 pm

This video may also be of interest (half entertainment - half science):

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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby SarathW » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:47 am

It is impossible me to imagine that Buddha said that the base of consciousness is the heart. For example fine material bodies do not have a heart. Consciousness is arising based on any gross or fine matter. Say even in an atom.



Please read Page 330 and 331 of attached link:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddha-


In this connection it should be remarked that the Buddha
did not definitely assign a specific seat for consciousness as
He has done with the other senses. It was the cardiac theory
(the view that the heart is the seat of consciousness) that prevailedin His time, and this was evidently supported by theUpanishads.
The Buddha could have accepted the popular theory, but
He did not commit Himself. In the Patthāna, the Book of Relations,
the Buddha refers to the seat of consciousness, in
such indirect terms as “yam rūpam nissāya – depending on
that material thing”, without positively asserting whether that
rūpa was either the heart (hadaya) or the brain. But, according
to the view of commentators like Venerable Buddhaghosa and
Anuruddha, the seat of consciousness is definitely the heart. It
should be understood that the Buddha neither accepted nor
rejected the popular cardiac theory.
:heart: :|
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby Nori » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:06 am

"Mind" is a western conception/word/symbol and maybe the closest idea we have to the Pali citta.

In the Pali Text Society dictionary we have:

Citta2 (nt.) [Sk. citta, orig. pp. of cinteti, cit, cp. yutta> yuñjati, mutta>muñcati. On etym. from cit. see cinteti].
I. Meaning: the heart (psychologically), i. e. the centre & focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in & accompanies its manifestations; i. e. thought. In this wise citta denotes both the agent & that which is enacted (see kamma II. introd.), for in Indian Psychology citta is the seat & organ of thought ...(snip)

What is interesting in this definition is that 'thought' can be viewed as an accompaniment or manifestation of Citta (the heart). (Maybe not the physical 'heart' which we know with the valves, and muscles and such, but a 'mental' (for lack of a word), place/thing.)
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Postby SarathW » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:24 pm

Hi Nori
I see your point. :)
The way I understand is mind is arising as a result of the physical base. They are not two different things. Fire is not stored in the match stick or gunpowder the same way consciousness is arising due to Rupa. They are inter-dependent. Personality view (wrong view) comes due to not understanding this fact. ( the thought the mind is separate from the body)
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