Alex123 wrote:I got his excerpts from "the Inner science of Buddhist practice". There are also teachings from various Tibetans and from Vasubandhu.
There is this quote that goes: "Moreover, the increase and decrease of wisdom and the like take place through differing actions of the mind, without any increase or decrease in the body."
its not saying that the body or brain is unchanging. in the same book you find that the consciousnesses are conditioned by sense powers, all of which are momentary phenomena. the simple act of producing an effect requires change.
what the quote says is that no matter what degree of for example selflessness is realized, as a novice or as a fullblown ariya, that knowable object accompanied by that awareness cannot be located in any part of the body. in other words dull people have small dull ideas whereas very intelligent people can form grand extremely complex designs in awareness. even though the mental content is very different in scope, and the minds are quite different in size ie. concentration, complexity, vividness etc, the occupation of these objects remains the same in the brain and body: zero.
Alex123 wrote:When a person dies and brain activity is zero, how can we speak of continued existence and carry over of mental qualities?
Alteration to prefrontal cortex, temporal and frontal lobes (for example) can do that. It can diminish or increase religiosity, it can affect abstract reasoning, personality, decision making...
brain mass is not 1st person experience. the material cause for 1st person experience must necessarily be something of similar type: a previous moment of 1st person experience.
yes, sense powers condition coarse levels of mind, what we might call our human awareness. and? modern humans and entire populations of people for tens of thousands of years never developed samadhi. they never learned to concentrate beyond the capacity of animals, never stilled their minds and learned to bring cessation to unfavourable mental factors such as confusion, lethargy, etc. they never observed the vacuity of mere awareness, because their awareness is always occupied by coarse appearances. of course theyre stuck in coarse levels of mind. and of couse coarse levels of mind are heavily conditioned by even the goddamn weather, let alone the brain or the body in general.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."