I can't trust my own brain

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Bundokji
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I can't trust my own brain

Post by Bundokji » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:54 pm

Interesting personal story on the BBC

https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p06l4bv9 ... -memories-
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

SarathW
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Re: I can't trust my own brain

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:34 pm

Yes, it is a good video. Thanks for posting it for both of you.
This is a very good reason why we should understand the Buddha Dhamma here and now.
The primordial brain will never be able to comprehend it.
If a person becomes an Ariya it is not an issue even if you have a brain injury.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: I can't trust my own brain

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:00 pm

Very interesting. I feel sorry for him, but also admiration because he has managed to keep positive.

Not being able to trust one's brain or mind because of memory loss is quite common. I knew a nun who had looked after a very old and celebrated meditation teacher when she developed dementia. This older lady used to tell her, in moments of clarity, "Don't trust your mind! Don't listen to what it's telling you!"

Even more common, but less acknowledged, is not being able to trust one's mind because of its defilements. Unless we are careful, who knows what they will get us to do?

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Bundokji
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Re: I can't trust my own brain

Post by Bundokji » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:03 am

Thank you SarathW and Sam for your replies.

What is interesting in his story is not only our vulnerability, but also our ability to adapt. His brain injury made his life difficult in many different ways, but at the same time it had its own positive effects through feeling more appreciation and less fearful.

I think we have no choice but to trust in a certain way. While the areas of his brain that are responsible for memory have been damaged during the surgery, he was able to use other areas which remained intact. He was able to use his reasoning abilities to adapt through creating a journal.

Also his story made me think about how our mental health cannot be separated from the way we interact with others. A lot of his suffering is caused by his inability to work as memory is necessary to perform tasks between human beings. Maybe this is why understanding suffering and the nature of our actions should include others. A narcissist or a psychopath experience very little guilt, but they are far from being liberated. His story can also be a cause of compassion, as we who are lucky enough to be healthy, might depend on the compassion and acceptance from other human beings.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

SarathW
Posts: 10514
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: I can't trust my own brain

Post by SarathW » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:10 am

surgery, he was able to use other areas which remained intact. He was able to use his reasoning abilities to adapt through creating a journal.
[/quote
This is called the brain elasticity (neuroplasticity).
There was a time people thought that brain injury is permanent and irreversible.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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