I have long been interested in Buddhism, ever since my first conversation with my Dad on this topic at our dining table in Madras, India, when I was 12. Since then I have visited Bodhgaya, Nalanda, and Vaishali in my quest to learn more. Over the years, my quest has taken me computer science and the "hard problem of AI", i.e., the study of consciousness itself.
To this end, I have attended the beginner Viapassana 10 day course and have been meditating for the last decade or so.
I am sick and tired of new age thinkers who go on and on about "healing energy" and such, only because they do not progress knowledge beyond what it was over 2.5 millenia ago. My attempt to do so can be found here (I hope it does not cause offense): http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/artic ... 2/abstract
I recently and accidentally experienced Turyia, but have been unable to reproduce it. This has given me some insight into many hitherto opaque readings in Buddhist, Zen and Hindu literature. (It also completely destroyed my then current theories on consciousness; however, I remain very much a materialist.)
My main aim in coming to this site is to learn. Specifically, it had always struck me that during the Vipassana talks, it was mentioned at least twice, that the Buddha "...saw things as they are..." and my intuition then and now is that this may not metaphorical, i.e., that in deep states of meditation, qualia perception mechanisms are perhaps altered and allow us to see things in a unique way. That is what I hope to learn about in my quest to try to understand qualia--what does the Buddhist literature (and Buddhist theories of atomism) have to say on this.
I have read the wikipedia and the online Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy entries on these already, but they do not address the Buddhist perspective on qualia "head on" and any new sources of information on this would be of much help.
Paul G. Joseph