Tibet House New Delhi Nalanda Certificate Course NCC1
7th Session Notes /27/06/2022) Mon
How does mind as subject interact with the object flower? Ignorance drives us to object misconception and subject deception.
To understand the object so well we study philosophy, physic, quantum mechanic, modern science and ontological reality.
For the subject, our reactions are different. It’s the same flower, it’s the subjective thinking that make us to see different. This subjective study is psychology, study of subject. Study of object is science and study of subject is psychology, what is mind? To know your mind well is study of Buddhist psychology.
To know the mind, we need to know that this universe has infinite phenomena, they can be grouped under 3 categories:
1. Manifest phenomena: Something we see directly through our sense, a flower.
2. Slightly hidden phenomena: Something we know through inferences. A flower made of number of cells, electrons, neutrons etc. We know there is fire because we see smoke.
3. Very hidden phenomena: Something we know or believe through the knowledge of third persons like date of birth. It exists, but its existence is known through some reliable testimony and not directly.
Modern science explains on the first and a part of the second category only. They cannot speak of a part of the second phenomena and full of very hidden phenomena. So the modern science does not explain all the phenomena. Physic does not explain neuroscience. Neuroscience does not explain quantum mechanics. Simply because something is not explained by modern science does not mean that it does not exist. Karma and rebirth are belongs to the category of slightly hidden phenomena, modern science does not speak of these phenomena.
Neuroscience has not been able to explain mind properly. Brain and mind, a scientist may see your brain wave on computer screen, but he cannot see or know what you are thinking. "In search of memory" by Prof Eric Kandel is a good book. There is two hypothesis: 1) No mind, only brain 2) There is mind, but it is a derivative of brain. When one dies, mind disappears. This what current neuroscientists believe in.
Parmanavartika chapter 2 explains how mind exit as a distinct entity which is closely connected to brain but different entity wise. All beings come from karma, without mind there is no karma to operate. A gymnast in a space suit, he or she is moving inside, space suit is moving slowly. We cannot see the person; this does not mean that there is no person inside. Simply because the space suit is moving does not mean that there is no person inside.
The brain and mind, we can see the brain wave not the mind. A scientist can see the brain wave only. We can see both. What we experience is mind, what a neuroscientist sees is the brain, not mind.
Valid cognition mind is most refined version of your mind and thinking. Mind is defined as clear and knowing agent. Mirror has to be clear to see the reflection clear. Water surface is also same to see the reflection of a moon. Close your eye and think of a blue flower. This mind should be clear to get a clear image of a blue flower.
Mind is clear and luminous. Mind has two elements, it is clear and knowing. But it is not substantial and physical. When reflection is formed on the mirror, the mirror does not know that a reflection is formed. But when you think of a blue flower, image is formed and your mind knows it.
There is two state of mind: 1) Resultant state, happy or sad. 2) Causal state of emotions and karma. Virtuous mind result in happiness and non-virtuous mind gives pain and sadness. Causal state has 2: 1) Cognitive mental state (seeing a robber) and 2) Afflictive mental state (reaction on seeing the robber). The two affect each other. Buddhism stresses on sharpening the cognitive mind. Cognitive thought process should be developed sharply. For this, seven divisions of mind are explained. They are:
1. Direct valid perceiver (Tib: dngon sum)
2. Inferential cognizer (Tib:rjes pa)
3. Subsequent cognizer (Tib:bcad shes)
4. Correctly assuming consciousness (Tib:yid dpyad)
5. Non-discerning direct perceiver (Tib:snang la ma gnas pa)
6. Doubting consciousness (Tib:the tshom)
7. Deceptive (wrong) consciousness (Tib:log shes)
We need to study and develop cognitive thought process. Once we have learnt cognitive thought process through the seven divisions of mind, we have to apply it to afflictive thought process.
Brain - mind and heart. Intelligent - compassionate. Knowledge - wisdom. View - mind of the view nature. Afflictive - mind of non-view nature.
Mind of the view nature is cognitive state of mind, which has seven divisions. Valid cognition (Tib:tshad ma)is a mind which cognizes its primary object newly or freshly. Any cognition happening newly is a valid cognition.
Mind and consciousness are synonymous. The mind in general can be divided into two, mental consciousness and sensory consciousness. Our meditation has to be done through mental consciousness and not through sensory consciousness.
Note: This is a student's note. Error and omissions are bound to be there. A serious student should study the actual teachings of the teacher, Geshe Dorjee Damdul la, from www.tibethouse.in website. I write these notes to help my understanding and recollections. (Tib:Rang gi yid la nges phyir ngas dhi brtsams).