What is intellect & mental qualities.

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What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:07 am

Is intellect the brain? Does brain come under the body category?
Refer to:
"Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises ear-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises nose-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises tongue-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises body-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the intellect & mental qualities there arises intellect-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. Now, from the remainderless cessation & fading away of that very craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering. This is the ending of the world."

source
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby santa100 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:58 am

Alternative translation from Ven. Bodhi:

In dependence on the eye and forms ... In dependence on the ear and sounds ... In dependence on the nose and odours … In dependence on the tongue and tastes ... In dependence on the body and tactile objects ... In dependence on the mind and mental phenomena, mind-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as condition, feeling [comes to be]; with feeling as condition, craving; with craving as condition, clinging … existence … birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. This, bhikkhus, is the origin of the world


So, the "mind" (mana) is one among the 6 sense faculties. Although being classified separately from the "body", the mind is inclusive in the sense that it acts as the resort to the other five faculties and experiences their fields and domains. This is further clarified by Bodhi:

the five outer sense faculties each have their own unique object: forms/eye, sounds/ear, etc.-but the mind faculty is able to experience the objects of all 5 sense faculties as well as the mental objects exclusive to itself. Hence the other five faculties have mind as their resort
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:04 am

Hi Santa
Great answer!
However I need further clarity if you can. Say when I meditate, I keep my attention on ear,nose,body,tongue,eyes etc.
Say then I think about you (Santa 100).
Does it come from my brain which is body? does it?
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby santa100 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:56 am

Although the physical brain is important to the proper function of the mind, it'd be incorrect to say the mental process "comes" from the brain. In other word, the mind is not "born" out of the brain. Otherwise, it'd mean the "body" is a resort to the mind. But instead, it's the "mind" that is the resort to the other 5 sense faculties. So during meditation, when you think about a mental object, according to the sutta, that means your mind, the mental object, and your mind consciousness have made "contact". .
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:18 am

Thanks. I hope I will undestand this one day. :idea: :twothumbsup:
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:34 am

A basic tenet of the Buddha's teachings is that the mind and body work together, but that the body lies under the control of the mind. The mind is what orders the body to do this or that activity, but when the body wears down, the mind is of necessity put to some hardship as well. It doesn't lie under the control of the nervous system, although the brain can be regarded as a central office. When the body dies, disintegrating in line with the nature of its various elements, the mind — if the necessary conditions of unawareness, craving, attachment, and kamma are still present — will have to reappear in this or that plane of existence and to continue experiencing suffering and stress.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... along.html

Works for me.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby ground » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:48 am

santa100 wrote:Although the physical brain is important to the proper function of the mind, it'd be incorrect to say the mental process "comes" from the brain. In other word, the mind is not "born" out of the brain.

What evidence is there for this assumption?

santa100 wrote:Otherwise, it'd mean the "body" is a resort to the mind.

Not at all. It simply may mean that consciousness arises dependently from the brain in the context of living body . "mind" can only be positted by consciousness itself as something different from itself (i.e. "idea") :sage:
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:10 am

ground wrote: "mind" can only be positted by consciousness itself as something different from itself (i.e. "idea") :sage:

What is "consciousness itself"?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby ground » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:01 am

kirk5a wrote:
ground wrote: "mind" can only be positted by consciousness itself as something different from itself (i.e. "idea") :sage:

What is "consciousness itself"?

The idea "consciousness itself" itself. :sage:
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:36 pm

ground wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
ground wrote: "mind" can only be positted by consciousness itself as something different from itself (i.e. "idea") :sage:

What is "consciousness itself"?

The idea "consciousness itself" itself. :sage:

How does the idea "consciousness itself" posit the idea "mind" ?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby ground » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:07 pm

ground wrote: "mind" can only be positted by consciousness itself as something different from itself (i.e. "idea") :sage:

kirk5a wrote:What is "consciousness itself"?

ground wrote:The idea "consciousness itself" itself. :sage:

kirk5a wrote:How does the idea "consciousness itself" posit the idea "mind" ?

"posit" in the context above just is a means of symbolic expression of consciousness grasping itself as more than just a conditioned idea. In this sense and context "mind" is like e.g. "God". Both are just consciousnesses aka ideas. :sage:
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:26 pm

"quivering"
"wavering"
"subtle"
"wandering"
"unsteady"
"wakeful"
"tamed"
"restrained"
"concentrated"

It is not ideas which are described as such - but the mind.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby ground » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:34 pm

kirk5a wrote:It is not ideas which are described as such - but the mind.

No problem. All these are just ideas.
"Is" and "is not" are consciousnesses grasping themselves too. Actually the sense of self causes this because sense of self and consciousness are not two. Sense of self grows on affirmation. Affirmation is self-referential. Call it mind or nothing, no difference. But if you want to apply the words of religious tradition - and maybe this is the place here to do so - then "mind" may comply but "nothing" may not comply with convention of religious tradition. Just ignore words that do not comply. Words do not make a difference, but consciousness does. :sage:
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby santa100 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:48 pm

ground wrote:
santa100 wrote:Although the physical brain is important to the proper function of the mind, it'd be incorrect to say the mental process "comes" from the brain. In other word, the mind is not "born" out of the brain.

What evidence is there for this assumption?


It's not an assumption. It's the central tenet of Materialism which is a wrong view and has been discussed pretty thoroughly in many threads. To materialists, matter is primary, and mind or spirit or ideas are secondary, the product of matter acting upon matter..
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:56 pm

ground wrote:"Is" and "is not" are consciousnesses grasping themselves too. Actually the sense of self causes this because sense of self and consciousness are not two. Sense of self grows on affirmation. Affirmation is self-referential. Call it mind or nothing, no difference. But if you want to apply the words of religious tradition - and maybe this is the place here to do so - then "mind" may comply but "nothing" may not comply with convention of religious tradition. Just ignore words that do not comply. Words do not make a difference, but consciousness does. :sage:

Since we are in the "General Theravada discussion" the expectation here is to say something meaningful within, as you put it, "the conventions of that religious tradition." Your manner of speaking does not, as you say, "comply."

The discernment of the actuality of the qualities and activities of the mind is what we have been instructed to do by the Buddha. That is what is at issue here.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby ground » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:23 pm

Okay. Then it may be concluded with
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At least here, in the context of what "all" is, there is no mention of "mind". :sage:
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:28 pm

ground wrote:Okay. Then it may be concluded with
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At least here, in the context of what "all" is, there is no mention of "mind". :sage:

"intellect" and "mind" are just two English translations of the Pali "mano"
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:29 pm

ground wrote:Okay. Then it may be concluded with
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At least here, in the context of what "all" is, there is no mention of "mind". :sage:

The last phrase is more often translated as "mind and mind objects"...

:sage:
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:36 pm

ground wrote:Okay. Then it may be concluded with
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At least here, in the context of what "all" is, there is no mention of "mind". :sage:


I'm not sure if you're more concerned with the reification of the word mind or the idea that events of consciousness can occur without a corresponding state of a brain but if you're concerned about the reification of mind then I would suggest you realize that mind is just a handy word that encompasses events of consciousness and all the faculties that arise from events of consciousness such as memory, awareness, thoughts, etc. and assume that anyone who's read the suttas or has observed their "mind" a wee bit would know that. As for the "materialist" vs. "dualist" stuff, it will never go anywhere on a forum like this, either view is fabricated, dependently originated, impermanent, stressful and subject to cessation regardless of the scientific observations that provide information on the correlation between what we call mind or consciousness or subjective experience and the brain. Still, despite the science favoring a view such as biological naturalism it is still not epistemologically justifiable to say only this is true, anything else is worthless. Events of consciousness without a corresponding state of a brain may be possible, although of course it seems unlikely given the current scientific knowledge about the brain.

:yingyang:
Last edited by polarbuddha101 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: What is intellect & mental qualities.

Postby ground » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:37 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
ground wrote:Okay. Then it may be concluded with
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At least here, in the context of what "all" is, there is no mention of "mind". :sage:

The last phrase is more often translated as "mind and mind objects"...

:sage:
Mike

Which reflects the preferred ideas of the translator. But again ... words do not make a difference but consciousness does. If one prefers to apply the word "God" to express oneself in different contexts it does not follow that there is something more than the mere idea expressed with "God", it just follows that the sense of self prefers to express itself that way. :sage:

BTW B. Bodhi expresses himself with "mind and mental phenomena"
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