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Can mind exist without matter? - Dhamma Wheel

Can mind exist without matter?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
SarathW
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Can mind exist without matter?

Postby SarathW » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:00 am

The way I understand, mind is arising with mater (gross or subtle) and it is not possible mind to exist without matter.
I am reading the attached text and page 37 it says:

76 Arūpabhava: the highest cosmological realm, where matter has completely disappeared and only
mind exists. This realm consists of four extremely subtle planes, into which rebirth is gained by mastery
over the four formless or non-material meditations.

What are your thoughts?

http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf1/wh155An ... ikaya1.pdf
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:49 am

Greetings Sarath,

Apologies I cannot provide a reference off the top of my head, but the Buddha said that mentality required a physical basis. Commentators interpreted this as advocating the prevailing Indian cardiac theory that the heart was the physical seat of consciousness, although the Buddha did not explicitly call out any proximite location.

That said, to your question of what "exists", I'd caution against unwittingly leaping to an ontological interpretation. To use an analogy...

For the man watching television but hearing no sound... it could be because the volume is off, or it could be because he is deaf. In his world (loka), no TV sound "exists"... but whether the physical reason for this is attributable to deafness (no audible vibrations being detected) or the volume being turned down (no audible vibrations being produced), is inconsequential in terms of the resultant first-hand present-moment experience of seeing but not hearing the television.

Compare that to when matter could be said to "exist" or otherwise.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

pegembara
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby pegembara » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:05 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

santa100
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby santa100 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:42 pm


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Alex123
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:38 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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BlueLotus
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:00 pm


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Mr Man
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Mr Man » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:30 pm

In Dreams.

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Alex123
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:30 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Alex123
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:33 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Mr Man
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Mr Man » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:52 pm


SarathW
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:13 am

Thanks all.
Base on Pegembara’s comment:
“Consciousness that arises in dependence on the intellect & ideas is classified simply as intellect-consciousness.”
---------------------
I think Arupabhava is a result of intellect and ideas.
So my question is:
Can Intellect and ideas be considered as subtle matter? What is the course of intellect and ideas?
I think, Arupabhava is just the matter change into something else, the same way that water can be change to ice, heat, vapour etc.

Can I show you an ice cube and say that water is completely disappeared? :shrug:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:15 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:38 am

Greetings,

So, in short, nāma-rūpa as "name and form" rather than "mentality and materiality"?

:geek:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Sylvester
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:20 am


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daverupa
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:52 am


Sylvester
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:09 am

Good catch!

But, as much as I'd like to invoke SN 12.19 to support the dichotomy, I'm not sure if the context allows it. It suggests that the duality/pair is the condition for contact. Based on the standard full DO sequence, it's nāmarūpa which is the condition for the sense bases and contact thereon. But the condition for name and form is consciousness, which does not appear here, unless the "body" is to be read idiomatically to refer to the "bodies of consciousness" (found elsewhere in suttas such as DN 33, MN 137, MN 146, SN 12.2). The phrase cha viññāṇakāyā (6 bodies/groups of consciousness) is a pretty well known concept, and I wonder if the "body" in SN 12.19 should not be a reference to the "bodies" in SN 12.2.

What complicates it a bit is the Sarva Skt parallel (in Tripathi 1962: 140) which says "this arisen body with consciousness". It does mess up the Pali duality structure a bit, by going back to the more familiar DO sequence of consciousness as the condition for nāmarūpa, but with a body appended to the vortex. (Caveat - I've simply translated the BH Skt phrase using Pali grammar, and I could be mistaken in my syntax analysis)

However, Potter would probably agree with you on this, as he believes that SN 12.19 shows a throwback to the Upanisadic duality (Abh Budd to 150 AD, p45).
Last edited by Sylvester on Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Aloof
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Aloof » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:39 am

Mind can never exist without matter.
This is simple law of nature (Dhamma).

Both mind and matter ascend together to Emptiness.

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Ben
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:41 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Aloof
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby Aloof » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:07 am


SarathW
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Re: Can mind exist without matter?

Postby SarathW » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:35 am

According to Buddhism can we consider light, air,space and sub atomic particles (strings et) as matter?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”


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