Reply To: Post on “Saṅkhāra – An Introduction”


Yes. This is a meaningful discussion. 

  • The working of the mind is a mechanical process. It just responds to external stimuli (sensory inputs) mechanically. The response is according to the gati one has at that time. This is why the Buddha said that there is no “me” (un unchanging soul/atman type entity seeing, hearing at the same time, and responding to those sensory inputs.
  • The running of citta vithi, once attached to a stimulus, would have gone in that direction if we did not have brains with a fully-developed neocortex. (Note: Animals, even those with small brains, do not have such a break. They just continue with the initial response. See “Triune Brain: How the Mind Rewires the Brain via Meditation/Habits.” I may need to revise this post; even though I made some revisions recently, I don’t think I read through it carefully. )
  • The brain takes about a hundredth of a second to process the input, which pauses the uncontrolled progression of citta vithi and, thus, uncontrolled actions. It gives us the time to be mindful and stop pursuing sensory input.
  • Again, posts like “Seeing Is a Series of ‘Snapshots,” “Brain – Interface between Mind and Body,” and those in the “Essential Abhidhamma – The Basics” section explain various aspects related to this issue.