Reply To: How the mind does wonders?


This question can be answered at many levels, going into profound levels.

1. Current science equates the “mind” to the “brain.” Scientists believe thoughts (citta) arise in the brain.

  • If that is the case, only humans and a few species of animals would have minds. 
  • Most low-level animals do not have brains. Furthermore, all the realms above the human realm (Devas and Brahmas) do not have brains. 
  • But all living beings (in all 31 realms, except the asanna realm) can think. They all have minds.

2. The minds’ capabilities in different realms vary from almost non-existent in those realms in the apayas (lowest four realms) to high levels in other realms. 

  • However, the human realm is unique because that is whether the mind can be “improved” or developed into high levels up to the maximum level of a Buddha.
  • That is done not by acquiring “mundane knowledge” about worldly things as modern science does. No matter how much we learn about the world, there is no ending. Science will make a lot of progress in the coming thousands of years, but they will never reach the optimum level of a Buddha.

3. The mind’s capabilities are improved by getting rid of the defilements (greed, hate/anger, and ignorance about the unfruitfulness of anything in the world). That may be hard to believe. But if one spends time learning Buddha Dhamma that will become clear.

  • You had some ideas about that when you wrote, “Still, this is “only superficial,” how does the mind actually solve the problem? What’s the mechanism?”
  • The mechanism is to eliminate the defilements, as I mentioned above.

4. For example, scientists figured out the existence of billions of “star systems” like our “solar system” (with the Sun and the set of planets with Earth being one) only within the past hundred years or so.

  • However, the Buddha figured the existence of billions of “cakkavala” (“star systems”) within his lifetime by cultivating the mind. 
  • See “Dhamma and Science – Introduction.”
  • More details at “31 Realms Associated with the Earth.” The Buddha learned about the existence of those and also visited them using his iddhi (supernormal) powers. He did not need to construct rockets to get there. 
  • As I mentioned, this analysis can go to very profound levels. 
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