How the mind does wonders?

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    • #45920

      Hello everyone:

      How does the mind do wonders?

      Sometimes i think of the mind as a computer. Let’s say someone wants to add big numbers on their head. Person X will be able to do the calculation fast, person Y might take very long or not be able to do it at all.

      I guess the first difference might be in their faculties, one has a sharp mind, the others do not. One might be free of hindrances, agile, the other might be swimming in lethargy, etc.

      The second difference might be about inclinations. One has an inclination to mathematics and has cultivated the mind in that aspect, the others not.

      Still, this is “only superficial”, how does the mind actually solve the problem? What’s the mechanism? I’m guessing its a complex process even if for some people it might take less than a second, to create a mental image, match the concept with a previous experience, and bring probably many other stuff.

      And this is a “simple task,” how does the mind do some of the psychic stuff like seeing into the future? , Or affecting materiality -levitating, etc.- I know the mind is “the fastest entity,” but maybe I’m seeing it wrong since it seems it is not only “computing data” (again, for example, you need more than computing to affect matter, you need energy, probably).

      Thanks, and sorry for the long answer :)






    • #45927

      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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    • #45933

      Thanks Lal:

      My question would be:

      -How does the mind affects matter.

      -How does the mind comes up with answers.




    • #45935

      Your question: “How does the mind affect matter?”

      The mind does not affect matter that is already in existence. But the mind CREATES matter. 

      Question: “How does the mind come up with answers?”

      Again, this requires a detailed explanation and requires a bit of background. Mind (or more precisely, the “seat of the mind” hadaya vatthu“) is actually like a mechanical device that generates cittas (loosely translated as “thoughts”) per Paticca Samuppada.


    • #45937

      Thanks Lal.

      In one of your linked topics i got pretty close to the level of detail i was looking in one of my questions.

      How does the mind affects matter? “Javana citta”

      I will have to look into that concept.

      Again, thanks


    • #45938

      Great. Please post your thoughts once you have a good idea about it.

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