Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness

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    • #14685
      Lal
      Keymaster
    • #26636
      interested
      Participant

      Stupid question but> subject of rebirth and the concept of mind being separate to the body, is intriguing. All things being connected to a certain extent via entanglement maybe.

      If mind allows all things to happen, under Buddhist teachings can mind be viewed as the universe as a whole, with the brain/body acting on inputs like an automaton, as a small part of a universe.

      That feeling in the chest mentioned on one of the pages when something is going to happen, rings bells.

    • #26637
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hello, interested!

      The mind does not exist just by itself. There must be at least a trace of matter for the mind to exist.

      That is a critical point in Buddha Dhamma that many people do not realize. The “seat of the mind” is called “hadaya vatthu.” It is unbelievably small and is created by kammic energy when a living being grasps a new existence.
      – In addition to hadaya vatthu, up to five “pasāda rupa” are created by the kammic energy at that time.

      That package, hadaya vatthu together with the set of pasāda rupa is the fundamental “unit of existence”. It is called the “manōmaya kāya” because the energy for the creation of it comes from the kammic energy when a strong kamma is committed.

      I cannot get into details but wanted to provide the basis. A good point to start is to go through the posts in the new section, “Origin of Life.”
      – If you are serious about finding the answers, it is necessary to read that section. This is not something that can be explained in a page or two.
      – You can ask further questions AFTER reading that series. Please refer to any post in question and the particular bullet numbers.

      P.S. One more key point to make the connection to Quantum Mechanics.

      That manōmaya kāya (and the kammic energy or dhammā that creates it) is in the “quantum realm.” Just like electrons and photons that are in the quantum realms are entangled, they are entangled too. That is how life forms are connected across space.
      – That is also called “non-locality.” Recent experiments have confirmed that our world is indeed non-local. See, “Quantum Mechanics – A New Interpretation.”

      • #36335
        Brett
        Participant

        Hello lal,

        Following is taken from your posts:

        The mind does not exist just by itself. There must be at least a trace of matter for the mind to exist.

        7. Thus to attain Nibbāna is to attain the perfectly purified mind, which refuses to be burden with a physical body that leads to decay and rebirth repeatedly (and thus to dukkha).

        8. In the 31 realms, one is born with a dense body (kāma loka), fine-material body (rūpa loka), or only a trace of “matter” in the form of “gati” (arūpa loka). When the mind becomes free of a “body” anywhere in the 31 realms, that is Nibbāna. This is another way to understand Nibbāna

        if the mind requires matter to be then what exactly is pure mind?? just Hadaya Vathu?

    • #27352
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      Something came to mind. If I understand correctly, even citta is quantized. So, can I safely assume that there is nothing in this world that is truly analog in nature? What appears to be analog is due to our brain being the bottleneck in information processing. Unless there is something out there that is at least the speed of a citta rising and passing away, we can never know for sure the existence of such analog nature. For instance, an audio signal. What appears to be a continuous audio sound wave is only as analog as our citta arising and passing away speed.

    • #27353
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Good observation, Johnny!

      ” If I understand correctly, even citta is quantized. So, can I safely assume that there is nothing in this world that is truly analog in nature?”

      Not only citta, but “matter” is quantized too. The smallest unit of matter is a suddhāṭṭhaka. See, “The Origin of Matter – Suddhāṭṭhaka.”

      We can safely say that the Buddha was the first scientist to point out the “quantum nature.”

    • #27354
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      Hi Lal,

      I have an impression that when something is quantized, it tends to have a fleeting nature. Not sure whether my understanding is correct. So, when you mention “matter” is also quantized, how should it be understood? Particularly physical objects around us.

      Thanks.

    • #27355
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hi Johnny,
      You said, “I have an impression that when something is quantized, it tends to have a fleeting nature.”

      The part about “fleeting nature” is a misinterpretation. I see that all the time.

      For example, a suddhāṭṭhaka (created by the javana power) can last billions of years, until destroyed at the end of a Maha Kappa (i.e., when the Solar system is destroyed.)

      The main idea that the Buddha tried to teach was that anything “material” changes even momentarily (but that “momentary change” can be very small.) For example, our bodies undergo momentary changes, but we can see “significant changes” only over the years.
      – Furthermore, things can change unexpectedly over time. That is the “viparinama nature.”

      Of course, our thoughts (citta) change very rapidly. It is appropriate to say that thoughts have a “fleeting nature.”

    • #36339
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Brett has asked a question in response to a comment by me above on January 28, 2020, at 2:08 pm.

      The question is as follows:
      ****
      Following is taken from your posts:

      The mind does not exist just by itself. There must be at least a trace of matter for the mind to exist.

      7. Thus to attain Nibbāna is to attain the perfectly purified mind, which refuses to be burden with a physical body that leads to decay and rebirth repeatedly (and thus to dukkha).

      8. In the 31 realms, one is born with a dense body (kāma loka), fine-material body (rūpa loka), or only a trace of “matter” in the form of “gati” (arūpa loka). When the mind becomes free of a “body” anywhere in the 31 realms, that is Nibbāna. This is another way to understand Nibbāna

      if the mind requires matter to be then what exactly is pure mind?? just Hadaya Vathu?
      ****

      Hadaya vatthu is NOT the mind. It is the “seat of the mind.”

      A mind is not “ON” at all times. Only when a sensory input comes in via one of the six sensory inputs does the mind “turns on.”

      So, it is a bit deeper issue of what is meant by a “pure mind.”
      – A given lifestream has ever-changing “gati” (related to “anusaya” or hidden defilements) associated with it.
      – When the Noble Eightfold Path is followed, those anusaya gradually fade away. At Arahanthood, there will be none left.
      – That is when the mind becomes “totally pure.”
      – In other words, when a sensory input comes into such a pure mind, it will not respond by defiled actions.

      You can read posts on “gati” and ‘anusaya” by searching with the “Search” box on the top right.
      – Please feel free to ask questions. It is a good question.

      • #36342
        Brett
        Participant

        Hello Lal,

        thank you for your reply.

        I still cannot reconcile that:

        There must be a trace of matter for the mind to exist AND Nibbana is pure mind beyond matter (not exactly your words but cannot find the original source at this time but the idea stays the same).

        Until now, to me, Pure consciousness is the source of everything including the mind, and pure consciousness is of course beyond matter either gross or subtle, even slightly condensed energy like gati or dhamma.

      • #36344
        Brett
        Participant

        I also do not understand you saying there is no soul but at the same going on describing the lifestream exactly the way I think of the soul. Perhaps were you referring to the idea of many that their soul is their personality reborn?

    • #36343
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hello Brett,

      The key point is with this part of your comment: “Nibbana is pure mind beyond matter.”

      Upon attaining Arahanthood, that Arahant’s mind becomes pure. That is called the “saupadisesa Nibbana” or “Nibbana with residue.” That is because the Arahant still lives with that physical body and hadaya vatthu.
      – However, at the moment of the death of the physical body, the “mental body” (gandhabba) with the hadaya vatthu comes out of that dead body and dies too. Normally, when a hadaya vatthu associated with a given bhava (existence) dies, a new hadaya vatthu is created by kammic energy, if there is any anusaya left.
      – Since the Arahant has no “defiled gati” or anusaya left, a new hadaya vatthu will not be created in this case. Therefore, that lifestream ends, and that is Nibbana! It is called “anupadisesa Nibbaba” or “Nibbaba without any residue.”

      The key point here is that hadaya vatthu is not eternal. When a lifestream switches from one existence (say human existence) to another existence (say, Deva or animal), a new hadaya vatthu matching that new existence will arise due to corresponding kammic energy.

      • #36345
        Brett
        Participant

        Hi Lal,

        I got that but it is a contradiction to affirm that when the Arahant dies his mind will become pure (no matter) and state at the same time that “there must be a trace of matter for the mind to exist”.

    • #36347
      Lal
      Keymaster

      There is no contradiction. After the death of an Arahant, there is no mind, no hadaya vatthu.

      The mind (and hadaya vatthu) are associated with “this world of 31 realms.”

      Nibbana does not belong to this world of 31 realms. As long as existence continues in this world, suffering does not end.

      I have explained that in many posts:
      Nibbāna

      • #36349
        Brett
        Participant

        Ok, I agree with that but then the site should state it more clearly: after the mind becomes pure then it gives way to another state which is without mind. The way it is stated one reads that there is a mind before and after.

    • #36350
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Where do I say something to the effect for you to say: “The way it is stated one reads that there is a mind before and after.”?

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Lal.
      • #36352
        Brett
        Participant

        7. Thus to attain Nibbāna is to attain the perfectly purified mind, which refuses to be burden with a physical body that leads to decay and rebirth repeatedly (and thus to dukkha).

    • #36353
      Lal
      Keymaster

      That is what I explained above with “saupadisesa Nibbana” and “anupadisesa Nibbana.”

      A living Arahant would have a purified mind. He/she still lives in this world with a purified mind.
      – At the death of the physical body (Parinibbana or “full Nibbana“) that lifestream will cease to exist in this suffering-filled world.

      That last part is hard to understand for most people. They evaluate things based on the human experience, which may not appear to be “filled with suffering.”
      – But human existence is very short in the rebirth process. Most births are in the four lowest realms (apayas) filled with suffering.

    • #36354
      Brett
      Participant

      Shouldn’t it read: “to attain saupadisesa nibbana is to attain the perfectly purified mind,..??

    • #36355
      cubibobi
      Participant

      For the bullet point #7 you quoted Lal (and I have not checked the post):

      7. Thus to attain Nibbāna is to attain the perfectly purified mind, which refuses to be burden with a physical body that leads to decay and rebirth repeatedly (and thus to dukkha).

      … we can also read it as:

      7. Thus to attain Nibbāna is to attain the perfectly purified mind, which refuses to be burden with a FUTURE physical body that leads to decay and rebirth repeatedly (and thus to dukkha).

      A common theme of this site is ending FUTURE suffering in the rebirth process.

      You can also look at this from the standpoint of abhidhamma to explore the various stages of purity. The Abhidhamma section of the site goes into details of what I list in brief here.

      There are 4 ultimate entities: cittā, cetasikā, rūpā, Nibbāna

      cittā and cetasikā are mind

      rūpā are matter: hadaya vatthu, pasada rūpā, etc.

      cittā, cetasikā, rūpā are in this world of 31 realms. Nibbāna is not.

      For a mundane person, cittā are contaminated in 9 stages. For an arahant, in his day to day life (saupadisesa nibbana), cittā are “pure” in this sense: they go through just 3 stages of the 9 stages.

      Also, there are pure cittā, i.e. cittā with just the 7 universal cetasikā. They are called Pabhassara cittā. An arahant experiences Pabhassara cittā in Arahant phala samapatti.

      Up to now there is still hadaya vatthu.

      Then there is Nirodha samapatti, where there are no cittā, thus no hadaya vatthu. But the physical body is still alive.

      Finally, there is parinibbana, at the death of the physical body of an arahant or buddha. cittā, cetasikā, rūpā are gone. Just Nibbāna.

      Again, the whole abhidhamma section (a treasure trove actually) explains these in details, but a couple of links may be of interest to start with:

      Nirōdha Samāpatti, Phala Samāpatti, Jhāna, and Jhāna Samāpatti

      Difference between “Arahant phala samapatti” and “Nirodha samapatti” ?

      Lang

    • #36356
      Lal
      Keymaster

      When one attains a perfectly purified mind that leads to BOTH types of Nibbana.

      P.S. Thaks for the comments, Lang.
      More information on that (citta, cetasika, rupa, Nibbana) at, “The Grand Unified Theory of Dhammā – Introduction

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Lal.
      • #36359
        Brett
        Participant

        Thanks to both of you. I have already read and understood all the links you gave above. I maintain that for a difficult subject, precise wording is preferable and in this case, it can be misunderstood. Obviously (full) Nibbana implies no matter and it does not exist either, at least in the original sense of the word “to exist”. Exist comes from the Latin root ex (forth) and Sistere (caused to stand), thus existence is to emerge, to come out. Matter, including the mind, emerges, but I would not say that Nibbana exist, it just is all that is left after all “things” have been removed.

        If I read the line and came to a conclusion that you were saying that there was mind in full Nibbana knowing that mind necessitates matter then others could too.

        You make it very clear in other posts that in full nirvana (after arahant death), mind and therefore matter is absent, in the quote, adding the word “saupadisesa” would ensure no confusion can arise and is coherent with the other posts on Nibbana.

        I admire your work and learned many things about the functioning of the mind itself so please do not take my comments as critics, I was trying to help!

        As Cubibodi points out, one could read to be “burdened with a FUTURE body”, and this makes my point, precision is welcome within this particular line. Cubibodi adds “FUTURE” probably because he knows the concept and therefore has that in mind when reading the line.

        Again just trying to help.

    • #36365
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Brett wrote: “Obviously (full) Nibbana implies no matter and it does not exist either, at least in the original sense of the word “to exist”. Exist comes from the Latin root ex (forth) and Sistere (caused to stand), thus existence is to emerge, to come out.. ”

      The main point to understand is that “exist” as you defined above is defined with the nomenclature of “this world of 31 realms.”
      – Such words cannot describe ANYTHING to define Nibbana.
      – Nibbana and “this world of 31 realms” are mutually exclusive.

      The main point to understand is that suffering will not go away within the rebirth process (keep “coming back” to this world of 31 realms.)
      – Suffering stops when that process is stopped.
      – That is what Cubibobi referred to as “burdened with a FUTURE body.” A “future body” just means a rebirth.

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Lal.
    • #36367
      Brett
      Participant

      Thank you for rephrasing my definition.

    • #36370
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Brett had asked earlier a question that I just saw: “I also do not understand you saying there is no soul but at the same going on describing the lifestream exactly the way I think of the soul. Perhaps were you referring to the idea of many that their soul is their personality reborn?”

      The difference is as follows:
      – A soul is usually defined as “the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.”

      – But a lifestream is NOT immortal. It ends at the Parinibbana as an Arahant.

      • #36371
        Brett
        Participant

        Hello Lal,

        One more question: I saw some explanation of a buddha being “purer” than even an Arahant but this leaves me wondering.

        To become an Arahant, one must purify the mind to first attain saupadisesa nibbana or incomplete nibbana, then physically die to reach full nibbana. Full Nibbana Being a state beyond ANY matter in ANY shape or form either gross or subtle, absolutely pure of ANY traces of it, absolute purity being absolute purity, what is the difference between such an absolutely pure and perfect Being (Arahant) and the absolutely pure and perfect Being that is a Buddha? A difference between the two implies degrees of absoluteness which by definition means that one of them is not absolute.

        Or, Nibbana is a state said to be absolute only in relation to the degree of materiality found in the 31 realms but itself containing degrees of knowledge or understanding.

    • #36372
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hello Brett,

      The Buddha or any Ararahnt would not have even a trace of “defilements” (greed, hate/anger/ignorance) left in their minds.
      – However, Arahants may have some leftover habits that some people may consider unsuitable for an Arahant. There are some accounts of that in the Tipitaka. Once a young Arahant was walking with a layperson and they came across a mud puddle on the road. The young Arahant jumped over the puddle and the layperson immediately thought, “Oh, this bhikkhu cannot be an Arahant.” It turned out that the young Arahant had been born a monkey in the recent past. It was a “harmless habit” of his to jump over things at times.
      – A Buddha would not have even such minor “character flaws.”

      However, upon Parinibbana, Buddha or an Arahant attains the same Nibbana.

    • #36373
      Brett
      Participant

      Hello LAL,

      You say:

      “However, upon Parinibbana, Buddha or an Arahant attains the same Nibbana.”

      That is my question: since they attain the same Nibbana, and Nibbana is absolutely pure, then what is the difference at this stage, what makes one a Buddha rather than an Arahant?

    • #36374
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The answer to that is a bit deeper.

      Nibbana is attained by removing the ten “bonds” to this world (samyojana).

      Breaking those bonds is done while one lives human life, whether as a Bodhisatta or just a normal person. A Bodhisatta learns the way by himself. All others follow that path found by a Bodhisatta.
      – Not all humans are the same. They have flaws. A Bodhisatta (who has made preparations for the attainment of the Buddhahood over an unimaginable time) would have fewer flaws than most other humans. Each person’s current life (health, wealth, etc.) depends on past causes. But as long as one can cultivate sufficient wisdom (panna) by learning Dhamma, one would be able to break those “samsaric bonds”.
      – But in the end, once those bonds are broken, they all achieve the same goal, i.e., not be reborn in any of the 31 realms. That is what Nibbana is.

      It may be a good idea to read the following post regarding Bodhisattas:
      Pāramitā and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?

      Eventually, answers to questions of this type require a bit more advancement on the eightfold path.
      – I am not trying to evade questions. But the point is that no matter how intelligent a person is, that does not count much towards making progress in learning Buddha Dhamma unless one understands the basic concepts. I have some friends who are scientists but are not able to understand some concepts. I hope you are different. You are at least curious. Some of those friends of mine do not show any interest. They are too busy!

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Lal.
      • #36376
        Brett
        Participant

        Hello Lal,

        Let me put it this way:

        There are 31 realms in which one can possibly be re-born due to Kammic energy, i.e, one’s actions past and present, in any of these 31 realms there will be some level of suffering, therefore one should strive to end the wheel of Samsara by purifying one’s mind to attain saupadisesa nibbana. At the time of one’s death, providing the saupadisesa has been reached prior to death then one will reach full nibbana.

        Ok, now, let’s assume I went thru these steps, I attained saupadisesa Nibbana, I just died and attain full nibbana, obviously being dead, I ain’t going to jump over puddles or anything funny right?, I’m dead AND in full Nibbana so why am I called an Arahant and the Buddha is called a Buddha? Please don’t hold back on your answers!

    • #36377
      Lal
      Keymaster

      ” I’m dead AND in full Nibbana so why am I called an Arahant and the Buddha is called a Buddha?”

      What does that even mean? After Paribbana, there is no Buddha or an Arahant!
      – These days we refer to a Buddha who lived 2600 years ago. He is not there (in this world) anymore. But there lived a Buddha and there lived many Arahants within the past 2600 years.

      This is why I say this type of questioning doesn’t go anywhere. After all this discussion, you have not understood what is meant by Nibbana/Parinibbana.

      This reminds me of the never-ending discussion at the Dhamma Wheel discussion forum on Nibbana:
      the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread
      – Those people who have made comments on that thread have no basic understanding of Buddha Dhamma. It is funny (and saddening at the same time) to read some of those comments.

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Lal.
      • #36380
        Brett
        Participant

        Lal,

        You assume that I do not understand but I do, indeed after Paribanna, there can be no Buddha nor Arahant. These distinctions can only be while alive. I just did not find this clear statement on the site although I have read most of it, perhaps I missed it.

        Merry Christmas!

    • #36381
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Merry Christmas to you, Brett!

    • #36382
      cubibobi
      Participant

      Again, looking at this from the viewpoint of abhidhamma may help put an end to a pursuit in which words can never catch.

      First, a comment on:

      “I just died and attain full nibbana, obviously being dead, I ain’t going to jump over puddles or anything funny right?, I’m dead AND in full Nibbana so why am I called an Arahant and the Buddha is called a Buddha?”

      Parinibbana IS parinibbana; done, fini, finito! There is not a trace of mind and matter left as you said (no rupa, citta, cetasika). There is no you (as you knew it) to jump over anything, and there is nothing to be jumped over.

      I would never associate “being dead” with parinibbana. Parinibbana is, if anything, “deathlessness”; being unborn, there is no dying. I bring up this point because many non buddhists have told me something like this: “The goal of your religion is death.” Birth and death apply to the world of 31 realms (rupa, citta, cetasika).

      To your question of the difference between a buddha and an arahant, my speculation, using abhidhamma, is as follows:

      The case of Parinibbana should be clear by now: no difference between a buddha and an arahant (as you knew them via their rupa, citta, cetasika).

      I also mentioned nirodha samapatti, which is like parinibbana in the sense that there are no citta running, but the body is still alive, and therefore there is “coming back” to the world of citta and cetasika.

      I would say there is no difference between a buddha and an arahant here. Let’s say two bhikkhus are sitting side by side, and they are both in nirodha samapatti at that time. One is a buddha and one is an arahant, but there is no difference between them.

      What about when a buddha and an arahant is going about their day to day lives like the rest of us? Living in the world, they have citta (with cetasika) running as we do, but:

      First, we know that the 10 fetters (samyojana) are no more in them.

      We also know that no asobhana (non beautiful) cetasika arise in their citta. Only sobhana (beautiful) cetasika arise in their citta.

      Here there could be a difference in the citta of a buddha and that of an arahant. sobhana cetasika may arise in different combinations in the citta of a buddha as in an arahant. There may also be different degrees of “beautifulness” of the sobhana cetasika for a buddha and for an arahant.

      Again, sheer speculation — about buddha and arahant — from someone who is not even a sotapanna. But hopefully it satisfies curiosity of this nature.

      Best,
      Lang

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by cubibobi.
    • #36383
      cubibobi
      Participant

      I am sorry about the Niramisa sukkha link at the top. I was writing my post separately and copied and pasted over. I did not know that the Niramisa part was on my Notepad.

    • #36385
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Your post is fine, Lang. Good explanation.
      – I did not see a link on Niramisa sukha. Don’t worry about it.

    • #36386
      cubibobi
      Participant

      I went back to edit the post and removed the link. I had never edited a post before, and forgot that I could do it.

    • #36387
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. You can edit a post within 60 minutes of posting. After that, it is not editable.

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