Paul J. Griffiths's On Being Mindless : Buddhist Meditation and the Mind-Body PDF


By Paul J. Griffiths

ISBN-10: 817030606X

ISBN-13: 9788170306061

Paperback e-book released by way of Open court docket Publishers, 3rd Printing, 1991

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Additional resources for On Being Mindless : Buddhist Meditation and the Mind-Body Problem

Example text

Reverend, w h a t d o e s heat d ep e n d on? Heat d e p e n d s o n vitality. R everend, n o w w e u n d erstan d w h a t Sariputta has said in this way: vitality d e p e n d s on heat and heat d e p e n d s on vitality; but h o w is the m ean in g o f th ese w o rd s to be understood? R everend, I shall m ake a sim ile for y o u , since by m ea n s of a simile so m e of the intelligent m en here u n d erstan d the m ea n in g of w ha t has b een said. It is just as w ith an oil lamp: the light is see n becau se of the flam e and the flam e b ecau se of the light.

B uddhaghosa, how ever, rejects the view that anything m ental e n ­ d ures in the attainm ent of cessation on two grounds. The first is logical, an exam ple of reductio ad absurdum. If, as the canonical texts state and as both B uddhaghosa and his o p p o n en t therefore perforce agree, a dead m an an d one w ho has entered the attainm ent of cessa­ tion are alike in their loss of physical, verbal an d m ental functions, then the o p p o n en t's view that the loss of m ental functioning can still perm it the retention of m ind m ust apply not just to the possessor of the attainm ent of cessation b u t also to the dead m an.

39 Stated briefly, the term d en o tes (any one of) a series of precisely defined altered states of consciousness, altered states w hich are characterized by an increas­ ing atten u ation of the practitioner's em otions. 40 The techniques used to gain the four jhana of form are also enstatic, d e ­ signed to w ith d raw the practitioner from em otional attachm ents to a n d contacts w ith the external world, as well as from the tendency to rationally analyze his experience. They therefore m ove in the sam e general sp h ere as those techniques aim ed at the attainm ent of cessa­ tion— the central concern of this stu d y —an d w hen the two sets of techniques are com bined, a coherent an d far-reaching set of enstatic practices is p roduced, com prising nine distinct altered states of con­ sciousness.

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On Being Mindless : Buddhist Meditation and the Mind-Body Problem by Paul J. Griffiths

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