Friday, February 10, 2012

A thought experiment about the nature of mind and consciousness

Thought experiments can be active or passive in nature. Thought experiments are active when the contents of the experience requires you to participate in it. Thought experiments are passive when you are simply an observer of the nature of the objects in that thought experiment without having to participate in it. Truth be told, science has discovered that no science experiment is truly passive. This is also known as the 'Observer effect.' The more subtle the phenomenon is that you are observing, the more it becomes an active experiment because of the ability of the scientist to affect the object that is being observed.
Since Vipassana Meditation is about experimenting with the nature of the mind and consciousness itself, it is a a very active experiment. The nature of our mind and consciousness is very subtle.

Scientific Method

It is a thought experiment about one's own body and the nature of consciousness. A Vipassana meditater is experimenting with his or her own body. There is an act of doing the experiment by directing the consciousness and being aware. By directing awareness to bodily sensations or to the breath, the Vipassana meditater is initiating the experiment.

The idea is that by directing your consciousness in certain directed ways, you will come to certain realizations about the nature of your consciousness.

So this is where things get very tricky. The nature of mind and consciousness is very subtle. So how can you study that thing which is so subtle? Well, this is where the Buddha came up with the brilliant idea of using the body as an apparatus in this thought experiment. The living body is the seat of consciousness.

Hypothesis: Jung's ball is a valid theoretical model.
Creating an experiment for other scientists to replicate the nature of the experiment. The nature of the experiment is to test to see if Jung's ball is a valid theoretical model. The experiment is Vipassana.

No comments:

Post a Comment