Is the new "Spread Mind" philosophy actually Buddhism?

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joshzltyn
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Is the new "Spread Mind" philosophy actually Buddhism?

Post by joshzltyn » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:37 am

I recently stumbled upon a fascinating series of conversions on consciousness in the New York Review of Books by an MIT Fulbright scholar named Riccardo Manzotti. That series led me to his The Spread Mind website, his How to Locate Consciousness in the Physical World video, his Why Consciousness and World are one and the same book and two of his philosophical¹ cartoons².

Three (of many) of his ideas are as follows:

- Consciousness is the object one is conscious of.
- A physical entity exists if and only if it is the actual cause of something else.
- The past is not defined until it produces an effect, but once it does, the past has been defined since it occurred originally.

I'm certainly not yet an expert in Buddhism but these three ideas alone seem to have a likeness to Buddhist teachings, namely: nonduality, not-self, dependent origination and cause-condition-effect. Yet, he was specifically asked in one of the NYR conversations if he was familiar with Buddhism and he indicated that he was not.

Are his ideas equivalent to, similar to, a subset of, or compatible with those of Buddhist teachings?

Any input that anyone would be kind enough to provide would be especially appreciated. Thank you.

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Is the new "Spread Mind" philosophy actually Buddhism?

Post by PuerAzaelis » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:05 am

I dunno but I love it.

PS: His trip reminds me of Douglas Harding.

PPS: Nice summary of what he’s saying from his Tumblr:

Image

PPPS: Lol, he’s a cartoonist too. I love this guy.

Image
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

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aflatun
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Re: Is the new "Spread Mind" philosophy actually Buddhism?

Post by aflatun » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:33 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:05 am
I dunno but I love it.

PS: His trip reminds me of Douglas Harding.
Douglas Harding wrote:For however carefully I attend, I fail to find here even so much as a blank screen on which they are reflected, or a transparent lens or aperture through which they are viewed – still less a soul or a mind to which they are presented, or a viewer (however shadowy) who is distinguishable from the view. Nothing whatever intervenes, not even that baffling and elusive obstacle called “distance”: the huge blue sky, the pink-edged whiteness of the snows, the sparkling green of the grass – how can these be remote when there’s nothing to be remote from?
I like Harding, but I find myself having to "correct" some of his statements that sound more Eternalist when I occasionally try to read him :tongue: (unlike the above which I think is nicely said). But anyway I think I see what you mean.
joshzltyn wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:37 am
...
Thanks for sharing Josh, like PureAzaelis I dig this guy too. I wouldn't call his ideas "Buddhism" but I think he is moving in the right direction, and correctly sees the problems with how "consciousness" is normally dealt with. And welcome.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Wayfarer
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Re: Is the new "Spread Mind" philosophy actually Buddhism?

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:50 am

I noticed those dialogues at the end of last year and posted them to Philosophy Forum. 'Very Wittgensteinian', was one comment. It also reminded me a lot of Alva Noë who's a really cool Californian philosopher (see his Out of Our Heads). I think the main point in common with Buddhism is that it's phenomenological, it's about process rather than things. But it doesn't display a concern with liberative insight as far as I can see (unless I'm mistaken). Nevertheless, very interesting and also cutting-edge, I think well worth reading.
The past is not defined until it produces an effect, but once it does, the past has been defined since it occurred originally.
Well, except for this....
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

muni
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Re: Is the new "Spread Mind" philosophy actually Buddhism?

Post by muni » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:54 am

How to see that? The problem is that to analyse these words is not sufficient 'to see from where the talking is'. The thinking mind is used to give its interpretations about the phenomena-talk only.
- Consciousness is the object one is conscious of.

"When you look into space, seeing stops.
Likewise, when mind looks at mind,
The flow of thinking stops and you come to the deepest awakening.

Mists rise from the earth and vanish into space.
They go nowhere, nor do they stay.
Likewise, though thoughts arise,
Whenever you see your mind, the clouds of thinking clear."

"Our essential being, that what we were, what we are and what we always will be, is a state of awareness that is primordial pure. Our normal mind and consciousness is always obscured by impurities of emotions and thoughts.; but our essence is total purity. This is also called the Natural State of our being."

The so called finger pointing to what is hidden due to dwelling and being absorbed in the continuous stream of passing thoughts-emotions-feelings. Pointed or introduced since it cannot be apprehended.

"Don’t investigate the root of things,
Investigate the root of Mind!
Once the mind’s root has been found,
You’ll know one thing, yet all is thereby freed.
But if the root of Mind you fail to find,
You will know everything but nothing
understand." Guru Rinpoche.
A physical entity exists if and only if it is the actual cause of something else.
Then the ways how energy manifest are interesting. ( see Dzogchen)

Every thing 'comes into existence' by causes and conditions, perhaps the 12 links of dependent origination:https://www.wisdompubs.org/blog/201410/ ... rigination
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.
May they be free of suffering and the cause of suffering.
May they never be disassociated from the supreme happiness which is without suffering.
May they remain in the boundless equanimity, free from both attachment to close ones and rejection of others.

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