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Articles and News

MindScience Academy curates a series of articles with the intention to gloss and approach the ongoing exchange between scientific research and contemplative traditions. Through such endeavor, we shall try to expand the tools at the disposal of the critical reader and researcher, without the pretense of exhausting debate, on the contrary, multiplying and hybridizing its languages. This way, our column resembles the laboratory itself; critical, enzymatic, open to surprise and transformative experience.
Despite apparent divergences between the models we are going over — one referring to the basic emotions currents, to other being constructivist perspectives —, the common grounds also appear to be quite interesting. Both Barrett and Asma & Gabriel agree upon the existence of core affects, proposing different views on their extension (how many and what they are) and on their role in shaping human behavior.
Naturalized Buddhism for westerners can encourage a form of bad conscience: it can seem to us that adhering to Buddhism restrictedly to the practices considered to be secular, we can be spiritual without being religious, whereas without realizing we're moved by typically religious drives.
focus on February 2024
Human beings have the characteristic of perceiving reality as existing out there, as if it had intrinsic existence. This is simply how it appears to our consciousness. To realize that it is not so requires meticulous philosophical analysis.
Consciousness and Inner Reality
Speaking of consciousness, existing models can be classified into two main categories: those that recognize to the Consciousness an intrinsic existence independent, at least in part, from its physical substratum and those who instead consider the Consciousness entirely reducible to the electro-chemical-physical processes that take place in the brain.
Relationships and Society
At times, the paths of individuals cross unbeknownst to the protagonists themselves, and their ideas converge across time and space. Such is the case of the remarkable, unfulfilled, and even unexplored 18th-century connection between Ippolito Desideri, an Italian Jesuit missionary, and David Hume, the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher.
focus on February 2024
Do appearances conceal reality from our eyes? Or does our preconceived idea of what is real prevent us from seeing the reality of appearance? I would like to draw attention to two aspects. The first is to emphasize the importance of phenomenology, which aims to study the appearing, highlighting how our belief in the reality of external objects is generated from it. The second reason is because it seems to me that the way Western metaphysics and science have seen the difference between reality and appearance is exactly opposite to that of Buddhism.
focus on February 2024
Consciousness is the greatest and unresolved problem since the origins of philosophy: everything we see, do, encode, decide, and even science itself, are products of the mind and inhabit the world of consciousness. The entire worldview, culture, and science depend on consciousness and the mind-reality interface.
focus on February 2024
Understanding reality is at the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist path.
By dichotomy, I mean conceiving the impermanent as permanent, suffering as happiness, the impure as pure, and the non-self as having a self.
focus on February 2024
Buddha indicated that the mind is the chief as regards all our emotions and actions, and if it is driven by ignorance, it leads to all miseries. He taught the twelve links of dependent origination, pertaining to the evolution of three kinds of miseries in samsaric existence, all stemming from ignorance. The counter force for this ignorance is what the Buddha identified as wisdom, to remove the veil of ignorance which blinds the vison of reality.
Attention is one of the higher-order cognitive processes. In the brain, it enables the selection of privileged neural signals by enhancing their intensity through neural feedback, thereby decreasing the relative intensity of competing neural signals. For example, attention allows a writer to focus on the topic at hand while neighbors are loudly arguing; their thoughts are highlighted (akin to the metaphor of a spotlight, albeit controversial today), at the expense of the neighbors' conversations.
FOCUS ON JANUARY 2024
I know within myself that I exist. This is a common experience to every human being. But how do I know? I know because I feel so within me. Thus, the feeling is the carrier of the meaning (I exist), and the capacity to have feelings and understand their meaning is the essential property that “explains” how we know.
FOCUS ON JANUARY 2024
The job of the mind is cognition, and clearly Buddhism asserts subtler levels of cognition not posited by neuroscience. Our potential – the enlightenment of buddhahood – it’s the very nature of our mind.