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By Johannes Bronkhorst

This booklet argues for the significant function performed through absorption within the functioning of the human brain. the significance of absorption makes itself felt in numerous methods; the 2 stories mixed during this ebook pay attention to of them. the 1st research, The Symbolic brain, argues that, mostly due to language acquisition, people have degrees of cognition, which in basic conditions are at the same time energetic. Absorption is a (or the) skill to avoid a few, maybe all, of the institutions that signify the sort of degrees of cognition, leading to what's occasionally often called mystical adventure, yet which isn't restricted to mysticism and performs a task in a variety of "religious" phenomena, and somewhere else. within the moment research, The Psychology of the Buddha, Prof. Bronkhorst presents a theoretical context for the statement that absorption is a resource of delight, grapples with Freud, and illustrates his observations via translations of old Buddhist texts from the Pali and Sanskrit languages with his mental observation. Johannes Bronkhorst is emeritus professor of Sanskrit and Indian reports on the collage of Lausanne. He has released largely within the background of Indian non secular, philosophical and clinical inspiration, and in non secular stories generally. between his fresh books: larger Magadha (2007), Aux origines de l. a. philosophie indienne (2008), Buddhist educating in India (2009), Buddhism within the Shadow of Brahmanism (2011), Karma (2011).

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Additional info for Absorption: Human Nature and Buddhist Liberation

Sample text

Having established that there appear to be ways of discard­ ing the web of symbolic representation, we may give some thought to the question of how this result is obtained. The aim is not to enumerate techniques and methods that are de facto used by mystics and others who succeed in having mysti­ cal experiences. Rather, we wish to consider what mechanism we would expect, in the light of our reflections so far, to lead to that result. In order to make progress, we have to abandon the image of a web woven by symbolic reference, and try to understand in a more factual way what happens when a person crosses the symbolic threshold.

This upper limit is not necessarily reached by all those who have mystical or semi-mystical experiences. It follows that there is a sliding scale connecting "ordinary" and "mystical" ex­ perience. 32 A slight reduction of the number and intensity of associative mental connections may be part of everyone's daily experience, yet may not strike those who undergo it as particu­ larly remarkable; they may not even take notice. §3 RITUAL Ritual is often accompanied by formulas, strings of speech sounds.

The subject is, as a result, easily convinced that he or she is confronted with a different reality, where in actual fact it is the same reality that is experienced differently. Let me add that, if our mystic has to answer the question which of the two realities he or she has experienced is more real, the answer can easily be predicted. The mystical experience is so much more direct and immediate, and so undoubtedly real, that the choice is obvious: the reality presumably experienced in the mystical state is more real than that of ordinary experience.

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