The mind-body relationship in Pali buddhism: A philosophical investigation

Asian Philosophy 3 (1):29 – 41 (1993)
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Abstract

Abstract The Suttas indicate physical conditions for success in meditation, and also acceptance of a not?Self life?principle (primarily viññana) which is (usually) dependent on the mortal physical body. In the Abhidhamma and commentaries, the physical acts on the mental through the senses and through the ?basis? for mind?organ and mind?consciousness, which came to be seen as the ?heart?basis?. Mind acts on the body through two ?intimations?: fleeting modulations in the primary physical elements. Various forms of r?pa are also said to originate dependent on citta and other types of r?pa. Meditation makes possible the development of a ?mind?made body? and control over physical elements through psychic powers. The formless rebirths and the state of cessation are anomalous states of mind?without?body, or body?without?mind, with the latter presenting the problem of how mental phenomena can arise after being completely absent. Does this twin?category process pluralism avoid the problems of substance?dualism?

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