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观测心中的太空 Observing The Space Of The Mind
来源:净心之旅 更新日期: 2016-12-8 浏览次数: 535 字号选择:  



OBSERVING THE SPACE OF THE MIND 观测心中的太空

作者:Alan Wallace

Parallels in Astronomy 


天文学的比对


For thousands of years, people have been fascinated by the night sky and observed celestial phenomena very carefully, but with the unaided eye, only a few thousand stars can be seen. Everything else remained hidden in the “subconscious” of deep space, beyond the scope of empirical research and therefore confined to the domain of metaphysics until 1609, when Galileo heard of the telescope invented by a Flemish spectacle maker, Hans Lipperhey, and swiftly constructed one for himself. His fi rst attempt produced an eight-power telescope, which he later increased to twenty-power by grinding his own lenses, and he used his new instruments for observing the heavens in ways never before attempted. The next year he published his findings in a book, The Starry Messenger, in which he reported not only his observations of the moons of Jupiter but also his discovery that the Milky Way consists of a vast collection of stars that had never been seen before. In this way, the depths of the physical universe previously concealed from human consciousness began to be explored. 


几千年以来,人们一直为夜空所吸引,对天体各种现象做仔细的观察,只不过,没有任何工具的帮助,裸眼能看到的不过几千颗星星。其他的则深深隐藏在太空的“潜意识”里,为实验型研究无法察觉而只能停留于形而上学的层面,直到1609年这种情况才发生变化,此时,伽利略(Galileo)听说一位佛莱芒镜片商——汉斯. 立博西(Hans Lipperhey)发明了望远镜,他很快找到他为自己做了一台。开始是8倍的,但他很快自己打磨镜片,做了一台20倍的,从此开始了前所未有的太空观测。第二年,他出版了一本书《星辰信使》,书中他不仅报告了他对木星卫星的观察,而且解释了银河系中实际有很多以前从未被发现的星体。就这样,人们开始了对从未探索过的宇宙纵深处开始了新的探索。


The science of astronomy has continuously progressed since Galileo’s time, but it was more than 300 years before scientists discovered galaxies beyond the Milky Way. As a result of a series of observations in 1923–1924, the American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, using the newly completed 100-inch Hooker Telescope at Mount Wilson, established beyond doubt that the fuzzy “nebulae” seen earlier with less powerful telescopes were not part of our galaxy, as had been thought, but galaxies themselves, outside the Milky Way. Hubble announced his discovery in 1924, and five years later, together with another American astronomer, Milton Humason, he formulated the empirical Redshift Distance Law of galaxies, or “Hubble’s law,” which states that the greater the distance between any two galaxies, the greater their relative speed of separation. This influenced the formulation of the big bang theory by George Gamow in 1948, for which the discovery of cosmic background radiation in 1965 provided empirical support. 


自伽利略之后天文学持续不断的进步,但直到300年以后才发现了银河系之外的星系。美国天文学家哈勃(Edwin Powell Hubble)采用安装在威尔逊山上最新完成的100寸虎克望远镜,在1923-1924年期间做了一系列的观测,结果表明,以前采用较低倍数望远镜所看到的星云,不是通常大家认为的银河系的一部分,而本身就是银河系之外的星系。


1924年哈勃公布了他的发现。5年以后,同另一位美国天文学家米尔顿.胡马森(Milton Humason)合作,发现了星系的红移距离定律,也称哈勃定律,即两个星系的距离越远,他们分离开的速度越快。这个发现对乔治.加莫的宇宙大爆炸理论产生了深远的影响,而天体背景辐射的发现为大爆炸理论提供了支持。


Some of the most recent probes into deep space, made with the Hubble Space Telescope in 2003–2004, have unveiled the most detailed portrait of the visible universe ever achieved by humankind. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, a million-second-long photo exposure taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around Earth, reveals the first galaxies to emerge from the so-called “dark ages,” the time shortly after the big bang when the fi rst stars reheated the cold, dark universe. The telescope was directed to a region of space in the constellation Fornax, of which ground-based telescopic images appear mostly empty. But in this long exposure from the orbiting Hubble telescope, with photons from the very faintest objects in space arriving at a trickle of one photon per minute, scientists were able to acquire a “deep” core sample of the universe, cutting across billions of light-years. By peering into a patch of sky just one-tenth the diameter of the full moon, scientists brought into view nearly 10,000 galaxies, some of them existing when the universe was only 800 million years old. The whole sky contains 12.7 million times more area than this Ultra Deep Field. Scientists expect that such observations will offer new insights into the birth and evolution of galaxies. 


近期的太空深度探索,即2003-2004年间哈勃望远镜的观察,提供了人类有史以来对可视的宇宙最详细的描绘。哈勃超级景深工程,即由400台围绕地球运转的哈勃望远镜,以一百万米的曝光时间拍摄,解释了从所谓“黑暗时代”开始的第一批星系,即大爆炸之后,第一批为冰冷黑暗的宇宙带来热量的星星们。望远镜对準的是天炉座,地面的望远镜观察这个方向基本看不到什么,哈勃望远镜能接受到最弱的发光体发出的光,速度慢到几乎每分钟一个光子,就这样通过接受几百万光年外的光得到一个深度的宇宙核心样本。仅仅对于月球直径十分之一的宽度进行观察,科学家们发现了1000个星系,有些星系在宇宙仅仅8亿岁的时候就存在了。整个天空的面积是这个纵深区域的1270万倍,科学家们预测如果对这样广大的区域进行观察会对星系的进化有更深的发现。


This brief history of astronomy gives some idea of the importance of sophisticated, penetrating observation for exploring the depths of space and the evolution of the physical universe. But such objective observations tell us nothing about the role of the observer in relation to the quantum fl uctuations in the last stages of inflation after the big bang, without which there would be no galaxies and no matter in our universe. 


对天文学的历史的简单回顾,表明对于宇宙深处以及进化的综合的、透彻的探索是多么重要。不过这类观察并没有提供给任何大爆炸后,最后几个膨胀阶段的量子浮动与我们观察到的有什么关系,没有大爆炸也就没有星系乃至物质。


Philosophical Resistance to Introspection 


对于内省的哲学抵抗


As discussed in the first chapter, since the time of Descartes, scientists have taken on the challenge of exploring the world of objective physical phenomena, leaving the world of subjective mental phenomena to philosophers. Renaissance philosophers such as Paracelsus, who advocated an organic philosophy in contrast to the mechanistic philosophy of Descartes, did emphasize the first-person observation of the mind and fi rst-person experimentation using the power of imagination (vis imaginativa). But they lived in the tragically psychotic era of witch hunting, during which any such notions were suspiciously regarded as magic. Protestant reformers were especially quick to condemn anything of that sort as impious, useless, and potentially demonic, and those who advocated such theories and methods could find their lives imperiled. In contrast, Bacon’s empiricism, which was confined to the objective world, was perfectly consistent with the new Protestant work ethic and the prevalent fear of probing the depths of the human psyche. 


如第一章所述,从笛卡尔时代,科学家接过了探索客观物理世界的任务,把探索心智现象的任务留给了哲学家。文艺复兴时代的哲学家如帕拉塞尔苏斯(Paracelsus)主张器质性哲学,而非笛卡尔所主张机械类哲学,强调的确应该用想象力(vis imaginativa)对心进行第一人称的观察和第一人称的实验。不幸的是他生活在以巫术指导狩猎的心智错乱年代,这样的观念被视为太魔幻。新教改革者则非常基于判定为不虔诚、不实用、有魔鬼驱使的可能,主张这些观念的人可能存在生命危险。比较来说,培根的经验主义虽然限于对客观世界的范围,却完美的顺应了新教主张的职业道德以及对人类内心心智的深入探索的恐惧。


Since that time, instead of developing rigorous means to experientially explore the subjective dimensions of the natural world, generations of philosophers have devised ingenious arguments for denying that the mind can be explored from a first-person perspective. Immanuel Kant, for instance, claimed that due to the subjective nature of mental phenomena, any introspective observations could at most provide a historical account, not a true, “objective” science. But if “real-time” observations were a requirement for any objective science, the whole of astronomy would fail to meet it. Even observations of the moon entail a time lag of more than a second, observations of the sun and planets record events minutes after they have taken place, and our knowledge of distant galaxies is billions of years old. Due to delays caused by the speed of light, astronomers may be regarded as “celestial journalists” with regard to the solar system and “historians” with regard to their observations of the rest of the universe. 


从那时开始,哲学家们不但没有投入精力开发任何可以探索自然界中主观这个维度,而是发明了一些巧妙的辩解来规避以第一人称进行探索。比如康德( Immanuel Kant)就主张因为精神现象的客观特性,任何内省的观察至多可以得到一个历史记录,并非一个真实的,客观的科学。事实上,如果“实时”的观察是客观科学的必要条件话,整个天文学的研究并不符合这个条件。对于月亮的观察也有一秒钟左右的之后,对于太阳则有几分钟,更不用说所观察到的星系的信息已经是几亿年了。因为光速造成的延迟,天文学家在太阳系研究中应该被称为“天体学记者”而在其他部分宇宙的研究中则应该成为“历史学家”。


In twenty-first-century astronomy, historical accounts of the universe are the most we can ever hope for. In the introspective study of the mind, there are certainly many mental phenomena, such as emotions, that may be “observed” only retrospectively by way of memory. But there are many other mental phenomena, such as mental chit-chat, deliberately induced mental images, and dreamscapes, that are observed in real time. Arguably, the introspective observations of mental events as they occur are the only truly “real-time” accounts available to us. For even the visual and auditory perceptions of nearby colors and sounds are slightly delayed due to the speeds of light and sound. 


在二十一世纪的天文学中,我们能希望得到的也仅仅是历史记录。在对于心的内省研究中,有些精神现象如情绪只能靠记忆进行内省研究,但其他的精神现象,如内心的自身自言自语、有目的引入的精神图像、梦境等,其观察则是实时的。或者说,内省的观察只有对我们来说是“实时的”,对于周边颜色声音的观察则因为光速声速的原因是有延迟的。


Kant further argued that there could be no true science of the mind based on introspection since the observed mental phenomena are altered and transformed by the very act of observation.1 Niels Bohr was among the first physicists to note the observer participancy parallel between examining mental phenomena and examining quantum processes. In quantum measurement, the act of observation invariably alters the observed phenomena, but that has not prevented quantum mechanics from becoming the most successful physical theory in the history of science. 


In many experiments, it has been demonstrated that objects do not exist in a well-defined way prior to the act of measurement. For example, when single photons are emitted by a source so low in intensity that the probability of the simultaneous arrival of more than one photon at the detector is negligible, it is possible to count the number of detector actuations and thereby find the number of arriving photons. But it turns out that a light field cannot be represented as a collection of a definite number of photons, for the number of photons in it is not defined prior to the instant of measurement!


康德进一步论述到,另外一个内省观察不能成为一门科学的原因是由于被观察的的心智现象会被观察这个行动所改变。波尔(Niels Bohr)是首批科学家中的一位,他们确认观察者的加入在心智现象和观察和量子测量方面都是会对观测结果造成影响的,但这并没有阻碍量子力学成为科学史上最成功的一种物理理论。众多的实验表明,在测量之前,物体并没有一个完全与定义好的特性,例如,如果一个光子从强度极弱的光源发出,两个光子以上同时到达检测器的可能性几乎没有,这样就可以看一下收到光子的检测器的数量,但实际上,光场不能被确定数量的光子所表示,原因是在测量之前光子的数量并没有被定义好。


Moreover, the extent to which mental events are altered and transformed by the very act of observation is variable. One testable hypothesis is that with training, one may observe mental phenomena more and more “objectively,” so as to exert less and less influence on what is being observed. This may occur in the dream state as well as the waking state. For example, one may observe events in a lucid dream (in which dreamers are aware that they are dreaming) without overtly altering them. Of course, there is still observer participancy, so the comparison with quantum mechanics is an excellent one, but in neither case does this imply that the objects being observed are mere artifacts of the method of observation. 


Among cognitive scientists, William James took the bold step of emphasizing the primacy of introspection for the scientific study of the mind, 3 and among philosophers, Edmund Husserl made a worthy attempt at developing a phenomenology of consciousness with his method of “bracketing” consciousness from its object. 4 But twentieth-century philosophers have continued to raise serious questions about the possibility, let alone the efficacy, of developing a science of the mind based on the direct observation of mental phenomena. 




进一步说,精神的事件被观测的动作影响的程度并不固定不变,一个可以验证的假设就是通过训练,一个人可以越来越客“客观的”观察精神现象,即越来越少的影响被观察的对象。这种情况既可能出现在梦境,也可能出现在走路的时候,当然,观察者的参与仍然是存在的,所以与量子力学做对比再恰当不过了,在这两种情形下,都不能假设观察对象仅仅是观察方法产生的工件。在认知科学家中,詹姆斯(William James)对于反省作为基本的研究心的方法大胆进行了强调,哲学家方面胡塞尔(Edmund Husserl)通过“包围”被观察物的意识的方法作出了意识现象学的有益尝试。但二十世纪的哲学家对基于对精神现象的直接观察而建立一门科学的可能性还是持极度怀疑的态度,更不说说其有效性了。




Ludwig Wittgenstein, for instance, divided mental vocabulary into two classes: world-directed concepts and mind-directed concepts. Regarding the latter, he challenged the very possibility of a “private language” conveying meaningful information about internal experiences of being conscious.5 In support of this argument, it is true that science requires theories to be intersubjectively re-testable by replicating experiments with suitable instruments. But in addition, to test any sophisticated theory, the experimenters must have professional training in the use of those instruments and in interpreting the data produced. In modern scientifi c research, an untrained person called in from the street rarely qualifi es as a suitable “third person” who can either validate or invalidate a previous finding. 


比如维特根斯坦(Ludwig Wittgenstein)把精神方面的词汇分为两类,客观概念(world-directed)和主观概念(mind-directed),对于后者,他怀疑“私人语言”能否在意识的内部体验方面传递有意义的信息。从他的认识的正确的角度看,的确任何理论都需要在借助合适的仪器的情况下,在不同的主观个体间可以再重现。但进一步说,想要对任何复杂的理论进行验证,测试者一定需要经过专业的训练才能操作仪器、解读所得到的数据。在现代科学研究中,从大街上随便叫一个人,很难成为验证和否定一个发现的“第三者”。


A crucial element of scientific inquiry since the time of Pythagoras has been mathematics, which has taken on an especially prominent role since the scientific revolution. In 1623 Galileo famously wrote: “Philosophy is written in this grand book—the universe—which stands continuously open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one fi rst learns to comprehend the language and interpret the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical fi gures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth.”6 And the practice of higher mathematics takes place within the mind of the mathematician and is then communicated to other mathematicians. Writing equations on a chalkboard is simply a kind of public behavior that may or may not result from the internal process of understanding proofs and devising theorems. A mathematically uneducated person may be taught how to write down the same equations, but when subjected to interrogation by a qualifi ed mathematician, will clearly not understand what he has written. Mathematicians do commonly converse among themselves in a kind of language that is unintelligible to nonmathematicians, and the same is true of experts in all fields of science. So there is no reason in principle that researchers could not receive professional training in observing mental phenomena and learn to communicate among themselves about their experiences. However, this is a major undertaking that neither philosophers nor cognitive scientists have yet tackled. 


从毕达哥拉斯(Pythagoras)时代起,科学研究上必不可少的一个元素是数学,自科学革命后数学就更成为一个令人瞩目的角色。1623年伽利略写下这段注明的话“哲学写在一本大书—宇宙之中,大本书随时打开供我们阅读,不过,要想读懂这本书,必须先要弄懂这本书写就所用的语言和文字,这种语言就是数学以及它的三角、圆和其他几何形状,没有它们,人们不可能懂得书中的一字一句,没有它们人们将在黑暗迷宫中迷失”。


高级数学的推演先是在一个数学家头脑中形成,然后传递到其他的数学家,把方程式写在黑板上有时候不一定是表明一个人在头脑中懂得并证明了定理,一个没有数学教育的人也可以写下来,但被一个合格的数学家提问的时候,就未必讲得明白他所写的是什么。数学家之间的交流会使用一种非数学家不懂得的语言,其他的学科也是类似。所以理论上来说,研究精神方面的人没有经过训练也是不能有效沟通他们自己的感受。可惜的是,不论哲学家和认知科学家在这方面训练上都是缺乏的。


Sigmund Freud raised a formidable practical concern about the prospects for making unbiased observations of one’s own mind: there are conscious and unconscious impulses in the mind that may sometimes conceal thoughts, memories, emotions, and desires we would prefer not to acknowledge, and we may imagine such mental processes even though they are not present.7 Albert Einstein is credited with the statement, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former,” and this is a serious concern for raising introspection to a scientifically rigorous status. What is required is relentless self-honesty, which may be cultivated with intensive, prolonged training in introspection. This is where the validity of introspective observations may be crosschecked with sophisticated ways of evaluating behavior and determining the neural correlates of mental states and processes. This threefold approach is precisely what William James advocated when he set forth his strategy for the scientific study of the mind. 


佛洛伊德(Sigmund Freud)就无偏的观察自己的心提出一个严重的担忧:心会有有意识和无意识的沖动,有时候会形成我们并不愿意承认的思想、记忆、情绪和欲望,尽管它们并不存在但我们可能把他们想象出来。人们大多知道爱因斯坦说过一句话,“只有两种东西是无限的,宇宙和人类愚蠢,对于前者我们并不是那么的肯定”这对于把内省提升到科学的严格状态是有巨大的担忧的。必须要做的是无情的对自己诚实,这实际需要高强度、长时间的内省训练,这也就是需要用高级的评估行为和确定神经与精神状态、过程的方法来交叉验证内省有效性的地方。这个三段式的方法也正是詹姆斯在确定它的用科学方法研究心的时候所提倡的。


Psychologists have a lot of evidence to show that perception is a function of expectation, and introspective perception is clearly not immune to such infl uences. 8 Both sensory and introspective experiences are precognitively structured; those structures enable us to perceive things in terms of specific aspects; and those aspects are constrained by our familiarity with sets of categories that enable us, in varying degrees, to assimilate our experiences, however novel, to the familiar. Making genuine discoveries in the space of the mind by means of introspection will evidently require months or years of rigorous training, and once again, cross-checking fi ndings with behavioral and neural analyses. 


心理学家有许多证据来证明感知是预期活动,内省的感知显然无法免于这种影响。8感官的与内省的经历都是先于认知而构成;该结构能让我们从特定的方面理解事物;那些方面则被我们对类别集的熟悉而约束,这些类别能让我们在不同程度上将我们的经历——但非新奇的经历——同化为所熟悉的。借助于内省在心智太空中进行真正的探索显然将需要数月或数年的严格训练,并且再次,需要用行为学的和神经系统的分析反复检验结果。


Subtle distinctions must also be made, for example, between imagining that one desires something and actually desiring it. Within the space of the mind, superficial appearances do not always correspond to reality, especially when they have been sifted through complex and often subliminal processes of interpretation. In addition to this pragmatic psychological question, Gilbert Ryle raises the philosophical concern about making ontological inferences about the way mind is from the way mental states seem. 9 This relates to an issue discussed in the first chapter: the fact that mental phenomena appear to bear no distinctively physical attributes at all. But if one assumes that everything that exists must be physical, then the appearances of mental phenomena must be illusory. 


细微的差别也必须了知,比如想象某人想要某物与他实际需要某物之间的差别。在心智的太空中,表面的显现并非总是与现实相符,尤其是当他们通过复杂的和常常下意识的解释过程过滤时。除了这种实际的心理学问题,吉尔伯特Ÿ莱尔(Gilbert Ryle)产生了对以本体论推断心智是从心理状态显示方式而来的哲学关注。这与第一章讨论的问题相关:心理现象表现出完全不能忍受与众不同的实体属性的事实。但是如果假设所有存在的事物必须是实体的,那么心理现象的表现必然是虚幻的。


This is precisely where the Baconian and Cartesian approaches to scientific inquiry diverge. If we follow Bacon’s emphasis on empirical induction and apply it (as he did not) to the examination of subjective experience, we will be inclined to learn as much as possible about the mind by observing mental phenomena themselves. But if we follow Descartes’ deductive, rationalistic lead as it has been adapted by scientifi c materialists, then we will focus almost entirely on the physical correlates of consciousness, while marginalizing the observation of mental phenomena. Evidently, mainstream philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience have embraced the latter option. There are strengths and weaknesses to this approach; I am suggesting that it may be well complemented, not supplanted, by the incorporation of refined introspection into the scientific study of the mind.10 


这恰恰是培根学说(Baconian)与笛卡尔学说(Cartesian)的方法在科学探究中的分歧。如果我们追随培根对经验导向的强调并将其应用(培根没有应用)于对主观经验的检验,我们将趋向于通过观察心理现象本身来尽可能地研究心智。但是如果我们跟随笛卡尔推断的、理性的引导,如同其已经被科学唯物主义者所适用的那样,那么我们将几乎完全集中于意识的物理联系,而排斥对心理现象的观察。显然地,主流哲学、心理学以及神经系统科学已经信奉了后一种选择。这种方法有利有弊;我认为通过将微妙的内省融入对心智的科学研究,该方法可以被更好地补充、而非替代。


Developing a Telescope for the Mind 


开发一台心智的望远镜


Philosophers have been debating the merits, limitations, and defects of introspection for centuries, but they do not seem to have refined our capacity for observing mental phenomena. We are as far as we ever were from developing a telescope for the mind. A thesis can in principle be proved or strongly argued, whereas a stance—such as a particular approach to scientific inquiry—can be adopted only by a sort of “Gestalt-switch.” And this is what I am proposing: a Gestalt-switch away from the common tendency to empirically and theoretically marginalize introspection to accepting the formidable challenge of enhancing introspection in ways that are unprecedented in the history of modern science. This implies a return to empiricism: taking the methods for making penetrating observations of all kinds of natural phenomena to be of the highest value, instead of assuming that the materialist ideology in its present formulation already provides a key to unlocking all the remaining mysteries of nature. 


哲学家们已经就内省的价值、有限性以及缺陷辩论了几个世纪,但他们似乎没有改善我们观察心理现象的能力。我们距离开发一台心智的望远镜还很远。一般而言,一个论点能被证明或强有力地质疑,而一个立场——比如科学探究的一种特殊方法——只能被某种“格塔式转换”所接纳。这是我所提倡的:以在现代科学史中前所未有的方式,避开经验上和理论上排斥内省的普遍趋势、接受强化内省的巨大挑战的“格塔式转换”。这意味着经验主义的回归:获取了将对各种自然现象的敏锐观察形成最高价值的方法,以代替假设唯物主义意识形态以其现存的表述提供了开启自然界依然未解之谜的钥匙。


Scientific empiricists since Francis Bacon have generally confi ned their stance to observations of objective physical phenomena, whereas contemplative empiricists claim to have developed their faculty of mental perception to observe the space of the mind. To someone who has not utilized or refined this faculty, which the ancient Greeks called noeˉtos , contemplatives’ experiential reports may sound like nothing more than speculation. The semiprivate language of highly trained contemplatives, like that of professional mathematicians, therefore becomes either unintelligible to or misinterpreted by laypeople. 


自弗朗西斯Ÿ培根以来的科学经验主义者逐渐限制了观察客观物理现象的立场,而静观经验主义者宣称已经开发了观察心智宇宙的心理觉知的能力。对于那些没有使用或改善这种能力——古希腊称之为理念(noe-tos)——的人们而言,静观者的经验报告可能听上去像推测。因此,受过高度训练的静观者的半私密语言——如同专业数学家语言一样,对局外人而言是难以理解、或被误解的。


Over the past three millennia, contemplative traditions of varying degrees of sophistication have developed in the East and West, and one point on which they all seem to agree is the need to refine one’s attention skills in order to make reliable observations of mental phenomena. Specifi cally, the deeply habituated tendencies of mental agitation and dullness need to be overcome through the development of attentional stability and vividness. These skills may be strengthened in a separate set of mental exercises11 or in the very process of learning how to observe the mind. Both approaches have been explored in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions of India, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Himalayan plateau. In the spirit of healthy, open-minded, scientific skepticism, the alleged discoveries of contemplatives in these traditions should be treated with the same attitude with which scientists respond to any other claim of discovery: see if you can replicate their findings in your own laboratory. 


在过去的三千年中,不同复杂程度的静观传统在东西方发展,他们似乎都赞同的一点是,为了形成可靠的对心理现象的观察,需要改善一个人的注意力。具体地说,心理散乱与昏沉的深刻习以为常的倾向需要通过注意力恒定与清晰的改进来克服。这些技能在一系列独立的心理练习或学习如何观察心智的特定过程中可能得以加强。这两种方法已经在遍布于印度、东南亚、东亚和喜马拉雅山脉的印度教、佛教与道教传统中开发探索。在健全的、开明的、科学怀疑论的宗旨中,这些传统中的静观者所谓的发现应该与科学家对待其它任何宣称的发现持同样态度对待:看看你是否能在自己的实验室重现他们的发现。


For a minute fraction of the expense of building, maintaining, and operating the Hubble Space Telescope, contemplative observatories could be created for empirical research into the trainability of attention and the possibility of observing the space of the mind with scientific rigor and replicability. Such laboratories would ideally include facilities for conducting behavioral and neuroscientific research, together with simple, individual accommodations for people to devote themselves to mental training for months and years on end. This would be tantamount to creating a new profession of highly trained observers and experimentalists of the mind. 


由于只需建造、维护及操作哈勃太空望远镜成本的一小部分,静观天文台有可能为了展开对注意力的可训练性以及用科学的严谨和可复制性来观察心智太空的可能性的经验研究而创造出来。理想上,这些实验室将包括指导行为与精神系统科学研究的设备,同时具备简单的、独立的居住设施,让人们贡献其自身去经历持续数月和数年的心理训练。这相当于为心智的高度受训观察者和经验主义者,创造了一个新的职业。


One valuable kind of mental training that I have explained elsewhere entails focusing one’s attention on the space of mental events, distinct from appearances generated by the five physical senses. 12 Expertise in this mode of observation may require as much as 5,000 to 10,000 hours of training, 8 to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, for months on end. In addition to this formal practice of observing the mind and whatever events arise within it, the practitioner must take all necessary steps in terms of lifestyle and emotional regulation to ensure mental health throughout the course of this extremely demanding discipline. Contemplative traditions that have developed such introspective practice have much sound advice to offer in these regards.13 


我在别处已解释过的一种有价值的心理训练类型,必须将一个人的注意力专注于心理活动的空间中,相异于由五种生理感官产生的外相。这种观察模式的专长,可能需要差不多5000到10000个小时的训练,每天8到12个小时、一周7天、持续数月。除了这种正式的观察心智的练习以及无论这一过程中有什么活动,练习者都必须依据生活方式和情绪规制,来秉持所有需要的步骤,以保证通过这种极端苛刻的自律达到心理健康。开发这种内省练习的静观传统,在这些点上提出了许多忠告。


As the faculty of mental perception is refi ned, one may begin probing the nature of the thoughts, images, emotions, and desires that arise in each moment. Specific questions may guide these observations, such as: 


随着心理觉知能力的改善,一个人开始探索在每一个当下产生的思想、想象、情绪以及需求的本性。具体的问题能引导出这些观察,例如:


Are any of these mental events, including one’s awareness of them, static, or are they constantly in a state of flux? 


任何这些心理活动——包括一个人对它们的意识——是静态的吗?还是它们一直处于变化的状态?


Are any mental phenomena inherently satisfying or unsatisfying, or do these qualities arise only relative to one’s attitudes and desires? 


任何心理现象原本就是令人满意的或不满意的吗?还是这些特性只是在与一个人的态度和需求相关的时候才生起?


Is the space of the mind, any of its contents, or the awareness of them inherently “I” or “mine,” or is one’s sense of personal identity and possession of one’s mind purely a conceptual projection? 


心智的空间——其任何内容或对它们的意识——本来就是“我”或“我的”吗?还是一个人的个人身份感与其心智的所有都纯粹是一个概念的投射?


Hypotheses 


假说


When a large number of researchers engage in such empirical inquiry in different laboratories, running their experiments with different sets of assumptions and expectations, it may turn out, contrary to Kant’s expectations, that they can extract features of the mind independent of the acts of observation. They may be able to identify universal qualities and regularities among mental phenomena and thereby formulate laws of the mind analogous to the rest of the laws of nature. As in any other branch of science, this research will require controlled experiments, repeated iterative evolving cycles of hypothesis formation, controlled testing, hypothesis revision, and prediction. 


当一大群研究者们在不同的实验室参与这种经验研究,用不同的假设和期望开展他们的实验,这样的结果可能是,与康德的预期相反,即他们能提取独立于观察行为的心智特性。他们可能能够在心理现象中得到普遍的特性与规律,从而类似于自然界其它规则那样创制心智规则。如同科学的其它任何分支,这项研究需要受控的实验、假说信息演变周期的反复迭代、对照检验、假说校正以及预测。


The above method of observing the space of the mind and everything that arises within it has been practiced in Tibet for more than a thousand years. Those engaged in this practice within a context of religious belief, which certainly colors experience, claim to have made many discoveries that can be replicated by any open-minded individual willing to devote the time and effort to putting their findings to the test. 14 The following discussion highlights some of the alleged discoveries about the mind that may be scientifically treated as hypotheses that can be tested through experience. Such scientific research is already in progress, with one notable project being conducted by the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies in collaboration with a team of psychologists and neuroscientists at the University of California, Davis. 


以上观测心智空间与其中产生的一切事物的方法已经在西藏践行了一千余年。那些参与了宗教信仰环境内部这项训练——当然渲染了经历——的人们宣称已经有许多发现,这些发现能够被任何乐意贡献其时间与努力于将他们的发现拿去检验的开明个体所复制。以下讨论强调了一部分所谓的关于心智的发现,它们可能作为能通过经历来检验的假设而按科学方法看待。这种科学研究已经在进行中,其中一个值得注意的项目是由圣巴巴拉意识研究学会与加利福尼亚大学的一队心理学家和神经系统科学家协作进行的。


With regard to Wittgenstein’s concern about the unfeasibility of any private language, Tibetan contemplatives claim that a shared, highly specialized language concerning rarified subjective experience has been developing within a community of professionally trained observers of the mind. Throughout such training, participants converse among themselves and with their mentors and in this way learn to communicate their inner experiences. Nonparticipants overhearing such communication may believe they understand the kinds of experiences being narrated, but in fact most of what is said will be beyond their imagination, for they have never experienced the states of consciousness that are being probed. 


至于维特根斯坦对任何私密语言非可行性的关注,西藏静观者称说一种关于纯净主观经历的共享的、高度专业化的语言已经在经过专业化训练的心智观察者的团体中发展起来了。通过这样的训练,参与者彼此交谈、与他们的导师交流并且以这种方式学着沟通他们内在的经历。无意听说这样沟通的非参与者们可能认为他们懂得这种叙述出来的经历,但事实上沟通中多数所说的将超出他们的想象,因为他们从未经历过探索意识的状态。


Freud’s concern about the obscuring and distorting influences of unconscious mental impulses has long been a major concern among Tibetan contemplatives. The remedy they have settled on is relentless, passive but vigilant observation of whatever arises in the space of the mind, without being carried away by or identifying with it. It is imperative not to respond to discursive thoughts, mental images, emotions, and desires with either aversion or craving. Rather, one must simply let them arise and pass of their own accord, without intervening or attempting to suppress or augment them. Metaphorically, one must rest in a “space of awareness” that is larger than the “space of one’s own psyche.” Whatever arises within the psyche is observed closely and with discerning intelligence, but without modifying, censoring, or editing in any way. This is an extraordinarily demanding endeavor, and it is pursued in close collaboration with an experienced and accomplished mentor who is well versed in such practice. 


弗洛伊德关于无意识心理沖动的模糊与扭曲的影响在西藏静观者中早已是一个主要关注的问题。他们选择的补救措施是对心智空间升起的无论什么的无情、消极但警觉的观测,而非被它转移或认同它。不对厌恶或渴求之事产生散漫的想法、心理意象、情绪以及欲望是必要的。更确切地说,一个人必须简单地让它们生起并随其自身而去,不加以介入或尝试去抑制或增强它们。比喻地说,一个人必须在“意识的空间”中休憩,该空间较“一个人独自的心灵空间”更大。对心灵中生起的无论什么都进行近距离地、敏锐智慧观察,但没有任何形式的修改、删除或编辑。这是一种格外苛刻的努力,且在与一位有经验、有学问的导师——他精通于这种练习——开展密切的合作。


Buddhist contemplatives throughout Asia have taken special interest in the possible differences between the way mental processes appear and the way they exist, a concern raised more recently in Western research by Gilbert Ryle.16 Specifically, they have found that although mental states and processes often appear to be relatively static, upon close examination, all the immediate contents of the mind as well as our awareness of them are constantly in flux, arising and passing many times per second. A relatively homogenous continuum of a mental state, such as depression, may endure for seconds or even minutes, but that stream of emotion consists of discrete pulses of awareness, each of finite duration. There is nothing static in the human psyche, though habits may become deeply ingrained over the course of a lifetime. 


遍及亚洲的佛教静观者已经在心理过程出现方式与其存在方式之间的可能区别中获得了特殊利益,这是由吉尔伯特Ÿ莱尔在西方研究中最近关注到的。特别地,他们已经发现,尽管心理状态和过程常常好像是相对静态的,但根据仔细的检验,所有的心理当下念头与我们对它们的意识一直是处于每秒多次的变化、生起与流逝之中。一种心理状态相对同质的连续性——比如忧郁癥——可能会持续数秒甚至数分钟,但那种情绪流是由意识的不连续脉沖构成——中间每一个脉沖是有限持续的。人类心灵中没有什么是静态的,尽管习惯可以在生命历程中深深扎根。


A second discrepancy between appearances and reality is that certain mental states, such as joy and elation, may appear to be intrinsically satisfying, but upon more careful examination are found to be misleading. No mental state that arises from moment to moment in dependence upon sensory or intellectual stimuli is inherently satisfying. Every aff ective state is experienced as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral only in relation to a complex of attitudes and desires. When these affective states of mind are passively observed from the wider perspective of the space of awareness, without identifying with them, they have no absolute, independent attributes of either pleasure or pain. 


表象与现实之间的第二种差异在于,特定的心理状态比如快乐与得意可能产生于内在的满足,但基于更多细致的检验发现这是误导的。依赖感官或理智刺激的及时反馈生起的心理状态并非本来就是令人满意的。每一种情感状态只是经历涉及态度与欲求复合体的愉悦、不快或中性。当这些心智的情感状态是从对意识空间的广阔觉知而来的被动观测,而不认同它们,那么它们就失去了或愉快或痛苦的绝对的、独立的属性特征。


A third disparity between mental appearances and reality pertains to the fact that thoughts, emotions, and other mental phenomena seem to have an inherent personal quality. When strong identification with these processes occurs, one may feel that one’s very identity has become fused with them, and momentarily have the sense “I am angry, “ or “I am elated.” But with some skill in observing the contents of the mind, one fi nds that thoughts and mental images arise by themselves, with no voluntary intervention or control by a separate agent or self. Psychophysiological causes and conditions come together to generate these mental events, but there is no evidence that a separate “I” is among those causal infl uences. To be sure, some thoughts and desires do appear to be under the control of an autonomous self, but as expertise is gained in this practice, this illusion fades away, and everything that arises in the mind is seen to be a natural event, dependent upon impersonal causes and conditions, like everything else in nature. 


意识显现与现实的第三个区别是有关这样的事实:思考,情绪或者其他精神现象似乎拥有一个内在个人素质。当这些过程特征明显发生时,人们就会感觉到自己已与这些精神现象融于一体,暂时会感到“我很高兴”、“我很开心”。但是通过某些技巧来观察意识的内容,人们会发现思考和意识的显现是它们自己产生的,并没有单独的一个代理或者自我来有意识地干预或者控制。心理生理原因和条件聚合,就会产生这些精神事件,但没有证据说明有一个单独的“我”存在这些随机的影响中。确切地说,一些思考与欲求确实似乎在一个隐藏的“我”的控制之下,但在这领域的专业知识判断,这样的错觉会最终消失。任何从意识中产生的东西被认为和自然界中的其他事物一样是一个自然事件,取决于非人为的原因和条件。


As noted previously, all usual kinds of experience, both sensory and introspective, are structured by memories, language, beliefs, and expectations, which cause us to assimilate even novel experiences, whether we want to or not. One of the names for the meditative practice I am describing here is “settling the mind in its natural state,” which implies a radical deconstruction of the ways we habitually classify, evaluate, and interpret experience. The Buddhist hypothesis in this regard is that it is possible to so profoundly settle the mind that virtually all thoughts and other mental constructs eventually become dormant. The result is not a trancelike, vegetative, or comatose state. On the contrary, it is a luminous, discerningly intelligent awareness in which the physical senses are withdrawn and the normal activities of the mind have subsided.17 


正如前面所说,各种常有的体验(感官的或者内省的)都是由记忆、语言、信仰、和期望构成,其导致我们不管愿不愿意都会吸收更新奇的体验。对于我这里描述的冥想训练,其中有一个说法叫做“使意识处于其自然的状态”。其含义是指对我们通常归类、评价和理解的经历进行激烈的分解。对此,佛教认为让意识所产生的思考或者其他意识活动最终处于休眠状态是有可能的。其结果不是一种恍惚、呆板或者昏沉的状态。相反,它是一种澄明、能分辨的智力觉知,在这样的状态中,身体的感觉已经隐没了,意识的正常活动也隐没。


The culmination of this meditative process is the experience of the substrate consciousness (ālaya-vij.āna), which is characterized by three essential traits: bliss, luminosity, and nonconceptuality. The quality of bliss does not arise in response to any sensory stimulus, for the physical senses are dormant, as if one were deep asleep. Nor does it arise in dependence upon a pleasant thought or mental image, for such mental features have become subdued. Rather, it appears to be an innate quality of the mind when settled in its natural state, beyond the disturbing influences of conscious and unconscious mental activity. 18 A person who has achieved this state of attentional balance can remain effortlessly in it for at least four hours, with physical senses fully withdrawn and mental awareness highly stable and alert. 


该思想过程的几点是自然本智的体验,其有三个主要特点:幸福、澄明、非概念化。幸福的属性并不是对任何感官刺激的反应,因为身体感觉此时已经沉寂了,就像一个人正处于深度睡眠当中,它也不是依靠一种惬意的念头或者脑中显现,因为这些特征的意识已经褪去了。它当将意识放在其自然状态时,它似乎成为了意识存在的属性,而不需要其他意识或者无意识的精神活动的干预。


The quality of luminosity is not any kind of interior light similar to what we see with the eyes. Rather, it is an intense vigilance that has the capacity to illuminate, or make consciously manifest, anything that may arise within the space of the mind. To get some idea of what this is like, imagine being wide awake as you are immersed in a perfect sensory deprivation tank so that you have no experience of any of the five senses, or even of your own body. Then imagine that all your thought processes involving memory and imagination are put on hold, so that you are vigilantly aware of nothing but your own experience of being conscious. This is also analogous to “lucid dreamless sleep,” in which one is keenly aware of being deep asleep, in a kind of wakeful vacuum state of consciousness.19 


达到这种专注平衡状态的人能毫不费力地安住于这种状态保持至少四个小时,其身体感觉完全消失,精神觉知却非常稳定和警觉。澄明的属性并不像我们肉眼所看到类似于屋内灯光的情况。然而,它是一种十分强烈的警觉状态,能够照亮所有意识层面展现的任何在精神范围内的任何事物,想了知这具体是什么样的感觉,假想你自己淹没在一个完全脱离感观的罐子里,体验不到任何五种感觉,甚至你自己的身体,然后想象所有你的记忆、想象、思考过程都暂时中止。这样你会非常清醒地知道你自己感觉到清醒之外,不能感觉到其他任何东西。这有点类似于清净的无梦睡眠。其中你自己会以醒着的意识真空状态真切地感觉到自己处于深度睡眠当中。


The empty space of the mind of which one is aware, once the mind has been settled in its natural state, is called the substrate (ālaya).20 


个人所意识到精神的空无,一旦意识处于其自然状态时,其被称之为自然本智。


Due to the relatively nonconceptual nature of this state of consciousness, there is no distinct experience of a division between subject and object, self and other. Relatively speaking, the subjective substrate consciousness is nondually aware of the objective substrate, an experiential vacuum into which all mental contents have temporarily subsided. The mind may now be likened to a luminously transparent snow globe in which all the normally agitated particles of mental activities have come to rest. To draw an analogy from classical physics, virtually all the kinetic energy of the human psyche has been turned into potential energy, stored in this nondual experience of the substrate. 


由于该意识状态的相对非概念性,就不会出现关于主体与客体、自己与他人的区分经历。相对地讲,主观的自然本智以非二元对立的方式来了知其客观自然本智,一种体验虚空,其中所有意识内容都全部沉淀下来。此时的意识也许可以比作一个澄清透明的雪球。在里面所有正常被搅动的意识活动微粒都已经停歇了。用经典物理来做类比,几乎所有人类心理的动能被转变成潜在的能量,贮存在一个没有二元对立的自然本智体验中。


This natural, or relatively unstructured, state is permeated with an extraordinary amount of “creative energy” that has the capacity to generate alternative realities, such as whole dreamscapes that emerge from a state of deep sleep. To draw another analogy from contemporary physics, the substrate may be likened to the zero-point field, a background sea of luminosity permeated by an enormous amount of energy. This is the lowest possible energy state of the mind that can be achieved through such straightforward calming practices, and the energy of all kinds of mental activity is over and above that zero-point state. 


该种自然的或者相对精神解构的状态充满着不可思议的创造性能量,其能够产生另外的现实,例如,从深度睡眠中所产生的梦境。用现代物理再取一个例子,自然本智类似于零点场,周围是存在充满着能量的澄明之海。这是通过坦诚的平静练习能够达到意识的最可能低的能量状态,且所有意识活动的能量会超过零点状态的能量。


For the normal mind, enmeshed in a myriad of thoughts and emotions, this zero-point field—substrate—of consciousness is unobservable, for we see things by way of contrast. Our attention is normally drawn to appearances that arise to the physical senses and mental perception, and they alone are real for us. But all such appearances originate from this zero-point field, which permeates all our experience. We are effectively blind to it, while the world of appearance arises over and above it. When sensory and mental appearances naturally cease, as in deep sleep, the mind is normally so dull that we are incapable of ascertaining the substrate consciousness that manifests. 


对于正常的意识来说,沉浸在念头和情绪的汪洋中,这种意识零点场,自然本智是不能被观察的,因为我们都是通过对比来看事物。我们的注意力被生理和心理感觉产生的现象吸引。对于我们来说,这些东西是真实的。但是所有这些显现都是起源于我们体验的零点场。我们确实对其一无所知,但整个世界的显现都是由它而产生的。当感官和意识显现自然停止时,例如在深度睡眠中,意识一般非常昏沉以至于我们不能辨别所展现的自然本智。


The experience of the substrate is imbued with a relative degree of symmetry, and in this vacuum state reality does not appear in a structured form, either as a human psyche or as matter. This unstable equilibrium is perturbed by the activation of the conceptual mind, which creates the bifurcations of subject and object, mind and matter, which may be regarded as broken symmetries. When the fundamental symmetry of the substrate manifests in dreamless sleep, it is generally unobservable, and can only be retrospectively inferred on the basis of the broken symmetries of waking experience. 


自然本智的体验与对称度有关,在这个真空状态中其不以具体的形式出现,亦不以人类心灵或者物质的形式出现。这种不稳定平衡被概念化的意识的启动受到干扰,其构造了主客体,意识和物质这样的分别。其可以被看成破坏的对称。当意识本原的基本对称在无梦的睡眠中显现时,其总体上是不能被感知的,只能基于睡醒体验的破坏对称作为之前的追溯参考。


But as mentioned before, as a result of continuous training in developing increasing stages of mental and physical relaxation, together with attentional stability and vividness, it is said that one may directly vividly ascertain this relative ground state of consciousness and observe how mental and sensory phenomena emerge from it in dependence upon a wide range of psychological and physical influences. 


但正如前面所提到的,通过训练强化意识和身体放松的程度后,作为稳定清晰的注意力结果,据说可以直接清晰地确认这相关的意识的基础状态,且能够观察意识和感觉现象依靠大范围的心理或者生理影响如何从它产生。


The mind gradually settles into the substrate consciousness as mental activities gradually subside, without suppression, throughout the course of this training. And in this process, memories, fantasies, and emotions of all kinds come to the surface of awareness. Our usual experience of our mental states is heavily edited and processed by the habitual structuring of the mind, so we tend to experience them in a way we regard as “normal.” But in this training, the light of consciousness, like a probe into deep space, illuminates bizarre mental phenomena that seem utterly alien to one’s past experience and sense of personal identity. As an analogy from contemporary astronomy, recall the million-second-long exposure of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Astronomers discovered in that region of deep space a zoo of oddball galaxies, in contrast to the classic images of spiral and elliptical galaxies. Some look like toothpicks, others like links on a bracelet, and a few of them appear to be interacting. These bizarre galaxies chronicle a period when the universe was more chaotic, when order and structure were just beginning to emerge. 


意识逐渐进入自然本智,当意识活动逐渐地沉淀,无需压制,通过这种训练,而且在这个过程中,记忆、幻想,所有的情绪都能被觉知。由于我们通常的意识状态体验被意识的习惯性建构着重编辑和处理,所以我们倾向于以一种我们称之为“正常”的方式来体验它们。但是在这个训练中,觉悟之光,像是在深太空探索一样,照亮了那些似乎完全不同于个人之前体验和感觉的奇妙精神现象。现代天文学做一个类比,像是哈勃超深空的百万秒长的曝光,天文学家在那个深太空区域发现了奇怪的星系集合,与经典螺旋或者椭圆形的外形相比,有些看上去像是牙签。其他像是手镯上的连接件,其中有些看上去还有相互影响。当宇宙处于非常无序、秩序和结果才刚刚显现时,这些古怪星系就已形成了一段时间。


Likewise, consciously exposing the deep space of the mind to thousands of hours of observation reveals normally hidden dimensions that are more chaotic, where the order and structure of the human psyche are just beginning to emerge. Strata upon strata of mental phenomena previously concealed within the subconscious are made manifest, until finally the mind comes to rest in its natural state, from which both conscious and normally subconscious events arise. This is an exercise in true depth psychology, in which one observes deep core samples of the subconscious mind, penetrating many layers of accumulated conceptual structuring. 


同样,意识上显露于几千小时的意识深太空的观察会显示出正常的更为混乱的隐藏维度。那里,人类心灵的秩序与结构才刚刚开始出现,之前被封存于潜意识的一层一层的意识现象开始显现,直到最后意识安住于其自然状态中,从中意识和正常的潜意识显现。这是一项真实的深度心理训练。其中人们能够穿过很多积累概念性构造的精神层覆观察潜意识的深度内核取样。


Just as scientists expect that observations of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field will offer new insights into the birth and evolution of galaxies, so do Tibetan contemplatives believe that the experience of the substrate consciousness offers insights into the birth and evolution of the human psyche. Drawing on an analogy from modern biology, this may be portrayed as a kind of “stem consciousness.” Much as a stem cell diff erentiates itself in relation to specific biochemical environments, such as a brain or a liver, the substrate consciousness becomes differentiated with respect to specific living organisms. This is the earliest state of consciousness of a human embryo, and it gradually takes on the distinctive characteristics of a specific human psyche as it is conditioned and structured by a wide range of physiological and, later, cultural influences. The substrate consciousness is not inherently human, for this is also the ground state of consciousness of all other sentient animals. Contrary to the hypothesis that consciousness ultimately emerges from complex configurations of neuronal activity, according to the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the human mind emerges from the unitary experience of the zero-point field of the substrate, which is prior to and more fundamental than the human, conceptual duality of mind and matter. 21 This luminous space is undifferentiated in terms of any distinct sense of subject and object. So this hypothesis rejects both Cartesian dualism and materialistic monism, and it may be put to the test of experience, regardless of one’s ideological commitments and theoretical assumptions. 


正如科学家期望对哈勃超深空的观察将对星系的生成和演化提供新的观念,用现代生物学做一个类比,这可以被看做为一种“意识之茎”,茎的大部分会与特定的生活环境而发生变异,就像是脑袋和肝脏,自然本智当与特定的有机物结合时也会发生变异。这就是人类胚胎最早的意识状态。当它受到心理和后来文化等大范围影响后,逐渐地具有了个人心灵的明显特征。自然本智并不是只有人类才有,因为它也是其他有感觉的动物的基础意识状态。与意识最终对复杂的神经元活动的确认而产生的假说相比,根据藏传佛教的大圆满(多钦则)的观点,人类意识是从自然本智的零点场的一元体验中产生的。其比人类、物质与意识的二元概念更早出现且更具基础。对于主观与客观的清楚感知不同,这种明亮的境界是不变异的。所以这种假说反对笛卡尔的二元论与唯物质论。


While resting in the substrate consciousness, one may deliberately direct attention to the past, gradually exercising memory until one can vividly and accurately recall events. 


不管个人的意识形态与理论假设,它都可以通过体验来证明,当安住于自然本智中,有人能够故意将注意力转向过去,训练记忆并能够清晰地準确回忆起以前的事情。


Some Buddhists claim that within the distilled, luminous space of deep concentration, one may direct the attention back in time even before conception in this life and recall events in the distant past.22 


一些佛教徒声称,通过深度注意力集中而提炼的明亮境界中,有人能够将注意力转向到这一世之前,回忆起前世的事情。


As far-fetched as this hypothesis may seem, it can be tested with carefully controlled experiments, assuming that the subjects involved are highly expert in this practice. By such rigorous examination, it should be a fairly straightforward process to determine whether such adepts’ “memories” are accurate recollections from the past or mere fantasies. 


然这种假说听起来不怎么靠谱,但是也可以通过谨慎的受控实验来测试。被测试的对象是这领域的专家。通过高强度的检查,确定这些专家的记忆是否是源于过去或仅仅是幻想可以得到比较坦诚的答案。


Open-minded skepticism toward these claims—specifically, the kind of skepticism that inspires testing hypotheses in the most rigorous way possible—is healthy and appropriate for the scientific community. To the great detriment of science, however, the ideal of skepticism in the twentieth century has often degenerated into a kind of complacent closed-mindedness about any theory or method of inquiry that deviates from current mainstream science. Richard Feynman reminded us of the true ideal of scientific skepticism when he encouraged experimenters to search most diligently in precisely those areas where it seems most likely they can prove their own theories wrong.23 


对于这些言论比较开放的怀疑主义者们,尤其是鼓励用最可能激烈的方法来测试假说的怀疑论者,认为这样是对整个科学界来说是有益的。然而,对于科学的最大损害,二十世纪的怀疑论者通常堕落为某种沾沾自喜的封闭思想,认为其探索的理论与方法与当今科学主流相背离。理查德费曼,当他鼓励实验者们努力寻找此领域里探索时,提醒我们什么是真正的科学家中的怀疑论者,因为看上去只有这里他们最可能证明他们自己的理论是错误的。


Heraclitus, the sixth-century b.c.e. Greek philosopher known for his belief that the nature of everything is change itself, encouraged this open-minded attentiveness to novelty: “If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it, since it is trackless and unexplored.” 24 


赫拉克利特(Heraclitus),公元前六世纪的希腊哲学家,其坚信一切事物的性质就是变化而闻名于世,鼓励对新鲜事物保持开放思想。“如果你不能看见所不能看见的,你将无法找到它,因为它毫无蹤迹,从未被开拓。”


来源:Allan Wallace的个人网站


智悲翻译中心 翻译:慈恒、圆优、才仁扎西


校对:圆优、慈恒
 
 



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