We Possess Eight Minds (Part 1)

Buddhist Truth Largely Surpasses Modern Science

The science of psychology deals with the structure of our minds. Modern psychology teaches that there is subconsciousness beneath our consciousness and that further below that, lies “depth psychology.”

You may have heard about the subconscious mind but you may not yet have heard of the term “depth psychology.” Would anyone believe if he was told that Sakyamuni Buddha had already revealed this level of psychology 2600 years ago, although Twentieth Century psychology, at long last, has just begun to elucidate it? In the Eighties, Japan and the United States were seriously competing with each other on the development of a fifth generation computer, also called artificial intelligence or “AI” for short.

Professor Marvin Minsky, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a world-wide authority on AI, is engaged in researching Buddhist scriptures ---- stating that the study of Buddhism is essential for experimenting on the development of AI. Why Buddhism in the computer?

He explained that for the development of AI, it became naturally necessary to do research on the nature of manʼs mind.

However, modern psychology did not give thorough instructions on it. He therefore researched the religions of the world ---- since they specialized in the mind ---- to see if there was any religion that gave instructions regarding the structure of the mind. As a consequence, he found that most religions hardly gave any information on it. However, in the Buddhist scriptures, it was taught in detail. Sakyamuni Buddha was truly an exceptional psychologist. He found that Buddhist scriptures were unsurpassed texts for the development of computers. Professor Minsky has already completed a thesis on AI. Now, let us give a general outline of his observations with regard to Buddhist psychology.

Buddhism describes our mind as shiki or consciousness, of which we possess eight distinct kinds. In Japanese, they are known as eight minds. The following are the eight kinds of consciousness.

1. Genshiki ---- sight-consciousness or the mind of the eyes. The mind that perceives what the eyes have seen.

2. Nishiki ---- hearing-consciousness or the mind of our ears. The mind detects the sound which the ears have heard.

3. Bishiki ---- smell-consciousness or the mind of the nose. The mind detects the odors which the organ of the nose has smelled.

4. Zesshiki ---- taste-consciousness or the mind of the tongue. The mind perceives taste as sweet or salty with the sensation of the tongue.

To be continued...

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #20 | 2012, We Possess Eight Minds (Part 1)

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