By Dalai Lama

This e-book addresses one of the most basic and complicated questions that experience pushed a wedge among the nation-states of Western technological know-how and faith for hundreds of years.

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Additional resources for Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Brainscience and Buddhism

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Your sense of affinity toward an object, even if it is not an object you have ever encountered before and therefore is a novel object, can still be explained from the Western neuroscientific point of view, as the result of previous memory stores from this lifetime. You will probably experience affinity in respect to certain categories of objects, for instance, certain flowers, certain people, certain landscapes, because these particular objects elicit affective memory responses in your brain and body.

The second presentation of the conference, from Antonio Damasio, provides concrete examples of correspondence between the brain anatomy and functionality. Damage to specific regions of the cerebral cortex proves to have precise and predictable effects on human perception, recognition, and language. Such correspondences are fundamental to the Western scientific understanding that consciousness exists solely as a property of the complex architecture of the connections between neurons. ANTONIO DAMASIO: I have some concrete evidence for Western science’s view on the brain.

ALAN WALLACE: No. Retention is die initial imprinting process, whereas the subsequent storage is deeper and for a longer term. However, one Tibetan term is used for both processes, imprinting and storage. LARRY SQUIRE: Western neuroscience makes a distinction between what we call short-term memory and long-term memory. These amnesic patients with memory impairment have intact short-term memory. That is, they can repeat back a short sentence and they can understand the meaning of such a sentence.

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