|Original Art by Identity Photogr@phy availble on Flickr.com
To begin our look on the Eight Minds, I'd like to share with you an excerpt from the book, The Purpose of Life by Tamotsu Asakura.
In the 80s, Japan and the United States were seriously competing with each other on the development of a fifth generation computer, also called artificial intelligence or A.I. for short.
Professor Marvin Minsky, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a worldwide authority on A.I., is engaged in researching Buddhist scriptures -- stating that the study of Buddhism is essential for experimenting on the development of A.I. Why Buddhism in the computer?
He explained that for the development of A.I., it became naturally necessary to do the research on the nature of man's 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. [Minsky] found that Buddhist scriptures were unsurpassed texts for the development of computers.
2.) Hearing Consciousness - Mind of our ears. The mind that detects the sounds we hear. We listen through this mind and with it can enjoy music.
3.) Smell Consciousness - Mind of the nose. The mind that detects odors and pleasing fragrances.
4.) Taste Consciousness - Mind of the tongue. The mind that perceives and tastes between sweet and savory. The joy experienced from fine cuisine.
5.) Touch Consciousness - Mind of the body. The mind that discriminates between textures and temperatures. It perceives between hot and cold also between tough and soft. The Mind of the Body also includes the exhilaration from sports and dancing. It also includes the soothing sensation of silk or a cool breeze.
6.) Thought Consciousness - This is the mind that thinks, memorizes, and dreams. It is also the mind that integrates the first five consciousness and judges collectively between them. It is the mind that enjoys reading.
Buddhism is the study of the mind, but Buddhist universities put strong emphasis on the subjects of [Manas Consciousness] and [Alaya Consciousness]. These two complicated minds, it is said, take eight years to comprehend, even if one should study with serious determination. It is that difficult.