A tradição budista de Samatha: Métodos para refinar e examinar a consciência

Reproduzo abaixo alguns trechos deste excelente artigo de B. Alan Wallace. O estudo é particularmente significativo para filósofos da mente e psicólogos, pois retoma a discussão sobre a validade da instrospecção como método de estudo da consciência. Um recente autor, de alto gabarito acadêmico, que se dedica ao tema atualmente é Evan Thompson. Thompson, escreveu, junto com Francisco Varela, A MENTE INCORPORADA, publicada no Brasil pela ARTMED.

The Buddhist Tradition of Samatha:
Methods for Refining and Examining Consciousness

Buddhist inquiry into the natural world proceeds from a radically different point of departure than western science, and its methods differ correspondingly. Early pioneers of the scientific revolution, including Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, expressed an initial interest in the nature of physical objects most far removed from human subjectivity: such issues as the relative motions of the sun and earth, the surface of the moon, and the revolutions of the planets. And a central principle of scientific naturalism is the pure objectification of the natural world, free of any contamination of subjectivity. This principle of objectivism demands that science deals with empirical facts testable by empirical methods entailing testability by third-person means; and such facts must, therefore, be public rather than private, which is to say, they must be accessible to more than one observer. Another aspect of this principle is that scientific knowledge — paradigmatically knowledge of astronomy and physics — must be epistemically objective, which is to say, observer-independent. A profound limitation of this ideal is that it cannot accommodate the study of subjective phenomena, which presumably accounts for the fact that the scientific study of the mind did not even begin until three hundred years after the launching of the scientific revolution. And it was roughly another hundred years before the nature of consciousness came to be accepted as a legitimate object of scientific inquiry. In short, the principle of objectivity excludes the subjective human mind and consciousness itself from the proper domain of natural science. In stark contrast to this objective orientation of western science, Buddhism begins
with the premise that the mind is the primary source of human joy and misery and is to understanding the natural world as a whole. In a well known discourse attributed to the Buddha he declares, ‘All phenomena are preceded by the mind. When the mind is comprehended, all phenomena are comprehended.’

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