​​​​Cognition Only

This site primarily contains short essays which reflect on Buddhist and Western philosophical thinking about the mind and consciousness

There is a strong focus on trying to understand consciousness, and we propose a new dual property theory—matter-as-awareness—that shows great promise in unifying subjective states of awareness with a physical basis. The theory draws equally from Western philosophy and Buddhist theory to provide an original approach for thinking about matter, consciousness, and minds.

In addition, as a long-time Buddhist practitioner, I am aware that there are many Buddhist concepts and doctrines which, at first glance, seem to be unsupported, or perhaps even wrong, by the findings of Western science. Such concepts include the ideas of a subtle body that exists in parallel to our physical body, of a mind that continues to exist after the physical body dies, and of additional dimensions of the universe that physically we cannot see and interact with, for example.

​In reading the diverse Buddhist literature (Sutras, Shastras, Songs of Realization, etc.), in many cases it is not exactly clear what is being proposed, or how these Buddhist concepts might map into Western intellectual space (i.e., how they map to our concepts). This problem is compounded by the fact that since the time of the Buddha, several different schools have arisen which present different views of the universe, and characterize the mind in slightly different ways.

The goal of this web site is to encourage a friendly discussion by clearly articulating what some of the key issues are, and to (hopefully) design a research agenda that will lead to a clearer understanding of what Buddhists actually believe, how these ideas relate to western knowledge, and how to determine the truth value of some of the more exoteric ideas, such as the existence of a subtle body and/or reincarnation.