A Process-Oriented Externalist Solution to the Hard Problem

Riccardo Manzotti of the University of Milan has an interesting comic(!) purporting to explain the “hard problem” of philosophy, which is how experience can arise from matter.

It’s very much along the lines of Alva Noë’s excellent book, “Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness.”

The takehome message is “We and the world are really one process.” This is also what I understand the Buddha’s teaching to have been, as embodied in the 18 dhātus and in teachings such as the Kalaka Sutta:

“Thus, monks, the Tathagata, when seeing what is to be seen, doesn’t construe an [object as] seen. He doesn’t construe an unseen. He doesn’t construe an [object] to-be-seen. He doesn’t construe a seer.
“When hearing…
“When sensing…
“When cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn’t construe an [object as] cognized. He doesn’t construe an uncognized. He doesn’t construe an [object] to-be-cognized. He doesn’t construe a cognizer.

The Buddha’s teaching, although this isn’t always immediately obvious, is one of non-duality. This is, of course, something I go into in Living as a River.

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