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Article

The Phenomenology of “Pure” Consciousness as Reported by an Experienced Meditator of the Tibetan Buddhist Karma Kagyu Tradition. Analysis of Interview Content Concerning Different Meditative States

1
Department of Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 55122 Mainz, Germany
2
The Ekayana Institute, 79853 Lenzkirch, Germany
3
Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, 79098 Freiburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcin J. Schroeder
Philosophies 2021, 6(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6020050
Received: 15 April 2021 / Revised: 4 June 2021 / Accepted: 4 June 2021 / Published: 17 June 2021
A philosopher and a cognitive neuroscientist conversed with Buddhist lama Tilmann Lhündrup Borghardt (TLB) about the unresolved phenomenological concerns and logical questions surrounding “pure” consciousness or minimal phenomenal experience (MPE), a quasi-contentless, non-dual state whose phenomenology of “emptiness” is often described in terms of the phenomenal quality of luminosity that experienced meditators have reported occurs in deep meditative states. Here, we present the excerpts of the conversation that relate to the question of how it is possible to first have and later retrieve such non-dual states of selflessness and timelessness that are unrelated to sensory input. According to TLB, a “pure” experience of consciousness contains the phenomenal quality of luminous clarity, which is experienced solely in the transitional phase from the non-dual state of absolute emptiness to the state of minimal emptiness, when the person gradually returns to duality. However, this quality of luminous clarity can also be experienced in non-minimal states as in the experiential mode of being awakened. TLB describes this transition as a kind of ephemeral afterglow in the form of a maximally abstract phenomenal quality, i.e., luminosity, which justifies the conclusion of having been in a state of “pure” consciousness. View Full-Text
Keywords: consciousness per se; pure awareness; pure consciousness; minimal phenomenal experience; content-free awareness; dharmakāya; mahāmudrā; fMRI; EEG consciousness per se; pure awareness; pure consciousness; minimal phenomenal experience; content-free awareness; dharmakāya; mahāmudrā; fMRI; EEG
MDPI and ACS Style

Costines, C.; Borghardt, T.L.; Wittmann, M. The Phenomenology of “Pure” Consciousness as Reported by an Experienced Meditator of the Tibetan Buddhist Karma Kagyu Tradition. Analysis of Interview Content Concerning Different Meditative States. Philosophies 2021, 6, 50. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6020050

AMA Style

Costines C, Borghardt TL, Wittmann M. The Phenomenology of “Pure” Consciousness as Reported by an Experienced Meditator of the Tibetan Buddhist Karma Kagyu Tradition. Analysis of Interview Content Concerning Different Meditative States. Philosophies. 2021; 6(2):50. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6020050

Chicago/Turabian Style

Costines, Cyril, Tilmann Lhündrup Borghardt, and Marc Wittmann. 2021. "The Phenomenology of “Pure” Consciousness as Reported by an Experienced Meditator of the Tibetan Buddhist Karma Kagyu Tradition. Analysis of Interview Content Concerning Different Meditative States" Philosophies 6, no. 2: 50. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6020050

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