+1 vote
by (130 points)
If I'm not mistaken the buddhist view is that death is not the end of the mind, but it seems to me that the mind stops existing every time we go to sleep or are unconscious. This leads me to think that death is the same as being asleep, but eternal.

2 Answers

0 votes
by (5.3k points)
I'll try to give a practical explanation based on my own experience. The mind is not an object or entity. In fact, objects and entities don't exist. Reality is made up of moments of experience. Moments of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking. What we call the mind is just a part of these moments of experience. Every moment a new mind arises and passes away. As we fall asleep a series of experiences arise and pass away: drowsiness, pleasure, thinking, etc. After these experiences cease the next set of experiences that arise are either dreams or waking up.

There is nothing that stops existing when we fall asleep or when we die because there was nothing there other than these moments of experience that are constantly arising and passing away.

I hope that helps clarify some things for you.
0 votes
by (8.8k points)
When you are in dreamless sleep, the thought moments arising are called the Bhavaanga cittas. They are identical to the first thought moment you had in this life. When you are awake, they arise between every two experiences. That means whenever the focus of the mind moves from one object to another, one or more Bhavaanga cittas arise in between. Death is not eternal. Only Nibbana is eternal. There is immediate birth after death as long as craving is not uprooted.
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