Mind-states and mind-streams from unwholesome via altered to wholesome
Neuroscience, insight meditation, and Buddhist psychology all indicate that consciousness consists of a stream of discrete flashes (moments) of consciousness called ‘cetas’ (momentary mind-states). These cetas are neither normal nor altered, it is the stream of cetas that can be normal or altered. On the other hand, a single ceta can be wholesome or unwholesome. A (mind-)state is a tendency to act, where acting means behaving, and providing behavioral and mental reactions. Unwholesome states are those that are conductive to mental suffering and physical discomfort. Wholesome states provide mental and physical balance. Altered streams of consciousness (‘altered states’) are different from the usual. These altered states are necessary to make a transition from unwholesome to wholesome states. This needs to be done in a very careful and patient way, being ready to “face the most inexplicable experiences” (Rilke, from “Letters to a young poet”).
Hen(dri)k Barendregt (1947) studied from 1972 to 1979 Zen meditation with Kobun Chino Roshi (1938-2002) in California, and from 1977 to 2006 Vipasssana meditation with Phra Mettavihari (1942-2007). In 2006 he was qualified with 13 other senior students to teach vipassana in the Mahasi style.
Henk Barendregt studied Mathematical Logic at Utrecht University, where he received his doctorate cum laude in 1971 under Dirk van Dalen en Georg Kreisel. His best known works in logic are The Lambda Calculus, Its Syntax and Semantics (translated into Russian and Chinese), 1981, Elsevier, and Lambda Calculus with Types, 2013, Cambridge University Press.
Henk Barendregt has received substantial personal research funds from Nijmegen University (1997) and the Spinoza award (2002) from the Dutch National Science Foundation (NWO). Given funds enabelled him to direct an interdisciplinary research group towards understanding insight meditation and its effects in neuropsychological terms, see dhammapages.wordpress.com. Barendregt, Knight in the Order of the Nederlandse Leeuw (Dutch Lion), holds memberships of the Academia Europaea, the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW).