During this talk, Peter again emphasized how different 21st century culture is from the time of the Buddha. During that era, it was assumed that a person’s karma was determined by what clan he or she was born into, and karma was equivalent to fate. The Buddha’s radical change was claim that a person’s salvation from suffering, related to karma, depends upon his or her ethical behaviors, not birth status. Peter further emphasized that modern scientific research also suggests that relief from suffering is ethical, in that the different regions of the brain recruited in the process of developing a personal narrative work best when the results represent kindness rather than self-absorption. During next week’s talk, this topic will be revisited to explore how modern neuroscience takes the place of old Brahmanic philosophy, to make sense of the universe of human consciousness.
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