The City of Nine Gates: A Complex Model for Mind/Body Dualism from India’s Bhagavata Purana

Hare KrishnaBy Drutakarma Das

One barrier to acceptance of interactionist models for mind/body dualism is a shortage of conceptual resources. Turning to the ancient Sanskrit writings of India, we find in the Bhagavata Purana of India the allegory of the City of Nine Gates, which provides a complex model from mind/body dualism. This model, rich in imagery, allows one to account for such varied phenomena as phantom limbs, out of body experiences, past life memories, traveling clairvoyance, and perception of qualia. Is there a conscious self that is distinct from the physical mechanism of the body? Is there a mind that is distinct from the brain? Those who give positive answers to such questions are called dualists, but they are not numerous in contemporary science and philosophy.

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