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Alzheimers

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  • hhofman@dingoblue.net.au
    Hi everyone, Do people with alzheimers have an advantage over the rest of us, being less distracted by memories? Knowing the moment, does it require the past?
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 1, 2001
      Hi everyone,

      Do people with alzheimers have an advantage over the rest of us,
      being less distracted by memories?

      Knowing the moment, does it require the past?

      Can there be panna without sanna?

      I'm asking because I do not know.

      Regards

      Herman
    • abrennan@yahoo.com
      hey there Herman the answer is no they do not. People with alzheimers lead a life tortured by there inability to remember anything. Eventually their brains
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 1, 2001
        hey there Herman

        the answer is no they do not.

        People with alzheimers lead a life tortured by there inability to
        remember anything. Eventually their brains aren't working much at all
        and they would die like a newborn child would die with no-one to feed
        them and care for them.

        As things spiral toward the bitter end they suffer, I believe first a
        great disorientation as the past seems as if it is here. A friend of
        mines father thinks that his wife is not hos wife and that he is not
        in his own home and that his "girl" the woman his wife was years ago
        is waiting somewhere for him and he longs to go and be with her.
        Packs his bags and all. He will eventually forget al his family and
        forget to do anything, he will not be able to dress or eat or go to
        the toilet. (he'll begin to do that in his pants.

        It is as you can imagine an awful process which is very, very
        disturbing for the victim and the family. Terrifying for all.

        nice thought though about not being distracted by thoughts.
        Unfortunatley I have known two friends who's family members have
        suffered this fate and it is awful.


        I don't know about panna without sanna. but there's some really good
        old CAWs here he do

        --- In dhammastudygroup@y..., hhofman@d... wrote:
        > Hi everyone,
        >
        > Do people with alzheimers have an advantage over the rest of us,
        > being less distracted by memories?
        >
        > Knowing the moment, does it require the past?
        >
        > Can there be panna without sanna?
        >
        > I'm asking because I do not know.
        >
        > Regards
        >
        > Herman
      • Robert Kirkpatrick
        Dear Herman, I like these questions as I ve wondered the same thing myself. As Antony pointed out Alzheimers is no fun. Still I would give some other thoughts.
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 1, 2001
          Dear Herman,
          I like these questions as I've wondered the same thing myself.
          As Antony pointed out Alzheimers is no fun.

          Still I would give some other thoughts.
          --- hhofman@... wrote:
          > Hi everyone,
          >
          > Do people with alzheimers have an advantage over the rest of
          > us,
          > being less distracted by memories?
          ______________
          it is not the memories really, that distract but the attachment
          or aversion to them.`Memories are just thinking taking a
          concept; and thus insight into: thinking or sanna, or the
          underlying lobha or dosa or avijja that occurs at these moments
          can occur.



          >
          > Knowing the moment, does it require the past?


          ___________________
          I would say perhaps not. If there have been accumulations of
          genuine satipatthana at a level beyond the conceptual
          understanding of anatta; and if satipatthana has become habitual
          then why should it not continue even if memory has deteriorated.

          One could wonder though if someone who had this degree of
          insight would suffer the profound loss of memory that Antony
          detailed- this I don't know.

          >
          > Can there be panna without sanna?

          ___________

          Sanna arise with every citta thus even if there is the complete
          loss of conventional memory sanna is arising.

          I know what you mean though. Can panna arise if there is no
          memory of the Dhamma? My answer is above
          >
          > I'm asking because I do not know.
          ______

          So I don't know either. Just my speculation above.
          robert


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        • srnsk@aol.com
          Hi Herman, Quick response. Alzheimer disease is characterized not only by memory problem. There a lot more requirements to Dx this disease, memory problem
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 1, 2001
            Hi Herman,

            Quick response. Alzheimer disease is characterized not only by memory
            problem. There a lot more requirements to Dx this disease, memory problem
            alone is not Alzheimer. There also need further higher cognitive
            impairments such as aphasia(language impairment), apraxia (motor impairment),
            agnosia (recognition impairment) and impairment in executive function i.e
            planning, organizing, sequencing or abstracting.

            Their ability to focus or concentrate is severely affected as well. So I
            don't think that is better. Mind and citta are very complicated phenomena.

            Best wishes,

            Num


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • hhofman@dingoblue.net.au
            Dear Robert, Antony, Num et al, I certainly wasn t making light of Alzheimers disease, nor do I think that was suggested by anyone. I too have some second hand
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 3, 2001
              Dear Robert, Antony, Num et al,

              I certainly wasn't making light of Alzheimers disease, nor do I think
              that was suggested by anyone. I too have some second hand experience
              with this condition. There is something very sobering about your old
              grandmother yelling out to her mother that her nappies need changing.

              I used Alzheimers where I should have specified someone without
              memory. I can look at a tree, and realise that the sun is necessary
              for this tree, without me seeing the sun. Memory, allowing the
              conceiving of the interrelatedness of things without seeing those
              things, but accepting they are there, from memory.

              We emphasise being aware of the present moment, and I certainly don't
              quarrel with that. Does awareness of this single moment include
              Lakkhana, Rasa, Paccupatthana and Padatthana? Can all of these be
              grasped in a single moment?

              (I have this sneaking suspicion that there is no such thing as a
              discreet single moment, but rather that all realities involve every
              reality that has ever been. Just hypothesising, of course :-))

              With Metta


              Herman



              --- In dhammastudygroup@y..., Robert Kirkpatrick
              <robertkirkpatrick@r...> wrote:
              > Dear Herman,
              > I like these questions as I've wondered the same thing myself.
              > As Antony pointed out Alzheimers is no fun.
              >
              > Still I would give some other thoughts.
              > --- hhofman@d... wrote:
              > > Hi everyone,
              > >
              > > Do people with alzheimers have an advantage over the rest of
              > > us,
              > > being less distracted by memories?
              > ______________
              > it is not the memories really, that distract but the attachment
              > or aversion to them.`Memories are just thinking taking a
              > concept; and thus insight into: thinking or sanna, or the
              > underlying lobha or dosa or avijja that occurs at these moments
              > can occur.
              >
              >
              >
              > >
              > > Knowing the moment, does it require the past?
              >
              >
              > ___________________
              > I would say perhaps not. If there have been accumulations of
              > genuine satipatthana at a level beyond the conceptual
              > understanding of anatta; and if satipatthana has become habitual
              > then why should it not continue even if memory has deteriorated.
              >
              > One could wonder though if someone who had this degree of
              > insight would suffer the profound loss of memory that Antony
              > detailed- this I don't know.
              >
              > >
              > > Can there be panna without sanna?
              >
              > ___________
              >
              > Sanna arise with every citta thus even if there is the complete
              > loss of conventional memory sanna is arising.
              >
              > I know what you mean though. Can panna arise if there is no
              > memory of the Dhamma? My answer is above
              > >
              > > I'm asking because I do not know.
              > ______
              >
              > So I don't know either. Just my speculation above.
              > robert
              >
              >
              > __________________________________________________
              > Do You Yahoo!?
              > Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
              > a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
            • abrennan@yahoo.com
              ... Herman you are so wise I agree with both these hypothesis. Of coursse evrything is composed of everything else, and all of them are empty. P.S. I didn t
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 3, 2001
                > (I have this sneaking suspicion that there is no such thing as a
                > discreet single moment, but rather that all realities involve every
                > reality that has ever been. Just hypothesising, of course :-))
                >
                >
                Herman you are so wise

                I agree with both these hypothesis. Of coursse evrything is composed
                of everything else, and all of them are empty.

                P.S. I didn't think you were making light of Alzheimers. I just raved
                on to show what an ugly thing it is.
              • upasaka@aol.com
                Hi, Herman - In a message dated 6/3/01 7:00:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... =============================== You write: We emphasise being aware of the
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 3, 2001
                  Hi, Herman -

                  In a message dated 6/3/01 7:00:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                  hhofman@... writes:


                  > Dear Robert, Antony, Num et al,
                  >
                  > I certainly wasn't making light of Alzheimers disease, nor do I think
                  > that was suggested by anyone. I too have some second hand experience
                  > with this condition. There is something very sobering about your old
                  > grandmother yelling out to her mother that her nappies need changing.
                  >
                  > I used Alzheimers where I should have specified someone without
                  > memory. I can look at a tree, and realise that the sun is necessary
                  > for this tree, without me seeing the sun. Memory, allowing the
                  > conceiving of the interrelatedness of things without seeing those
                  > things, but accepting they are there, from memory.
                  >
                  > We emphasise being aware of the present moment, and I certainly don't
                  > quarrel with that. Does awareness of this single moment include
                  > Lakkhana, Rasa, Paccupatthana and Padatthana? Can all of these be
                  > grasped in a single moment?
                  >
                  > (I have this sneaking suspicion that there is no such thing as a
                  > discreet single moment, but rather that all realities involve every
                  > reality that has ever been. Just hypothesising, of course :-))
                  >
                  > With Metta
                  >
                  >
                  > Herman
                  >
                  ===============================
                  You write:

                  "We emphasise being aware of the present moment, and I certainly don't
                  quarrel with that. Does awareness of this single moment include
                  Lakkhana, Rasa, Paccupatthana and Padatthana? Can all of these be
                  grasped in a single moment? (I have this sneaking suspicion that there is no
                  such thing as a discreet single moment, but rather that all realities involve
                  every
                  reality that has ever been. Just hypothesising, of course :-))"

                  You might enjoy reading some of the Theravadin academic David
                  Kalupahana, I think. He also is suspicious of the strictly momentary view of
                  experience, quoting William James in describing our moments as more like
                  "saddle points" or what I would call fuzzy intervals. He also doesn't believe
                  that a ksanavada (sp?) view is expressed by the Buddha in the suttas.

                  In any case, it seems to me that there is no adequate grasping of
                  objects without sa~n~na, which involves memory, and certainly there is no
                  adequate grasping of relations without the function of memory.

                  With metta,
                  Howard


                  /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
                  in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
                  phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Sarah Procter Abbott
                  Dear Herman, I ve found this discussion interesting. This is a subject close to my heart too. I also watched a grandmother suffer from this disease. Every
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 3, 2001
                    Dear Herman,

                    I've found this discussion interesting. This is a subject close to my heart too. I also watched a
                    grandmother suffer from this disease. Every morning she'd get dressed in her 'Sunday best' with
                    hat and gloves ready for church and be so disappointed when we sent her upstairs to change! All
                    the relationships were very mixed up too and so was everything else! Recently two of my mother's
                    closest, brightest and most deep-thinking friends have gone the same route and I just heard from a
                    friend in Germany, Gabi, who cares for her mother with A.D., but no longer considers her as a
                    mother and her mother seldom recognises her.

                    As Rob pointed out, even when there seems to be no memory, there is sanna at each moment marking
                    its object. However the samutti sacca (conventional truths) are forgotten and the sanna and
                    thinking about the concepts are all mixed up. There are still many memories (in my grandma's case
                    they were all early childhood ones which were amazingly clear).

                    Whether there is any less chance of this happening to someone who has developed satipatthana, I
                    wouldn't like to speculate. i think that anything can happen and we never know what conditions
                    will have what effect at any given time. However, I do think that, especially in the earlier
                    stages, there can be moments of awareness in between the other moments. There isn't forgetfulness
                    or disease at every moment. We may forget who our family are, what our job was, how famous we were
                    or any other worldly gains and yet there can still be moments of sati.

                    Any disease or sickness is an excellent reminder to me to see the urgency of developing more
                    understanding now while we have the opportunity. This will be the best 'insurance' for whatever
                    conditions have in store for us.

                    Best wishes,
                    Sarah

                    --- hhofman@... wrote: > Dear Robert, Antony, Num et al,
                    >
                    > I certainly wasn't making light of Alzheimers disease, nor do I think
                    > that was suggested by anyone. I too have some second hand experience
                    > with this condition. There is something very sobering about your old
                    > grandmother yelling out to her mother that her nappies need changing.
                    >
                    > I used Alzheimers where I should have specified someone without
                    > memory. I can look at a tree, and realise that the sun is necessary
                    > for this tree, without me seeing the sun. Memory, allowing the
                    > conceiving of the interrelatedness of things without seeing those
                    > things, but accepting they are there, from memory.
                    >


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