These days; more than ever, I value conversation and communication with others that explores, rather than asserts. I value the question over the conclusion. There is something intimate and expanding in that. Thinking; when it is rigid and mindlessly reflecting dogmatic claims is unappealing to me. Even claims about how one should practice in a spiritual way are not appealing as such. Buddhism has no shortage of claims to expertise.
In my own search and experience I have discovered that there is something of my intuitive essence that is aware of deeper truth that somehow, was conventionally deferred to other , assumed experts. It is something of a more authentic being that had been covered over in my learned attentiveness to beliefs, assumptions and deference to others. I support the search for scientific understanding but in the end much of the ;research regarding dementia and Alzheimer’s disease relates to a more conventional understanding of the self. Coming to a point where I am more clear about dogma and my own experience and the contradictions between them has been a most beneficial arising.
Recently I was involved in a discussion about the concept of dementia with a group. The discussion was not neccesarally focused on scientific explanations. As a social worker having worked in crisis, mental health for many years I am aware of these. There was some discussion about how it relates to self and/or no self but in the end there seems to be an absence of a sense of what a very Buddhist notion points to; that attachment to the small self and its related beliefs and assumptions have a lot to do with prolonging and perpetuating our suffering.
I cant help but think that the onset of dementia does nothing to alleviate all of this; in fact it might possibly intensify this experience of suffering.
Awareness of the truth of Self and how our attachment to the self, influences the thinking process has been very helpful for me in reducing suffering that was once an affliction that was the consequence of my attachments and delusions.