Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby SarathW » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:48 am

Hi Reflection
I see where you comming from and I agree with you.
How ever, I do not have answers to questions such as:

A) sabbe dhamma anatta: Does it mean that nirvana is there as same as Sankara?
B) "In this very one-fathom long body along with perceptions and thoughts, do I proclaim the world, the origin of the world, the end of the world and the path leading to the end of the world." Here the term world is applied to suffering.
Does it mean that Nirvana can be experience right now in this body?
C) that space is not, but Nibbāna is.
See the thread:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16160

D) Why Nibbana is classified as Nama in Abhidhamma?
See the thread:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=16220


For the time being I have decided to be open minded and keep this question in mind as unresolved!

Mean-while :) :meditate:
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:57 am

SarathW wrote:A) sabbe dhamma anatta: Does it mean that nirvana is there as same as Sankara?


Doesn't this mean that nirvana is not self.
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby SarathW » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:52 pm

Hi Buckwhet,
Yes that’s correct.
What I meant was whether Nirvana also exist the same way as five aggregate. So what I am saying is Non-Existence is exist. On the other hand we can’t say whether Nirvana exist or not exist.
Sorry to confuse you. :juggling:

You better off reading P385 of: :)
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf

“So,though indeed Existence is, Non-Existence should be sought”
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby manas » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:54 pm

SarathW wrote:...

“So,though indeed Existence is, Non-Existence should be sought”


Hi Sarath,

I don't recall reading that anywhere in the suttas, could you maybe say exactly where this is from? Anyway, to my knowledge 'existence' isn't able to encapsulate the full meaning of the word, 'bhava' (having said that, neither is 'becoming' a perfect translation, but then again that's the case for many pali terms); Thanissaro Bhikkhu actually wrote extensively about bhava here:

http://mettarefuge.files.wordpress.com/ ... hikkhu.pdf

In any case, we are supposed to abandon not only desire for becoming, but also desire for not-becoming, are we not?

The central paradox of becoming is also evident in the second noble truth, where one of the three forms of craving leading to becoming is craving for non‐becoming—the ending of what has come to be. This poses a practical challenge for any attempt to put an end to becoming. Many writers have tried to resolve this paradox by defining non‐becoming in such a way that the desire for Unbinding (nibbana) would not fall into that category. However, the Buddha himself taught a strategic resolution to this paradox, in which the fourth noble truth—the path to the end of suffering—involves creating a type of becoming where the mind is so steady and alert that it can simply allow what has come into being to pass away of its own accord, thus avoiding the twin dangers of craving for becoming or for non‐becoming.


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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:53 am

Greetings Sarath,

SarathW wrote:“So,though indeed Existence is, Non-Existence should be sought”

Is this a quote, or are these your own words?

This is vibhava-tanha.

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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby SarathW » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:59 am

Sorry guys. May be I quote some thing out of contex.
By the way I am so glad that there are lot of Chekers in this forum. It comforts me. :)

I got it from:
P385 of:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses?

Postby equilibrium » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:09 pm

pegembara wrote:There is no consciousness independent of the 6 senses. http://www.leighb.com/mn38.htm

What would you say about these people who said they have OBE.....they can see their body on a bed but without eyes.....they are conscious/aware that they see their body.....they might be able to hear but without ears.....otherwise, the OBE experience cannot be told, unless there is no such a thing as an OBE, it is all made up?

If it is true, then that whatever it is, consciousness/awareness is indeed independent of the senses.....what do you guys think?
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses?

Postby Benjamin » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:35 pm

equilibrium wrote:
pegembara wrote:There is no consciousness independent of the 6 senses. http://www.leighb.com/mn38.htm

What would you say about these people who said they have OBE.....they can see their body on a bed but without eyes.....they are conscious/aware that they see their body.....they might be able to hear but without ears.....otherwise, the OBE experience cannot be told, unless there is no such a thing as an OBE, it is all made up?

If it is true, then that whatever it is, consciousness/awareness is indeed independent of the senses.....what do you guys think?


Good point. But the trouble I imagine is proving that even that state is fully independent from the body. It would make sense if it was in a way, as the experience often occurs when individuals are pronounced clinically dead. If that is the case, then that OBE consciousness would still have karma and would be subject to rebirth, so I guess it wouldn't be applicable to parinibbana. Nevertheless, interesting.
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby Benjamin » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:43 pm

NOTE: This is a better recording of Thanissaro's opinion on this matter.

The Five Aggregates - Thanissaro Bhikku

At one hour and 30 minutes in (1:30:00), you will find viññanam anidassanam brought up. Listen until at least 1:40:00.

Thanissaro specifically says that viññanam anidassanam is the consciousness of nibbana.

I don't mention this to try and frame Ven. Thanissaro in a bad light. This is simply a much better recording than the one I used to start this thread, for this whole talk is much more conversational in tone and he makes his views quite easily known.

After he says it he does admit that it's controversial, it seems as if he almost hesitated to bring it up.


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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby polarbuddha101 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:35 pm

Here is a foot note of Thanissaro's from the Kevatta sutta:

Viññanam anidassanam. This term is nowhere explained in the Canon, although MN 49 mentions that it "does not partake in the allness of the All" — the "All" meaning the six internal and six external sense media (see SN 35.23). In this it differs from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the six sense media. Lying outside of time and space, it would also not come under the consciousness-aggregate, which covers all consciousness near and far; past, present, and future. However, the fact that it is outside of time and space — in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (Ud 1.10), no coming, no going, or staying (Ud 8.1) — means that it cannot be described as permanent or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within space and time. The standard description of nibbana after death is, "All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here." (See MN 140 and Iti 44.) Again, as "all" is defined as the sense media, this raises the question as to whether consciousness without feature is not covered by this "all." However, AN 4.174 warns that any speculation as to whether anything does or doesn't remain after the remainderless stopping of the six sense media is to "objectify non-objectification," which gets in the way of attaining the non-objectified. Thus this is a question that is best put aside.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


He does seem a bit uneasy on this position. He holds it but then he says it should be put aside, so I'm not really sure why he talks about it in the first place but there you go, he does.

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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby Benjamin » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:15 pm

In the talk I just posted (at 1:49:00), his opinion on why it's discussed so rarely in the canon (once or twice only I believe) is because it can't be discussed adequately and trying to describe it won't be helpful to the path (. More of a technical reference than anything. It's only purpose (in Thanissaro's words) is to let us know that we aren't committing "spiritual suicide".


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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby IanAnd » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:23 am

m0rl0ck wrote:This is a common notion in many religions and schools of buddhism. I seem to remember references to this in some of the thai forest stuff i have read, but the best exposition of it that i have read is in "the zen teachings of huang po":

(EDIT: found a better example:)
This Mind is neither large nor small; it is located neither within nor without. It should not be thought about by the mind nor be discussed by the mouth. Ordinarily, it is said that we use the Mind to transmit the Mind, or that we use the Mind to seal the Mind. Actually, however, in transmitting the Mind, there is really no Mind to receive or obtain; and in sealing the Mind, there is really no Mind to seal. If this is the case, then does the Mind exist or does it not exist? Actually, it cannot be said with certainty that the Mind either exists or does not exist, for it is Absolute Reality. This is expressed in the Ch'an Sect by the maxim: "If you open your mouth, you are wrong. If you give rise to a single thought, you are in error." So, if you can quiet your thinking totally, all that remains is voidness and stillness.


Along the lines of m0rl0ck's reference to Huang Po, there is this other quotation from THE ZEN TEACHING OF HUANG PO (page 40, soft cover edition) to contemplate:

"It is only to be feared that you students of the Way, by the coming into existence of a single thought, may raise a barrier between yourselves and the Way. From thought-instant to thought-instant, no form; from thought-instant to thought instant, no ACTIVITY—that is to be a Buddha! If you students of the way wish to become Buddhas, you need study no doctrines whatever, but learn only how to avoid seeking for and attaching yourselves to anything. Where nothing is sought this implies Mind unborn; where no attachment exists, this implies Mind not destroyed; and that which is neither born nor destroyed is the Buddha."

This seems awfully close (if not right on) to the sense of the meaning of viññanam anidassanam as "consciousness without surface" or "consciousness without feature" without the reification or objectification of consciousness.

What do you think?
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby Benjamin » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:12 am

Now that we can say for sure that Thanissaro believes viññanam anidassanam to indicate "the consciousness of nibbana", the question arises - of what significance is this? He seems to give it very little significance in the larger scheme of things, saying over-speculation about nibbana should be put aside. However, the mention of it negating annihilationism is interesting.

Eternal, unchanging soul that can never die = Eternalism
Nothing at all exists/continues after the breakup of the body = Annihilationism
viññanam anidassanam = consciousness of nibbana/the middle way between these extremes?

"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deed is, but no doer of the deed is there;
Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;
The path is, but no traveler on it is seen."


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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby Coyote » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:55 pm

Just read Nyanaponika Thera's essay "Anatta and Nibbana - Egolessness and Deliverance" found in "Pathways of Buddhist Thought, Essays from The Wheel" selected by M. O'C. Walshe, although no doubt available elsewhere.
It's very good and quite pertinent to this discussion. In the end he states that positivist and negativist descriptions of Nibbana can be found in the canon and both have their place in discouraging the extremes of Annihilation and Eternalism, but they each need the qualification of the other to do so properly.

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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby Benjamin » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:58 pm

"Don't believe everything you read."
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses?

Postby beeblebrox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:09 pm

equilibrium wrote:
pegembara wrote:There is no consciousness independent of the 6 senses. http://www.leighb.com/mn38.htm

What would you say about these people who said they have OBE.....they can see their body on a bed but without eyes.....they are conscious/aware that they see their body.....they might be able to hear but without ears.....otherwise, the OBE experience cannot be told, unless there is no such a thing as an OBE, it is all made up?

If it is true, then that whatever it is, consciousness/awareness is indeed independent of the senses.....what do you guys think?


Hi Equilibrium,

According to your description of the OBE above, there still was the "seeing" and the "hearing," therefore the consciousness should be seen as something that was dependent on these... there are not just physical realms, but also the formless ones.

About the "unestablished consciousness," to me it just means that it's not craving sustained. (Like the flame being carried away on the wind, per the Vacchagotta sutta.) When the object falls, then the consciousness particular to that object goes along with it... without continuing to proliferate onto the next object that might arise.

This gives the appearance of a consciousness which doesn't stick to anything, or doesn't "land" anywhere.

There is no grasping involved, either for the existence (when there is non-existence), nor non-existence (when there is existence)... it's just like the way the Buddha taught in the Kaccayanagotta sutta.

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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses?

Postby SarathW » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:09 pm

equilibrium wrote:
pegembara wrote:There is no consciousness independent of the 6 senses. http://www.leighb.com/mn38.htm

What would you say about these people who said they have OBE.....they can see their body on a bed but without eyes.....they are conscious/aware that they see their body.....they might be able to hear but without ears.....otherwise, the OBE experience cannot be told, unless there is no such a thing as an OBE, it is all made up?

If it is true, then that whatever it is, consciousness/awareness is indeed independent of the senses.....what do you guys think?


Hi Equilibrium
OBE is not outside five aggregate. This is very similar to Nama-rupa-paricheda-nana (knowledge of the discrimination of mind and matter)which is the first stage of Vipassana Meditation. Some people experience this even without doing meditation. Sudden shock , near death etc.
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses?

Postby Awakening » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:35 pm

pegembara wrote:First of all, extinguishment (nibbāna) is clearly not annihilation. The reason for this is simply that there is nothing to be annihilated. Only existing entities can be annihilated, and since Buddhism rejects the idea of a self, annihilation is by definition impossible. Processes, on the other hand, may come to an end. Since humans are processes, they can cease. What is it that ceases? Just suffering.

http://community.dhammaloka.org.au/show ... 9-38-DN-11



Now viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ is a reference to the nature of the released consciousness of an arahant. It does not reflect anything.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12147#p184136


The Buddha did not reject the idea of a self. He did, however, remain quiet when asked whether the self was existent or was nonexistent. So it appears that the designation of a self either as "existing" or "non-existing" is mistaken. To fall into the view that "there is no self" is part of the tangle of views.

Very similar to his refutation of the Tathagata as "existent... nonexistent... both existent and nonexistent... neither existent nor nonexistent."
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby SarathW » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:21 am

I just notice, Ven. Thanissaro writing about the matter as shown in the OP.
================
A few texts [§§235-36] discuss a separate type of consciousness that does not partake of any of the six senses or their objects. This type of consciousness is said to lie beyond the range of describable experience and so is not included under the five aggregates. In fact, it is equivalent to the Unfabricated and forms the goal at the end of the path.
H (ii). Discernment: The First Truth
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... part3.html


=========================
However he sees the drawback and the pitfall of above view and make a qualification for his statement by making a note in another link
========================


Notes
1.
Viññanam anidassanam. This term is nowhere explained in the Canon, although MN 49 mentions that it "does not partake in the allness of the All" — the "All" meaning the six internal and six external sense media (see SN 35.23). In this it differs from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the six sense media. Lying outside of time and space, it would also not come under the consciousness-aggregate, which covers all consciousness near and far; past, present, and future. However, the fact that it is outside of time and space — in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (Ud 1.10), no coming, no going, or staying (Ud 8.1) — means that it cannot be described as permanent or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within space and time. The standard description of nibbana after death is, "All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here." (See MN 140 and Iti 44.) Again, as "all" is defined as the sense media, this raises the question as to whether consciousness without feature is not covered by this "all." However, AN 4.174 warns that any speculation as to whether anything does or doesn't remain after the remainderless stopping of the six sense media is to "objectify non-objectification," which gets in the way of attaining the non-objectified. Thus this is a question that is best put aside.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Awareness independent of the 6 senses? (Thanissaro)

Postby pegembara » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:19 am

Awareness independent of the 5 senses dependent on eye, ear, nose, tongue and body - yes. Awareness independent of mind - I don't think so. Maybe we are talking of this special type of consciousness without awareness ie. viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ which can only be known as memory. This means it is still within range and can be described after emergence.

Sariputta made no mention of this viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ even though he went all the way to the "8th and 9th absorption." Normal awareness was not there (there is no arising and passing of phenomena unlike in the 7th jhana) until he emerged from them and then resorted to his memory [regard past qualities].

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of nothingness. Whatever qualities there are in the dimension of nothingness — the perception of the dimension of nothingness, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. [b]Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided.[/b] He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.[4]

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, Sariputta entered & remained in the cessation of feeling & perception. Seeing with discernment, his fermentations were totally ended. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is no further escape,' and pursuing it there really wasn't for him.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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