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

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:04 am
by SarathW
Please read page 149 for more info:

http://mettarefuge.files.wordpress.com/ ... hikkhu.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:15 pm
by reflection
If you love to read and think and ponder, here's more for you:


http://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/ ... E2%80%99t/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
and
http://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/ ... E1%B9%87a/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

For me the answer is clear without reading this. If I have no consciousness in a black out or sleep, why would there be any in nibbana? Consciousness of all sorts is maybe the most impermanent thing of all.

Metta to ya!

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

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:36 pm
by SarathW
Hi reflection
The way I understand is that you have consciousness (Bhava) even if you are in a coma, sleep or blackout.
:)

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

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:00 am
by Benjamin
Interesting, thank you all for your posts and your time. To me, it seems that Nibbana is more about ending a process than achieving something. It's about stopping the wheel of becoming and clinging, not attaining some heavenly or blissful state. While it may be blissful (Dhp 203), it appears to be more of a "side effect" of not-clinging, then something that can be forcefully attained.

Thank you all for continuing to provide insight into the Dhamma. :anjali:


Benjamin

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

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:13 pm
by reflection
SarathW wrote:Hi reflection
The way I understand is that you have consciousness (Bhava) even if you are in a coma, sleep or blackout.
:)
Well, to me it's not about understanding in such a way, but about experience. Do you actually experience something when unconscious? I don't and that's how I made an initial conclusion that there is no permanent form of consciousness. Consciousness arises after a sense impression, it can't just be in any way without an object.

On a sidenote, I think bhava is not the right word for consciousness, that'd be vinnana.

Metta to ya!

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

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:45 pm
by Modus.Ponens
Sorry for the off topic question but it is related to the previous posts. If the mods want, they can create a new topic with this.

When I sleep, even though I'm unconscious (in a sense of the word), I can tell aproximately how much time I was sleeping. That means that there is some form of active mental phenomena going on while I'm sleeping. Plus, the brain never stops working at night, so one is not totaly unconscious during sleep, even when we're not dreaming. So the question is how does the mind perceive time? Is it included in the 6th sense? (even though I'm not an abidhamma fan, I wouldn't mind hearing what it has to say, as long as it is pointed out that it is abidhammic in origin).

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

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:35 pm
by Coyote
I'm very ignorant of technical details, but isn't the "consciousness without footing" the consciousness that takes Nibbana as its object i.e Lokkutara Citta (?), Magga-Phala citta ect.?

:anjali:

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

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:09 am
by Dinsdale
Modus.Ponens wrote: Plus, the brain never stops working at night, so one is not totaly unconscious during sleep, even when we're not dreaming.
I think there is always consciousness present, it's just a question of degree.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:44 pm
by Buckwheat
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nirvanaverb.html wrote:"Consciousness without surface, without end, luminous all around, does not partake of the solidity of earth, the liquidity of water, the radiance of fire, the windiness of wind, the divinity of devas [and so on through a list of the various levels of godhood to] the allness of the All."

— MN 49



Consciousness without surface,
without end,
luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing.
Here long & short
coarse & fine
fair & foul
name & form
are all brought to an end.
With the cessation of [the aggregate of] consciousness
each is here brought to an end.
— DN 11
In the quote from, MN 49, the Allness of the All refers to the six sense bases. Despite bringing up this quote before, I still have not seen any real analysis of this passage except for that of Ven Thanissaro. After a full reading of MN 49, all I can really suggest is there seems to be a distinction between the "aggregate of consciousness" which seems to be dependent on the senses, versus "consciousness without surface" which is independent of the senses. Maybe the distinction has to do with clinging and self-views. I am not wise enough to comment further.

Does anybody know the history of MN 49? I think it would be relevant to the present discussion.

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

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:23 am
by reflection
The two links I posted before may be of interest, especially this part:
The only other time in the Suttas that the ‘non-manifest consciousness’ is mentioned is in MN 49 Brahmanimantanika. There, according to Analayo, the Sri Lankan, Thai, and English editions of the Pali attribute the phrase to Brahma, not the Buddha, while only the Burmese attributes it to the Buddha. (The commentary attributes it to the Buddha and says it refers to Nibbana; Burmese texts are notorious for incorporating ‘corrected’ readings from the commentary.) In the Chinese version it has nothing to do with Nibbana, but is part of Brahma’s claim to omniscience.

http://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/ ... E1%B9%87a/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If "non-manifest consciousness" was some kind of nibbana, or other kind of consciousness, surely the suttas would have mentioned it more than twice. Instead, this is a Brahman idea and something the Buddha wouldn't support. It was he who said there is nothing constant, also not in consciousness. It's easy to think the suttas are a bit messed up, as seems to be confirmed by this quote above. Remember, the suttas are very old and small errors are there. Proven by comparing translations. And even if they were not imperfect, we should still question them. Personally, I'm not looking for some kind of thing like a new kind of consciousness. Consciousness is always dependent on conditions, it's impermanent and suffering. Also, nobody can answer the question what a consciousness independent of the six senses would be conscious of. Once a teacher needs to go into vague terms like 'outside of time', for me personally - with all respect -, I think he also doesn't really know what he is talking about. The Lord Buddha would always make it clear:
"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This is termed the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his assertion, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why is that? Because it lies beyond range."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Now, the last sentence is a bit vague. I always like the German translations by Nyanatiloka, and he simply translates the last sentence as: "Why? Because, monks, something like that can not be found.". A more sensible translation. Also, "The All" is simply translated as "everything". So here the suttas directly say everything is just six sense consciousness, and there is no consciousness outside of these. I think that's kind of cool and just makes sense. To say that the highest peace is to end consciousness takes someone like the Lord Buddha. :bow:

With metta,
Reflection

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

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:33 pm
by ground
Benjamin wrote:

"The Buddha also says in some other passages that there's a consciousness that's known independently of the six sense spheres - That's the consciousness that's seen in awakening."

-Thanissaro Bhikku, from this talk: http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/0904 ... kening.mp3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Hey everyone,

Upon hearing this from Venerable Thanissaro, I became a bit puzzled as I have not come across this idea yet in my study of the Dhamma. Could anyone point me to some suttas where this type of consciousness is mentioned?
What causes this expression "consciousness that's known independently of the six sense spheres" actually are the so called consciousnesses of the six sense spheres. That which is idea expresses itself by means of these words. Why does it express itself as if independent of itself? :sage:

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

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:22 am
by SarathW
Hi Ground
Thanks for sharing the link. This is the first time I heard someone saying that there is a awareness (consciousness) independent of this body! I have such a great respect for Ven. Thanissaro and no reason to doubt him. However we should seek more information to see what exactly he meant by his statement.
Is he talking about Nama Rupa aspect of dependent origination (Based on Namarupa Salayathana arises) However Namarupa is not independent of Salayathana.
Buddha never said that there is anything that we can perceive outside of our body. Even Nirvana is realized within our body not outside of it.

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

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:05 am
by drifting cloud
He explains it in his footnote to the translation of the Kevatta Sutta, and includes references to other Suttas:
Where do water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing?
Where are long & short,
coarse & fine,
fair & foul,
name & form
brought to an end?
"'And the answer to that is:


Consciousness without feature,[1]
without end,
luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing.
Here long & short
coarse & fine
fair & foul
name & form
are all brought to an end.
With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness
each is here brought to an end.'"

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.
This strikes me as being consistent with the philology of "nibbana" as explained by Ven. Thanissaro in Mind Like Fire Unbound and "A Verb for Nibbana".

The Yamaka Sutta also seems relevent to some of the points brought up in this discussion, re: ending of consciousness
"Yes, friends. As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death."

"Don't say that, friend Yamaka. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One. It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One, for the Blessed One would not say, 'A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'"

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

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:10 am
by SarathW
Hi drifting cloud

I am again baffled by the article. Which says:

----------------
This book has been many years in preparation. It began from a casual remark made one evening by my meditation teacher — Phra Ajaan Fuang Jotiko — to the effect that the mind released is like fire that has gone out: The fire is not annihilated, he said, but is still there, diffused in the air; it simply no longer latches on to any fuel.
---------------

As far as I know it is wrong to say, fire still there. There is nothing called fire, it arises due to conditions!

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

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:57 pm
by reflection
drifting cloud wrote:The Yamaka Sutta also seems relevent to some of the points brought up in this discussion, re: ending of consciousness
"Yes, friends. As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death."

"Don't say that, friend Yamaka. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One. It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One, for the Blessed One would not say, 'A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'"
The sutta emphasizes why there is no annihilation, because there is no self. Annihilation would mean the end of something solid, which doesn't happen. Also consciousness can not be solid or constant. So it can't be annihilated, but it can still end.

If you read on, you'll see that is also in the sutta. There is no mention of this consciousness-without-feature here, and in many other suttas.
"Then, friend Yamaka, how would you answer if you are thus asked: A monk, a worthy one, with no more mental effluents: what is he on the break-up of the body, after death?"

"Thus asked, I would answer, 'Form is inconstant... Feeling... Perception... Fabrications... Consciousness is inconstant. That which is inconstant is stressful. That which is stressful has ceased and gone to its end."
Consciousness without feature is a bit of a contradiction, because consciousness always needs an object.