Exploring the Three Marks.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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acinteyyo
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:56 pm

I followed this thread for a while, especially the part about perceiving and conceiving. Today I read a Sutta which may or may not contribute to this thread.
It's the Kalaka Sutta AN 4.24
I leave this here for your consideration.
"When cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn't construe an [object as] cognized. He doesn't construe an uncognized. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-cognized. He doesn't construe a cognizer.
best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

vinasp
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by vinasp » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:19 am

Hi acinteyyo,

Yes, I did consider it, although some of the Pali words are obscure, and translations differ. But I did not check Ven. Thanissaro's work.

"Thus, monks, the Tathagata, when seeing what is to be seen, doesn't construe an [object as] seen. He doesn't construe an unseen. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-seen. He doesn't construe a seer. When hearing ... when sensing ...." [AN 4.24 - ATI]

I do like the ATI version, probably because it confirms my own interpretation.
So this shows that seeing comes first, followed by conceiving (construeing), and with no mention of perceiving. This is my (tentative) opinion:

Seeing > Construe > Perceive > Construe > perceive.
[----- AN 4.24-----] - - [ ------ MN 1 ------- ]

This sutta also shows that cognizing does continue in the absence of conceiving or construeing.

Does this mean that 'objectification' (construeing) takes place on two levels?

What are your thoughts on this difficult subject?

Regards, Vincent.

Dinsdale
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:47 am

vinasp wrote: "Thus, monks, the Tathagata, when seeing what is to be seen, doesn't construe an [object as] seen. He doesn't construe an unseen. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-seen. He doesn't construe a seer. When hearing ... when sensing ...." [AN 4.24 - ATI]
I do like the ATI version, probably because it confirms my own interpretation.
So this shows that seeing comes first, followed by conceiving (construeing), and with no mention of perceiving. This is my (tentative) opinion:

Seeing > Construe > Perceive > Construe > perceive.
[----- AN 4.24-----] - - [ ------ MN 1 ------- ]

This sutta also shows that cognizing does continue in the absence of conceiving or construeing.
Assuming that construing is the same as conceiving, it seems to mirror MN1. But doesn't MN1 suggest conceiving follows perceiving?

Anyway, it's clear that conceiving is dropped with direct seeing. I still don't think it's clear what happens to perceiving though!

And what exactly is the practical difference between cognising and perceiving? Is it the difference between bare awareness and recognition?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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acinteyyo
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by acinteyyo » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:07 pm

vinasp wrote:What are your thoughts on this difficult subject?
I see it like different dynamic layers which can contain recursive loops displaying parts or the whole within itself.
Very roughly like this:
runofthemill.jpg
runofthemill.jpg (108.37 KiB) Viewed 580 times
best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

Dinsdale
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:42 pm

acinteyyo wrote: I see it like different dynamic layers which can contain recursive loops displaying parts or the whole within itself.
That's interesting. Could you say a bit more about the purple loops between conceiving and contact?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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acinteyyo
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by acinteyyo » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:03 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
acinteyyo wrote: I see it like different dynamic layers which can contain recursive loops displaying parts or the whole within itself.
That's interesting. Could you say a bit more about the purple loops between conceiving and contact?
conceive.png
conceive.png (93.24 KiB) Viewed 550 times
It's important to keep in mind that the scheme represents the experience of the puthujjana. To begin with we have to agree that on the immediate level an experience arises due to six sense base + its corresponding sense object and respective consciousness. The coming together of the three is contact. This is indicated by the first circle in the middle.

This basic level of experience consists of a particular set of conditions. The contact layer could also be described in terms of nama+rupa&consciousness but this would entail the conditions manasikāra (attention), vedanā (feeling), cetanā (intention) and there would be an overlapping with saññā (perception), and phassa (contact) which would complicate the given scheme a lot, therefore I won't go on describing it in terms of nama+rupa. I just mention it for the sake of completeness.

So on that immediate level in "the seen" is only "the seen". The puthujjana accesses "the seen" by perceiving it (second circle). He does not directly know "the seen" (he's not aware of the process within the first circle). By perceiving "the seen" he further conceives things about "the seen" (third circle) and attends to the things conceived, e.g. the conception "mine". The things he conceive conceal "the seen", which the puthujjana is not able to recognize through his conceptions.

Now to the loops. The puthujjana not only conceives things about "the seen" but also conceives things in "the seen" and by being ignorant of that very process does not recognize that the thing conceived in "the seen" is not contained in "the "seen" on an immediate level but rather impregnated by conception. Not knowing this, the puthujjana attends (by perception) to the conception imposed into the first layer and wrongly regards it as immediate, as given. By doing this he then conceives things coming out of "the seen" neglecting that the cause for his conceptions has been imposed into the underlying layers. This process is indicated by the loop arrows. This loop further strengthen itself because of its recursivity.
The result is a strong belief in self and that things are "mine", so the puthujjana delights in it.

I hope this helps Spiny Norman.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

pulga
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by pulga » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:50 am

I find the use of squares within squares in making sense of the structure of experience useful.

Image

This represents a single spatio-temporal horizon that is present, i.e. cognized. (By turning the diagram flat -- i.e. horizontally -- one can get a better sense of how it represents the structure of a line.) The lower right-hand corner represents the sense bases, i.e. the lived body -- a "here" that is pre-objective which can only be experienced within the contextual duality of the "six bases of contact", i.e. it requires an outer periphery, a multiplicity of "theres" (one of which is the singular object of attention "this" against a common ground made up of a plurality of "thats"). The two bases together with consciousness is contact. The initial square I take to be the "base" (or "field" or "region", i.e. āyatana) referred to in the Kāmaguṇasutta:
“Therefore, bhikkhus, that base should be understood, where the eye ceases and perception of forms cease. That base should be understood, where the ear ceases and perception of sounds cease.… That base should be understood, where the mind ceases and perception of mental phenomena cease. That base should be understood.” SN 35.117
The ceasing of this first initial square -- it's coming to an end -- sets the structure in motion. But in doing so it undermines the stability of the transcendental nature of the structure. The experience of transcendence is indelible to the structure, but so is its contingency upon contact.

If you take the diagram above as the "real" horizon that I happen to be experiencing "now" as my field of vision and consider the three other spatial horizons that are presently beyond my vision -- i.e. are "imaginary" -- a more general experience of greater complexity becomes apparent.

Image

This of course represents my physical presence in my room, within my house, within my town, within my state, within my country, within my world -- which begs the question: With the absolute ending, the utter passing of the whole of that initial square is it legitimate to qualify anything as mine?

This is where people fall back on transcendental consciousness: identifying it with the self or with God. In the case of Husserl, human finite consciousness is one level below that of divine infinite consciousness that spans the open-ended horizon of immediate experience.
The concern with an originary non-temporal experience is present throughout the Bernauer manuscripts. In text 2, perhaps one of the most lucid and insightful papers of the whole collection, Husserl turns to the distinction between finite, human consciousness and divine consciousness (Hua XXXIII, pp. 45–46). Consciousness is flow, says Husserl, but not flow in the ordinary sense of a water stream. It is a flow that does not occur in objective time but rather carries objective time within itself. Consciousness is present consciousness, and only as present consciousness is it consciousness of a reality (‘‘wirkliches’’) that in its own reality encloses the consciousness of its own reality (Hua XXXIII, p. 45). Unreality is not a nothing but rather a true having-been and a true will-be. As an ideal possibility, the present is all-embracing (allu¨berspannendes), omniscient (allwissendes) consciousness of itself and of all its own intentional states (Besta¨nden)—once we bear in mind that the horizon of obscurity, in which the past and future of the stream of consciousness are blurred, and which limits the perfection of consciousness’s self-perception, is an accidental limitation that can be thought of as infinitely widened in such a way that, as an idea, an omniscient, divine consciousness will result that includes itself in perfect clarity. By the same token, the finite consciousness is also omniscient, its intentionality too encompasses all its past and future, though not clearly, but as a potentiality for further clarity (Hua XXXIII, pp. 45–46).
https://www.academia.edu/8240822/On_Hus ... sciousness

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