Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

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ctcrnitv
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Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by ctcrnitv » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:53 pm

From the six sextets http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Dependent on the eye & sounds there arises consciousness at the eye.
In this sutta, consciousness seems to be dependent on sense base and sense object.

from the analysis of co-dependent arising http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.
In this sutta, the six fold sense base and mentality/materiality seem to be dependent on consciousness.

Am I reading it wrong? I'm confused as to what order these come in, or if they're describing a different kind of consciousness.

santa100
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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by santa100 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:48 am

"Consciousness" is a broad term that needs a specific context in each usage. For example, the consciousness in SN 12.2 is the master-set that contains all 6 classes (eye, ear, nose, etc.). While the one in MN 148 refers to each specific class of consciousness that arises when each specific internal sense base meets its corresponded external object. So thru understanding the proper context, there's no conflict between SN 12.2 and MN 148. We can even combine both suttas without any problem. Ex: From fabrication as a requisite condition comes consciousness[the master-set]... six sense bases, eye/form, ear/sound,..., eye/ear...consciousness[the specific class], with contact as a requisite condition comes feeling, with feeling as a requisite condition comes craving, etc.

paul
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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by paul » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:25 am

These links describe our moment by moment experience of the world, as well as the life cycle of an individual.


The Twelve Links are:

1. Ignorance produces
2. Karma (the law of cause and effect) produces
3. Consciousness produces
4. Form produces
5. Senses produce
6. Contact produces
7. Feeling produces
8. Craving produces
9. Grasping produces
10. Becoming produces
11. Birth produces
12. Aging and death

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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by ToVincent » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:13 pm

ctcrnitv wrote:Am I reading it wrong? I'm confused as to what order these come in, or if they're describing a different kind of consciousness.
You have to make the difference between consciousness and consciousness-aggregate.

On this visual aid https://justpaste.it/v08v , you notice consciousness as the third link from the top, and consciousness-aggregate, that starts with sense-consciousness in Saḷāyatana (eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, etc.). The consciousness-aggregate is evolving within satta, as the latter adds thoughts, imagination, intentions, planning etc. to it.
Then this consciousness is fed back to the consciousness (third link from the top). And this consciousness that is maintained, gets established (https://justpaste.it/urmw) in the khandhas of nāmarūpa (form, feelings, perception and intention). So there is a descent of nāmarūpa, and that is the cause of the six senses bases/spheres (saḷāyatana).
The vicious circle keeps going on and on.

To sum up:
Because consciousness is maintained, it is established in the khandhas. So there is the descent of nāmarūpa and the ensuing saḷāyatana.
A form is seen by the eye, for instance. That does trigger the eye-consciousness, with the resulting eye-contact, feeling-aggregate and perception-aggregate.
Mano (intellect) adds to the (now) consciousness-aggregate with thoughts, intention/cetana-aggregate etc. The resulting consciousness-aggregate is fed to consciousness, that is maintained - so on and so forth.

--------

Related suttas:
Then the thought occurred to me, 'This consciousness turns back at name-&-form, and goes no farther. It is to this extent that there is birth, aging, death, falling away, & re-arising, i.e., from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media... Thus is the origination of this entire mass of stress. Origination, origination.'Vision arose, clear knowing arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.
SN 12.65


“The four great elements, bhikkhu, are the cause and condition for the manifestation of the form aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the feeling aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the perception aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the volitional formations aggregate. Name-and-form is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the consciousness aggregate.”
SN 22.82

Thus this way of regarding things and the notion ‘I am’ (‘asmī’ti) have not vanished in him. As ‘I am’ has not vanished, there takes place a descent of the five faculties (indriyānaṃ avakkanti hoti)
—of the eye faculty, the ear faculty, the nose faculty, the tongue faculty, the body faculty. There is, bhikkhus, the mind, there are mental phenomena, there is the element of ignorance (avijjādhātu).
SN 22.47 https://justpaste.it/vyhx
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Consciousness: https://justpaste.it/p6gg
--------
Edited: Added missing visual aid link.
Last edited by ToVincent on Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
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In this world with its ..., māras, ... - In this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
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Caodemarte
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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by Caodemarte » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:37 pm

In much of Buddhist thought, "Consciousness" is considered a sense or sense organ, which arises in conjunction with or caused by the sense object/object of consciousness (and this is often taken further to argue that this shows that consciousness cannot be separate from the sense object/object of consciousness).

pegembara
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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by pegembara » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:47 am

They arise and cease together. Without sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, feeling, thoughts, perception where can consciousness be?
One is always conscious of "something". Consciousness is better described as the process of being conscious of ......
"It's in dependence on a pair that consciousness comes into play. And how does consciousness come into play in dependence on a pair? In dependence on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The eye is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Forms are inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Thus this pair is both wavering & fluctuating — inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise.

"Eye-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Whatever is the cause, the requisite condition, for the arising of eye-consciousness, that is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Having arisen in dependence on an inconstant factor, how could eye-consciousness be constant?

"The coming together, the meeting, the convergence of these three phenomena is eye-contact. [Similarly with ear-, nose-, tongue-, body-, and intellect-consciousness.]"

— SN 35.93
It is as if two sheaves of reeds were to stand leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name & form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.......Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.

In the same way, from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media.......Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by oris1024 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:48 pm

ctcrnitv wrote:Am I reading it wrong? I'm confused as to what order these come in, or if they're describing a different kind of consciousness.
Ven. Thanissaro's The Shape of Suffering - A study of dependent co-arising might be of use for you here:
(page 4)

...Even a cursory glance over these twelve factors will show two of the major ways in which dependent co-arising is an unwieldy topic: (1) The factors seem to fit in different contexts and (2) many of the sub-factors are repeated at seemingly random intervals in the list.

In terms of context, some of the factors seem more psychological, referring to events within the mind in the present moment, whereas others seem more cosmological, referring to events over the course of a lifetime, and even many lifetimes. And in the centuries after the Buddha’s passing, there have been many attempts to make the list less unwieldy by fitting all the factors into a single interpretation, as referring either to events occurring right now or over a long course of time...
On that same page, right before this passage there is a list of the twelve links where you can see just where exactly consciousness and sense spheres appear (multiple times each).

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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by Hyke » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:05 pm

pegembara wrote:They arise and cease together. Without sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, feeling, thoughts, perception where can consciousness be?
One is always conscious of "something". Consciousness is better described as the process of being conscious of ......
:goodpost: Consciousness and mind&matter depend on one another.

Buddha once had a problem with a person understanding consciousness wrong, understanding it like "this consciousness of mine from this life is one thing and this consciousness will go to another life". He explained that consciousness should be seen like this: there is consciousness of the eye, consciousness of the nose, consciousness of the mind, consciousness of eye sights etc. This consciousness is always put on something and that something is always one of the aggregates. And since aggregates change, consciousness changes too from moment to moment.

In the context of the 5 aggregates, consciouness appears because of volitional formations. And name&matter appear because of consciousness. But it is also said that consciousness and name&matter are dependent on each other and can not be found separated from each other. They are like a disk with consciousness on one side and name&matter on the other that appears dependent of volitional formations. When there will be no more volitional formations for future rebirth, consciousness and name&matter and all the other aggregates will vanish forever like a fire that has been extinguished.

To understand what volitional formations are, let's take the example of a drug addiction. The person might want to stop doing it but volitional formations, little desire in the subconscious makes him change his mind and develop a view that allows him to do it despite the fact that he doesn't really wants to. There is a volitional formation there created because of actions done in the past (years of taking the drug). This causes him to continue to take it and continue to produce volitional formations for the future. First step is to get out of ignorance, out of wrong views produced by craving to legitimize itself, by understanding the 4 noble truths. The next step is to reduce the craving to the point that the been doesn't produce volitional formations for future existence. And so the arahant will not get reborn anymore. There will be no volitional formations and no consciousness+name&matter + everything that comes from this.

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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by Bundokji » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:35 am

Remember that there is no one correct way of labeling. The aggregates taught by the Buddha is one way of categorizing or labeling, and when we breakdown experience into different labels, this gives the impression that the differences between those labels is of kind.

To know which comes first consciousness or sense base cannot be done directly (maybe because there is no such a thing as consciousness or sense base). Can you experience something without knowing it? and can you know it without turning it into a thing?

So, when we talk about consciousness or sense base, we talk about them as if they were "things" then we start to investigate what they are and which one comes first.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by Lucem » Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:27 pm

Bundokji wrote:Remember that there is no one correct way of labeling. The aggregates taught by the Buddha is one way of categorizing or labeling, and when we breakdown experience into different labels, this gives the impression that the differences between those labels is of kind.
Isn't volition a different thing than consciousness ? Isn't a car something different than a human ?
(maybe because there is no such a thing as consciousness or sense base). Can you experience something without knowing it? and can you know it without turning it into a thing?

So, when we talk about consciousness or sense base, we talk about them as if they were "things" then we start to investigate what they are and which one comes first.
Turning it into a thing ? They already are thing. What else are they if not things ?

Budddha never said that things don't really exist. He said things have no solid substance but that they do exist.
Of that which the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, I too say that it does not exist. And of that which the wise in the world agree upon as existing, I too say that it exists.

“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist? Form that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist.

“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists? Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists.

“There is, bhikkhus, a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it.

“And what is that world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through? Form, bhikkhus, is a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. When it is being thus explained … … and elucidated by the Tathagata, if anyone does not know and see, how can I do anything with that foolish worldling, blind and sightless, who does not know and does not see?

“Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness is a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. When it is being thus explained … and elucidated by the Tathagata, if anyone does not know and see, how can I do anything with that foolish worldling, blind and sightless, who does not know and does not see?
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.94

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Bundokji
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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by Bundokji » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:47 pm

Lucem wrote:Isn't volition a different thing than consciousness ? Isn't a car something different than a human ?
If you take people as an example, you can divide them upon their skin color, ethnicity, nationality, language, preferences, gender, sexuality ...etc the way you can group them are only limited by your imagination/volition

If you spend your life time searching, will you be able to find two identical human beings? and yet when you see a human being, you recognize him/her as one.

Instead of answering you directly, let me ask you a question: what makes volition different thing than consciousness? or what makes a car different than a human? are they intrinsically different?
Turning it into a thing ? They already are thing. What else are they if not things ?

Budddha never said that things don't really exist. He said things have no solid substance but that they do exist.
We are not in disagreement, we experience them as things, and that what makes them exist. When you fall in a dreamless sleep, the world, from a subjective point of view ceases to exist, so mental fabrication is an integral part of existence (not by itself), it is the source of meaning and essence, without it, the world is empty, does not exist, essenceless.

To put it differently, consciousness (which is the contact of an intact/functional sense organ with the world) is the presence of experience, not experience itself. Experience takes knowledge/memory/fabrication/volition + consciousness

Imagine you are sitting with three people around one table, but you are talking to one of them and paying complete attention to him, while the other two are talking to each other. Even though the other two are talking in an audible voice, you wont be hearing them. In other words, you wont be experiencing their voices.
Of that which the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, I too say that it does not exist. And of that which the wise in the world agree upon as existing, I too say that it exists.

“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist? Form that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist.

“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists? Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists.

“There is, bhikkhus, a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it.

“And what is that world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through? Form, bhikkhus, is a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. When it is being thus explained … … and elucidated by the Tathagata, if anyone does not know and see, how can I do anything with that foolish worldling, blind and sightless, who does not know and does not see?

“Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness is a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. When it is being thus explained … and elucidated by the Tathagata, if anyone does not know and see, how can I do anything with that foolish worldling, blind and sightless, who does not know and does not see?
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.94[/quote]

Thanks for sharing the sutta, but obviously, the lord Buddha chose to use the word "exist" in two different ways, while i used the words exist and does not exist. This reminds me of the late work of Wittgenstein who claimed that most of our philosophical problems are caused by a disease of language, a myth that held us captive that words are names, and that the meaning of a word is the thing it stands for, and then we start investigating what this thing can possibly be. To solve this problem, he asks us to look at words as doing jobs, words are tools of many different kinds, like chess pieces, the meaning of a piece is the part it can play in furthering the game.

Peace
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by dhammarelax » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:53 pm

ToVincent wrote:
ctcrnitv wrote:Am I reading it wrong? I'm confused as to what order these come in, or if they're describing a different kind of consciousness.
You have to make the difference between consciousness and consciousness-aggregate.

On this visual aid https://justpaste.it/v08v , you notice consciousness as the third link from the top, and consciousness-aggregate, that starts with sense-consciousness in Saḷāyatana (eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, etc.). The consciousness-aggregate is evolving within satta, as the latter adds thoughts, imagination, intentions, planning etc. to it.
Then this consciousness is fed back to the consciousness (third link from the top). And this consciousness that is maintained, gets established (https://justpaste.it/urmw) in the khandhas of nāmarūpa (form, feelings, perception and intention). So there is a descent of nāmarūpa, and that is the cause of the six senses bases/spheres (saḷāyatana).
The vicious circle keeps going on and on.

To sum up:
Because consciousness is maintained, it is established in the khandhas. So there is the descent of nāmarūpa and the ensuing saḷāyatana.
A form is seen by the eye, for instance. That does trigger the eye-consciousness, with the resulting eye-contact, feeling-aggregate and perception-aggregate.
Mano (intellect) adds to the (now) consciousness-aggregate with thoughts, intention/cetana-aggregate etc. The resulting consciousness-aggregate is fed to consciousness, that is maintained - so on and so forth.

--------

Related suttas:
Then the thought occurred to me, 'This consciousness turns back at name-&-form, and goes no farther. It is to this extent that there is birth, aging, death, falling away, & re-arising, i.e., from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media... Thus is the origination of this entire mass of stress. Origination, origination.'Vision arose, clear knowing arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.
SN 12.65


“The four great elements, bhikkhu, are the cause and condition for the manifestation of the form aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the feeling aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the perception aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the volitional formations aggregate. Name-and-form is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the consciousness aggregate.”
SN 22.82

Thus this way of regarding things and the notion ‘I am’ (‘asmī’ti) have not vanished in him. As ‘I am’ has not vanished, there takes place a descent of the five faculties (indriyānaṃ avakkanti hoti)
—of the eye faculty, the ear faculty, the nose faculty, the tongue faculty, the body faculty. There is, bhikkhus, the mind, there are mental phenomena, there is the element of ignorance (avijjādhātu).
SN 22.47 https://justpaste.it/vyhx
--------
Consciousness: https://justpaste.it/p6gg
--------
Edited: Added missing visual aid link.
Hi, this has been a long term doubt to me, from what you are saying I understood that the difference between consciousness and consciousness-aggregate is that the aggregate has other things added to it, those other things beign thoughts, imagination, intentions, planning, all of them present with in Nama Rupa. Is this correct?

Smile
Dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by ToVincent » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:43 am

dhammarelax wrote: Hi, this has been a long term doubt to me, from what you are saying I understood that the difference between consciousness and consciousness-aggregate is that the aggregate has other things added to it, those other things beign thoughts, imagination, intentions, planning, all of them present with in Nama Rupa. Is this correct?
Hi Dhammarelax.


I should have been more precise. I should have said consciousness-aggregate and consciousness-clinging-aggregate. This is the same consciousness at different point in time, in the process.
When you read the visual aid https://justpaste.it/v08v you should consider consciousness as one thing that evolves through the process.
Consciousness is inherited by nāmarūpa [consciousness establishes itself in the khandhas of nāmarūpa]; and nāmarūpa is inherited by saḷāyatana [nāmarūpa descends in sāḷāyatana] - https://justpaste.it/urmw.
Consciousness is also inherited by saḷāyatana, so to speak. It becomes sense-consciousness; when both external and internal bases (āyatanāni) meet.
There are contact, feeling, thought and cetana born in the process - and we see that it is what is intended ("cetanized") that maintains consciousness https://justpaste.it/urmw. What is intended is the manosañcetana of SN 12.11.
The process goes on and on.

So, if you consider consciousness as the "is known" of Buddhism; then consciousness "knows" all these in the process. And it is the variable recursively inputed in the left side of the equation (viz. nāmarūpa) in the vitiated process.

My take from the early suttas.

Mudita
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
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In this world with its ..., māras, ... - In this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:50 am

Greetings,

I'm going to move this to the General section, as the subject matter is a bit too detailed, subjective, and advanced for what's intended by Discovering Theravada.

Hold onto your seats...

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

dhammarelax
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Re: Which comes first: consciousness or sense base?

Post by dhammarelax » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:00 am

ToVincent wrote:
dhammarelax wrote: Hi, this has been a long term doubt to me, from what you are saying I understood that the difference between consciousness and consciousness-aggregate is that the aggregate has other things added to it, those other things beign thoughts, imagination, intentions, planning, all of them present with in Nama Rupa. Is this correct?
Hi Dhammarelax.


I should have been more precise. I should have said consciousness-aggregate and consciousness-clinging-aggregate. This is the same consciousness at different point in time, in the process.
When you read the visual aid https://justpaste.it/v08v you should consider consciousness as one thing that evolves through the process.
Consciousness is inherited by nāmarūpa [consciousness establishes itself in the khandhas of nāmarūpa]; and nāmarūpa is inherited by saḷāyatana [nāmarūpa descends in sāḷāyatana] - https://justpaste.it/urmw.
Consciousness is also inherited by saḷāyatana, so to speak. It becomes sense-consciousness; when both external and internal bases (āyatanāni) meet.
There are contact, feeling, thought and cetana born in the process - and we see that it is what is intended ("cetanized") that maintains consciousness https://justpaste.it/urmw. What is intended is the manosañcetana of SN 12.11.
The process goes on and on.

So, if you consider consciousness as the "is known" of Buddhism; then consciousness "knows" all these in the process. And it is the variable recursively inputed in the left side of the equation (viz. nāmarūpa) in the vitiated process.

My take from the early suttas.

Mudita
But wouldnt be necesary for the clinging to be there to be considered a clinging aggregate? Clinging comes after contact so its not possible to have a component of contact (MN 148: "the meeting of the 3 are contact") to be a clinging aggregate since the clinging has not yet happened, even if you think of it as a continuous process it needs a first loop to get things started. Unless you consider that clinging is there on every link.

Smile
Dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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