Is consciousness the problem

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
alfa
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Is consciousness the problem

Post by alfa » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:45 am

and NOT just the contents of consciousness?

The content could be just about anything - pain, joy, grief, anger, compassion, anything. But in all cases, it is only consciousness.

So is consciousness itself the problem, regardless of what its contents are at any given moment? If we choose between one content and another, it is essentially giving in to aversion/craving duality.

Please discuss.

SarathW
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:11 am

So is consciousness itself the problem
No.
The ignorance is the problem.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by JamesTheGiant » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:45 am

alfa wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:45 am
So is consciousness itself the problem,
No, a Buddha has consciousness, as does a fully enlightened Arahat.
Consciousness leads to Self View( a Sense Of Self), or maybe Self View is one of its parts... i don't know the technicalities. But anyway consciousness itself is not the problem.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:52 am

I agree with the above: it is, I think, possible to have a problem-free consciousness.

But on the other hand, consciousness is a necessary precondition for there to be any problem in the first place. To paraphrase Uncle Joe Stalin, "No consciousness, no problem!"

SarathW
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:09 am

There are beings only the body is present but no mind.
So the consciousness is not the only problem.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... /loka.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:21 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:09 am
There are beings only the body is present but no mind.
So the consciousness is not the only problem.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... /loka.html
Do these asaññasatta, if they exist, have any problems? Will they have problems in the future, in the sense that their existence now would be unable to generate kamma as consciousness is presumably required for intentional action?

Do they cause problems for other beings? (They cause one for me, in that I can't make any sense of the concept!)

Saengnapha
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:49 am

alfa wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:45 am
and NOT just the contents of consciousness?

The content could be just about anything - pain, joy, grief, anger, compassion, anything. But in all cases, it is only consciousness.

So is consciousness itself the problem, regardless of what its contents are at any given moment? If we choose between one content and another, it is essentially giving in to aversion/craving duality.

Please discuss.
It seems you are conceptualizing a problem and blaming it on consciousness. Is it not your own mind, thought structure, that produces all problems that we think we need to solve? It is not abstract. If you ask yourself what is the problem, it is usually much more personal than an abstract concept like consciousness. There may not be a thing called consciousness so why blame it?

Dinsdale
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:34 pm

alfa wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:45 am
and NOT just the contents of consciousness?
I don't think consciousness is the problem. The objects of consciousness are not necessarily a problem either, it's how we react that causes the difficulties. And of course with no consciousness there would be no experience.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by salayatananirodha » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:31 am

In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.' In this way you should train yourself.

Gotama Buddha (Bahiya Sutta)

Allow me to share some material from venerable KNSSB; later through this post you may see relevance.
Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 23.47.00.png
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"And how is the nutriment of consciousness to be regarded? Suppose that, having arrested a thief, a criminal, they were to show him to the king: 'This is a thief, a criminal for you, your majesty. Impose on him whatever punishment you like.' So the king would say, 'Go, men, and shoot him in the morning with a hundred spears.' So they would shoot him in the morning with a hundred spears. Then the king would say at noon, 'Men, how is that man?' 'Still alive, your majesty.' So the king would say, 'Go, men, and shoot him at noon with a hundred spears.' So they would shoot him at noon with a hundred spears. Then the king would say in the evening, 'Men, how is that man?' 'Still alive, your majesty.' So the king would say, 'Go, men, and shoot him in the evening with a hundred spears.' So they would shoot him in the evening with a hundred spears. Now what do you think, monks: Would that man, being shot with three hundred spears a day, experience pain & distress from that cause?"
- puttamansa sutta

"If consciousness were exclusively stressful — followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure — beings would not be infatuated with consciousness. But because consciousness is also pleasurable — followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress — beings are infatuated with consciousness. Through infatuation, they are captivated. Through captivation, they are defiled. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the defilement of beings. And this is how beings are defiled with cause, with requisite condition."

- mahali sutta

The five aggregates, not clung to, lead to long-term happiness and wellbeing.
sayalaysusila.net/files/Five-Aggregates-of-Clinging.pdf
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Pondera
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by Pondera » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:40 am

Consciousness means eye consciousness, ear; nose; tongue; body; and mind consciousness. This exclusive use prevails over the widespread use of the word in English. If it is consciousness in Buddhism, then it is the medium between sense faculty and sense object which brings about sense perception. Consciousness “clings”. It is the go between for sense object and sense faculty. It rushes out of the head and makes contact bringing about perception. When it is subdued and let go of - earth, water, fire, etc. - they all have no foot hold. The outcome is unbinding.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

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DooDoot
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by DooDoot » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:45 am

Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:40 am
Consciousness “clings”.
Not according to SN 22.81:
...assumes form to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication (sankhara). Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that.

SN 22.81

Dinsdale
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:06 am

Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:40 am
It is the go between for sense object and sense faculty. It rushes out of the head and makes contact bringing about perception.
In the suttas consciousness arises in dependence upon the presence of sense-base and sense-object, so I don't understand your comment about how it "rushes out of the head".
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Saengnapha
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:10 am

Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:40 am
Consciousness means eye consciousness, ear; nose; tongue; body; and mind consciousness. This exclusive use prevails over the widespread use of the word in English. If it is consciousness in Buddhism, then it is the medium between sense faculty and sense object which brings about sense perception. Consciousness “clings”. It is the go between for sense object and sense faculty. It rushes out of the head and makes contact bringing about perception. When it is subdued and let go of - earth, water, fire, etc. - they all have no foot hold. The outcome is unbinding.
Essentially, I agree with your comments. I don't agree with the word subdued as it gives the impression of suppression. Unbinding is like the opening of a hand. We open our mind, not to something, but to the open space where there is no boundary, the space between thoughts, the real nature of mind. All the analysis resolves in the letting go of our thinking. That space is empty and free of stress, clinging, and the like.

cookiemonster
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by cookiemonster » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:15 am

alfa wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:45 am
and NOT just the contents of consciousness?

The content could be just about anything - pain, joy, grief, anger, compassion, anything. But in all cases, it is only consciousness.

So is consciousness itself the problem, regardless of what its contents are at any given moment? If we choose between one content and another, it is essentially giving in to aversion/craving duality.

Please discuss.
IMO dukkha is the problem. Consciousness is merely one part in the chain of dependent origination that contributes to the arising of dukkha.

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Pondera
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Re: Is consciousness the problem

Post by Pondera » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:28 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:45 am
Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:40 am
Consciousness “clings”.
Not according to SN 22.81:
...assumes form to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication (sankhara). Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that.

SN 22.81
Perhaps if you care to preface your quotes, they might actually have some bearing on the conversation. Consciousness is a “clinging aggregate” - by definition. The quote you’ve given has no bearing on the issue.
Last edited by Pondera on Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

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