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Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:58 pm
by greenjuice
Do we find terms in the Suttas for the subconsciousness and for the involuntary stream of consciousness?

For subconsciousness the most fitting seems to be concept of anusayas, inclinations, tendencies. But what about the involuntary stream of consciousness? The monkey mind, the chatter we have in the mind constantly, which we can observe happening. I thought the sankhara khanda seems to fit that, but then I saw that virtually every translation and explanation of it includes both involuntary and voluntary consciousness (the latter including our choices, voluntary attention, decisions, voluntary actions).

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:13 pm
by DooDoot
greenjuice wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:58 pm For subconsciousness the most fitting seems to be concept of anusayas, inclinations, tendencies.
Anusaya is not "subconsciousness". Anusaya is "sub-conscious".
greenjuice wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:58 pmBut what about the involuntary stream of consciousness?
1. There appears to be no "stream" in the teachings of the Buddha

2. Consciousness arises dependent on anusaya (MN 9) and cannot arise independent of anusaya or other aggregates (SN 22.53).

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:42 pm
by Sam Vara
DooDoot wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:13 pm
2. Consciousness arises dependent on anusaya (MN 9) and cannot arise independent of anusaya or other aggregates (SN 22.53).
Is there specific mention of anusaya in MN 9, or are you deriving it from the fact that it specifies sankhārā?

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:47 pm
by Ceisiwr
In the Abhidhamma bhavanga is a form of citta that functions like the subconscious: https://www.saraniya.com/books/meditati ... dhamma.pdf

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:34 pm
by DooDoot
Sam Vara wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:42 pm Is there specific mention of anusaya in MN 9
No.
Sam Vara wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:42 pm or are you deriving it from the fact that it specifies sankhārā?
No. Anusaya is the source of asava. Asava (MN 9) is part of ignorance (MN 9). Ignorance is an anusaya (AN 7.11) and asava (MN 9). Regards

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:20 am
by Sam Vara
DooDoot wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:34 pm
Sam Vara wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:42 pm Is there specific mention of anusaya in MN 9
No.
Sam Vara wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:42 pm or are you deriving it from the fact that it specifies sankhārā?
No. Anusaya is the source of asava. Asava (MN 9) is part of ignorance (MN 9). Ignorance is an anusaya (AN 7.11) and asava (MN 9). Regards
Thanks. :anjali:

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:47 am
by SteRo
greenjuice wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:58 pm ... but then I saw that virtually every translation and explanation of it includes both involuntary and voluntary consciousness (the latter including our choices, voluntary attention, decisions, voluntary actions).
"involuntary and voluntary consciousness" ? Consciousness as all aggregates is not controlled by a self so a divide "involuntary / voluntary" has no basis.

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:05 am
by DooDoot
SteRo wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:47 am Consciousness as all aggregates is not controlled by a self so a divide "involuntary / voluntary" has no basis.
Buddha taught volition is not-self therefore volition does not necessarily mean controlled by a self.

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:37 am
by greenjuice
Take for example the Vitakkasanthana Sutta, it obviously talks about thoughts which are involuntarily in our mind, and how we can replace them with voluntary ones. And similarly the Buddha talks about having animosity towards someone and working to replace it with with some brahmavihara disposition, this obviously talks about involuntary and voluntary dispositions. So, I'm asking if there is some differentiation between the voluntary and involuntary in the systematic talks about the mind, eg five aggregates, cetasikas, etc..

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:16 pm
by NuanceOfSuchness
greenjuice wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:58 pm Do we find terms in the Suttas for the subconsciousness and for the involuntary stream of consciousness?

For subconsciousness the most fitting seems to be concept of anusayas, inclinations, tendencies. But what about the involuntary stream of consciousness? The monkey mind, the chatter we have in the mind constantly, which we can observe happening. I thought the sankhara khanda seems to fit that, but then I saw that virtually every translation and explanation of it includes both involuntary and voluntary consciousness (the latter including our choices, voluntary attention, decisions, voluntary actions).
From my current understanding there is a type of flow, stream or train of consciousness such that it defines our personality with reference to the objects we perceive in the world. Additionally, it has two gross functions: (1) the function of continuity with worldly forms (2) the function of discontinuity from worldly forms. The function of discontinuity from worldly forms occurs when the body has ceased, when the life force has depleted, when all heat, energy and activity from the body exhausts itself. At this phase only its function changes from continuity with worldly forms - eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind to discontinuity from worldly forms. Only that discontinuity from worldly forms is just that; and, in accordance with kamma this continuity alights, reforms and is given the ability to perceive such that the transactional mechanics of kamma can play forth.

Flow, stream or train is not entirely accurate which is why I have used the word type.

In all cases, I am not able to pitch this against any Buddhist texts or any other texts outside of Buddhism in order to satisfy your curiosity. Therefore, take what I have written lightly and discern for yourself if it is in accordance with what you are looking for.

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:01 pm
by greenjuice
Yeah, that's not it. I'm thinking about the division between voluntary and involuntary mental states, as in the examples I gave..

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:17 pm
by NuanceOfSuchness
greenjuice wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:01 pm Yeah, that's not it. I'm thinking about the division between voluntary and involuntary mental states, as in the examples I gave..
I'm not sure what you mean when you say "the division between voluntary and involuntary mental states". Are you looking for a partition, a wall, a wind break? Or do you wish to define the characteristics from both voluntary and involuntary mental states? If it is the latter then involuntary mental states lead to various afflictions. I don't currently observe there to exist voluntary mental states.

But I think you might be exploring this from an academic perspective and so my input won't be of much use.

Re: Terms for subconsciousness and monkey mind

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:25 am
by greenjuice
What wall or wind, what are you talking about? I'm just looking to see if there are some pali terms or systematizations of which mental states are involuntary and which are voluntary, as in the examples I gave.