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Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:54 am
by cooran
convivium wrote:where does consciousness come from, by the view of the suttas? you could explain it by way of dependent origination, but doesn't ignorance presuppose consciousness? is it something that comes from the biology? could there be consciousness without a biological foundation?
Hello convivium,

Some Suttas and Dhamma teaching on consciousness:

Consciousness
56. Saying, "Good, friend," the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta's words. Then they asked him a further question:
"But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma?" — "There might be, friends.
57. "When, friends, a noble disciple understands consciousness, the origin of consciousness, the cessation of consciousness, and the way leading to the cessation of consciousness, in that way he is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma.
58. "And what is consciousness, what is the origin of consciousness, what is the cessation of consciousness, what is the way leading to the cessation of consciousness? There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness. With the arising of formations there is the arising of consciousness. With the cessation of formations there is the cessation of consciousness. The way leading to the cessation of consciousness is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration.
59. "When a noble disciple has thus understood consciousness, the origin of consciousness, the cessation of consciousness, and the way leading to the cessation of consciousness... he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#vinnana" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
SN 12.67
Nalakalapiyo Sutta: Sheaves of Reeds
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Consciousnesses by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo
translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... esses.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:32 am
by pegembara
convivium wrote:where does consciousness come from, by the view of the suttas? you could explain it by way of dependent origination, but doesn't ignorance presuppose consciousness? is it something that comes from the biology? could there be consciousness without a biological foundation?
Consciousness is just a label for the result of contact between a sense organ and its object. It is not a thing at all, hence the classes or groups of consciousness. There is no one superconsciousness that oversees the rest.

"And what is consciousness, what is the origin of consciousness, what is the cessation of consciousness, what is the way leading to the cessation of consciousness? There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness. With the arising of formations there is the arising of consciousness. With the cessation of formations there is the cessation of consciousness."

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:00 pm
by kirk5a
pegembara wrote:Consciousness is just a label for the result of contact between a sense organ and its object. It is not a thing at all, hence the classes or groups of consciousness. There is no one superconsciousness that oversees the rest.
Ven. Sariputta explains in MN43 that the mind is what experiences the different types of sensory input.

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:46 pm
by convivium
Ven. Sariputta explains in MN43 that the mind is what experiences the different types of sensory input.
So the mind which observes the 6 sense media is conditioned by what?

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:59 pm
by kirk5a
convivium wrote: So the mind which observes the 6 sense media is conditioned by what?
Well my understanding is the mind is a faculty of beings in the various planes of existence, and the process of taking existence in the various planes is conditioned by ignorance. Some beings have no physical body, while other beings are unconscious altogether.
The 31 planes of existence:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:40 pm
by convivium
So all sentient beings in the thirty-one planes of existence possess this same sort of mind, with varying particularities in terms of what can be discerned, directed towards, etc. This means that there need be no biological foundation (a nervous system, neuronal configurations, etc) for the mind to exist. Also, if the arising of ignorance presupposes the existence of this mind, then it seems to be outside or independent from dependent origination. Is this right?

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:28 pm
by SarathW
Hi Convivium
Ignorance is not the first cause. Please do not think that Dependent Origination is working like a link or circle.
All the elements of Dependent origination are interdependent to each other.

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:40 pm
by convivium
Only by eliminating ignorance can the dependent origination sequence cease and by extension samsara. Correct?

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:42 pm
by retrofuturist
Greetings,
SarathW wrote:Ignorance is not the first cause.
... of samsaric existence, it is.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:52 pm
by convivium
... of samsaric existence, it is.
if so, it seems that consciousness must exist independent of samsara; without consciousness, how could ignorance arise as samsara's first cause?

edit:
i think the first cause of the universe (samsara) is one of the buddha's deliberately unanswered questions. in any case, if consciousness (intentionality, kamma, etc*) has an effect in future rebirth or lack thereof, and it doesn't have a biological foundation, then what is it, where does it come from, and how does it work?

*the sort of consciousness mentioned in sariputta's sutta above is equated with discernment. i am assuming that without consciousness, intentionality and kamma couldn't happen. hence, this consciousness seems to be the major cause or condition for rebirth or lack thereof.

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:01 pm
by retrofuturist
Greetings,
convivium wrote:
... of samsaric existence, it is.
if so, it seems that consciousness must exist independent of samsara; without consciousness, how could ignorance arise as samsara's first cause?
It depends what you're understanding "consciousness" as, I guess.

Vinnana, which is often translated as "consciousness" but may possibly be best understood as "presence" or "experience" is dependent upon "sankhara"... which is formation or fabrication. Thus vinnana is the presence or experience of a fabrication. But then... I doubt "presence or experience of a fabrication" is what you had in mind when you were talking about "consciousness".

EDIT: Saw your edit, and I don't take "samsara" to mean the "universe"... I take it to mean fabricated (i.e sankhata) existence.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:07 pm
by convivium
Thanks for your response! Of course the universe goes on when one enters parinibbana, as it were. So there seems to be a divide between subjective/sentient experience, and objective reality. I am interested in how this objective reality relates to subjective/sentient experience (in terms of causing it to arise, or allowing it to cease etc). edit: i guess i could start off with the question of exactly what this objective reality consists in (minus samsara). i think consciousness would have to be a basic attribute or substance of the universe itself for kamma-linked rebirth to operate.

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:28 pm
by SarathW
convivium wrote:Only by eliminating ignorance can the dependent origination sequence cease and by extension samsara. Correct?
Ignorance mean not understanding the true nature of phenomena or the impermanance, un satisfactoryness and soul lessness.
Hence a person think I, me, mine and myself. This is what cause rebirth.
Please also note that the consciousness does not exist its own but arise due to reason.

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:31 pm
by convivium
Ignorance mean not understanding the true nature of phenomena or the impermanance, un satisfactoryness and soul lessness.
Hence a person think I, me, mine and myself. This is what cause rebirth.
Please also note that the consciousness does not exist its own but arise due to reason.
what's that reason?

Re: what gets reborn

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:05 am
by SarathW
convivium wrote:
Ignorance mean not understanding the true nature of phenomena or the impermanance, un satisfactoryness and soul lessness.
Hence a person think I, me, mine and myself. This is what cause rebirth.
Please also note that the consciousness does not exist its own but arise due to reason.
what's that reason?

not understanding the true nature of phenomena or the impermanance, un satisfactoryness and soul lessness. :D