How can the disappearance of consciousness, be directly discerned?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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Way~Farer
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Re: How can the disappearance of consciousness, be directly discerned?

Post by Way~Farer » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:18 am

I have a question about this passage quoted from Cūḷavedalla Sutta, above:
“The thought does not occur to a monk as he is attaining the cessation of perception & feeling that ‘I am about to attain the cessation of perception & feeling’ or that ‘I am attaining the cessation of perception & feeling’ or that ‘I have attained the cessation of perception & feeling.’ Instead, the way his mind has previously been developed leads him to that state.”
I take this to mean that when 'attaining the cessation of perception and feeling' there is no thought 'I am attaining it'. Indeed, if one were to think that, one would still be engaged in perception and feeling, or so it would seem to me. So the thought of attaining some state, would actually interfere with the attaining of it!

So the point that I wonder about is, are 'states of cessation' experiences at all? If there is no sense of oneself experiencing some state, then is that state an experience, or is it the cessation of experience, and of the ordinary state of feeling that 'I am experiencing such and such'?

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manas
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Re: How can the disappearance of consciousness, be directly discerned?

Post by manas » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:32 am

Even just writing out what Hindus say regarding atman, has convinced my it's simply bollocks, and I think I'll leave off this line of inquiry for now, and simply practise.
Thanks for the help regarding the original topic.
:anjali:
"To these too I teach the Dhamma which is lovely in its beginning, lovely in its middle and lovely in its ending, in spirit and in letter, I display to them the holy life, perfectly fulfilled and purified."
- from the Desanaa Sutta

R1111
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Re: How can the disappearance of consciousness, be directly discerned?

Post by R1111 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:54 am

Way~Farer wrote:I have a question about this passage quoted from Cūḷavedalla Sutta, above:
“The thought does not occur to a monk as he is attaining the cessation of perception & feeling that ‘I am about to attain the cessation of perception & feeling’ or that ‘I am attaining the cessation of perception & feeling’ or that ‘I have attained the cessation of perception & feeling.’ Instead, the way his mind has previously been developed leads him to that state.”
I take this to mean that when 'attaining the cessation of perception and feeling' there is no thought 'I am attaining it'. Indeed, if one were to think that, one would still be engaged in perception and feeling, or so it would seem to me. So the thought of attaining some state, would actually interfere with the attaining of it!

So the point that I wonder about is, are 'states of cessation' experiences at all? If there is no sense of oneself experiencing some state, then is that state an experience, or is it the cessation of experience, and of the ordinary state of feeling that 'I am experiencing such and such'?
Have to be very careful using words such as experienced or cognized, because there is nobody to experience where there is no form and perception.
That being said, one can say it is experienced by nobody. Also the term experience is tied up in duration(arising and ceasing) by default for most people, so im trying not using it in regards to the Unmade state nowadays. When the world ceases Only highest happiness Remains, it is a whole, there is no X and Nibbana, there is just Nibbana and it is pleasant:
Nibbana Sutta: Unbinding
..on one occasion Ven. Sariputta... said to the monks, "This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."

When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"

"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.
Further Venerable Sariputta explains that since the Aggregates are Stress the cessation of stress is Pleasant.
Mahavedalla Sutta: The Greater Set of Questions-and-Answers
Ven. Maha Kotthita ".." said to Ven. Sariputta,
...
"'Consciousness, consciousness': Thus is it said. To what extent, friend, is it said to be 'consciousness'?"
...
"'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'consciousness.' And what does it cognize? It cognizes 'pleasant.' It cognizes 'painful.' It cognizes 'neither painful nor pleasant.' 'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus it is said to be 'consciousness.'"
So when Ven. Sariputta says that Unbinding is pleasant and Consciousness cognizes pleasure, we must not get fooled into thinking that it is same type of consciousness. They use a diffrent term for the "Nibbana-consciousness" which is not of Aggregates. As i wrote above:
Have to be very careful using words such as experienced or cognized, because there is nobody to experience where there is no form and perception.
That being said, one can say it is experienced by nobody. Also the term experience is tied up in duration(arising and ceasing) by default for most people
Conventionally consciousness is "x" cognizing "y" and is tied to arising and ceasing, same as experience, in Nibbana there is nobody to be conscious of it, therefore it is problematic to use these terms.

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Re: How can the disappearance of consciousness, be directly discerned?

Post by Way~Farer » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:44 am

You know 'experienced by no-one' is linguistically identical to 'not experienced', right?

I think this subject is bound up with states of jhana. And those states are not conscious states, they are states of trance or rapture. That is why, incidentally, yogis sit in the padmasana - because in that posture, the body will stay upright even when the yogi does go into trance states.

Myself, I have never experienced anything of the kind, and don't expect to. But I think that is what is going on in the background of these suttas.

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Re: How can the disappearance of consciousness, be directly discerned?

Post by manas » Sat May 06, 2017 7:46 pm

Looking back to even my earliest memory of this life, I cannot recall even one instance of vinnana existing independently of an object. Consciousness is always *of* something. Thus, it does indeed arise in dependence upon the supporting conditions of sense and object being present.

That being the case, the inconstancy of vinnana CAN be discerned, in that as the object shifts, so too does the type of consciousness alter (as Bhikkhu Pesala pointed out earlier). When the mind is calm and wakeful, this becomes even more apparent.

The underlying issue that caused me to post this topic, has been resolved for me. Folks may of course, continue to discuss if they wish, but I would like to confirm my acceptance of this: that as consciousness is dependently arisen, inconstant, subject to arising and passing away, and not under any kind of independent control, that it is, in an ultimate sense, stressful, and is not fitting to be regarded as either 'me' or as 'mine'. :anjali:
'
'
"To these too I teach the Dhamma which is lovely in its beginning, lovely in its middle and lovely in its ending, in spirit and in letter, I display to them the holy life, perfectly fulfilled and purified."
- from the Desanaa Sutta

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