Luminous Mind. - What is it?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:03 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
kirk5a wrote:So here it is paññā having light-like qualities. Radiance, lustre, light, bright.

Some people think that nibbāna should be experienced as a mind lit up with light. Some people think that nibbāna should be experienced as an utter blackout. But in each case, these are temporary experiences. They come and go. But nibbāna is the complete and irreversible elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion. As such, nibbāna is an extinguishment which doesn't come and go. Moreover, if discernment were synonymous with a light nimitta (or however one wants to describe the phenomenology of a mind lit up with light), then discernment would be absent when this light is absent and noble disciples and arahants would be without discernment most of the time. . . .
I have to wonder what more there left to say?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby kirk5a » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:28 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Is there a point here?

There was a question there and Geoff answered it, thanks Geoff. Maybe that has some relevance to the topic, maybe not. I simply noticed that it was pañña in the quotes Geoff provided had light-like qualities. Whereas previously you had been talking about a certain clarity to viññana. So - I wondered how to understand these terms, what the relationship is.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:38 pm

kirk5a wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Is there a point here?

There was a question there and Geoff answered it, thanks Geoff. Maybe that has some relevance to the topic, maybe not. I simply noticed that it was pañña in the quotes Geoff provided had light-like qualities. Whereas previously you had been talking about a certain clarity to viññana. So - I wondered how to understand these terms, what the relationship is.
I took the quotes that Geoff gave as being indicative of the metaphorical use of the term luminosity, making the point that there is no need to take it literally with the text in question.

It is an interesting question of what to take as being literal or to take as metaphorical. It would be quite possible to get oneself into big doo-doo taking something as literal that would be better understood as metaphorical. It is all too easy to fool oneself with meditative experiences, which, if you have not noticed, is something I harp upon here. This has been an interesting thread. I don't have much more to say here.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:03 pm

It seems to me like there are two conversations here. One leans more on the scriptural side and emphasizes what is necessary for nibbana while warning about assigning any qualities to "it", reifying and attaching to experiences on the way.

The other conversation is more about experience. The clarity and luminosity encountered in practice. To my ears it seems that the Sutta in the OP, as well as Ajahns Mun, Maha Bua and Chah are coming more from this side.

May be worth pointing out the two perspectives...
_/|\_
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Sherab » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:31 pm

Akuma wrote:
Sherab wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Also, "luminous" is a metaphor for the fact that viññāṇa makes known, illuminates it object.

Does viññāṇa makes known itself, i.e. it illuminates itself?


A citta cant cognize itself in Theravada.

@Akuma and Tiltbillings,
In Theravada, what is the explanation for how one knows that one knows?
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Kenshou » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:40 pm

If you don't mind my interjection, I believe that the division between the individual and the knowing is a false dichotomy.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Sherab » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:06 am

Kenshou wrote:If you don't mind my interjection, I believe that the division between the individual and the knowing is a false dichotomy.

So are you saying that there is only the knowing, and no knowing of the knowing by that very knowing itself?
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Kenshou » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:30 am

I think it suffices to say that when there is the eye and forms there is sight-consciousness and so on for the other 5, no reason to get into loops of proliferation about the knowing knowing the knowing.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby alan » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:40 am

Agreed. Now let's shut this down. Nothing more needs to be said.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Akuma » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:57 am

Sherab wrote:@Akuma and Tiltbillings,
In Theravada, what is the explanation for how one knows that one knows?


Theres a case in Kathavatthu (314/315) which implies that it is done via retrospection, since self-cognition would lead to endless regress.
I doubt that there is much detailed info on how it works from Theravada pov since theories of cognition were not available at the time Theravada formed.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby BrownRice (Element) » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:Being free of incoming defilement is awakening. Obviously the luminous mind, in and of itself, is not, given that it can be defiled.

Well explained. Well spoken.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:05 pm

alan wrote:Agreed. Now let's shut this down. Nothing more needs to be said.
Just a moderator note in response to others concerns about shutting down this thread. A thread would be shut down if it is contentious and is going over the same ground, repeatedly. This thread has been of interest, with varying opinions and is one of the better threads on the recurring topic here of "luminous" mind.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Sherab » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:38 pm

Akuma wrote:
Sherab wrote:@Akuma and Tiltbillings,
In Theravada, what is the explanation for how one knows that one knows?


Theres a case in Kathavatthu (314/315) which implies that it is done via retrospection, since self-cognition would lead to endless regress.
I doubt that there is much detailed info on how it works from Theravada pov since theories of cognition were not available at the time Theravada formed.

Thanks Akuma.
It would seem to me that if one knows something, besides the knowing itself, there should also be the knowing of the knowing. Without the knowing of the knowing, there can be no registration of anything by the knowing. If there is no registration by the knowing, there can be no retrospection.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:22 am

Sherab wrote:
Akuma wrote:
Sherab wrote:@Akuma and Tiltbillings,
In Theravada, what is the explanation for how one knows that one knows?


Theres a case in Kathavatthu (314/315) which implies that it is done via retrospection, since self-cognition would lead to endless regress.
I doubt that there is much detailed info on how it works from Theravada pov since theories of cognition were not available at the time Theravada formed.

Thanks Akuma.
It would seem to me that if one knows something, besides the knowing itself, there should also be the knowing of the knowing. Without the knowing of the knowing, there can be no registration of anything by the knowing. If there is no registration by the knowing, there can be no retrospection.


I don't think so. Normally we set up the subject and object duality but it's artificial. There can be knowing and acting without the knower and actor in the sense of reifying and identifying. The usual divisions are gone, that's all. (Even now it's like this but we convince ourselves that it isn't by playing all these different roles as it were - ie delusions are delusory!)
_/|\_
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Sherab » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:39 am

Dan74 wrote:
Sherab wrote:It would seem to me that if one knows something, besides the knowing itself, there should also be the knowing of the knowing. Without the knowing of the knowing, there can be no registration of anything by the knowing. If there is no registration by the knowing, there can be no retrospection.

I don't think so. Normally we set up the subject and object duality but it's artificial. There can be knowing and acting without the knower and actor in the sense of reifying and identifying. The usual divisions are gone, that's all. (Even now it's like this but we convince ourselves that it isn't by playing all these different roles as it were - ie delusions are delusory!)

Why should knowing of the knowing by the knowing itself require the setting up of subject and object duality?

What I was saying was that the reflexivity should be part and parcel of knowing itself because without the reflexivity, knowing cannot be knowing.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:47 am

Then I don't understand what is meant by "knowing of the knowing". Without a knower who knows, there is just knowing, as far as I can tell.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby alan » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:32 am

You have wandered into a thicket of views--any way you turn you are sure to be hurt. Best to leave.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Akuma » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:14 am

Thanks Akuma.
It would seem to me that if one knows something, besides the knowing itself, there should also be the knowing of the knowing.


You are approaching infinite regress. ^^

Without the knowing of the knowing, there can be no registration of anything by the knowing. If there is no registration by the knowing, there can be no retrospection.
(...)
What I was saying was that the reflexivity should be part and parcel of knowing itself because without the reflexivity, knowing cannot be knowing.


Actually perception / recognition / sanna is one of the seven universal mental factors and so is part of the typical cognitive moment in Theravada Abhidharma. But its not "part of the knowing" since knowing doesnt have any parts, its just an accompanying factor. The citta in TA is seen as paramattha dhamma / as absolute reality [constituent], which means that it has only one self-characteristic which in this case is illumining an object / cognizing. To follow the argument in Kathavatthu the citta would - to cognize its cognitive aspect - need to have two cognizings or there would need to be two cittas at the same time. which are both not accepted in TA.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:40 am

Dear members

In a bid to ensure this thread remains a meaningful discussion, I ask that you provide textual support for your arguments when replying in this thread.
Thanks for your cooperation.

Ben
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- Heraclitus


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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby chownah » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:43 pm

To paraphrase the Buddha....knowing there is but no knower can be found....I want to be clear that I don't think that the Buddha said this....in my memory he said something similar which was more along the lines of suffering there is but no sufferor can be found....if anyone knows of their knowing of the known knowledge of what the Buddha actually said along these lines I would greatly appreciate if they could drop off a post containing a reference and/or link right here in this tread....
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