Among the six sense consciousness (or the aggregate of consciousness), the mind consciousness is the most difficult to penetrate. We might think we've broken the self identity view but probably not yet -- we could still hold the mind consciousness as the unconditioned, pure "mind" (which is not the sensing/thinking mind), as the "true self". Some teachers/practitioners regard "the knowingness" in the Apana samadhi as the pure "mind" itself. Is such knowingness devoid of the five senses (the body and the physical world have "disappeared") really the pure "mind", or rather the mind consciousness? In my immature opinion, such knowingness still has the mind (state) as its object (although no object of the five senses) and still has both feeling (upekkha) and perception, which is inseparable from the mind consciousness. Only when dwelling at the sphere of cessation of perception and feeling the mind consciousness has ceased and that transcendental awarness of the living arahants there (which is beyond the 5 aggregates) is the liberated pure "mind". Therefore, "the knowingness" in the Apana samadhi is not the liberated mind itself but rather the mind consciousness. Furthermore, even that liberated mind is not a "true self", since it has no sense of "self". The sense of "self" is an illusion/notion, the result of the "magic show" of consciousness due to defilements. The defiled mind misinterprets and grasps the six sense consciousness and the other aggregates as "self". If one still conceives "the knowingness" in the apana samadhi as true citta, or conceives the liberated mind or nibbana as "I"/"mine" or as just having no identity like all the same water drops in the sea (this view still has a sense of self but only this self is not different from the others), then one probably hasn't broken the first fetter (the self identity view) yet. We can become liberated only when we have removed any views of self:
“View the world, … as empty [of “self”—“I” & “Mine”] — always mindful to have removed any view about self [e.g. "I have a self" or "I have no self"]. This way one is above & beyond death. This is how one views the world so as not to be seen by Death's king.” — Sn 5.15
Why did the Buddha teach us that the mind consciousness is a "magic show"? As soon as the mind generates sense consciousness and becomes aware of an external object (see post below), it discriminates this object from itself as other than itself, and differentiate between itself as the subject and the sensed as the object, which creates a sense of "self". It's through penetrating the sense consciousness (the aggregate of consciousness) is ANATTA that the mind can be liberated by not clinging/attaching to such consciousness/knowingness/awareness, and the other aggregates. For an attempt to explain the relationship between sense consciousness and the other aggregates, please see "How to develop bhavanamaya panna?" [http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=9262]. Your comments and corrections would be highly appreciated. Metta to all,
Last edited by starter
on Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:48 am, edited 5 times in total.