can consciousness witness it's own dissolution?

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Re: can consciousness witness it's own dissolution?

Postby reflection » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:19 pm

Hi!

I understand your doubt, but it's not going to be taken away by a clever forum post or a sutta quotation. You have to do the work, which is the 8-fold path. Rather than trying to figure out how things will be, I advice to just practice towards it. Just like climbing a hill. You can not know what the view at the other side will be like before reaching the top. When you reach the top, you can see there may be some other hills behind it, but you know what there is to do. The top here represents stream entry. But an experience of absorption will also show the way towards cessation of the aggregates (nibbana). If interested, some inspiring words: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

With metta,
Reflection
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Re: can consciousness witness it's own dissolution?

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:26 am

There is a buddhist school that assert the mind can see itself.

However this Buddhist school is rejected by another Buddhist school with this reason.

Just like your own eyes cannot see itself, it is impossible for the mind to see itself.

If we see the flame on the candle, it is the nature of the flame to illuminate.

However, that illumination is not illuminate by itself. It is because of candle and so many other causes that at that instant there is an illumination. It is impossible for the fire to illuminate itself.

Similarly, it is impossible for the mind to cognize itself. Cognizance or knowing is the direct result.

As long that cause and condition is there, as long as that as well, this knowing or cognizance will continue.

However, this continuity should not deceive you to form the idea of mind.

This is because at each moment the cognizance comes from different cause and condition.

The illumination of fire is the result of so many causes and conditions. The illumination doesn't come from illumination itself.

Similarly, the knowing or the cognizance is also the result of so many causes and conditions. But not from the knowing or cognizance itself.

The present cognizance has to come from previous cognizance, which are the result from so many causes and conditions

Again, it is important to note here that the previous cognizance should not be seen as same with the present cognizant. Because if we do that, it can deceive you to assert there is mind - which at serious level become the atman.

It is the nature of particular cause and condition that yield cognizance or knowing.
It is also the nature of particular cause and condition that make illumination of fire.

Because this cause and condition always continue, it is easy to have a mistake that it is mind that see the mind. However, this is just impossible. Just like the eye cannot see the eye.

There is no such thing like something watching itself. It just can't happen. Sword cannot cut itself.

It is the nature of cause and condition that yield the result of cognizance.
It is not that cause and condition yield mind then mind see itself. This position is absurd.

It is straight away cause and condition yield cognizance. So cognizance is directly the result.

-------------------
If I go a litle bit out - this is actually how the meditation of bare meditation work.

Just cognizes at every moment.

If at that moment, you can see mind - you are already out.

Just cognize.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: can consciousness witness it's own dissolution?

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:16 pm

Hi manas,

The five aggregates can be viewed individually by another set of five aggregates. This is what happens in vipassana- but it needs to happen at a very subtle level. The best method is to develop deep (jhanic, if possible) samadhi and watch the arising and passing away at the sense bases. You will begin to see how the 'mind' jumps from one sense base to the next. With further clarity you will come to see how Rupa arises, which in turn give rise to vinnana/consciousness. This then in turn gives rise to phassa, vedana, sanna and sankhara. This can be verified experientially. You come to see this is an automatic process not requiring a 'doer'. You come to see the impermanent, unsatisfactory nature of this process.

In any case seeing the death of consciousness can happen at 1) as in the above, due to impermanence (it is dependant upon sensory stimuli from outside) 2) when waking up from sleep 3) magga moment of awakening 4) phala moments 5) nirodhasamapatti.

Hope that helps to some degree

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: can consciousness witness it's own dissolution?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:39 am

Greetings Porpoise,

porpoise wrote:So do you mean consciousness is always aware of something, even if it's just an absence?


Firstly, there's the notion of consciousness without feature (have a search around the forum for different perspectives on that one. no need to rehash such discussion here)

Secondly, it depends what you mean by absence. Absence need not be nothingness - it depends on the referrent. For example, absence of direct sunlight is shade, absence of shade may be direct sunlight. Neither are nothingness.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: can consciousness witness it's own dissolution?

Postby pegembara » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:38 am

manas wrote:Hi everyone

we are supposed to be seeing how even consciousness is impermanent, liable to arising and passing away and thus not fitting to be regarded as me or mine. And not just believing it, nor just accepting this after having pondered over it with a 'modicum of discenrnment', but more than this: 'knowing and seeing' it as such.

Here is the problem for me. I'm sitting in meditation and can perceive feelings arise and pass away. No problem - feelings are not self. I can perceive how thoughts appear and disappear (not with perfect clarity - rather murkily - but enough to know that thoughts do come and go), I can perceive how states of mind can change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. No problem - states of mind are not self, since they are also liable to change & alteration. [b]But through it all, some awareness is present.[/b] In fact, more present than usual. That awareness is consciousness, aware of the other four khandhas. But how on earth could consciousness see that it isn't the 'one who knows' the one who is witnessing all of this arising and passing away, *but rather* is actually just as dependent upon a cause as the other constituents of existence, unless it witnessed it's own dissolution? And that does not make sense. A man can stand by the side of the road and see that another man has been run over by a truck. But if he himself gets run over by the truck, he is no longer a witness, but rather the victim. And he won't witness himself 'standing there', and then: 'no longer standing there' - his last perception will just be, 'truck'. And a loud bang. But he won't perceive his own absence. How could he, if he is no longer there to witness it?

I welcome any advice that can be given. Feel free to wake me up by any means possible. Because this doubt needs to be cleared up.

with metta.


But what is aware of that consciousness that is aware of the four khandas! And again what is aware of that awareness and so on ad infinitum like watching the reflections between 2 parallel mirrors. Which of these "consciousnesses" is real? Or is there consciousness if there is nothing to be conscious of?
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Re: can consciousness witness it's own dissolution?

Postby reflection » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:51 am

I realise my previous post although well intended, may not have been the most helpful in removing some doubt. While it is actually quite a good question. So here is another answer:

First of all there are multiple kinds of consciousness. Mental consciousness can know about the other types of consciousness, so if 5-sense consciousness falls away, the mind can know this directly. Although in my experience often it won't notice untill the respective consciousness comes back. For example, when the body falls away from awareness, the mind doesn't always realise untill it comes back in.

But how can mental consciousness see it's rise and fall? It can see it after the fall. When it comes back, it knows it's been away.

How to practice that? Well, the 8-fold path. ;)
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Re: can consciousness witness it's own dissolution?

Postby manas » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:31 am

reflection wrote:I realise my previous post although well intended, may not have been the most helpful in removing some doubt. While it is actually quite a good question. So here is another answer:

First of all there are multiple kinds of consciousness. Mental consciousness can know about the other types of consciousness, so if 5-sense consciousness falls away, the mind can know this directly. Although in my experience often it won't notice untill the respective consciousness comes back. For example, when the body falls away from awareness, the mind doesn't always realise untill it comes back in.

But how can mental consciousness see it's rise and fall? It can see it after the fall. When it comes back, it knows it's been away.

How to practice that? Well, the 8-fold path. ;)
Hi reflection

don't worry, your previous post did not confuse me.

I appreciate all the replies given to my original post here. Sorry I can't give detailed replies right now, but lately this particular subject causes me stress if I ponder over it too much. Basically, From time to time, I can observe how all five khandhas are at play in life, and it is interesting. That is all I'm doing for now - just observing. But if I think too much about them, it leads to stress.

Yes, there is a Path that seems to lead in the right direction. To less fog, and more clarity. I'm sticking with it for now,

metta.
Primum non nocere: "first, do no harm."
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Re: can consciousness witness it's own dissolution?

Postby pegembara » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:06 am

manas wrote:
reflection wrote:I appreciate all the replies given to my original post here. Sorry I can't give detailed replies right now, but lately this particular subject causes me stress if I ponder over it too much. Basically, From time to time, I can observe how all five khandhas are at play in life, and it is interesting. That is all I'm doing for now - just observing. But if I think too much about them, it leads to stress.

Yes, there is a Path that seems to lead in the right direction. To less fog, and more clarity. I'm sticking with it for now,

metta.


There is the (noting)mind that observe the play of the six senses. Once that is clearly established one becomes aware of this (noting)mind that is watching. The watcher becomes the watched.

Put your mind at the solar plexus. Don’t label. Just be aware of what is happening. If you hear something, just know there is hearing. If you know what sound it is you are hearing, this is not meditation.

It’s only meditation when there are two minds:
Knowing-noting mind and observing mind.
If there is only one mind, ‘I’ is always there.
The object is not the dhamma,
The dhamma is the mind
That is being aware.

You don’t need to follow the objects or identify or know them. Awareness will do it’s own work.

Even when the person sleeps the Dhamma does not sleep, even when you are near death and you are overcome by exhaustion, the feeling of being overcome is just the feeling of being overcome, knowing it, is separate from the sensation.

Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw


Have a look at this:

http://www.google.com.my/url?sa=t&rct=j ... uiYpep61PA

Metta
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