In the absence of vinnana there is...?

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Re: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:00 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hmm, hard to keep up with this stuff when one has to to mundane things like go to meetings all day... :coffee:
tiltbillings wrote:A dhamma is what is experienced with a mindful, concentrated mind, and as a result of actual meditation practice, we see that a dhamma is not really a thing; rather, the idea of dhammas is a way of talking about aspects of the conditioned/conditioning flow of experience that we are and have experienced in meditation.

As I said, I always thought it was obvious that this stuff was just frameworks to describe experience in more detail than the sutta discussions of dissecting experience into khandhas, sense bases, etc. Just more "phenomenology". This dissection of experience is the basis of the approach of any number of teachers. Are the likes of Mahasi Sayadaw just stuffy academics? It seems to me more likely that they are simply building on the descriptions of experience preserved by the tradition, and the experience of modern practitioners.

:anjali:
Mike
I am had a very slow night, but now the shift is coming to an end I must do things, and then go to bed.

Anyway, yes, I agree with what you have said 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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:23 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Are the likes of Mahasi Sayadaw just stuffy academics? It seems to me more likely that they are simply building on the descriptions of experience preserved by the tradition, and the experience of modern practitioners.

I googled the terms "mahasi sayadaw" and "bhavanga" to see whether it was a topic he had discussed. This search result came up - it appears relevant to the topic.

A Discourse on Paticcasamuppada, or The Doctrine of Dependent Origination - Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw
Relation between Manodvara And Vinnana, Etc.
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/mahasi-patic ... cca-04.htm

Manovinnana that thinks, conceives and cognizes has its origin in the mind and mind-objects. The mind which forms its basis is the bhavanga-citta that we have from the moment of conception. It occurs ceaselessly according to kamma. It is the basis for perception and cognition. When we sleep or when the mind is otherwise occupied, our mental life is all bhavanga-citta. It becomes active in the face of mind-objects and there arise intention and cognition. So we can think and know only on the basis of bhavanga. True, this citta is always present in the absence of intention and cognition but bhavanga can lead to mental events only when it is strong.

At times we cannot think because we are drowsy or our thinking may be futile, in spite of our effort, and this is due to weakness of bhavanga. Thus, bhavanga by itself serves little purpose. It becomes active only when it is in contact with a new sense-object. Hence, it is called bhavangacalana, active bhavanga or bhavanga-paccheda, bhavanga with its stream cut off. This last bhavanga gives rise to intention and cognition. According to the commentaries, avajjana (advertence of the mind towards the object) is also to be considered the basis for mental activity. Avajjana forms the first stage in the consciousness-process. It arises as the inquiring state of mind in regard to the object. If it is alert and sharp, it is mindful of all the essential facts and objects.

...

I'm not familiar enough with Mahasi Sayadaw or his teachings to know which category this falls into.

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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:28 am

retrofuturist wrote:Since all sankhata dhammas are dependent upon avijja, if we were to perceive a "(sankhata) dhamma to exist", albeit dynamically, we would just be maintaining and sustaining a distorted cognition.... like painting a monster and being scared by our artwork.



Shriieek! I do not find Ven Nanavira's characterisation of DO's sankharas as = to MN 44's sankharas as being supported by any of the texts. SN 12.25 is unequivocal about what sankharas mean in the context of DO. It's sancetana, ie intentions.
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Re: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:31 am

Sylvester wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Since all sankhata dhammas are dependent upon avijja, if we were to perceive a "(sankhata) dhamma to exist", albeit dynamically, we would just be maintaining and sustaining a distorted cognition.... like painting a monster and being scared by our artwork.



Shriieek! I do not find Ven Nanavira's characterisation of DO's sankharas as = to MN 44's sankharas as being supported by any of the texts. SN 12.25 is unequivocal about what sankharas mean in the context of DO. It's sancetana, ie intentions.
I agree with you.
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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:35 am

retrofuturist wrote:The problem with any speculative theory of sustenance/maintenence/continuity is that it involves the persistence of the erroneously formed "thing", thereby perceiving that "thing" to exist for as long the model of sustenance supports the deluded cognition. Something like "stream of consciousness" enables us to conceive of it existing ad-infinitum (i.e. eternalism)



If DN 28's "stream of consciousness" sounds a tad too eternalistic for you, you might prefer the Chinese parallel to this sutta. Instead of the "stream of consciousness", it states "mind consciousness".

Actually, when you think of it, "stream of consciousness" is simply how vinnanasota has been rendered by the translators. But, because the word is a compound, there is no reason to believe that "vinnana-" in the compound should mean only the singular stem form; it could also be in the plural or any of the other inflections.

Would of "stream of consciousness-es" be less objectionable?
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Re: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:36 am

Greetings Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:SN 12.25 is unequivocal about what sankharas mean in the context of DO. It's sancetana, ie intentions.


Whether sankharas are classified in toto, or separated into three subdivisions, doesn't in any way detract from them all being dependent upon avijja. As SN 12.25 itself says...
Now, ignorance is bound up in these things. From the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance, there no longer exists [the sense of] the body on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the speech... the intellect on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the field, the site, the dimension, or the issue on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise."

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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:41 am

Greetings Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:Would of "stream of consciousness-es" be less objectionable?

It would be an improvement, but the term now carries with it the Abhidhammic baggage of each "moment" of consciousness being conditioned by the one before it, and the notion of "one citta at a time"... as if there could not be more than one of the six sense consciousnesses being experienced in parallel. In other words, "stream of consciousness" brings an unjustified sense of linearity to the table, not implied by DN 28. Furthermore, "stream of consciousness" nowadays also implies continuity courtesy of the so-called bhavanga-citta (consciousness without object).

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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:49 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Would of "stream of consciousness-es" be less objectionable?

It would be an improvement, but the term now carries with it the Abhidhammic baggage of each "moment" of consciousness being conditioned by the one before it,

Who says that?
retrofuturist wrote: and the notion of "one citta at a time"... as if there could not be more than one of the six sense consciousnesses being experienced in parallel.

Are you speaking from experience here? Some would disagree with you on the basis of their experiential investigations.

:anjali:
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Re: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:05 pm

Greetings Mike,

The answers to your questions are in this topic, you previously participated in...

Six sense base question
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4297

acinteyyo wrote:If there are eye and forms and ear and sounds at the same time, there arises (and have to be) eye-consciousness and ear-consciousness at the same time. Why should it be different?


... and the related follow-on topic...

One "citta" at a time
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4307

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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:20 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:SN 12.25 is unequivocal about what sankharas mean in the context of DO. It's sancetana, ie intentions.


Whether sankharas are classified in toto, or separated into three subdivisions, doesn't in any way detract from them all being dependent upon avijja. As SN 12.25 itself says...
Now, ignorance is bound up in these things. From the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance, there no longer exists [the sense of] the body on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the speech... the intellect on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the field, the site, the dimension, or the issue on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise."

Metta,
Retro. :)


But the problem remains, when MN 44's sankharas (which deal with the Jhanas and nirodha sammapatti) are conflated with SN 12.25's explication of DO's sankharas. Eg MN 44's cittasankhara deals with feelings and perception, while DO's cittasankhara (SN 12.2) or manosancetana (SN 12.25) are talking about sankhapa/intention that engender sensual lust, ill-will and cruelty (plus their converse).

Further, the use of present tense "na hoti" (there is not) by SN 12.25 should not be read to indicate that ante-mortem Enlightenment inmmediately issues in the cessation of the body etc. SN 12.49 takes pains to remind us that howsoever DO is coded, ie whether as the synchronic (locative absolute) or diachronic (present tense) formulations, ultimately the locative absolute form of DO encompasses both. That passage in SN 12.25 can and should be read in the diachronic sense, rather than us having to struggle to to conjure up "unconditioned" states that plod along outside of DO in reading it in the synchronic sense.
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Re: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:37 pm

Greetings Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote:rather than us having to struggle to to conjure up "unconditioned" states that plod along outside of DO in reading it in the synchronic sense.

All dhammas are sankhata dhammas, except nibbana.

No conjuring required. The implication conjuring would be required is indicative of "realist" tendencies that necessitate that some state be noted and regarded as objectively existing in the case of an arahant. The fact an arahant still has the faculty of sight for example, necessitates no classificatory dhamma scheme imposed from outside to denote and classify what that arahant is supposedly experiencing. The arahant experiences the unconditioned, and thus does not falsely form, reify, or regard as real, any "thing" (dhamma). Rather, the arahant is beyond measure.

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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:50 pm

Greetings,

On bhavanga, from A Manual Of Abhidhamma (please excuse some of the funny formatting relating to the transfer from PDF to HTML)

Bhavaõga. Bhava + aïga = factor of life, or
indispensable cause or condition of existence.
One experiences only one thought-moment at any
particular time. No two thought-moments coexist.
Each thought-moment hangs on to some kind of
object. No consciousness arises without an object, either
mental or physical.
When a person is fast asleep and is in a dreamless
state he experiences a kind of consciousness which is more
or less passive than active.
It is similar to the consciousness189
one experiences at the initial moment of conception and at
the final moment of death. This type of consciousness is in
Abhidhamma termed bhavaïga. Like any other consciousness it also consists of three aspects—genesis (uppàda),
static (ñhiti) and cessation (bhaïga).
Arising and perishing
every moment it flows on like a stream not remaining the
same for two consecutive moments.
When an object enters this stream through the sensedoors, the bhavaïga consciousness is arrested and another
type of consciousness appropriate to the object perceived
arises.
Not only in a dreamless state but also in our waking
state we experience bhavaïga thought-moments more
than any other types of consciousness. Hence bhavaïga
becomes an indispensable condition of life.
Mrs. Rhys Davids and Mr. âung compare bhavaïga
to “Leibniz’s state of obscure perception, not amounting to
consciousness, in dreamless sleep.”
One cannot agree because bhavaïga is a type of consciousness. There is no obscure perception here.
Some identify bhavaïga with sub-consciousness.
According to the Dictionary of Philosophy sub-consciousness
is “a compartment of the mind alleged by certain psychologists and philosophers to exist below the threshold of consciousness.” In the opiõion of Western philosophers subconsciousness and consciousness coexist. According to
Abhidhamma no two types of consciousness coexist. Nor is
bhavaïga a sub-plane.
The Compendium further states that “bhavaïga de-190
notes a functional state (or moment) of sub-consciousness.
As such it is the sub-conscious state of mind—‘below the
threshold’ of consciousness—by which we conceive continuous subjective existence as possible. Thus it corresponds
to F. W. Myer’s ‘subliminal consciousness’”.
87
The Dictionary of Philosophy explains “subliminal
(sub, under + limen, the threshold) as allegedly unconscious mental processes especially sensations which lie
below the threshold of consciousness”. Strictly speaking, it
does not correspond to subliminal consciousness either.
There does not seem to be any place for bhavaïga in
Western Psychology.
Bhavaïga is so called because it is an essential condition for continued subjective existence.
Whenever the mind does not receive a fresh external object, one experiences a bhavaïga consciousness.
88
Immediately after a thought-process, too, there is a bhavaïga consciousness. Hence it is called vãthimutta—
process-freed. Sometimes it acts as a buffer between two
thought-processes.
Life continuum89
has been suggested as the closest
English equivalent.
87. p. 266.
88. Cp. Susupti or deep sleep mentioned in the Upanishads. “In it the mind and the
sense are both said to be inactive.” Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, p. 258.
89. Radhakrishnan says …Bhavaïga is sub-conscious existence, or more accurately
existence free from working consciousness. Bhavaïga is sub-conscious existence
when subjectively viewed, though objectively it is sometimes taken to mean
Nirvana.’ Indian Philosophy, p. 408…. This certainly is not the Buddhist conception. Bhavaïga occurs in the waking consciousness too immediately after
a ‘Citta-Vithi (thought-process) Bhavaïga is never identified with Nibbàna.191
According to the Vibhàvini Tãkà bhavaïga arises
between,
i. pañisandhi (relinking) and àvajjana (apprehending), ii. javana and àvajjana, iii. tadàrammana and àvajjana, iv. votthapana and àvajjana, and sometimes between
v. javana and cuti, and vi. tadàrammana and cuti.

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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:38 pm

retrofuturist wrote:It would be an improvement, but the term now carries with it the Abhidhammic baggage of each "moment" of consciousness being conditioned by the one before it, and the notion of "one citta at a time"... as if there could not be more than one of the six sense consciousnesses being experienced in parallel.
Sutta support for this, please.
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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:49 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:It would be an improvement, but the term now carries with it the Abhidhammic baggage of each "moment" of consciousness being conditioned by the one before it, and the notion of "one citta at a time"... as if there could not be more than one of the six sense consciousnesses being experienced in parallel.
Sutta support for this, please.


There's abhidhammic support, but not Sutta support, afaik.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby dreamov » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:57 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
J.A.Wheeler wrote:"No phenomenon is a phenomenon, until it is an observed phenomenon"

Metta,
Retro. :)


then you shouldn't believe in dream since it is not an observed phenomenon.
Last edited by dreamov on Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:17 pm

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:It would be an improvement, but the term now carries with it the Abhidhammic baggage of each "moment" of consciousness being conditioned by the one before it, and the notion of "one citta at a time"... as if there could not be more than one of the six sense consciousnesses being experienced in parallel.
Sutta support for this, please.


There's abhidhammic support, but not Sutta support, afaik.
Let me clarify: sutta support for this: "as if there could not be more than one of the six sense consciousnesses being experienced in parallel."
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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:23 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Let me clarify: sutta support for this: "as if there could not be more than one of the six sense consciousnesses being experienced in parallel."

Is it really necessary to find sutta support for seeing and hearing simultaneously? Or sensing with the body while hearing? And so forth with other various combinations? This just seems obviously to be happening all the time, to me. I can't imagine normal functioning otherwise.
"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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:53 pm

kirk5a wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Let me clarify: sutta support for this: "as if there could not be more than one of the six sense consciousnesses being experienced in parallel."

Is it really necessary to find sutta support for seeing and hearing simultaneously? Or sensing with the body while hearing? And so forth with other various combinations? This just seems obviously to be happening all the time, to me. I can't imagine normal functioning otherwise.
The problem here is that the issue is way too poorly defined. Retro complained about the one citta at a time idea of the Abhidhamma and it then morphed into the "six sense consciousnesses being experienced in parallel" business.

The suttas certainly suggest, in conventional terms, one citta at a time:


It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fify, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [viññāna]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grans still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [viññāna]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises…. SN II 94-5


"Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you know the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with your own awareness? Do you discern a mind [citta] with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion; a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion; a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion; a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind; an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind;an excelled mind [one that is not on the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind; a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind; a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind?" SN II 121


Now, I certainly could be quite wrong, but mind -- citta -- is used in the singular in these texts. One never seems to have multiple cittas going on at the same time in the suttas, and it seems to be the same with viññāna. Please show me otherwise. So, do we see and hear at the same? The Abhidhamma, drawing from the suttas would say no. What does happen is that awareness can and does move with incredible rapidity among the various inputs of the senses giving us the sensation of seeing, hearing, touching things all at the same time. I think that the suttas and the Abhidhamma are correct in this, but I am open -- always so -- to the possibility of being quite wrong. The place to start would be to show us what the Buddha talked about multiple/parallel/simultaneous inputs of the senses, giving rises to multiple/parallel/simultaneous viññāna and cittas.
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: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby Travis » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:29 pm

In Nanananda's Nibbana Sermons there is a discussion of anusaya that he translates as "latency" that might add something to the discussion.

From Sermon 3 http://www.nibbanam.com/nibbana_sermon3e.htm:

"...in the case of the saṃsāric individual, even if he does not entertain an intention or thought construct, if he has at least the latency, anusaya, that is enough for him to be reborn in some form of existence or other.

That is why the Buddha has preached such an important discourse as the Cetanāsutta of the Nidāna Saṃyutta in the Saṃyutta Nikāya. It runs:

"Monks, whatever one intends, whatever one mentally constructs, whatever lies latent, that becomes an object for the stationing of con­sciousness. There being an object, there comes to be an establishment of consciousness. When that consciousness is established and grown, there is the descent of name-and-form. Dependent on name-and-form the six sense-bases come to be; ...the six sense-bases, contact; ...contact, feeling; ...feeling, craving; ... craving, grasping; ...grasping, becoming; ...becoming, birth; ...birth, decay-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair come to be. Such is the arising of this entire mass of suffering." Then comes the second instance:

"Monks, even if one does not intend or construct mentally, but has a latency, that becomes an object for the stationing of consciousness. There being an object, there comes to be the establishment of consciousness. When that consciousness is established and grown, there is the descent of name-and-form. Dependent on name-and-form the six sense-bases come to be; ...the six sense-bases, contact; ...contact, feeling; ...feeling, craving; ... craving, grasping; ...grasping, becoming; ...becoming, birth; ...birth, decay-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair come to be. Such is the arising of this entire mass of suffering."

The significance of this second paragraph is that it speaks of a person who, at the time of death, has no intentions or thought constructs as such. But he has the latency. This itself is sufficient as an object for the stationing of consciousness. It is as if he has turned his back to the camera, but got photographed all the same, due to his very presence there. Now comes the third instance:

"But, monks, when one neither intends, nor constructs mentally, and has no latency either, then there is not that object for the stationing of consciousness. There being no object, there is no establishment of consciousness. When consciousness is not established and not grown up, there is no descent of name-and-form, and with the cessation of name-and-form, there comes to be the cessation of the six sense-bases; ...the six sense-bases, contact; ...contact, feeling; ...feeling, craving; ... craving, grasping; ...grasping, becoming; ...becoming, birth; ...birth, decay-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Thus is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering."

This third instance is the most significant. In the first instance, there were the intentions, thought constructs and latency. In the second instance, that person had no intentions or thought constructs, but only latency was there. In this third instances, there is neither an intention, nor a thought construct, and not even a latency.

It is then that there comes to be no object for the stationing of con­sciousness. There being no object, there is no establishment of consciousness, and when consciousness is unestablished and not grown, there is no descent of name-and-form. Where there is no descent of name-and-form, there at last comes to be that cessation of name-and-form with which the six sense-bases, and all the rest of it, down to the entire mass of saṃsāric suffering, cease altogether then and there.


He elaborates a little more in Sermon 4 http://www.nibbanam.com/nibbana_sermon4e.htm :
"On the one hand, for the sustenance and growth of name-and-form in a mother's womb, consciousness is necessary. On the other hand, consciousness necessarily requires an object for its stability. It could be some times an intention, or else a thought construct. In the least, it needs a trace of latency, or anusaya."

"Anusaya, or latency, is a word of special significance. What is re­sponsible for rebirth, or punabbhava, is craving, which very often has the epithet ponobhavikā attached to it. The latency to craving is particularly instrumental in giving one yet another birth to fare on in saṃsāra. There is also a tendency to ignorance, which forms the basis of the latency to craving. It is the tendency to get attached to worldly concepts, without understanding them for what they are. That tendency is a result of ignorance in the worldlings and it is in itself a latency. In the sutta terminology the word nissaya is often used to denote it. The cognate word nissita is also used alongside. It means `one who associates something', while nissaya means `association'."

"The person who is attached is quite unlike the released person. Because he is not released, he always has a forward bent or inclination. In fact, this is the nature of craving. It bends one forward. In some suttas dealing with the question of rebirth, such as the Kutūhalasālāsutta, craving itself is sometimes called the grasping, upādāna."


So from this I would gather that the "latency" or "inclination/forward bent" resulting from craving based in the ignorance of the "samsaric individual" is binding through states of deep sleep. This also implies continuity of consciousness with the latency of ignorances as the object/condition. Samsara is binding because of ignorance. Concsiousness at least has this latency or inclination as its condition until unbinding/release.
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Travis
 
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Re: In the absence of vinnana there is...?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:37 pm

Travis wrote:In Nanananda's Nibbana Sermons there is a discussion of anusaya that he translates as "latency" that might add something to the discussion. . . .
Very good stuff. Thanks. It is also good to see that Ven Nanananda is not a rebirth denier.
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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