interaction with environment?

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interaction with environment?

Postby wouter_doorn » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:46 pm

Dear all,

as far as I understand citta have the characteristic of cognizing, of knowing. I (think) I understand the principle pf how the citta receive information from the environment, like when eye sees an object and the whole vithi starts. But what I do not understand is how the return path works. What I mean is, for example, when I hear a sound and my head turns and my eyes look at where the sound comes from. What is it that makes my head turn? how do the citta interact with the body? I am not talking about the place where mind and body interact (I have heard that that is a place in the heart muscle?) but more about the working of citta and cetasika in this process.

hope somebody can help!

metta,

Wouter
Last edited by wouter_doorn on Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: interaction with environment?

Postby Reductor » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:58 pm

Turning and acting is a function of volition (thinking), which is the key to Kamma, and Kamma is the active force in dependent co-arising. So you can see that when you think and act in reaction to 'contact' you are creating new kamma which causes new 'contact' as you interact with the environment that your previous kamma changed. And so there is a this continues feedback going on and on.

As to how the mind interacts with the body: you have it wrong.... they are not two things that interact only in a limited space, but are actually one thing. There is no mind without body, the body is only a lump of elements without mind... in the suttas it is said that consciouness is dependent upon materiality-and-mentality (body-and-nervous system), and materiality-and-mentality is dependent upon consciousness. If you take a bio mechanical view of things, it is clear that the nervous system that is responsible for processing input from the senses and controlling the body, is in fact a part of that very body.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: interaction with environment?

Postby pt1 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:05 am

wouter_doorn wrote:as far as I understand citta have the characteristic of cognizing, of knowing. I (think) I understand the principle pf how the citta receive information from the environment, like when eye sees an object and the whole vithi starts. But what I do not understand is how the return path works. What I mean is, for example, when I hear a sound and my head turns and my eyes look at where the sound comes from. What is it that makes my head turn? how do the citta interact with the body? I am not talking about the place where mind and body interact (I have heard that that is a place in the heart muscle?) but more about the working of citta and cetasika in this process.

From memory, there's a particular rupa produced/conditioned by citta that's called body-intimation. So when there is the intention to move the head, that citta (accompanied by that cetasika of intention) produces body-intimation rupas. These in turn produce more rupas, thus in essence affecting the four great elements of which the body is made of, in particular it's the changes in wind element that assists the movement of different body parts.

Anyway, I remember there are relevant passages about this in Visuddhimagga, especially in the parts dealing with the four elements and materiality. Likewise in A comprehensive manual of abhidhamma chapter on rupa. And I think there was also one chapter that deals specifically with body-intimation and vocal-intimation in Nina Van Gorkom's book on rupas.

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Re: interaction with environment?

Postby wouter_doorn » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:03 pm

To both of you, thank you for the informationand and the links! It is very helpful.

@thereductor:

As to how the mind interacts with the body: you have it wrong.... they are not two things that interact only in a limited space, but are actually one thing. There is no mind without body, the body is only a lump of elements without mind... in the suttas it is said that consciouness is dependent upon materiality-and-mentality (body-and-nervous system), and materiality-and-mentality is dependent upon consciousness. If you take a bio mechanical view of things, it is clear that the nervous system that is responsible for processing input from the senses and controlling the body, is in fact a part of that very body.


I thought mind was related to the heart-base? On page 144&145 of the abhidhammattha sangaha translated by bikkhu bodhi it states:
"Heart-base: according to the pali commentators, the heart serves as the physical support for all cittas other than the two sets of fivefold sense consciousness, which take their respective sensitivites as their bases. In the canonical Abidhamma the heart-base is not expressly mentioned. The Patthana, the last book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, simply speaks of "that matter in dependence on which the mind element and mind-consciousness element occur" (i,4). The Commentaries, however, subsequently specify "that matter" to be the heart-base, a cavity situated within the physical heart."

This is what I ment. Have you found this to be incorrect?

Metta,

Wouter
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Re: interaction with environment?

Postby Reductor » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:49 pm

wouter_doorn wrote:I thought mind was related to the heart-base? On page 144&145 of the translated by bikkhu bodhi it states:
"Heart-base: according to the pali commentators, the heart serves as the physical support for all cittas other than the two sets of fivefold sense consciousness, which take their respective sensitivites as their bases. In the canonical Abidhamma the heart-base is not expressly mentioned. The Patthana, the last book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, simply speaks of "that matter in dependence on which the mind element and mind-consciousness element occur" (i,4). The Commentaries, however, subsequently specify "that matter" to be the heart-base, a cavity situated within the physical heart."

This is what I ment. Have you found this to be incorrect?

Metta,

Wouter


I have not read any of the Abhidhamma or commentaries. The only exposure I have had is indirectly via Bodhi's comments in his translations of the MN and SN. In terms of commentaries and abhidhamma I suppose your view is correct.

But in my reading of the sutta pitaka, so far, there has been no reference to the heart as being the physical support of to the mind. In MN 9 there is the following:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html

Mentality-Materiality

52. Saying, "Good, friend," the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta's words. Then they asked him a further question: "But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma?" — "There might be, friends.

53. "When, friends, a noble disciple understands mentality-materiality, the origin of mentality-materiality, the cessation of mentality-materiality, and the way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality, in that way he is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

54. "And what is mentality-materiality, what is the origin of mentality-materiality, what is the cessation of mentality-materiality, what is the way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality? Feeling, perception, volition, contact and attention — these are called mentality. The four great elements and the material form derived from the four great elements — these are called materiality. So this mentality and this materiality are what is called mentality-materiality. With the arising of consciousness there is the arising of mentality-materiality. With the cessation of consciousness there is the cessation of mentality-materiality. The way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration.

55. "When a noble disciple has thus understood mentality-materiality, the origin of mentality-materiality, the cessation of mentality-materiality, and the way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality... he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma."


In meditation I haven't noticed anything that would suggest a 'heart' based foundation of the mind. That's might just be me. But I have to wonder what the value is of locating some physical 'base' for the mind other than the greater construct of mentality-materiality.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: interaction with environment?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:57 am

Greetings thereductor,

Further to your query, I believe you are correct. The suttas speak of a physical support for the mind, but the Buddha does not specify precisely where that is.

It seems to be only in the commentaries that the physical location comes to be attributed to the heart, as was one of the prevailing beliefs at the time in India.

[Which neither makes it inherently right or wrong - only that in this particular sub-forum, that is sufficiently authoritative in itself]

:focus:

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: interaction with environment?

Postby Reductor » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:46 am

retrofuturist wrote:[Which neither makes it inherently right or wrong - only that in this particular sub-forum, that is sufficiently authoritative in itself]

:focus:

Metta,
Retro. :)


Pardon me Retro, I seldom notice which forum I'm in. I always hit the 'view new posts' button, and kind of forget that this place is actually subdivided by topic.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: interaction with environment?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:48 am

No worries, thereductor... just taking a couple of pre-emptive steps to help keep the topic on track.

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: interaction with environment?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:32 pm

I think the location of the mind is mentioned as being in the heart and the head in the visuddhi (vimutti?) magga- as you can see I'm not sure. But emotions and thoughts seem to be felt in the heart and the head experientially -so more recently even though I dismissed it first, I feel there maybe some authenticity in this story.
With Metta

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Re: interaction with environment?

Postby wouter_doorn » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:07 am

rowyourboat wrote:I think the location of the mind is mentioned as being in the heart and the head in the visuddhi (vimutti?) magga- as you can see I'm not sure. But emotions and thoughts seem to be felt in the heart and the head experientially -so more recently even though I dismissed it first, I feel there maybe some authenticity in this story.


my thought exactly.
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