Life from what period

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

Re: Life from what period

Postby Sylvester » Thu May 15, 2014 3:32 am

beeblebrox wrote:
Sylvester wrote:PS - it should also be apparent from this, why Ajahn Brahm disagrees with BB's translation of gabbhassa avakkanti as referring to the descent of the embryo, when the Vinaya discussion indicates that gabbha is simply womb. This means that the -assa ending carries a dative sense, ie descent into the womb, not descent of the embryo.


If it is to be read as "descent into the womb," and not "descent of the embryo," then how does that change the relationship of the embryo's namarupa to the consciousness? (If there was any change?)


Hi bb

Hmm, was the embryo endowed with nāmarūpa in the first place? I think what you posit is a bit of petitio principii, where you have assumed what is now in dispute, namely when does an embryo commence to feel?


If there's actually a change in their relationship... do you think that this is still necessarily in favor of Ven. Brahm's argument?

For me, it doesn't seem to be...

For example: there is a descent of the rebirth-linking consciousness into the womb... it does that because of the namarupa that it perceived there, which it then attaches to as an embryo.


This being the Classical section, I refrain from commenting. You'll have to decide if there is a place for svasaṃvedana in Classical Theravada.
Sylvester
 
Posts: 1514
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby culaavuso » Thu May 15, 2014 4:12 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
SarathW wrote:there cannot
"be 2 s.o.cs. co-existing in a single embryo"
=======
Why not?


That would be the Hindu view of 2 or more souls sharing the same body. In Buddhism it is anatta and apparently such a concept does not fit with paṭiccasamuppāda (DO).


Does this mean that conjoined twins have only a single stream of consciousness? If not, how is the situation different since both conjoined twins and a single embryo are a single connected multicellular mass of flesh? Does it matter if the conjoined twins share a heart? Or if they share a nervous system?
culaavuso
 
Posts: 1026
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Life from what period

Postby SarathW » Thu May 15, 2014 4:42 am

I saw a documentary about a person with split brains from corpus callosum.
In this person left hand side of doing one thing while the right hand body doing something else!
:popcorn:
==============

Side effects[edit]

The most prominent non-surgical complications of corpus callosotomy relate to speech irregularities. For some patients, sectioning may be followed by a brief spell of mutism. A long-term side effect that some patients may suffer is an inability to engage in spontaneous speech. In addition, the resultant split-brain prevented some patients from following verbal commands that required use of their non-dominant hand.[9]

Another common[citation needed] complication is alien hand syndrome, in which the afflicted person's hand appears to take on a mind of its own.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_callosotomy
SarathW
 
Posts: 2201
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby Denisa » Thu May 15, 2014 10:56 am

Mr Man wrote:Except there does seem to be (to me) undertones of an anti-abortionist agenda rather than a purely scholarly interest.


I'm a not a scholar like some members here, and still learning the aspects of the Buddha's teachings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but from his own words that appear in this thread, isn't Buddha an anti-abortionist? I think, it's not about having a view/agenda as some may perceive, but having the Right View (1st Path factor). That is, in this case non-harm.
Denisa
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 1:57 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Thu May 15, 2014 10:58 am

Even if there was a case of conjoined twins that shared the same heart they could not share the heart base. The heart base is situated inside the physical heart and is an extremely tiny and subtle rupa that arises and falls away instantly (as with all rupas). It might appear that they had the same basis but it would a different one.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 15, 2014 11:10 am

Sylvester wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:
Sylvester wrote:PS - it should also be apparent from this, why Ajahn Brahm disagrees with BB's translation of gabbhassa avakkanti as referring to the descent of the embryo, when the Vinaya discussion indicates that gabbha is simply womb. This means that the -assa ending carries a dative sense, ie descent into the womb, not descent of the embryo.


If it is to be read as "descent into the womb," and not "descent of the embryo," then how does that change the relationship of the embryo's namarupa to the consciousness? (If there was any change?)


Hi bb

Hmm, was the embryo endowed with nāmarūpa in the first place? I think what you posit is a bit of petitio principii, where you have assumed what is now in dispute, namely when does an embryo commence to feel?


Hi Sylvester,

I'm not sure what you mean by petitio principii.

The requirement for consciousness to arise is namarupa, and also the requirement for namarupa is consciousness. Embryo is not a substitute for the idea of namarupa.

Notice that the Buddha taught this relationship of consciousness and namarupa as a circular reasoning... I think that is because it's rooted in ignorance.

From what seems to be my current understanding (when this is translated as "descent into the womb" and not "descent of the embryo"), it still doesn't seem to support Ven. Brahm's argument anymore in using the embryo as a frame of reference for the existence (or non-existence) of consciousness.

It has nothing to do with the embryo initially, but the relationship in between consciousness and namarupa.

Samsara could be described as a "vicious cycle," more or less... that is what creates the confusion (i.e., the discussion in this thread) and its accompanying dukkha.

Also note that the feeling don't come till later in the dependent origination... so, it's my understanding that not everything have to be present for it to be called "namarupa." At least not all together in one specific place (i.e., the embryo)... because of course, there still seem to be feeling that can be discerned elsewhere.

Any sankhara that is present is more than enough to get the ball rolling.

This is what seems to be relevant to my practice.

:anjali:
Last edited by beeblebrox on Thu May 15, 2014 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
beeblebrox
 
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Life from what period

Postby Mr Man » Thu May 15, 2014 11:34 am

Denisa wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but from his own words that appear in this thread, isn't Buddha an anti-abortionist?
Which words are you referring to? I certainly wouldn't call the Buddha an "anti-abortionist" which to my mind implies something rather militant.
Last edited by Mr Man on Thu May 15, 2014 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1293
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 15, 2014 2:10 pm

Hi all,

There are people who are unable to feel pain. ("Congenital Insensitivity to Pain," article here; and "People Who Feel No Pain Can't Smell, Either," article here.) Does that mean there is no consciousness for them, overall?

:anjali:
User avatar
beeblebrox
 
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Life from what period

Postby Denisa » Thu May 15, 2014 2:47 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Denisa wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but from his own words that appear in this thread, isn't Buddha an anti-abortionist?
Which words are you referring to? I certainly wouldn't call the Buddha an "anti-abortionist" which to my mind implies something rather militant.


I was reffering to these:

1. image.
2. "What ever monk deprives a human being of life even down to causing abortion, he becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans."

Militant!? Ghandhi was an anti-untouchability, and an anti-war activist. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for advocating nonviolence policy in the movement for civil rights. But British might consider him as a militant.

***When I start typing the reply I saw you wrote something about Buddha's words can't dictate society about abortion, but now when I posting you had removed it. However, I'm posting my reply to that (below) since I already typed it. You can disregard it.***

The issue is not about Buddha's words dictating society's law regarding abortion, although it has some weight on ethics. It's about a Theravada monk is saying abortion is OK, and if Buddha's words can't dictate that, then nothing left to talk about it. As mentioned in the first post, may be it's something modern to attract modern people.

Thank you for the reply.

beeblebrox wrote:Hi all,

There are people who are unable to feel pain. ("Congenital Insensitivity to Pain," article here; and "People Who Feel No Pain Can't Smell, Either," article here.) Does that mean there is no consciousness for them, overall?

:anjali:


How about those animals in hibernation? Eg. bear.
Denisa
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 1:57 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby Mr Man » Thu May 15, 2014 3:14 pm

Denisa
Those quotes do not make the Buddha is an ""anti-abortionist". What they show is that it is a grave offence against the monastic code for a monk to advocate abortion, which is something quite different.

What I wrote and removed was "In my opinion abortion is a matter to be reflected upon by the individual and society rather than to be dictated by scripture" . It make little sense to reply to a comment which is not there!
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1293
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu May 15, 2014 3:35 pm

culaavuso wrote:Does this mean that conjoined twins have only a single stream of consciousness? If not, how is the situation different since both conjoined twins and a single embryo are a single connected multicellular mass of flesh? Does it matter if the conjoined twins share a heart? Or if they share a nervous system?


Good question; I would tend to think that there are 2 s.o.c. in the case of conjoined twins as RobertK noted. From a scientific-materialism perspective too, since there are two brains; thus, the potential for 2 sets of different thoughts and then different kamma-vipaka. However, I understand that it can't be put that s.o.c. = brain (scientific-atheist-materialism), so I defer to RobertK's post as the explanation.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8112
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Life from what period

Postby culaavuso » Thu May 15, 2014 4:37 pm

robertk wrote:Even if there was a case of conjoined twins that shared the same heart they could not share the heart base. The heart base is situated inside the physical heart and is an extremely tiny and subtle rupa that arises and falls away instantly (as with all rupas). It might appear that they had the same basis but it would a different one.


So does this same explanation allow two streams of consciousness in the same embryo, contrary to Ajahn Brahm's claim that such a situation is impossible? Ajahn Brahm seems to claim that the streams of consciousness must arise after twins have split, but this explanation seems to leave open the possibility that the twins might split after the two streams of consciousness arise.
culaavuso
 
Posts: 1026
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Thu May 15, 2014 4:46 pm

The texts suggest that soon after the union of male and female, i.e conception, it is possible for patisandhi citta to arise in that rupa. The texts do not say it has to be exactly that very instant of the mixing of male seed with egg, although it might be.
If i venture to speculate It might be a few hours later, or even a day (or two?), on some occasions, so by then the egg has already split i think.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby Sylvester » Fri May 16, 2014 12:59 am

beeblebrox wrote:From what seems to be my current understanding (when this is translated as "descent into the womb" and not "descent of the embryo"), it still doesn't seem to support Ven. Brahm's argument anymore in using the embryo as a frame of reference for the existence (or non-existence) of consciousness.

It has nothing to do with the embryo initially, but the relationship in between consciousness and namarupa.


Precisely. This is Ajahn Brahm's argument!

If you look carefully at the Pali formula in MN 38, it says this -

Tiṇṇaṃ kho pana bhikkhave sannipātā gabbhassāvakkanti hoti: idha mātāpitaro sannipatitā honti, mātā ca na utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca na paccupaṭṭhito hoti, neva tāva gabbhassāvakkanti [PTS Page 266] [\q 266/] hoti. Idha mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca na paccupaṭṭhito hoti, neva tāva gabbhassāvakkanti hoti. Yato ca kho bhikkhave mātāpitaro sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca paccupaṭṭhito hoti, evaṃ tiṇṇaṃ sannipātā gabbhassāvakkanti hoti.

Bhikkhus, the descent of the embryo/into the womb takes place through the union of three things. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, but the mother is not in season, and the gandhabba is not present—in this case no descent of an embryo/into the womb takes place. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, but the gandhabba is not present—in this case too no descent of the embryo/into the womb takes place. But when there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, and the gandhabba is present, through the union of these three things the descent of the embryo/into the womb takes place.

MN 38, per MLDB (with my alternative in italics for gabbhassa as carrying the dative sense, even though inflected in the genitive)


Although Bhante Sujato had previously argued (http://santifm.org/santipada/2010/when-life-begins/) that this passage suggest contemporaneity of all three things, this does not agree with what Warder has to say about such periphrastric constructions -

Secondly as auxiliary is used in general statements or " eternal truths ” , in passages of didactic or philosophical direct
speech. Here the action referred to is such as would or may take place at any time given the conditions described, and we have
one of the regular uses of the present tense. This construction alternates with the optative in hypothetical descriptions or
analogies. Usually the passage whereis used as auxiliary opens with the word idha, " in this connection/' which sets the
tone or aspect of the whole section of text—sometimes one of considerable length. Several such passages will be found in the
reading passage in Exercise 22, with the present tense (except for the " perfect ” āha, a form which in fact generally seems to
stand for present or indefinite (general) time). It would be possible in such contexts to translate idha as “ supposing ” or
" whenever M (introducing an example or hypothesis). Similar passages begin with tatra, " in this connection/' with hoti
itself (placed initially) or with the optative siyā :—

Intro to Pali, p.237


In Pali, you'd need to replace all of the verbs with the as verb to bring out the sense of contemporaneity. Hoti can be used to describe the past (nothwithstanding that it is a present tense verb) and more importantly, it can is used also to describe the future.

( A note of thanks to pulga who helped remind me to revise Lesson 24)


beeblebrox wrote:There are people who are unable to feel pain. ("Congenital Insensitivity to Pain," article here; and "People Who Feel No Pain Can't Smell, Either," article here.) Does that mean there is no consciousness for them, overall?


The article cited suggests that such subjects are capable of feeling other sensations.

I think in Early Buddhism, the range of the faculties through which pleasure, pain and neutral feelings can arise is much broader than just the tactility addressed in those articles.

:anjali:
Sylvester
 
Posts: 1514
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby Virgo » Fri May 16, 2014 2:32 am

tiltbillings wrote:
The Commentary explains further.
The sutta is straightforward enough that your comment in response to Sylvester was wrong. And the commentarial stuff adds little if anything other than show that Sylvester was correct in what he said.

So Tilt is it more like an immaterial or subtle material body that descends down into the womb from a bardo or from air or somewhere? Which plane of existence does it come from?

Kevin
Virgo
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Life from what period

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 16, 2014 2:40 am

Virgo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
The Commentary explains further.
The sutta is straightforward enough that your comment in response to Sylvester was wrong. And the commentarial stuff adds little if anything other than show that Sylvester was correct in what he said.

So Tilt is it more like an immaterial or subtle material body that descends down into the womb from a bardo or from air or somewhere? Which plane of existence does it come from?

Kevin
Did I say anything remotely resembling what you are asking? Nope. I'll go with the suttas on this.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19559
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby beeblebrox » Fri May 16, 2014 11:43 am

Sylvester wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:From what seems to be my current understanding (when this is translated as "descent into the womb" and not "descent of the embryo"), it still doesn't seem to support Ven. Brahm's argument anymore in using the embryo as a frame of reference for the existence (or non-existence) of consciousness.

It has nothing to do with the embryo initially, but the relationship in between consciousness and namarupa.


Precisely. This is Ajahn Brahm's argument!


Hi Sylvester,

It seems like you missed the point that I wanted to make. In Ven. Brahm's argument, he's still focusing on the embryo to try determine whether there was consciousness or not. To me, he seems to be missing the namarupa around it.

Before I go further with this, I want to make clear again that I think abortion is still always a choice for those who might need it. It's not my intention to take that away from them.

It's just that I think the abortion needs to be seen with awareness, for what it is.

People don't do it when they think that there is no life. That doesn't make sense. They do it with the intention to prevent a life from forming. Whatever their reasons might be... and of course, that might be complex.

That's what samsara is!

We should face this with awareness. I think it's delusional to try view it otherwise, and also misleading to try influence others to try see it in any other way.

Again, I'm not against a person performing abortion... it's just that I think he/she should be aware of what they're doing (or even not doing), so that they could be prepared to deal with it, in a way that is realistic for them.

:anjali:
User avatar
beeblebrox
 
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Life from what period

Postby Sylvester » Sat May 17, 2014 3:27 am

beeblebrox wrote:
It seems like you missed the point that I wanted to make. In Ven. Brahm's argument, he's still focusing on the embryo to try determine whether there was consciousness or not. To me, he seems to be missing the namarupa around it.



Hi bb

I'm quite prepared to listen to your argument concerning the nāmarūpa around "it", "it" presumably being intended to refer to the embryo.

The embryo is certainly endowed with form, but what of nāma? Whether you use the suttanta method or the Abhidhammic method to slice and dice nāma, you'll still need to account for -

- feeling,
- perception, and
- formations
- attention & contact (the Abhidhamma puts this in Formations)

Can you refer to any textual support that says that a fertilised egg (let's say of a week old) has nāma?

The problem with the interpretation of the MN 38 passage involving contemporaneity of the 3 events (ie mother's fertility, coitus and the descent into the womb) is twofold -

1. grammatically, the periphrastic structure on MN 38 does not entail contemporaneity of the 3 events; and
2. medically, fertilisation has a window within which to occur, that is determined by the viability of the gametes after the time of coitus. Secondly, your have Condic's opinion (among many) that the embryo does not feel until around the 8th week.

The most basic driver of kamma are the anusayas; they are the sub-conscious roots that drive emotional response that create the opening for rebirth: SN 12.38. But anusayas are dependant on feelings. Is it your position that newly fertilised eggs/embryos can feel and can therefore anuseti (lie with the feeling)?
Sylvester
 
Posts: 1514
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby culaavuso » Sat May 17, 2014 4:00 am

Sylvester wrote:The embryo is certainly endowed with form, but what of nāma? Whether you use the suttanta method or the Abhidhammic method to slice and dice nāma, you'll still need to account for -

- feeling,
- perception, and
- formations
- attention & contact (the Abhidhamma puts this in Formations)

Can you refer to any textual support that says that a fertilised egg (let's say of a week old) has nāma?


Is there textual support that says a zygote doesn't have associated nāma? Is there textual support explaining what configurations are necessary to support nāma? Is there textual support for the idea that nāma is only present if it is detectable by beings other than the consciousness experiencing it?
culaavuso
 
Posts: 1026
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Life from what period

Postby tiltbillings » Sat May 17, 2014 4:28 am

culaavuso wrote:
Sylvester wrote:The embryo is certainly endowed with form, but what of nāma? Whether you use the suttanta method or the Abhidhammic method to slice and dice nāma, you'll still need to account for -

- feeling,
- perception, and
- formations
- attention & contact (the Abhidhamma puts this in Formations)

Can you refer to any textual support that says that a fertilised egg (let's say of a week old) has nāma?


Is there textual support that says a zygote doesn't have associated nāma? Is there textual support explaining what configurations are necessary to support nāma? Is there textual support for the idea that nāma is only present if it is detectable by beings other than the consciousness experiencing it?
Can you provide textual support for the use of "zygote?" Or "egg?" The problems is that texts are not doing science.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19559
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

PreviousNext

Return to Classical Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests