Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

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Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby indian_buddhist » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:18 am

About the 5 Khandhas. Please clear my understanding.

1. Form (Material body) - This is pretty clear.
2. Vedana ( Feelings) - Pleasant/Unpleasant/Neutral - this is clear.
3. Perception - Meaning how you perceive something - similar to Judgement ?....(You perceive someone to be good/bad etc)?
4. Volition - acts of Will - similar to Kamma?
5. Consciousness - what does this mean..........How do you distinguish Consciousness from the other 4 khandhas?.
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:25 am

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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:15 am

I think, in very simple terms, consciousness is pertinent to the other senses... it is becoming aware that you see, aware that you hear, aware that you can smell, aware that you are speaking, aware that your body is solid, aware that your mind is cogent....

Once your eye does not see, there is no awareness of sight, but awareness of non-sight, and so on....without this awareness, our senses are useless... you not only see, but must be aware that you are seeing, and thus the same for the remainder.

58. "And what is consciousness, what is the origin of consciousness, what is the cessation of consciousness, what is the way leading to the cessation of consciousness? There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness. With the arising of formations there is the arising of consciousness. With the cessation of formations there is the cessation of consciousness. The way leading to the cessation of consciousness is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration.

59. "When a noble disciple has thus understood consciousness, the origin of consciousness, the cessation of consciousness, and the way leading to the cessation of consciousness... 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."
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:42 pm

The one I really struggle with is sanna ( perception ), particularly how it interacts with the other aggregates.
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:47 pm

Sanna (Perception) is another way of saying 'Interpretation'.....

How you specifically process what you perceive.

Simplistically:

You might perceive the taste of Kimchi as too spicy, whereas for my perception of taste, it would be just right....

You might see an ink-blot and interpret it as a candlestick.... I might see the ink-blot and see two faces looking at each other....
:namaste:

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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 01, 2014 8:29 am

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:You might perceive the taste of Kimchi as too spicy, whereas for my perception of taste, it would be just right....


But that example involves vedana too? It's tricky to separate them out.
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 01, 2014 9:15 am

Greetings,

Spiny Norman wrote:But that example involves vedana too? It's tricky to separate them out.

Well, the truth of the matter is that they're not mutually exclusive bundles into which experience can be aggregated. Consider vedana for example... there is no vedana that could not similarly be classified within one of the six-consciousnesses.

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Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Thu May 01, 2014 9:41 am

Are they in fact even linear?
The problem is, it is all very well describing the different processes we go to, in order to arrive at the whole; but sometimes, they overlap, and overlay one another; separating these elements is often impossible, the conjunction is swift, rapid, immediate....we don't take each step as it comes - we actually leap from one position to the next, encapsulating them all.

Besides, maybe 'feeling' is not an adequate or sufficient interpretation of 'Vedana'....just as 'Suffering' is not an adequate or sufficient interpretation of 'Dhukka'...


:namaste:
:namaste:

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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby SarathW » Thu May 01, 2014 9:44 am

Spiny Norman wrote:The one I really struggle with is sanna ( perception ), particularly how it interacts with the other aggregates.



"Feeling, perception, & consciousness, friend: Are these qualities conjoined or disjoined? Is it possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them?"

"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Thu May 01, 2014 10:50 am

...And you know, honestly?
Hand on heart, I had no idea that the Buddha indeed instructed so..... :shock:

Thank you SarathW.....

:namaste:
:namaste:

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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 01, 2014 1:48 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Well, the truth of the matter is that they're not mutually exclusive bundles into which experience can be aggregated.


Yes, I do realise that. On the other hand I think it's useful to develop some understanding of their qualities, and how they interact to produce experience.
Obviously the aggregates are just one model for understanding experience, but they are mentioned so frequently in the suttas that I assume they are quite important.
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 01, 2014 1:53 pm

SarathW wrote:
"Feeling, perception, & consciousness, friend: Are these qualities conjoined or disjoined? Is it possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them?"

"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."

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


Yes, thanks, I'm familiar with that quote. I find it a bit puzzling though, given that consciousness, perception and feeling are repeatedly delineated in the suttas. If these 3 aggregates really can't be separated, they why did the Buddha bother to list them separately on so many occasions in the suttas?
Why not just a single term to cover the 3 combined?
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 01, 2014 1:55 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:Are they in fact even linear?


No, I think there are describing complex interactions involving feedback loops and so on. And quite difficult to follow because it all happens so quickly in experience.
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby santa100 » Thu May 01, 2014 3:24 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:But that example involves vedana too? It's tricky to separate them out.

Ven. Bodhi's intro from Middle Length Discourses about the Aggregates:
The aggregate of material form (rūpa) includes the physical body with its sense faculties as well as external material objects. The aggregate of feeling (vedanā) is the affective element in experience, either pleasant, painful, or neutral. Perception (saññā), the third aggregate, is the factor responsible for noting the qualities of things and also accounts for recognition and memory. The formations aggregate (sankhārā) is an umbrella term that includes all volitional, emotive, and intellective aspects of mental life. And consciousness (viññāṇa), the fifth aggregate, is the basic awareness of an object indispensable to all cognition.

Due to the close and lightening fast interaction among them and our worldling's limited capacity, it's difficult to tell them apart. But it doesn't mean the aggregates are all the same in term of their function. So if we go back to the eating Kimchi example, a crude analysis would be something like: Forms involve the physical food and the physical sense organ; Feeling involves the simple affective tone of whether it feels pleasant, painful, or neutral while eating Kimchi; Perception involves the recognition/identification that the food is indeed Kimchi, the food has a color of red, the taste is classified as "spicy", etc.; Formation involves the attitude toward Kimchi, whether one'd like and intend to eat more or hate and stay away from it; Consciousness involves the basic awareness throughout the entire process..
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby indian_buddhist » Thu May 01, 2014 5:02 pm

santa100 wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:But that example involves vedana too? It's tricky to separate them out.

Ven. Bodhi's intro from Middle Length Discourses about the Aggregates:
The aggregate of material form (rūpa) includes the physical body with its sense faculties as well as external material objects. The aggregate of feeling (vedanā) is the affective element in experience, either pleasant, painful, or neutral. Perception (saññā), the third aggregate, is the factor responsible for noting the qualities of things and also accounts for recognition and memory. The formations aggregate (sankhārā) is an umbrella term that includes all volitional, emotive, and intellective aspects of mental life. And consciousness (viññāṇa), the fifth aggregate, is the basic awareness of an object indispensable to all cognition.

Due to the close and lightening fast interaction among them and our worldling's limited capacity, it's difficult to tell them apart. But it doesn't mean the aggregates are all the same in term of their function. So if we go back to the eating Kimchi example, a crude analysis would be something like: Forms involve the physical food and the physical sense organ; Feeling involves the simple affective tone of whether it feels pleasant, painful, or neutral while eating Kimchi; Perception involves the recognition/identification that the food is indeed Kimchi, the food has a color of red, the taste is classified as "spicy", etc.; Formation involves the attitude toward Kimchi, whether one'd like and intend to eat more or hate and stay away from it; Consciousness involves the basic awareness throughout the entire process..




can vinnana simply be called awareness?.....iI looks like to be more subtle than perception.

suppose we drink alcohol I guess the most important thing which will be affected is vinnana ? correct me if my understanding of vinnana is wrong..
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby santa100 » Thu May 01, 2014 6:19 pm

indian_buddhist wrote:can vinnana simply be called awareness?.....iI looks like to be more subtle than perception.

suppose we drink alcohol I guess the most important thing which will be affected is vinnana ? correct me if my understanding of vinnana is wrong..

Vinnana is rendered with various terms like consciousness, mind, discernment, awareness.. depending on the context of the particular sutta. As mentioned, vinnana doesn't operate alone and independent of the other aggregates. Consuming liquor will affect all the aggregates in a negative fashion: the Form is weak and sickly, the Feeling of pleasure is fed, the Perception further identifes/recognizes with stronger and more harmful liquor, the Volitional Formation of wanting more and more is re-enforced and turning into habit energy that is tougher to get rid of over time, the Consciousness awares and in working together with the aggregates seeking the formation of another body and mind (see Dependent Origination ) in a next life to continue this sensual indulgence.
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby SarathW » Thu May 01, 2014 11:44 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
SarathW wrote:
"Feeling, perception, & consciousness, friend: Are these qualities conjoined or disjoined? Is it possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them?"

"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."

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


Yes, thanks, I'm familiar with that quote. I find it a bit puzzling though, given that consciousness, perception and feeling are repeatedly delineated in the suttas. If these 3 aggregates really can't be separated, they why did the Buddha bother to list them separately on so many occasions in the suttas?
Why not just a single term to cover the 3 combined?


That is how we teach things, by separate them into categories.
We should not bog down in categories though. :)

Our tendency is to get lost in the categories:
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri May 02, 2014 8:14 am

SarathW wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Yes, thanks, I'm familiar with that quote. I find it a bit puzzling though, given that consciousness, perception and feeling are repeatedly delineated in the suttas. If these 3 aggregates really can't be separated, they why did the Buddha bother to list them separately on so many occasions in the suttas?
Why not just a single term to cover the 3 combined?


That is how we teach things, by separate them into categories.
We should not bog down in categories though. :)


I agree, but I don't think this really answers the question I posed. If consciousness, perception and feeling are inseparable, then why bother separating them in the first place?
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri May 02, 2014 8:17 am

santa100 wrote: Feeling involves the simple affective tone of whether it feels pleasant, painful, or neutral while eating Kimchi; Perception involves the recognition/identification that the food is indeed Kimchi, the food has a color of red, the taste is classified as "spicy", etc.; Formation involves the attitude toward Kimchi, whether one'd like and intend to eat more or hate and stay away from it; Consciousness involves the basic awareness throughout the entire process..


So does feeling always come before perception? If for example I see something / somebody I don't like, doesn't the perception come first?
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Re: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)

Postby indian_buddhist » Fri May 02, 2014 8:35 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
santa100 wrote: Feeling involves the simple affective tone of whether it feels pleasant, painful, or neutral while eating Kimchi; Perception involves the recognition/identification that the food is indeed Kimchi, the food has a color of red, the taste is classified as "spicy", etc.; Formation involves the attitude toward Kimchi, whether one'd like and intend to eat more or hate and stay away from it; Consciousness involves the basic awareness throughout the entire process..


So does feeling always come before perception?


I think we need to clearly distinguish between Feeling, Perception, Mental Formations ( Mental Kamma) and Consciousness.

It is true that one acts on the other . Its obvious that one acts on the other . But it would help to demarcate between the arising and falling away of each of these aggregates.

Avijja (Ignorance) is the root of the problem
From Avijja arises Mental Formations (Mental Kamma)
From Mental Formations arises Defiled Perceptions and Defiled Consciousness.

I think this is how the mind should be trained. First develop Wisdom which cuts the process of formation of Mental Kamma/Defiled Perception/Defiled Conciousness.

Feelings are that - Pleasant/Unpleasant depending on the situation. I think Wisdom has no role here. Wisdom cannot control the type of feelings you feel. When there is a Bad odour there is a Bad odour, everyone would feel that there is a Bad odour. It is how you react to the bad odour which is important.

Please Correct me If am wrong in my analysis anywhere.
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