tiltbillings wrote:Does consciousness cease, literally with the cessation of ignorance in the living arahant?
Conditioned consciousness does - beyond that, it's not for me to say.
(1) bodily function, i.e. in-and-out-breathing (e.g. M.10),
(2) verbal function, i.e. thought-conception and discursive thinking,
(3) mental-function, i.e. feeling and perception (e.g. M.44).
Do these things literally cease, no longer to function in the living arahant?
Is it possible to reframe your question using a term other than "function", that pertains directly to experience? In the meantime, I'll answer as best as I can...
Yes, kāyasankhāro, vacīsankhāro and cittasankhāro all cease for the arahant... but
that is not to say that what you seem to mean by them as physiological "functions" ceases. On matters of physiology I do not wish to speculate because physiology (not being loka) is not dependent upon avijja.
(I have no doubt that will seem unnecessarily oblique, but it is what it is... "realism" as defined earlier included "objectively existing world... not dependent on our minds", and to me, "physiological functions" falls into that category, hence why I asked if you could reframe your question).
Oh, no no no! Pls don't hold this view. How will the living Arahant function without MN 44's sankharas? Do note that MN 44 explicitly addresses the arising of the cittasankhara for those arising from Nirodha Sammapatti, which is accessible only to Anagamis and Arahants.
Were you perhaps thinking that these sankharas in an Arahant might be unconditioned, in the same way as conditioned consciousness ceases for an Arahant in your view?
Might you perhaps be thinking of Geoff's "unestablished consciousness"? IMHO, this is a unicorn born from Ven Nanananda's unfortunate translations. Ven N translates "tadappatittham vinnanam" in SN 22.53 as "that unestablished consciousness...". Even Ven Thanissaro opts for the much saner translation of "consciousness, thus not having landed..." and BB renders it as "with consciousness unestablished...".
Ven N finds more support for this unicorn in SN 4.23 where he translates -
Appatiṭṭhitena ca, bhikkhave, viññāṇena Godhiko kulaputto parinibbuto.
"O! monks, the clansman Godhika passed away with an unestablished consciousness:
Nibbana Sermons 3
IMHO, this is a very poor attempt to reify something that does not exist, whether conditioned or unconditioned. The translation totally ignores the context to which the Buddha gave the above answer -
“Eso kho, bhikkhave, māro pāpimā godhikassa kulaputtassa viññāṇaṃ samanvesati— ‘kattha godhikassa kulaputtassa viññāṇaṃ patiṭṭhitan’ti? Appatiṭṭhitena ca, bhikkhave, viññāṇena godhiko kulaputto parinibbuto”ti.
That, bhikkhus, is Mara the Evil One searching for the consciousness of the clansman Godhika, wondering " Where now has the consciousness of the clansman been established?" However, bhikkhus, with consciousness unestablished, the clansman Godhika has attained final Nibbana.
Like those other mystical mumbo jumbo translations of that other unicorn "viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ", the Canon's scanty references to "consciousness not being established" has been reified into an "unestablished consciousness".
I've searched the Canon, and I can't seem to find any context in which consciousness is not estasblished, except in the context of Parinibbana. So, even if this unicorn exists, it does not seem relevant to an living Arahant.