Why consciousness is impermanent?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Why consciousness is impermanent?

Postby SarathW » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:09 am

purple planet wrote:Why consciousness is impermanent ? and what is permanent ?

i thought what we are is the consciousness and that is the permanent thing - that and karma -no ?


If something is continually change to something else we called it as impermanent. It is like a stream of a river. Same person will not be able to stepping to the same river twice. A rock does appear to be permanent but it will turn to dust eventually. Empirical sense there is a rock but there is no rock in absolute sense. The reason for this is that a so called rock is made out of other elements. So it is conditioned reality.
SarathW
 
Posts: 2342
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why consciousness is impermanent?

Postby Mal » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:42 am

purple planet wrote:Why consciousness is impermanent ? and what is permanent ?

i thought what we are is the consciousness and that is the permanent thing - that and karma -no ?


Ajahn Brahm says that "superpower mindfulness" reveals consciousness to be discrete. That is, consciousness is there when you are conscious of something, but when you aren't conscious of anything it is not there. Therefore it is impermanent.

On my reading, "what goes on" is the *stream* of consciousness - but each discrete bit of consciousness in the stream dependently arises from a previous bit of consciousness.

Why need karma be permanent? If you have a bad thought, another bad thought can, surely, arise in the reborn that is dependent on the original bad thought - and the original bad thought dies. The "equal badness" associated with each thought is dissipated by good acts - so I can't see any permanence associated with karma. I guess, just be good and your bad karma goes - eventually :)?

Doesn't Buddhism hold that *nothing* is permanent (not even nothing....)?
Mal
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:21 pm

Re: Why consciousness is impermanent?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:43 am

acinteyyo wrote:
piotr wrote:Hi,

    1. Look at your computer
    2. Then turn your head and look at something else
    3. What happened to the previous sight conciousness?

Hi,

I don't think this is a good example piotr. It only works if one accepts the idea that what one sees is a conglomeration of several somehow discrete sight consciousnesses.
As I see it, when I look at my computer and then turn my head and look at something else, what happens is, that eye-consciousness changed. It changed, but it is still there. The way I understand it, eye-consciousness (of my computer) did not cease when I had turned my head and another eye-consciousness (looking at something else) arose but eye-consciousness of visible form (my computer) just changed into eye-consciousness of visible form of something else instead of my computer. The eye-consciousness itself is still eye-consciousness which indeed changed but because of the visible form that had changed and not because consciousness had ceased and arose anew. Although this may show that you can easily see that consciousness is impermanent because it "changes while standing" but you don't see the arising nor the cessation of consciousness. That would be a lot more difficult to observe if you ask me.

best wishes, acinteyyo



Hmm, but SN 12.61 seems to posit that in order for new contact to be made, old contact has to cease. This sutta goes right into the heart of the debate of whether there can be only one consciousness at a time, or multiple consciousnesses at the same time.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Sylvester
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Why consciousness is impermanent?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:36 pm

Sylvester wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:
piotr wrote:Hi,

    1. Look at your computer
    2. Then turn your head and look at something else
    3. What happened to the previous sight conciousness?

Hi,

I don't think this is a good example piotr. It only works if one accepts the idea that what one sees is a conglomeration of several somehow discrete sight consciousnesses.
As I see it, when I look at my computer and then turn my head and look at something else, what happens is, that eye-consciousness changed. It changed, but it is still there. The way I understand it, eye-consciousness (of my computer) did not cease when I had turned my head and another eye-consciousness (looking at something else) arose but eye-consciousness of visible form (my computer) just changed into eye-consciousness of visible form of something else instead of my computer. The eye-consciousness itself is still eye-consciousness which indeed changed but because of the visible form that had changed and not because consciousness had ceased and arose anew. Although this may show that you can easily see that consciousness is impermanent because it "changes while standing" but you don't see the arising nor the cessation of consciousness. That would be a lot more difficult to observe if you ask me.

best wishes, acinteyyo



Hmm, but SN 12.61 seems to posit that in order for new contact to be made, old contact has to cease. This sutta goes right into the heart of the debate of whether there can be only one consciousness at a time, or multiple consciousnesses at the same time.

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

And I don't disagree with that. What I'm trying to illustrate is that "seeing object A" and "seeing object B" doesn't necessarily mean that there is old contact (object A) and new contact (object B) involved. You could also understand that phenomenon as one contact which isn't to be taken as a static "contact-thing", either A or B, but rather as a dynamic process of contact, arising as one thing (object A), change while standing and ceasing as another thing (object B).

best wishes, acinteyyo

edit: I want to add that it isn't plausible to believe that the way we usually categorise and differentiate one thing from another through concepts is congruent to a differentiation of "contact".
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:
User avatar
acinteyyo
 
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Previous

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests