Nibbana = universal consciousness?

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby pegembara » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:56 am

Suffering, according to Buddhism, is 'existence' itself. Where ever there is 'existence', there is also birth and death! Birth and death are two ends of the same stick, 'existence'. Therefore, 'eternal existence' is impossible. We cannot remove 'death' and have 'existence' only.

To be free of 'death' we have to be free of, existence also. But to be free of 'existence' is not to stop existing. To be free of existence we have to realise that existence, is only an experience, not a reality. If existence, is not a reality, then death is also not a reality.By 'experiencing' the 'experience' of existence, we gain freedom of existence, 'birth' and 'death'. This is Nibbana the cessation of suffering.

Therefore, 'pre-existence' and 're-existence', from the Buddhist perspective, is an 'experience', an empirical fact, but it is not a reality. To cling to the concept of 'existence' 'pre-existence' or 'reexistence' is to suffer. To be free of death and suffering, we have to experience the experience of 'existence' and 'death' and see it as only an experience'.

Punnaji
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby sunyavadin » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:08 am

There was an interesting book published in 1901 called Cosmic Consciousness by Richard Maurice Bucke, a Canadian psychiatrist and student of mysticism, on 'nirvana' as a form of 'universal consciousness'. The full text is here. Also relevant is Consciousness Mysticism in the Discourses of the Buddha, Peter Harvey.
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby kirk5a » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:24 pm

I'd be happy if someone provided a satisfactory definition of consciousness.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Nyana » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:01 pm

kirk5a wrote:I'd be happy if someone provided a satisfactory definition of consciousness.

According to Buddhaghosa, consciousness (viññāṇa) has the characteristic of knowing/cognizing (vijānana). Cf. MN 43:

    "'Consciousness, consciousness': Thus is it said. To what extent, friend, is it said to be 'consciousness'?"

    "'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'consciousness.' And what does it cognize? It cognizes 'pleasant.' It cognizes 'painful.' It cognizes 'neither painful nor pleasant.' 'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus it is said to be 'consciousness.'"

And SN 22.79:

    And why, bhikkhus, do you call it consciousness? 'It cognizes,' bhikkhus, therefore it is called consciousness. And what does it cognize? It cognizes sour, it cognizes bitter, it cognizes pungent, it cognizes sweet, it cognizes sharp, it cognizes mild, it cognizes salty, it cognizes bland. 'It cognizes,' bhikkhus, therefore it is called consciousness.

Ven. Bodhi's endnote to this passage from SN 22.79 states, in part:

    Usually in the suttas viññāṇa is presented simply as the basic awareness of an object through one of the sense bases, i.e., as bare "consciousness of" rather than as a discriminative capacity. A parallel treatment of viññāṇa at MN I 292,26-29 defines it through its ability to cognize the three types of feelings (pleasant, painful, neutral); this just shifts the problem to that of distinguishing between viññāṇa and vedanā. Hamilton discusses the problem posed by these passages (Identity and Experience, pp. 53-55, 92-93). She offers the helpful suggestion that although viññāṇa is here defined in a way that encroaches upon the domain of saññā, we should understand that saññā does the actual discrimination (of objects at all five senses) while viññāṇa "is the awareness by which we experience every stage of the cognitive process, including the process of discriminating" (p. 92).

You might not consider this satisfactory, but it works.
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:38 pm

This is good.

:anjali:
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby DAWN » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:08 pm

The emptyness of all is the conciousness off all
Like the silence is the conciousness off noize

A Heart Released
The Teachings of Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Thera
§9. The strategies of clear insight, techniques for uprooting defilement.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eased.html

Once you have investigated the body until it is clear, you should then consider dividing it up into its various parts, using your own way of being methodical. Separate the body into the elements of earth, water, fire, and wind, examining it until you really see it in those terms. At this stage, you may use any strategies of your own devising that are agreeable to your temperament, but you must not in any event abandon the original reference point that first appeared to you. When you are investigating at this stage, you should work at it and develop it repeatedly. Don't investigate once and then let it go for half a month or a month. Investigate in and out, back and forth, again and again. In other words, withdraw inward to quiet the mind and then come out again to investigate the body. Don't exclusively investigate the body or exclusively quiet the mind.

When you have investigated in this way until you have it thoroughly mastered, what happens next is what comes of its own accord. The mind is bound to converge in a big way; and the instant it converges, everything will appear to converge, being one and the same. The entire world will be nothing but elements. At the same time, an image will appear of the world as being level as a drum head, because the entire world is of one and the same inherent nature. Forests, mountains, people, animals — even you yourself — will all ultimately have to be leveled down in one and the same way. Together with this vision, knowledge arises, cutting off all doubts in the heart. This is called yatha-bhuta-ñana-dassana vipassana: the clear insight that both knows and sees things for what they actually are.
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby SDC » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:05 pm

pegembara wrote:
Suffering, according to Buddhism, is 'existence' itself. Where ever there is 'existence', there is also birth and death! Birth and death are two ends of the same stick, 'existence'. Therefore, 'eternal existence' is impossible. We cannot remove 'death' and have 'existence' only.

To be free of 'death' we have to be free of, existence also. But to be free of 'existence' is not to stop existing. To be free of existence we have to realise that existence, is only an experience, not a reality. If existence, is not a reality, then death is also not a reality.By 'experiencing' the 'experience' of existence, we gain freedom of existence, 'birth' and 'death'. This is Nibbana the cessation of suffering.

Therefore, 'pre-existence' and 're-existence', from the Buddhist perspective, is an 'experience', an empirical fact, but it is not a reality. To cling to the concept of 'existence' 'pre-existence' or 'reexistence' is to suffer. To be free of death and suffering, we have to experience the experience of 'existence' and 'death' and see it as only an experience'.

Punnaji


Nice.

pegembara, what is the source of this? Is it from a lecture or one of his papers?
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby sunyavadin » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:33 am

When you have investigated in this way until you have it thoroughly mastered, what happens next is what comes of its own accord. The mind is bound to converge in a big way; and the instant it converges, everything will appear to converge, being one and the same. The entire world will be nothing but elements.


How is this not the same as materialism?
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:41 am

With thy perfect intelligence and compassion
Which are beyond all limit,
Thou comprehends the egolessness of things and persons,
And, art free and clear from the hindrances of passion and egoism.
Thou do not vanish into Nirvana,
Nor does Nirvana abide in thee,
For Nirvana transcends all duality of knowing and known,
Of being and non-being.
Those who see thee thus,
Serene and beyond conceptions,
Will be emancipated from attachment,
Will be cleansed of all defilement,
Both in this world and in the spiritual world beyond.
In this world, whose nature is like a dream,
there is a place for praise and blame;
But, in the ultimate Reality of the Dharmakaya,
Which is far beyond the senses and the discriminating mind,
What is there to praise?
O Thou Most Wise!

- Lankavatara Sutra
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"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby DAWN » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:39 am

sunyavadin wrote:
When you have investigated in this way until you have it thoroughly mastered, what happens next is what comes of its own accord. The mind is bound to converge in a big way; and the instant it converges, everything will appear to converge, being one and the same. The entire world will be nothing but elements.


How is this not the same as materialism?


It's not materialism, because with investigating that way, your mind first off will become very stillness, and if you will continue to investigate like this, your mind fill become very focused, and if all is good, one experiance will take place in you.
It's sure that the door that takes this way meditator is the body, something material, but the important point of this practice is mind, is concentration and awereness. So it's one very classic way, awereness and concentration that you must practice all day every day.

The most important point in this, is to turn your mind to liberation, like a boath in the middle of water must be turned to the beach all time, and so mind must be turned to liberation all the time. And if the mind have a right dirrection, you must just spread the sail of awereness on the mast of concentration, and the wind of kamma will do his job, so by awereness and concentration in all fenomena that you experiance in your daily life, after some period of right practice and right direction, you will step on something stable, save, a shelter of your mind, beyond the water, like a seilor who was burn a middle of ocean will steps on the beach...

So Ajahn Mun, just take his body like a support of his awereness and concentration, like we can take our daily life, or avery else. It's not much important, because truth is Truth, and this Truth is every where, in every dhamma you have all the Dhamma. We have all our life to choise our support of practice awereness and concentration, it's may be some thing material or not, something here or very far, it's not depends of that, it's depend of nothing, because is the thurth of freedom
Sabbe dhamma anatta
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby sunyavadin » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:02 am

Thanks, Dawn. :anjali:
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby DAWN » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:29 am

With pleasure :anjali:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Scott1989 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:38 pm

The Buddha would probably say that none of this is relevant. Trying to describe your true nature is identifying with an object (you feel that you are the one describing the thing that cannot be described instead of being the 'thing' that cannot be described) and stands in the way of liberation.
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby DAWN » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:50 pm

It's true..
If we wanna talk about The Dhamma, we shuld stay silent
So we can talk just about The Path

Anyway, we know that every living being seek for 3 things :
- Liberty (peoples want to be rich, and powerfull to have and do every that they want)
- Stability/Savety (peoples want to have good friends, good family, good job, to fill him self in security)
- Peace (peoples don't want to be disturbed, they want some calm, to be in peace)

and the same seeking for the animals, and I am sure for the rest of living creatures to.

The problem is that all this qualities are seeked in phenomenal world, that havn't Liberty, havn't Stability and havn't Peace.

Every living being are seeking for Nibbana,
inconciuosly they are all buddhists,
but who dont met The Dhamma

So I would like just to say that anyway we will stay on the Path, but one day, when we will wake up under a tree, where we spend our night, we must to be awere to be able to understand if before to go sleep we went from left to the right, or from right to the left, and to understand that we must be awere about the leaf of the tree, to be concentrate on dhammas, for understand where the wind lead us, where he lead everybody... But in this world, in society, we have a lot of turbulances that can deceive us, so a wise one go forth, out of the zone of turbulance, now he can take his Path, now he can direct his boath on the beach, without worring about a storm, without worring to break his mast of believe, the wise one will reach the ground in this very life.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby PeterHarvey » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:14 pm

Sylvester wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
suttametta wrote:Malcolm turned me on to Peter Harvey's "The Selfless Mind." It is an excellent treatment of just these issues.


I'm not familiar with that work, but by sheer coincidence I just happened to run across Bhikkhu Bodhi's reference to it, in note 314 to SN 4.23.

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:When the monk is said to attain final Nibbana with consciousness unestablished, this should not be understood to mean that after death consciousness survives in an "unestablished" condition (a thesis argued by Harvey, The Selfless Mind, pp. 208-210); for enough texts make it plain that with the passing away of the arahant consciousness too ceases and no longer exists (see, e.g., 12:51).


SN 12.51 wrote:"When there is utterly no consciousness, with the cessation of consciousness, would name-and-form be discerned?"
"No, venerable sir."


That's a very good observation. I'm happy to report (from hearsay of course) that Prof Harvey has since changed his mind considerably on the subject. I heard from my teacher that Prof Harvey is hoping to rework some of his earlier works, which he admits had been influenced too much by Ven T's "not-self" strategy.

:anjali:


This is news to me :-)
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Sylvester » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:19 am

Dear Prof Harvey

Pls accept my apologies for any distress that my misreporting may have caused you.

:anjali:
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby xabir » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:53 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
suttametta wrote:Again, we can go into these issues if you like.

I've already pointed out to you where you are mistaken on a number of issues. Malcolm has patiently done so with regard to many issues. Yet you persist with your wild interpretations of the Budhadhamma.

suttametta wrote:Whereas, the Pali teachings about sati are uniquely different as to methodology, although not as different as one might think as to result, given the Buddha's statements about nibbana being an eternal radiant consciousness.

Given your penchant for reading Vedic views into the dhamma there's probably very little point in trying to clarify this issue. But here are a couple of contemporary Theravāda authors who refute your ideas about consciousness and nibbāna:

Nibbana is not Viññāṇa. Really, it just isn’t by Ven Sujato.

The Mind Stilled: 33 Sermons on Nibbāna by Ven. Ñāṇananda.

suttametta wrote:You are impugning my knowledge.

I reject your interpretation and understanding of the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna. It's really that simple.
Hi Geoff,

As I have learnt, there are a few interpretations of viññāṇāṁ anidassanaṁ. Some people interprete this in terms of eternalism - not unlike the Hindus that posit an unchanging consciousness which is the basis of their moksha/liberation.

Apart from this, I have heard of two interpretations which I think does not fall into eternalism but which I think is vastly different.

1) Ven. Nanananda interpretes viññāṇāṁ anidassanaṁ as the consciousness of an arahant, which is not established in terms of a self in name and form, so it is also considered the cessation of 'manifest' consciousness/name and form, but there is a non-manifestive or non-established consciousness that does not 'reflect' name and form, which is the consciousness of an arahant.

2) Ven. Sujato interpetes viññāṇāṁ anidassanaṁ as merely the attainment of formless jhanas (plane of infinite consciousness?), but often misread by a wrong syntax and thereby confused with nirvana which is the 'the cessation of consciousness' which is actually something altogether different from viññāṇāṁ anidassanaṁ. This interpretation would also bring into question: obviously, the arahant is conscious at some level, otherwise an arahant would become inert and insentient like a piece of wood after liberation. Or is Ven. Sujato implying an afterlife parinibbana as being devoid of consciousness?


What is your thoughts on this? What do you think is the correct interpretation? I think that if 1) is correct, then 2) can't be correct, and vice versa. Their explanations seem to be contradictory. Too bad I don't know Pali so can't make judgment on their interpretations. But I personally think Ven. Nanananda might be right.


Update: from the latest comment, Ven. Sujato indeed confirms that 'When the Buddha (or arahant) passes away, this is “an-upadisesa parinibbana”: the five aggregates end, including all vinnana, and there is no suffering.'
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Nyana » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:35 am

xabir wrote:What is your thoughts on this? What do you think is the correct interpretation? I think that if 1) is correct, then 2) can't be correct, and vice versa. Their explanations seem to be contradictory. Too bad I don't know Pali so can't make judgment on their interpretations. But I personally think Ven. Nanananda might be right.

I think there's no need to place too much emphasis on a phrase that only occurs twice in the entire Suttapiṭaka. According to the commentaries this phrase refers to a consciousness of nibbāna.

Ven. Ñāṇananda has probably explored this phrase in more detail than most, and I generally agree with his analysis. However, he misinterprets at least one of the two commentarial explanations and sets up a bit of a straw man argument against the commentary. Recourse to the sub-commentary would have prevented this misinterpretation.
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby mogg » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:57 am

The title of this thread is entirely incorrect.

Ven. Nyantiloka's rendition of MN 109 (inc. notes):

And what, in brief, are the Five Groups of Existence? They are
corporeality, feeling, perception, (mental) formations, and
consciousness.
All corporeal phenomena, whether past, present or future, M. 109
one’s own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near,
all belong to the Group of Corporeality; all feelings belong to
the Group of Feeling; all perceptions belong to the Group of
Perception; all mental formations belong to the Group of Formations;
all consciousness belongs to the Group of
Consciousness.

(These Groups are a fivefold classification in which the Buddha
has summed up all the physical and mental phenomena of existence,
and in particular, those which appear to the ignorant man
as his ego or personality. Hence birth, decay, death, etc. are also
included in these five Groups which actually comprise the whole
world.
)

There is no consciousness that is exempt from the tilakkhana. This nibbana = 'universal consciousness' idea is wrong view.

MN 38: Hence I say: the arising of consciousness is dependent upon
conditions; and without these conditions, no consciousness
arises.


I also recommend reading SN 23.94. Categorical on this issue.
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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Nyana » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:25 pm

mogg wrote:The title of this thread is entirely incorrect.

This thread was split off from another discussion and titled by a moderator.
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