the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue May 21, 2013 10:08 am

Alex123 wrote:In Dependent Origination it is nāmarūpa. Form (rūpa) goes with mental states (nāma).


The point is that in dependent origination nama-rupa ( a person ) arises in dependence on consciousness, not the other way round. This contradicts the scientific view.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue May 21, 2013 11:01 am

porpoise wrote:
Alex123 wrote:In Dependent Origination it is nāmarūpa. Form (rūpa) goes with mental states (nāma).


The point is that in dependent origination nama-rupa ( a person ) arises in dependence on consciousness, not the other way round. This contradicts the scientific view.


D.O. talks about origination of dukkha due to ignorance.

There is another teaching on rise-and-fall of aggregates where nāmarūpa is the cause for viññāṇa. Not other way around.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue May 21, 2013 12:47 pm

Alex123 wrote:
porpoise wrote:
Alex123 wrote:In Dependent Origination it is nāmarūpa. Form (rūpa) goes with mental states (nāma).


The point is that in dependent origination nama-rupa ( a person ) arises in dependence on consciousness, not the other way round. This contradicts the scientific view.


D.O. talks about origination of dukkha due to ignorance.


I don't see the relevance of your comment. The fact remains that most suttas describing D.O. have nama-rupa arising in dependence on consciousness, not the other way round ( see for example the quote from DN15 I gave a couple of posts back ).
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue May 21, 2013 1:03 pm

porpoise wrote:I don't see the relevance of your comment. .


There are at least two types of conditionality,
1) DO in all its modes and 2) rise and fall of the aggregates. DO deals with arising and ceasing of dukkha due to avijjā. The rise-and-fall of aggregates deals with arising and ceasing of aggregates that can occur also to Arahants.

IMHO.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue May 21, 2013 1:09 pm

Alex123 wrote:
porpoise wrote:I don't see the relevance of your comment. .


There are at least two types of conditionality,
1) DO in all its modes and 2) rise and fall of the aggregates. DO deals with arising and ceasing of dukkha due to avijjā. The rise-and-fall of aggregates deals with arising and ceasing of aggregates that can occur also to Arahants.

IMHO.


I'm still struggling to see the relevance, but if you can find a sutta which clearly describes consciousness arising in dependence on form, I'd be interested to see it.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Zakattack » Tue May 21, 2013 7:00 pm

porpoise wrote:Not true, there are clearly 2 options. And in fact if you read the suttas describing dependent origination you will find that "form arising in dependence on consciousness" is described more frequently than "form and consciousness being mutually dependent".
The option that the suttas don't describe is "consciousness arising in dependence on form". So Buddhism disagrees with science.

It was mentioned the potential to develop a materialistic interpretation. The suttas are not necessarily explaining the physical existence of the physical body (rupa) is dependent on consciousness. For example, when a human being is unconsciousness, science can maintain their physical life using life support methods. The physical body does not necessarily have to be consciousness to live. This is pointed in the suttas, as posted, which describe the cessation of perception & feeling, which explain that as long as heat & vitality continue to exist, the physical body will continue to exist as a life form.

"Form arising in dependence on consciousness" can simply mean the awareness of form arising in dependence on consciousness. When a tree falls in a forest, does anybody hear?

porpoise wrote:See here, for example in DN15:

Name-and-form
"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"
"No, lord."
"If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-and-form be produced for this world?"
"No, lord."
"If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?"
"No, lord."
"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-and-form, i.e., consciousness."

The Four Great Standards (Mahapadesa) established by the Buddha mean Buddhists have the right to reject DN 15 since the explanation in DN 15 is contrary to all of the other suttas about Dependent Origination. DN 15 is not "the suttas" but, instead, one single sutta. All of the suttas, apart from the single DN 15, explain consciousness as the six-fold sense consciousness & nama-rupa as mentality-materiality. Worse, science can easily disprove the materialistic notion of: "If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb", since consciousness is not required for the development of an embryo, which is why scientists can create & grow embryos in test tubes.

Also, DN 15 states:

“Name-&-form conditions contact should be understood in this way: If those qualities (àkàra), traits (liïga), signs (nimitta), and indicators (uddesa) through which there is a description of the mental body (nàma-kàya) were all absent, would designation-contact (adhivacana-samphassa) be discerned in the physical body (rupa-kàya)?”

“If those qualities, traits, signs, and indicators through which there is a description of the physical body (rupa-kàya) were all absent, would impingement-contact (pañigha-samphassa) be discerned in the mental body (nàma-kàya)?”

To this extent, ânanda, one can be born, age, and die, fall (from one existence) and rise (into another); to this extent there is a pathway for designation (adhivacana-patha), a pathway for language (nirutti-patha), a pathway for concept (pannatti-patha), a sphere for wisdom (pannà-avacara); to this extent the round turns as far as can be discerned in this state (itthattaü pannàpanàya), that is, (when there is) name-&-form together with consciousness.


This quote about nama-rupa is a strange beast & appears to not exist anywhere else in the suttas. Worse, it seems to imply an embryo & fetus are engaged in the mental acts of description, discernment, language, conceptualising, sense contact, etc. This is contrary to MN 64, where it is explained a new born child cannot conceptualise.

Since you are quoting & relying on DN 15, why don't you explain to the forum what this unusual version of nama-rupa means?

:shrug:
Last edited by Zakattack on Tue May 21, 2013 7:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Zakattack » Tue May 21, 2013 7:13 pm

porpoise wrote:
Zakattack wrote:Fundamentalist Christianity & Science may disagree on some fundamental life matters but this disagreement does not necessarily exist between Buddhism & Science.


There is certainly less disagreement, but there are still significant differences. The challenge for skeptical Buddhists is how to cope with those differences, how to cope with all the suttas that describe "inconvenient truths" like kamma, rebirth, form arising in dependence on consciousness etc etc.

It appears there may also be a challenge for you. Your post here is dependent on the assumption that your personal interpretation is the correct one.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Zakattack » Tue May 21, 2013 7:16 pm

porpoise wrote:I'm still struggling to see the relevance, but if you can find a sutta which clearly describes consciousness arising in dependence on form, I'd be interested to see it.

Multiple suttas were previously posted. :roll:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Zakattack » Tue May 21, 2013 7:22 pm

porpoise wrote:The point is that in dependent origination nama-rupa ( a person ) arises in dependence on consciousness, not the other way round. This contradicts the scientific view.

What exactly is "the person"? The suttas explain:

What, monks, is the burden?

'The five groups of clinging' is the answer. Which five? They are: the group of clinging to corporeality,... to feelings,... to perceptions,... to mental formations,... to consciousness. This, monks, is called 'the burden.'

What is the laying hold of the burden? The answer is that it is 'the person'....

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


To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

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

Are these suttas explaining "the person" is dependent on consciousness or are they explaining "the person" or "the being" is dependent on attachment to consciousness?

:shrug:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 22, 2013 10:21 am

Zakattack wrote:The Four Great Standards (Mahapadesa) established by the Buddha mean Buddhists have the right to reject DN 15 since the explanation in DN 15 is contrary to all of the other suttas about Dependent Origination.


No, the explanation in DN15 is consistent with the suttas in Part II. of the Samyutta Nikaya, the nidana-vagga - this is the main treatment of dependent origination in the Pali Cannon.
Also, the idea that we should reject suttas which don't agree with our current beliefs seems to me a very dubious strategy.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 22, 2013 10:23 am

Zakattack wrote:
porpoise wrote:The point is that in dependent origination nama-rupa ( a person ) arises in dependence on consciousness, not the other way round. This contradicts the scientific view.


What exactly is "the person"? The suttas explain:

What, monks, is the burden?
'The five groups of clinging' is the answer. Which five? They are: the group of clinging to corporeality,... to feelings,... to perceptions,... to mental formations,... to consciousness. This, monks, is called 'the burden.'
What is the laying hold of the burden? The answer is that it is 'the person'....
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html



Nama-rupa is mentality-materiality or mind-body - it's equivalent to the 5 aggregates. I think you're overcomplicating things.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 22, 2013 10:26 am

Zakattack wrote:
porpoise wrote:I'm still struggling to see the relevance, but if you can find a sutta which clearly describes consciousness arising in dependence on form, I'd be interested to see it.

Multiple suttas were previously posted. :roll:


I still haven't seen a sutta quote which clearly describes consciousness arising in dependence on form. :shrug:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 22, 2013 10:42 am

porpoise wrote:I still haven't seen a sutta quote which clearly describes consciousness arising in dependence on form. :shrug:



How about:
Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. MN148
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Wed May 22, 2013 10:45 am

porpoise wrote:Nama-rupa is mentality-materiality or mind-body - it's equivalent to the 5 aggregates. I think you're overcomplicating things.


Hmm... since the dependent relation "vinnana-namarupa" obtains, namarupa on its own cannot be the five aggregates because vinnana is left out. You might be able to say that 'nama' was vedana-sanna-sankhara, or in other words that nama is vedana, sanna, and three sorts of sankhara: intention, contact, and attention. But we cannot accurately say that namarupa = five aggregates.
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    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby 5heaps » Wed May 22, 2013 2:36 pm

Zakattack wrote:
5heaps wrote:since the mind is a primary factor of existence just as energy is

there is great energy in the sun. energy is the primary factor of the sun's existence, just as energy is a primary factor in a nuclear explosion or mechanical engine combustion. mind is not a primary factor in the existence of these things

being primary does not necessitate that it need comprise the sun. the sun is a physical thing. all your other responses are of a similar fashion: strawman argument against my assertions.
what the mind being primary means is that minds existed alongside energy at the time of the production of the universe. this need not imply that a mind pervades the sun, though most tenet schools do indeed assert that there is no object in the universe that is not known, even down to the last atom in the middle of a distant piece of rock. such sorts of minds sound fantastical to a materialist, but then even a thorough explanation of shamata and especially jhana sounds fantastical to a person who has not developed their mental qualities, and who has only ever studied in a lineage that doesnt have the slightest clue how to begin training their mental qualities.

when the physical body of a human being is old & decaying, is there evidence the former mental tendencies (kammas) remain? for example, does an old man, with frail physical body, on his death bed, have a mind that still has the same sexual drive of his youth? does a small child, before the physical & hormonal changes of puberty, have the sexual drives as a teenager (and the associated emotions of vanity, frustration, anger, etc)?

no. again, a strawman argument, since i did not say that kammas are unchanging and permanent and that we should expect that they should last a full lifetime let alone 5 minutes. also there is a difference between kammic seeds, kammas, mental habits, and mental factors. akk mental habits associated with for example a human mind end during the death process of that human. what cannot end, namely that which is produced as the first moment of a new life by the previous moment prior to death, is a neutral type of subtle mental consciousness from which later all other parts of the person are steadily produced. kammic seeds exist as mental factors on this momentary mental continuum, which grow when the appropriate causes and conditions are met. at that point, not even god can stop the production of the effect of the kammic seed, since it is cause and effect.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 23, 2013 8:20 am

daverupa wrote: But we cannot accurately say that namarupa = five aggregates.


Yes, you're right, nama-rupa doesn't include consciousness. Which makes sense because in dependent origination nama-rupa arises in dependence on consciousness.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 23, 2013 8:22 am

Alex123 wrote:
porpoise wrote:I still haven't seen a sutta quote which clearly describes consciousness arising in dependence on form. :shrug:



How about:
Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. MN148


Yes, well spotted. So now we have consciousness arising in dependence on form, consciousness and form being mutually dependent, and form ( in nama-rupa ) arising in dependence on consciousness. :juggling: ;)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby 5heaps » Thu May 23, 2013 9:35 am

porpoise wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
porpoise wrote:I still haven't seen a sutta quote which clearly describes consciousness arising in dependence on form. :shrug:



How about:
Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. MN148


Yes, well spotted. So now we have consciousness arising in dependence on form, consciousness and form being mutually dependent, and form ( in nama-rupa ) arising in dependence on consciousness. :juggling: ;)

sigh. as everyone has clearly explained for the past 2500 years, what that quote means is that the sense powers condition the arising of their respective consciousness. the actual cause, the actual material cause, is a previous moment of mind. sense powers do not act as material causes ie. prime causes for the mind, they just condition how the present moment of mind is produced by the previous moment of mind, which is the main, actual, and material cause.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 23, 2013 12:49 pm

5heaps wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. MN148


sigh. as everyone has clearly explained for the past 2500 years, what that quote means is that the sense powers condition the arising of their respective consciousness. the actual cause, the actual material cause, is a previous moment of mind. sense powers do not act as material causes ie. prime causes for the mind, they just condition how the present moment of mind is produced by the previous moment of mind, which is the main, actual, and material cause.


I think we're looking at different contexts here. Contact ( phasso ) is functionally the meeting of eye, form and eye-consciousness. But in dependent origination contact is described in structural terms: contact arises in dependence on the 6 bases ( salyatanam ) which in turn arise in dependence on mind-body ( nama-rupa ).
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby 5heaps » Thu May 23, 2013 2:09 pm

porpoise wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. MN148

I think we're looking at different contexts here. Contact ( phasso ) is functionally the meeting of eye, form and eye-consciousness. But in dependent origination contact is described in structural terms: contact arises in dependence on the 6 bases ( salyatanam ) which in turn arise in dependence on mind-body ( nama-rupa ).

why are you bringing up contact in DO? DO is just an explanation of what things depend on other things, and what things are not possible unless other things are there for them to depend on. DO does not contain all the variables and that is not its job.

the point im arguing agsinst is the idea that the quote given establishes their argument: that consciousness is produced FROM form. form never produces consciousness. the capacity of production is due only to the material cause as i explained, namely a previous moment of mind. similarly the capacity of production for a clay cup is clay, the person who conditions it acts just as a condition and not a main/material cause. things like sense powers and objects and contact and feeling merely condition their respective consciousness. the main cause/material cause is a previous moment of mind. thats all i mean
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