How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
barcsimalsi
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How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby barcsimalsi » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:48 pm


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kirk5a
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:18 pm

"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

santa100
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby santa100 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:28 pm

Ven. Bodhi's comment and recommended further readings might help..
http://palicanon.org/index.php/sutta-pi ... _link-2685

Virgo
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Virgo » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:21 pm



chownah
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby chownah » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:26 pm

barcsimalsi,
Here is a sutta that seems to indicate that perception and consciousness can not be separated and understood separately:
From MN43


"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."


chownah

barcsimalsi
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby barcsimalsi » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:31 am

MN43 says it all.

Thanks to everyone.

ricebowl
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby ricebowl » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:01 pm


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reflection
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby reflection » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:07 pm

In my eyes consciousness is the bare awareness and perception is mainly how this awareness is colored. For example, one person might perceive radish to taste nice while another perceives it to be awful. Also we could wonder if we all perceive the color red in the same way, and things like that. Perception often tricks you into thinking things are one way while they are another way. Consciousness itself can't do this because it is below that level.

I think the MN43 quote is not that you can't understand some differences between perception and consciousness, but that you can't have one without the other. No painting without canvas, that sort of idea. If there was no noticeable difference there would be no reason for the Buddha to have separated the two.

:namaste:

chownah
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby chownah » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:17 pm

reflection,
What you say makes sense to me but when going to Wikipedia and reading about perception and cognition(cognition is what the Buddha said is the function of consciousness) or seems to me that what they are describing is perception as being a preliminary task of a simpler nature and cognition is used for more complex mental processes, perhaps building on perceptions. When I looked at a sutta it said that perception is based on contact and consciousness was based on namarupa which seems to point to what you are saying.......but then in another sutta it describes perception as perceiving visual stimulus while it describes consciousness as cognizing tongue stimulants.......this seems to make it more or less a toss-up. I do have a theory that the Buddha lived in a time when the mechanics of the senses were not well understood and this is why "form" is used as the sense object for the eye....at that time people did not know about optics and how the eye worked and at least among early Greek philosophers there were different theories about how vision worked......so the Buddha used the current ideas of his time which might very well have been that it actually was form which stimulated the eye. Pali dictionaries give two definitions for form; one as the visual object and one as the "physical manifestation" for lack of a better word......I'm wondering what's is the basis for differentiating the word onto the two meanings....it very well could be that in the buddha's time they did not differentiate it. Similarly, the tongue, since it seems to be the point of origin of speech might very well be taken to be the base or channel for more complex mental processes since speech is a more complex mental process......THIS IS MY VIEW ONLY.

I would be very interested in hearing from a Pali expert as to how the idea of "form" was taken to have two meanings......was it from some text which differentiated between the two meanings or was it someone overlaying more recent scientific understanding.

I would also be interested in knowing how it was decided which Pali word to translate as consciousness and which word to translate as perception.....maybe they got it backwards........I don't know.........
chownah

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reflection
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby reflection » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:08 pm

Well, when reading about consciousness and perception, I think we have to look at context also. What is the main reason the Buddha taught them? To explain they are not self, are not owned, not controllable, those sort of things. He didn't teach them to deeply explain the mechanics of senses. So in that perspective it doesn't really matter what we see as consciousness and what we see as perception, as long as we realize, or try to realize, they are all not self. Also if somebody equates consciousness and perception, that still goes. It doesn't really change much.

SamKR
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby SamKR » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:15 pm


chownah
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby chownah » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:58 am

There is a new thread in the General Theravada section called "The Heretic Sage Interviews. Part 1 of the interviews has a discussion which directly relates to this topic. I found it very interesting....some of it is in untranslated Pali but there is enough English to be worthwhile.....it would be nice if more of the Pali was translated.
chownah
P.S. It is roughly the second half of the page which directly relates to this topic......the entire page is not too long.
chownah

barcsimalsi
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby barcsimalsi » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:43 am

Thank you for informing.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:02 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

SamKR
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby SamKR » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:57 pm


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Spiny Norman
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:49 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

SamKR
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby SamKR » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:33 pm


SarathW
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby SarathW » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:55 am

The way I understand we should not take categories (study guides) as the real.
Mind and matter are interrelated and inter dependence hence inseparable.
We may say North America and South America are two separate things. But they are the part of the same world.
The following article may help you to understand the Dependent Origination.

http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarise5.htm
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Spiny Norman
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:00 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Spiny Norman
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Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:04 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama


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