How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:35 am

It is confession time for me! I have been talking about consciousness cognizing nod how this seems more active than just "presence of" when all along I have been making the mistake of thinking that to cognize meant to establish cognition.....but this is almost assuredly incorrect in that cognition is a term mostly used by scientists and has more or less the meaning of complex thought processes while cognize means (guess what!).....perceive!!

So, I've got to change horses in mid stream and I'm sure glad there is a raft close by!

Now I'm sort of confused.....I'll probably have some more questions to ask.

daverupa,
You seem to be leaning toward co- conditionality.......are you viewing the entire DO scheme as a Beck-Einstein condensate.....and thus experience being a quantum computer? When I change horses on midstream I often choose a horse of a different color! :quote: :jumping: :woohoo:
My speil checker sometimes changes your name to "day erupt" so don't be looking for any special meaning if I address you this way in the future.
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby daverupa » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:09 am

Bose-Einstein, I think you mean, but in any event I didn't (& still don't, thanks to lack of maths) know what that is, so it was certainly not on my mind. Perhaps you can convey the aspect(s) which called it to mind for you, in this connection?

If it's anything like the sentence from wiki about the related statistics...

In quantum statistics, Bose–Einstein statistics (or more colloquially B–E statistics) is one of two possible ways in which a collection of non-interacting indistinguishable particles...


then I think it must be off-target.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "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]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 3705
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:47 pm

Bose it is. Mostly joking but since consciousness perceives (via cognize meaning "perceives") and perception perceives and since perception is part of the nama of nama-rupa it is starting to look like things are getting indistinguishable just like the condensate and by the way if they can't distinguish different particles then why do they refer to particles?.....since they can't distinguish them........just like why did the Buddha distinguish between perception and consciousness if they are doing the same thing? Also, the condensate is viewed (or at least I think this is right) as a quantum entanglement and one characteristic of an entanglement is that if you change one particle then all the others also change in the same way instantly......instantly as in taking zero time......instantly as in if some of the particles are far distant from the others it still takes zero time for the change in one to appear in the far distant other......instantly as in faster than the speed of light......so this is like co-conditionality on steroids.... .instant co-arising.

It is disappointing to dead end on my cognize mistake so I'm just being a bit silly to take the edge off my disappointment I think.

Your "presence of" for consciousness doesn't resonate for me as I can't see the Buddha teaching this kind of idea using the word for consciousness....I think he would just say "presence of" but I'm just guessing. I'm going to consider whether consciousness could simply mean awareness.......sort of like when you are unconsciousness you are not aware of what is happening....or if an ant was crawling on your arm but you were intently focused on a visual image you would not be aware of the tactile sensation caused by the ant.....but you would be aware of the visual....eye contact but no body contact.

chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:42 am

chownah wrote:Your "presence of" for consciousness doesn't resonate for me as I can't see the Buddha teaching this kind of idea using the word for consciousness....I think he would just say "presence of" but I'm just guessing.


MN 38 wrote:"Just as fire is classified simply by whatever requisite condition in dependence on which it burns — a fire that burns in dependence on wood is classified simply as a wood-fire, a fire that burns in dependence on wood-chips is classified simply as a wood-chip-fire; a fire that burns in dependence on grass is classified simply as a grass-fire; a fire that burns in dependence on cow-dung is classified simply as a cow-dung-fire; a fire that burns in dependence on chaff is classified simply as a chaff-fire; a fire that burns in dependence on rubbish is classified simply as a rubbish-fire — in the same way, consciousness is classified simply by the requisite condition in dependence on which it arises."


There isn't really an abstract vinnana, there's just particular sorts of fires (vinnana-s) which can only be defined in accordance with whatever concurrent fuels (namarupa-s) - concurrent, which would be another way of expressing the idea I'm trying to capture with "presence of"; basically, vinnana simple accounts for 'what it's like' to have whatever experience is being captured by awareness, etc, but it is not to be seen as a sameness which perpetuates (and really, nor as an instantaneous flash of infinitesimal duration. It simply lasts so long as particular fuels last, and this is as detailed as I think it needs to get, but mileage varies).

Probably this flew in the face of prevailing thinking on the matter - that vinnana was the same over time, either to continue cyclically or to come to an eventual end.

I guess I thought that he said just what you guess he would have, in this case, but I shall leave it there.

:heart:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "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]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 3705
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:07 pm

chownah wrote:It is confession time for me! I have been talking about consciousness cognizing nod how this seems more active than just "presence of" when all along I have been making the mistake of thinking that to cognize meant to establish cognition.....but this is almost assuredly incorrect in that cognition is a term mostly used by scientists and has more or less the meaning of complex thought processes while cognize means (guess what!).....perceive!!


I disagree, IMO cognise basically means "be aware of", and I think that's a good description of vinnana. Perception ( sanna ) is interpreting and identifying what we become aware of. In practice perception is mostly automatic and unconscious, and so very difficult to notice.
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:18 pm

daverupa wrote:Vinnana occurs for every conscious experience, whether of 'just seeing' or of complex citta-events, whether of craving or of contact. Different each time, for each differently present perceptual slurry.


I broadly agree, but could you say what you mean by "conscious experience"? Like for example a person who is very pre-occupied walks down a street and sees, hears, smells all sorts of stuff but doesn't really notice it - are all those sights, sounds and smells "conscious experience"?
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:11 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:Like for example a person who is very pre-occupied walks down a street and sees, hears, smells all sorts of stuff but doesn't really notice it - are all those sights, sounds and smells "conscious experience"?


I can't really (!) address the question with that wiggle phrase hanging around...

To say that vinnana occurs for every conscious experience is to be repetitive... even the phrase 'conscious experience' is repetitive, as an experience is either conscious, or not an experience.

But suppose, in your example, that these things weren't registered at the time - the person is lost in a daydream - so the daydream is their experience, but then later memory and other citta-events may pull those percepts into awareness, whereby that is their experience.

Maybe the mind is so fast it shot awareness to the smells and whatnots and then, all preconsciously, dismissed them as unimportant and unrelated to current interests and intentions. Well, then with mindfulness this might be an experience, without mindfulness it wouldn't be an experience (if they notice there was a lack of mindfulness, that's an experience, but if they never notice, it's not an experience, unless later they remember it... do you see how vinnana is tied to all of it at every step, and yet is not the same thing over time?).
Last edited by daverupa on Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "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]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 3705
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby chownah » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:16 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:It is confession time for me! I have been talking about consciousness cognizing nod how this seems more active than just "presence of" when all along I have been making the mistake of thinking that to cognize meant to establish cognition.....but this is almost assuredly incorrect in that cognition is a term mostly used by scientists and has more or less the meaning of complex thought processes while cognize means (guess what!).....perceive!!


I disagree, IMO cognise basically means "be aware of", and I think that's a good description of vinnana. Perception ( sanna ) is interpreting and identifying what we become aware of. In practice perception is mostly automatic and unconscious, and so very difficult to notice.

I looked online for the definition of cognize and it seemed like the first definition most often was "perceive" but looking more thoroughly today I found that "be aware" of is a meaning for it as is "know". My comment was mostly meant to
point out that previously I was working from a definition which I now think is inappropriate......I wasn't really trying to pin down a definition for "cognize". Also, take a look at the last paragraph in my next post after the one you quote and you will see that in fact I'm now inclining toward using awareness as the function of consciousness.....but I'm just starting to check this out so since it seems that this is your view I ask if you have anything which can help me on this.
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby chownah » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:08 pm

daverupa,
So far I haven't found any really good questions to ask but I'm still looking/thinking.

Can't say as I understand "presence of" yet.........could it be presence of experience?....

You wrote, "basically, vinnana simple accounts for 'what it's like' to have whatever experience is being captured by awareness, etc". Now you've got awareness capturing experience and vinnana accounting for some quality of this capturing process or perhaps awareness holds experience still long enough so that vinnana can get a good look at it to make the determination of what it is like! :jawdrop:

I really like the MN38 fire quote. Is this implying that nibhanna is when the fire of consciousness goes out?

chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:19 pm

chownah wrote:You wrote <stuff>, Now you've got ... :jawdrop:


Well, if these later posts aren't helpful, and the earlier posts also aren't helpful, then I think I cannot continue to contribute in any helpful way to your inquiry. I am sorry for this, but I certainly do not want to make things more complicated or otherwise obscure the issue.

I really like the MN38 fire quote. Is this implying that nibhanna is when the fire of consciousness goes out?


This might start to confuse fire as a reference for greed/hate/delusion and as a reference for vinnana, as here, so the discussion might start to get tangled.

Vinnana is part of the five aggregates no longer subject to clinging in that case, so it hasn't ceased in that manner of speaking, but it is no longer underwritten by craving so that sort of vinnana has ceased and is cut off completely.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "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]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 3705
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:56 am

daverupa wrote:But suppose, in your example, that these things weren't registered at the time - the person is lost in a daydream - so the daydream is their experience, but then later memory and other citta-events may pull those percepts into awareness, whereby that is their experience.
Maybe the mind is so fast it shot awareness to the smells and whatnots and then, all preconsciously, dismissed them as unimportant and unrelated to current interests and intentions.


Yes, that's what I was wanting to explore. It seems that when a person is walking down a street daydreaming, then sense-consciousness is still operating though on "auto-pilot", so the person is not really aware of it - unless something significant occurs in the range of sense-consciousness.
It seems the person is mostly conscious of the daydream, internal thoughts and images, presumably via mind-consciousness. So it's seems that the experience of vinnana, like mindfulness, is to do with where one's attention is placed or drawn to. I also wonder if the distinction between vinnana and phassa is relevant here?
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:59 am

chownah wrote:...I'm now inclining toward using awareness as the function of consciousness.....


Yes, I see. To me "awareness" seems quite good. Awareness of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, also awareness of thoughts, feelings, etc.
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby chownah » Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:02 am

SDC wrote:
chownah wrote:I guess that vinnana usually is translated as consciousness, do you know the Pali word which is translated into cognize?


mano vinnana

There are interpretations where vinnana is translated as perception. So you have eye, ear, nose, tongue and body perception which are exclusive to one another and then mano vinnana (which could be rendered as “analytic perception” or just “cognition”) is the uniting of the previous five perceptions, which is the formation of a concept.

I know this differs somewhat from the common translation.

SDC,
Can you post a bit about this.....I hope it is not too complicated......counting perceptions seems a bit odd to me but nothing ventured nothing gained.
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:37 am

chownah wrote:
SDC wrote:
chownah wrote:I guess that vinnana usually is translated as consciousness, do you know the Pali word which is translated into cognize?


mano vinnana

There are interpretations where vinnana is translated as perception. So you have eye, ear, nose, tongue and body perception which are exclusive to one another and then mano vinnana (which could be rendered as “analytic perception” or just “cognition”) is the uniting of the previous five perceptions, which is the formation of a concept.

I know this differs somewhat from the common translation.

SDC,
Can you post a bit about this.....I hope it is not too complicated......counting perceptions seems a bit odd to me but nothing ventured nothing gained.
chownah


Isn't mano vinnana mind-consciousness, ie the basic awareness of thoughts and feelings, which are then subject to perception ( sanna )? And I'd have thought that when concepts and analysis begin, then we're into the sankhara ( formations ) aggregate?
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: How to distinguish consciousness and perception?

Postby SDC » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:53 pm

chownah wrote:
SDC wrote:
chownah wrote:I guess that vinnana usually is translated as consciousness, do you know the Pali word which is translated into cognize?


mano vinnana

There are interpretations where vinnana is translated as perception. So you have eye, ear, nose, tongue and body perception which are exclusive to one another and then mano vinnana (which could be rendered as “analytic perception” or just “cognition”) is the uniting of the previous five perceptions, which is the formation of a concept.

I know this differs somewhat from the common translation.

SDC,
Can you post a bit about this.....I hope it is not too complicated......counting perceptions seems a bit odd to me but nothing ventured nothing gained.
chownah


Sorry for the delay. I was traveling this weekend.

It isn’t about counting perceptions, it is the perceptual process. My description was a little vague.

Vinnana represents eye perception, ear perception, nose perception, tongue perception, body perception and mind perception. In most suttas about vinnana you see it broken down this way (using consciousness as the word of course). Now if we are discussing this in the context of PS, for instance, vinnana is representing these six things despite that it is just stating vinnana. So you have seeing, hearing, smelling , tasting and the touching - mutually exclusive sense perceptions. But mano vinnana is the uniting of this data into a more complete idea or object which, as revealed by the rest of the PS, becomes more and more complete and is understood in a very specific way.

This is the most complete lecture on this interpretation, vinnana is discussed at around 38min, but I would strongly suggest listening to the entire talk:

Ven Punnaji (Paticca Samuppada)-http://www.buddhadhammasangha.com/hosting/sobhana/online/pu018.wma


Spiny Norman wrote:Isn't mano vinnana mind-consciousness, ie the basic awareness of thoughts and feelings, which are then subject to perception ( sanna )? And I'd have thought that when concepts and analysis begin, then we're into the sankhara ( formations ) aggregate?


I am not familiar with that definition of mano vinnana.

Regarding the questions about sankhara, it is an area where I still have some questions as well. It is addressed in the above talk, but it is still not clear. I have seen it interpreted in so many different ways. In the context of PS, vitakka and vicara are present with sankhara (vaci sankhara? I believe, I do not have my notes with me right now). So I think this is showing where conceptual thinking is in the most subtle aspect of the experience. Once again, it is still unclear to me.
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)
User avatar
SDC
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm
Location: North Jersey

Previous

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: PsychedelicSunSet and 4 guests