About Consciousness

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

About Consciousness

Postby vesak2014 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:35 am

This thread is in response to a thread in Discovering Theravada sub forum: Question abt Khandhas (abt Consciousness)
StillABC wrote:Viññana (consciousness) can be understood like that of soul.

The sub forum is for beginners and moderated. Ironically how can that comment got through moderation. How can beginners get the right view from the beginning.

What you need to know about Viññana (consciousness) is:
SN 22.57:
"And what is consciousness? These six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness. This is called consciousness. From the origination of name-&-form comes the origination of consciousness. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of consciousness, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. The fact that pleasure & happiness arises in dependence on consciousness: that is the allure of consciousness. The fact that consciousness is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: that is the drawback of consciousness. The subduing of desire & passion for consciousness, the abandoning of desire & passion for consciousness: that is the escape from consciousness.

"For any brahmans or contemplatives who by directly knowing consciousness in this way, directly knowing the origination of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the cessation of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the path of practice leading to the cessation of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the allure of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the drawback of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the escape from consciousness in this way, are practicing for disenchantment — dispassion — cessation with regard to consciousness, they are practicing rightly. Those who are practicing rightly are firmly based in this doctrine & discipline. And any brahmans or contemplatives who by directly knowing consciousness in this way, directly knowing the origination of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the cessation of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the path of practice leading to the cessation of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the allure of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the drawback of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the escape from consciousness in this way, are — from disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, lack of clinging/sustenance with regard to consciousness — released, they are well-released. Those who are well-released are fully accomplished. And with those who are fully accomplished, there is no cycle for the sake of describing them.


:anjali:
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Re: About Consciousness

Postby vinasp » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:13 am

Hi vesak2014,

Excellent post!

Yes, there is nothing but confusion about the aggregates.

The teachings are clear that consciousness must cease permanently.

This means that nama-rupa must also cease ( the other four aggregates).

People misunderstand the aggregates because the Abhidhamma teaching is very different to the Sutta Pitaka. Also most (all?) academic work on the aggregates has failed to deal with the fact of their cessation.

If consciousness is awareness then the goal is to become unconscious!

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: About Consciousness

Postby Benjamin » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:57 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi vesak2014,


If consciousness is awareness then the goal is to become unconscious!

Regards, Vincent.



Sorry for the confusion, but are you saying that a) consciousness is not awareness, or b) that the goal is to become unconscious?

Either way, I'd love to hear an explanation regarding your view.
"Don't believe everything you read."
-The Buddha
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Re: About Consciousness

Postby vinasp » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:19 pm

Hi Benjamin,

The exclamation mark was intended to show that the statement was ironic (always risky on a forum).

No, the goal is not to become unconscious.

Consciousness (vinnana) is always cognitive. It is a mode of knowing. There is more than one kind.
Many of them should be eliminated.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: About Consciousness

Postby Benjamin » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:56 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi Benjamin,

The exclamation mark was intended to show that the statement was ironic (always risky on a forum).

No, the goal is not to become unconscious.

Consciousness (vinnana) is always cognitive. It is a mode of knowing. There is more than one kind.
Many of them should be eliminated.

Regards, Vincent.


I see. I tend to agree with you!
"Don't believe everything you read."
-The Buddha
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