D.O. question

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D.O. question

Postby adosa » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:10 am

Hello all,

In the twelve links of Dependent Origination it states "from fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness." I've also seen the term "volitional formations" used. What exactly are fabrications or volitional formations? Are they the residue or effects of past thoughts and actions? Are these the things that carry over from one life to the next forming consciousness in the next? I ask because I'm having a hard time picturing any of this happening without some sort of consciousness already existing and yet as stated above "fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness" seems to point at some stage in the links of D.O. consciousness do not exist.


thanks,

adosa :smile:
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
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Re: D.O. question

Postby Tex » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:24 am

Ven Nyanatiloka's explanation of paticcasamuppada in his famous dictionary helped clarify this exact same question for me, see here:

http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/bu ... dic3_p.htm
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"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: D.O. question

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:28 am

Greetings Adosa,

These formations are sankhara. Look up this term if you're not familiar with it.

As for consciousness, the commentarial tradition takes this to be some kind of rebirth-linking consciousness. In the suttas however, consciousness is typically classified as consciousness associated with the six senses (e.g. eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, mind-consciousness...).

You seem to be adopting the three-life interpretation, so I'll leave you to it. If you wish to explore a non-time-delineated understanding of dependent origination that isn't pegged over three lifetimes, let me know. (I don't want to explain it otherwise, lest I add to your confusion)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: D.O. question

Postby adeh » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:32 am

Hi Retro, I'm interested in exploring a non-time delineated understanding of dependent origination, do you have any links? Mark.
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Re: D.O. question

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:40 am

Greetings Adeh,

There's a map and some previous discussion @ viewtopic.php?f=13&t=21

Beyond that, there's...

Dependent Origination: The Buddhist Law of Conditionality by Ven. Prayudh Payutto (esp. Chapter 5)
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... nation.htm

Paticcasamuppada: Practical Dependent Origination by by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
(unfortunately not the full version... but the physical version exists as a free Dhamma book, and in a commercial version)
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... uppada.htm

Bhikkhu Nanananda's Nibbana Sermons
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... rmon_8.htm

Dependent Origination by Christina Feldman
http://www.dharma.org/ij/archives/1999a/christina.htm

That will do for now - let me know if you're after more.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: D.O. question

Postby adeh » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:06 am

Thanks for the links.
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Re: D.O. question

Postby adosa » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:12 am

Thanks Gentlemen,

Is it correct to say that sankhara is then "kammic energy", "kamma formations", or "habit energy"? Is it right to sum up this step in D. O. as follows..... conventionally speaking of course:


I'm ignorant due to my current inability to see things as they really. So I grasp and cling to things in which I find pleasure or am averse to those things which I find unpleasant, etc. In doing so I create "kamma formations" or sankhara. Basically preferences which form my life and perceptions of the world.

At the time of death (or on a continual basis during this lifetime I would assume) these sankharas form or color the basis for the next moment of consciousness. Someone else or another species for example would have different perceptions, preferences, and therefore "kamma formations" or sankharas and as such they would perceive the next sense input differently, grasp it differently, and so their next moment of consciousness would be somewhat different than mine. So then on a continuum these things create continual divergence (almost like a version of chaos theory) and propel us into entirely different beings with entirely different perceptions of reality.



A lot of mine making there but I don't know how else to put together my understanding at this time.

Once again thanks for the help,

adosa :smile:
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
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Re: D.O. question

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:19 am

Greetings Adosa,

I've also heard of sankhara being referred to as preparations, which I think covers an element of it quite well.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: D.O. question

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:36 am

Adosab - if you manage to sort out the original question please let me know. A lot of the references are just incomprehensible to me and I'm not getting very far with them.
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Re: D.O. question

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:04 am

Hi adosa,

as retro already mentioned, it's sankhara what you mean.
Ñanavira Thera wrote:The word sankhāra, in all contexts, means 'something that something else depends on', that is to say a determination (determinant).

I have to point out that it is wrong to interprete D.O. in any kind where time is involved.
The Buddha has said (MN28) that he who sees the Dhamma sees paticcasamuppāda; and he has also said that the Dhamma is sanditthika and akālika, that it is immediately visible and without involving time (see in particular Majjhima 38).
adosa wrote:"fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness" seems to point at some stage in the links of D.O. consciousness do not exist.

sankhārā comes logically before viññāna, as the condition for viññāna but not with any involvement of time. It's not "first there is sankhārā then there ist viññāna", it is "when there is sankhārā (as a condition/determination), there is viññāna". It is said in the canon:
When there is this this is, with arising of this this arises...

adosa wrote:I ask because I'm having a hard time picturing any of this happening without some sort of consciousness already existing

Therefore your thought above is not necessary. You don't have to picture any of this happening without some sort of consciousness already existing.
Why there shouldn't be a D.O. interpretation where time is involved, please read this.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: D.O. question

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:17 am

acinteyyo wrote:I have to point out that it is wrong to interprete D.O. in any kind where time is involved.

If this is so, then the idea that

10. Bhava-paccayā jāti: "Through the (rebirth-producing karma-) process of becoming is conditioned rebirth."
11. Jāti-paccayā jarāmaranam, etc.: "Through rebirth are conditioned old age and death (sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair). Thus arises this whole mass of suffering again in the future."


somehow refers to a continual on-going process going on during one's very life is also meaningless.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: D.O. question

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:I have to point out that it is wrong to interprete D.O. in any kind where time is involved.

If this is so, then the idea that

10. Bhava-paccayā jāti: "Through the (rebirth-producing karma-) process of becoming is conditioned rebirth."
11. Jāti-paccayā jarāmaranam, etc.: "Through rebirth are conditioned old age and death (sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair). Thus arises this whole mass of suffering again in the future."


somehow refers to a continual on-going process going on during one's very life is also meaningless.

Hi tilt,

I don't know from where this quote is from. but bhava-paccayā jāti and jāti-paccayā jarāmaranam has nothing to do with time. It is the same thing like sankhārā-paccayā viññānam. bhava is the logical condition for jāti and jāti is the logical condition for jarāmaranam. When there is no being how could there be birth? When there is no birth how could there be aging and death?
I don't know why in your qoute one talkes about "rebirth". jāti means "birth" not "rebirth".

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: D.O. question

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:39 am

jāti: birth or rebirth; it does not matter. Once you take time out of a process, the process is no longer a process.

One may dismiss the three life interpretation of conditioned co-production, but the moment-to-moment interpretation also ceases to have any meaning if one denies time/process. If something conditions something, there is a movement in time from not being conditioned to being conditioned, or from not being arisen to being arisen. Time.

It is the same thing like sankhārā-paccayā viññānam.
Then how does viññāna function in the khandhas?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: D.O. question

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:14 pm

tiltbillings wrote:jāti: birth or rebirth; it does not matter. Once you take time out of a process, the process is no longer a process.

One may dismiss the three life interpretation of conditioned co-production, but the moment-to-moment interpretation also ceases to have any meaning if one denies time/process. If something conditions something, there is a movement in time from not being conditioned to being conditioned, or from not being arisen to being arisen. Time.

Guess we have to clarify things a bit so that we are not talking at cross-purposes.
It is clear that time is involved from not being arisen to being arisen. The process of arising of jāti for example takes time naturally. But this has nothing to do with the dependence of jāti on bhava.
What I'm talking about is that D.O. tells us nothing about time. It just makes clear the dependence of things. It doesn't tell us "when this is then comes that, when this arises after some time that arises", it tells us "when this is that is, with the arising of this that arises". When there is one link of the 12 link formula, there are all links together. Whith the arising of one link, all links arise. When one link of the 12 link formula ceases, all links cease together. One thing is the origin of another thing. This doesn't mean for example when there is birth in the same moment one dies. It means that birth is the origin of death.
When things arise, time pases by. When things exist and change, time pases by. When things cease, time pases by.
But because of the dependence there can't be one link of the 12 link formula without the others. Inside of the dependence of the 12 links of D.O. time doesn't play any role.
tiltbillings wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:It is the same thing like sankhārā-paccayā viññānam
Then how does viññāna function in the khandhas?

I don't know exactly what you mean with "how does it function in the khandhas?
viññāna is the presence of a phenomenon. a phenomenon consist of nāma+rūpa. viññāna and nāma+rūpa together constitute an experience. the presence of a phenomenon can only be "detected" through the six-sense bases. when there is an object which can be "detected" with the corresponding sense and the corresponding sense works properly (e.g. sight and and object which can be seen) then there is eye-consciousness which means the phenomenon is present. the arising of consciousness takes time naturally but the dependence again has nothing to do with time.
when there is avijjā there is not only the presence of the phenomenon there is also the presence of the (illusory) subject for whom the phenomenon is present (pañc'upādānakkhandhā), because of upādāna. when there is no avijjā there is only the phenomenon present (pañcakkhandhā).

maybe it's better you explain to me in other words (if possible) what you meant with your question.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: D.O. question

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:28 pm

[quote="
when there is avijjā there is not only the presence of the phenomenon there is also the presence of the (illusory) subject for whom the phenomenon is present (pañc'upādānakkhandhā), because of upādāna. when there is no avijjā there is only the phenomenon present (pañcakkhandhā).

best wishes, acinteyyo[/quote]

Sadhu !!!

And this (illusory) splitting between subject/phenomenon is sankhara (of D.O)

D.F.
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Re: D.O. question

Postby catmoon » Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:45 am

To get an idea what Pali-laden posts look like to non-speakers of ancient languages, print out a copy and then, with a large black felt pen, blot out every foreign word. Notice that in the process, the key concepts in an argument are often covered up.
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Re: D.O. question

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:11 pm

catmoon wrote:To get an idea what Pali-laden posts look like to non-speakers of ancient languages, print out a copy and then, with a large black felt pen, blot out every foreign word. Notice that in the process, the key concepts in an argument are often covered up.

imho it would be of great benefit for non-speakers to find out the meaning of considerable pali words. notice that in the process, the key concepts in an argument are often discoverd. ;)

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: D.O. question

Postby ground » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:45 am

After all interpretation of DO as meaning this or that is a manifestation of sankhàra, right?

Kind regards
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Re: D.O. question

Postby ground » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:28 am

TMingyur wrote:After all interpretation of DO as meaning this or that is a manifestation of sankhàra, right?

Kind regards


What a pitty. No resonse so far. I have hoped to catch a glimpse of the Theravadin approach to discerning "delusiveness" and "validity".

Kind regards :smile:
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Re: D.O. question

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:56 pm

Hi TMingyur,

sorry but I don't understand your question?
Do you mean, this or that interpretation of DO is a manifestation of sankhara?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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