The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby MayaRefugee » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:43 am

pt1,

Thanks for another terrific contribution.

I've made a start on reading the material you recommended, looks like buying "Abhidhamma in Daily Life" will be on the cards - the linked electronic version only goes to chapter 8.

Kim,

"I've got nasty habits"....Mick Jagger - :tantrum:

I probably won't contribute to this thread till I make sense of all this new insight (which could be a while).

Peace.
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby pt1 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:45 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:OUCH!! Here comes that pesky creator-idea again!!

I think it's a good comment. Short and to the point. The creator thing is a deep-rooted idea so we need all the reminders we can get to be aware of it as it creeps up again and again. That will hopefully prepare the ground to tackle the idea that's rooted even deeper - the idea of self that creates, self that meditates, self that wants to be different, etc

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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby pt1 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:16 pm

MayaRefugee wrote:I've made a start on reading the material you recommended, looks like buying "Abhidhamma in Daily Life" will be on the cards - the linked electronic version only goes to chapter 8.

Sorry about that, haven't noticed. Here is a full version

If you are very keen on a physical book version, you can check the yahoo group I mentioned, sometimes they might have a few books left over for free they'd be happy to share.

Best wishes
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby MayaRefugee » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:52 am

Thanks pt1,

I thought I'd add this, it was in "Abhidhamma in Daily Life".

How is consciousness (i.e. mind) capable of producing a variety or diversity of effects in action? There is no art in the world more variegated than the art of painting. In painting, the painter's masterpiece is more artistic than the rest of his pictures. An artistic design occurs to the painters of masterpieces that such and such pictures should be drawn in such and such a way. Through this artistic design there arise operations of the mind (or artistic operations) accomplishing such things as sketching the outline, putting on the paint, touching up, and embellishing... Thus all classes of arts in the world, specific or generic, are achieved by the mind. And owing to its capacity thus to produce a variety or diversity of effects in action, the mind, which achieves all these arts, is in itself artistic like the arts themselves. Nay, it is even more artistic than the art itself, because the latter cannot execute every design perfectly. For that reason the Blessed One has said, ``Monks, have you seen a masterpiece of painting?'' ``Yes, Lord.'' ``Monks, that masterpiece of art is designed by the mind. Indeed, monks, the mind is even more artistic than that masterpiece.'' (Kindred Sayings, III, 151)


Peace.
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby pt1 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:44 am

Good quote. I really like the "Nay, it [the mind] is even more artistic than the art itself". So, seems like the best thing is to understand the mind first, and with that, one will automatically understand all the arts.

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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby chownah » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:47 pm

Is "Kindred Sayings, III, 151" a commentary?....or what is its standing in the heirarchy of Theravadin texts?
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:14 pm

chownah wrote:Is "Kindred Sayings, III, 151" a commentary?....or what is its standing in the heirarchy of Theravadin texts?
chownah

it's an english rendering of Samyutta Nikaya
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby meindzai » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:03 pm

RE: The god thing

I'm not a theist, but I understand the motivation completely. Many artists, musicians, etc. talk about the creative "force" in terms that imply that they do not take personal responsibility for their "creation." In theistic or mystical terms, which typically don't involve a great deal of analysis, this is simply described as channeling some mystic force, or channeling God or whatever. Because that's exactly how it feels. If you've ever really been involved in a creative act it seems to come from absolutely nowhere.

Somebody versed in psychology could probably give you a good explanation of what's happening, using terms like ego, consious, subconsious, maybe superconsious. But the visceral experience is that it's not "me" that's creating anything. I've written compositions, songs, whatever that people have complimented me on and it's hard to even take the compliment seriously or have any pride around the work - it almost feels like you're taking credit for something somebody else did.

I've mentioned before that really Zen Buddhism, much moreso than Theravada has explored this in relation to the Buddhism, and they typically do it with reference to "non-duality." Or "no separation between subject and object." And it is looked at as a kind of expression of the not-self teaching. But there's a big caution here, which is that Buddhism doesn't take the non-separation of subject and object as an absorption into any cosmic entity. It simply says that there is no barrier. It doesn't say that "you are me and I am you and I am art and I am the universe." Becuase that still implies an "I." The Buddha denied all fabrications of an "I" no matter how cosmic or humble.

What *is* happening often during the creative process, and what Zen arts take advantage of, is that our normal discursive thinking fades into the background or is of secondary importance. Zen arts involve a complete and total mastery of the craft so that there is no "thought" involved in terms of technique or whatever, in other words a very quiet and meditative mindset.

Without analysing all of this from a standpoint of anatta or dependent origination it can look and feel very much like the will of a cosmic or divine power of some sort.

-M
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:56 am

:goodpost:

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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby Virgo » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:39 am

MayaRefugee wrote:Hey Guys,

Does anyone know if the Buddha ever talked about the imagination?

I've tried googling and searching this forum and I can't find anything.

The reason I ask is I have artistic inclinations and I've noticed I spend a lot of time manifesting mental concepts of what I perceive/am conscious of through the use of (what I currently think is) my imagination assisted by my intellect.

I would like to know what the Buddha said about this habit/tendency so I can see this process for what it is - I think I could just be clinging to aspirations of being labeled smart/clever by those I share these mental concepts with.

Anyway, any help will be greatly appreciated.

Peace.

Hi MayaRefuge,

When you are imagine something it is simply a function of the cetasika of perception. It is the same cetasika that perceives past or present. Citta is simply perceiving things. This cetasika arises and falls away. Clinging to it as me, my own, or as arising for any reason other than conditions were present for it's arising, and not seeing it as utterly anatta and uncontrollable leads to dukkha and rebirth. Rebirth in six realms is very, very undesirable. I am not sure what else to say about this.

Nevertheless, to reiterate, perception is simply a mental factor. It can perceive dhammas past, present, those which is imagined as well as those which have not yet manifested under certain circumstances. This cetasika or mental factor arises and falls. You cannot control it and make it stay, nor can you cause it to arise, it arises only when the conditions are there for it to arise. Clinging to this citta causes pain and suffering. A mind with supramundane Right View knows that cetasika as anatta or without self as it arises because in that citta the mental factor of panna, or discriminative of penetrative wisdom has developed to a keen degree. The main thing that causes wisdom to develop to that degree - the degree at which it knows the true aspect of perception, and of every other dhamma that arises, is wisdom (panna) on the level of reflection. One should reflect that dhammas arise because of conditions. That is all that can be done. The wrong views will slip away slowly. It cannot be forced. Just as we cannot force corn to grow, we cannot force wisdom to develop (because dhammas are not-self); however, the right conditions can be set for it to grow just as the right conditions can be set for corn to grow. It may seem like we are making something occur by "setting up those right conditions" but it is actually just conditioned actions that we do after hearing dhamma, not a self doing them. That action to be taken is simply to understand the dhamma clearly. Then wisdom will grow. Any other way reinforces the main enemy to panna ie. the view that there is a self performing something instead of just understanding conditioned dhammas.

If you have any other questions I would cetainly like to help answer them.

Kevin

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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby MayaRefugee » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:19 am

Thanks Kevin (Virgo) - :bow:

Can someone point me in the right direction to understand what's going on when one first learns a mantra then conjures the intention to chant that mantra.

How is it possible for us to learn/hold on to/remember and then later recite that mantra?

Thanks in advance,

Peace.
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby pt1 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:55 am

Virgo wrote:A mind with supramundane Right View knows that cetasika as anatta or without self as it arises because in that citta the mental factor of panna, or discriminative of penetrative wisdom has developed to a keen degree.

Sure, but no need to put it out of reach for us ordinary folks, even right view that's not supramundane can have a glimpse of anatta on occasions, I believe, though I wonder if it can happen before any of the stages of insight actually happen. Either way, I think it would certainly happen on every of the many stages of insight that precede stream-entry and the supramundane right view.

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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby pt1 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:37 pm

meindzai wrote:RE: The god thing

I'm not a theist, but I understand the motivation completely. Many artists, musicians, etc. talk about the creative "force" in terms that imply that they do not take personal responsibility for their "creation." In theistic or mystical terms, which typically don't involve a great deal of analysis, this is simply described as channeling some mystic force, or channeling God or whatever. Because that's exactly how it feels. If you've ever really been involved in a creative act it seems to come from absolutely nowhere.

Somebody versed in psychology could probably give you a good explanation of what's happening, using terms like ego, consious, subconsious, maybe superconsious. But the visceral experience is that it's not "me" that's creating anything. I've written compositions, songs, whatever that people have complimented me on and it's hard to even take the compliment seriously or have any pride around the work - it almost feels like you're taking credit for something somebody else did.

I've mentioned before that really Zen Buddhism, much moreso than Theravada has explored this in relation to the Buddhism, and they typically do it with reference to "non-duality." Or "no separation between subject and object." And it is looked at as a kind of expression of the not-self teaching. But there's a big caution here, which is that Buddhism doesn't take the non-separation of subject and object as an absorption into any cosmic entity. It simply says that there is no barrier. It doesn't say that "you are me and I am you and I am art and I am the universe." Becuase that still implies an "I." The Buddha denied all fabrications of an "I" no matter how cosmic or humble.

What *is* happening often during the creative process, and what Zen arts take advantage of, is that our normal discursive thinking fades into the background or is of secondary importance. Zen arts involve a complete and total mastery of the craft so that there is no "thought" involved in terms of technique or whatever, in other words a very quiet and meditative mindset.

Without analysing all of this from a standpoint of anatta or dependent origination it can look and feel very much like the will of a cosmic or divine power of some sort.

While I'd agree with you in the Lounge or on a non-buddhist forum, I see no reason why the experiences you describe cannot be explained in a buddhist sense which would hopefully take out the possibility of interpreting any aspect of those experiences in a manner that would perpetuate the wrong view (self, god, etc).

E.g. if we look at the moment when "creative force" occurs - let's say I'm sitting down with my guitar and making a song. What is happening usually is judging what's heard as in "I don't like it, it's been done, too mellow, etc". I'd say these are just akusala (unwholesome) cittas. But sometimes, there suddenly comes a moment, when a sort of awareness kicks in, no more judging thoughts, no more selfishness (i.e. wanting things to be the way I like it), there's a pleasant feeling with varying strength, and whatever I'm doing at the moment seems great. I'd say those are quite possibly kusala (wholesome) cittas. This soon disappears though, as the judging or wanting to hang onto the pleasant feeling prevail (so again akusala). So, I'd say both akusala and kusala happened fully conditioned, kicked in on their own when the conditions were right, no god, nor self, were needed to make them arise, and then fall. And if I then stop playing and listen to what I was just playing (if I was recording it), then it might not sound as great as it did just a few moments ago, at some other time it might again sound great, and then later as nothing special, etc. Which would mean it has very little to do with the music, but more with the kind of citta and cetasikas that were/are arising at the time.

By the way, any plans to resume your abhidhamma blog you used to run on e-sangha? I found it helpful at the time.

Best wishes
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby pt1 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:47 pm

MayaRefugee wrote:Thanks Kevin (Virgo) - :bow:

Can someone point me in the right direction to understand what's going on when one first learns a mantra then conjures the intention to chant that mantra.

How is it possible for us to learn/hold on to/remember and then later recite that mantra?


As I understand it, I'd say many mental factors will be involved in learning and remembering but perception can be singled out as the cetasika responsible for memory (recall). It in turn will depend on the kind of the citta at the moment, so if I remember a mantra and want to recite it to get something for myself out of it - calm, pleasant feeling, etc, then citta is most probably unwholesome at the time, and so is the intention, perception and all the other cetasikas that accompany it. If on the other hand I'm reciting it in order to help someone else in some way, then citta and all the cetsikas that accompany it might be wholesome at the time.

Perhaps Kevin can add a bit more detail or correct me if I'm wrong.

Best wishes
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby meindzai » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:09 pm

pt1 wrote:
meindzai wrote:RE: The god thing

I'm not a theist, but I understand the motivation completely. Many artists, musicians, etc. talk about the creative "force" in terms that imply that they do not take personal responsibility for their "creation." In theistic or mystical terms, which typically don't involve a great deal of analysis, this is simply described as channeling some mystic force, or channeling God or whatever. Because that's exactly how it feels. If you've ever really been involved in a creative act it seems to come from absolutely nowhere.

Somebody versed in psychology could probably give you a good explanation of what's happening, using terms like ego, consious, subconsious, maybe superconsious. But the visceral experience is that it's not "me" that's creating anything. I've written compositions, songs, whatever that people have complimented me on and it's hard to even take the compliment seriously or have any pride around the work - it almost feels like you're taking credit for something somebody else did.

I've mentioned before that really Zen Buddhism, much moreso than Theravada has explored this in relation to the Buddhism, and they typically do it with reference to "non-duality." Or "no separation between subject and object." And it is looked at as a kind of expression of the not-self teaching. But there's a big caution here, which is that Buddhism doesn't take the non-separation of subject and object as an absorption into any cosmic entity. It simply says that there is no barrier. It doesn't say that "you are me and I am you and I am art and I am the universe." Becuase that still implies an "I." The Buddha denied all fabrications of an "I" no matter how cosmic or humble.

What *is* happening often during the creative process, and what Zen arts take advantage of, is that our normal discursive thinking fades into the background or is of secondary importance. Zen arts involve a complete and total mastery of the craft so that there is no "thought" involved in terms of technique or whatever, in other words a very quiet and meditative mindset.

Without analysing all of this from a standpoint of anatta or dependent origination it can look and feel very much like the will of a cosmic or divine power of some sort.

While I'd agree with you in the Lounge or on a non-buddhist forum, I see no reason why the experiences you describe cannot be explained in a buddhist sense which would hopefully take out the possibility of interpreting any aspect of those experiences in a manner that would perpetuate the wrong view (self, god, etc).

E.g. if we look at the moment when "creative force" occurs - let's say I'm sitting down with my guitar and making a song. What is happening usually is judging what's heard as in "I don't like it, it's been done, too mellow, etc". I'd say these are just akusala (unwholesome) cittas. But sometimes, there suddenly comes a moment, when a sort of awareness kicks in, no more judging thoughts, no more selfishness (i.e. wanting things to be the way I like it), there's a pleasant feeling with varying strength, and whatever I'm doing at the moment seems great. I'd say those are quite possibly kusala (wholesome) cittas. This soon disappears though, as the judging or wanting to hang onto the pleasant feeling prevail (so again akusala). So, I'd say both akusala and kusala happened fully conditioned, kicked in on their own when the conditions were right, no god, nor self, were needed to make them arise, and then fall. And if I then stop playing and listen to what I was just playing (if I was recording it), then it might not sound as great as it did just a few moments ago, at some other time it might again sound great, and then later as nothing special, etc. Which would mean it has very little to do with the music, but more with the kind of citta and cetasikas that were/are arising at the time.


You may be right. I don't feel equipped to analyze the process abhidhammically. If you believe the zen tradition, the true creative process arises out of a kind of samadhi, which would translate into some kind of jhana. Jhana for Theravadans implies wholesome cittas. Yet art and music (from a Theravada POV) almost always imply some sort of craving.

By the way, any plans to resume your abhidhamma blog you used to run on e-sangha? I found it helpful at the time.

Best wishes


I'd like to very much. The first problem is that there are a lot of life changes that prevent me from spending the time I really needed with it. The second is that I don't have access to the old blog, which was all on E-sangha. Wish I had it saved elsewhere.

I wonder if we could start over with it in a study group/thread here, like some of the threads we had on E-sangha. I found that Ninas work was very, very heavy in the beginning, then the chapters got easier to swallow. Just dissecting the first three or four chapters alone really changed my perspective quite a bit.

-M
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:12 pm

we could do it kinda like the sutta study.
i'd like that
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby pt1 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:42 am

meindzai wrote:If you believe the zen tradition, the true creative process arises out of a kind of samadhi, which would translate into some kind of jhana. Jhana for Theravadans implies wholesome cittas. Yet art and music (from a Theravada POV) almost always imply some sort of craving.

I don't know really. I'd say that kusala cittas during art and music are certainly possible, though it's difficult to tell when the moments of inspiration/creativity are really kusala and when they just seem kusala, but are in fact attachment to pleasant feeling, or to a concept of sorts (like calm, or wonder at an entirely new musical idea that was just created - I'm a real sucker for that one, etc). Perhaps those zen guys already had a very keen understanding developed to tell the difference between the two. As for jhana/samadhi business, that's a touchy subject especially if we're talking abhidhamma, which says that jhana proper is characterised by full withdrawal from the 5 senses. But then again, I think it also says that every kusala citta will be accompanied by kusala concentration which will be deeper depending on how keen panna is, so although it might not be jhana level of concentration, it might still be pretty strong (ala momentary concentration mentioned by Mahasi and other schools relating to vipassana).

meindzai wrote:I wonder if we could start over with it in a study group/thread here, like some of the threads we had on E-sangha. I found that Ninas work was very, very heavy in the beginning, then the chapters got easier to swallow. Just dissecting the first three or four chapters alone really changed my perspective quite a bit.

Yes, my experience was similar. I agree with JC, going through ADL again would be good. I guess choose the format that suits you most at the moment, I'll be glad to join either way. If OP and others are starting to read ADL as well, it'll be good for all of us to have a place here to discuss it.

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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby MayaRefugee » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:25 am

MayaRefugee wrote:....when I said "vocabulary" my intention was to refer to the bank of thought-forms that to the best of my knowledge and observation exist in ones mind/memory, thought-forms that haven't undergone expression yet, thought forms that haven't been turned into something i.e. sound-waves, a symbol, an image, etc - sort of like the paint that sits idle on a pallete yet to make it on the canvas.

I'm interested in the proper treatment of the paint that sits idle on the pallete i.e. my bank of unmanifest thought-forms.

I ask myself:

- how much paint should be on the pallete?
- what's the right type/qulaity of paint to have on the pallete?
- what's the right intention to have when moving this paint from the pallete to the canvas?
- what purpose is there to move paint from a pallete onto a canvas?
- what are the repurcussions of moving paint from a pallete to a canvas?
- is there really a need to have a pallete of paint?
- is it possible to not have a pallete of paint?
- etc



Hey Guys,

Whilst reading the material pt1 suggested a few questions arose in my mind and took me off on a few tangents, investigating these tangents lead to the discovery of some interesting concepts - I think they sort of mirror aspects of what I was trying to allude to when I used the above analogy to pose the associated questions.

I've copied and pasted bits and pieces together to try and convey my findings, I apologise if things get repeated - I'll list the sources below.

Anyway, the primary concept I've found is ālayavijñāna - this seems to be akin to the palette in my analogy above, more specifically a pallete that harbours the most pure paint possible.

Alayavijñāna is one of two extra consciousnesses proposed by the Yogacara School - I'll assume you know the six-sense consciousnesses already and just divulge these extra two:

Seventh consciousness:
"The manas consciousness ","Obscuration-consciousness" (Tibetan: nyon-yid rnam-shes); (Sanskrit: klistamanas = klesha "obscuration", "poison", "enemy"; manas "ideation", "moving mind", "mind monkey" (volition?); a consciousness which through apprehension, gathers the hindrances, the poisons, the karmic formations (c.f. Manas (early Buddhism)).

Eighth consciousness:
"store-house consciousness" (Tibetan: kun-gzhi rnam-shes; Sanskrit: ālāyavijñāna); " The seed consciousness (bi^ja-vijn~a^na); "the consciousness which is the basis of the other seven. The seven prior consciousnesses are based and founded upon the eighth. It serves as the container for all experiential impressions termed metaphorically as bija or "seeds". It is the aggregate which administers and yields rebirth; this idea may in some respects be compared to the usage of the word "citta" in the agamas. In the early texts the sankhara-khandha plays some of the roles ascribed to the store-house consciousness by later Yogacara thinkers.

Through the process of seed(s) purging, the dharma practitioner can became a Arahat when the four defilement mental functions i.e. self-delusion, self-view, egotism and self-love, of the seventh consciousness are purified. By then the polluted Mental Functions of the first six consciousnesses would have been cleansed, since the seventh or the Manas consciousness dictates whether or not the seeds drain from the eighth Seed consciousness, and whether or not the content breaks through becoming a "function" to be perceived by us in the mental or physicial world. Furthermore,in contrast to an Arahat, a Buddha is one with all his seeds stored in the eighth Seed consciousness. Cleansed and substituted, bad for good, one for one, his polluted-seeds-containing eighth consciousness (Alaya Consciousness) becomes an all-seeds-purified eighth consciousness (Pure consciousness), and he becomes a Buddha.

In the Lankavatarasutra the term tathagatagarbha is used as a synonym for alayavijnana and is described as 'luminous by nature' (prakrtiprabhasvara) and 'pure by nature' (prakrtiparisuddha) but appearing as impure 'because it is sullied by adventitious defilements' (agantuklesopaklistataya). In the Anguttaranikaya, citta is described as 'luminous' (pabhassara), but it is 'sullied by adventitious minor defilements' (agantukehi upakkilesehi upakkilittham).

One may notice here that alaya-vijnana (or tathagatgarbha) and citta are described almost by the same terms. We have seen earlier that the Sandhi-nirmocana-sutra says that alayavijnana is also called citta.

The attainment of Nirvana is achieved by 'the revolution of alayavijnana' which is called asrayaparavrtti. The same idea is conveyed by the expression alayasamugghata - 'uprooting of alaya' - which is used in the Pali Canon as a synonym for Nirvana. Here it should be remembered, too, that analaya, 'no-alaya', is another synonym for Nirvana.

For Asanga (fourth century C.E.), citta, manas and vijnana are three different and distinct aspects of the vyjnanaskandha. He defines this Aggregate as follows:

'What is the definition of the Aggregate of Consciousness (vijnanaskandha)? It is mind (citta), mental organ (manas) and also consciousness (vijnana).

"And there what is mind (citta)? It is alayavijnana (Store-Consciousness) containing all seeds (sarvabijaka), impregnated with the traces (impressions) (vasanaparibhavita) of Aggregates (skandha), Elements (dhatu) and Spheres (ayatana) ...

'What is mental organ (manas)? It is the object of alayavijnana always having the nature of self-notion (self-conceit) (manyanatmaka) associated with four defilements, viz. the false idea of self (atmadrsti), self-love (atmasneha), the conceit of 'I am' (asmimana) and ignorance (avidya) ...

'What is consciousness (vijnana)? It consists of the six groups of consciousness (sad vijnanakayah), viz. visual consciousness (caksurvijnana), auditory (srotra), olfactory (ghrana), gustatory (jihva), tactile (kaya), and mental consciousness (manovijnana) ...

Alayavijnana is considered by men as their "Soul', 'Self', 'Ego' or 'Atman'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_Consciousnesses
http://www.purifymind.com/StoreConsciousness.htm
http://www.buddhismtoday.com/english/philosophy/maha/032-Alayavijnana.htm
http://www.bddronline.net.au/bddr13no4/abhi065.html
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:47 pm

MayaRefugee,
It looks like you are slipping out of Theravaville and into Mahayanaland.......sutra, dharma, nirvana....these are the Mahayana near equivalents of the Theravada terms sutta, dhamma, and nibhanna. This is a Theravada forum....if you are wanting a wider search for Buddhist ideas concerning "art" etc. then you might consider also asking your questions in a Mahayana forum...or some such.
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Re: The Buddha, Imagination and The Artistic Process

Postby pt1 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:35 pm

MayaRefugee wrote:I've copied and pasted bits and pieces together to try and convey my findings, I apologise if things get repeated - I'll list the sources below.

Anyway, the primary concept I've found is ālayavijñāna - this seems to be akin to the palette in my analogy above, more specifically a pallete that harbours the most pure paint possible.

As chownah mentions, what you quote is not theravada anymore. Not sure how much you know about it, (I don't know much either), but I think the stuff you quote would be based on abhidhamma that was maintained by the Sarvastivada sect, not Sthaviravada which later became Theravada. I think Mahayana and Vajrayana are also related to Sarvastivada version. But I don't know much about this, some other members like Venerable Pannasikhara would surely know a lot more about it and might be able to help. But basically all that stuff about seventh and eight consciousness is not valid in theravada. Though those 2 extra types of consciousness might be explained as reflecting some aspects of theravadin abhidhamma (like anusayas for example), my knowledge is not nearly good enough to attempt a comparison. Perhaps someone else who knows more about early Mahayana might be able to help.

Best wishes
pt1
 
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