Why there is no re-linking consciousness

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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Element » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:29 am

Individual wrote: "There is no re-linking consciousness" contradicts kamma and dependent origination.

Individual

Most regard various Buddhist teachings as somehow different. However, most of the Buddha's teachings are more or less expressions of the one path or the same causes for the arising of dukkha.

Take for example ignorance, the asava and the five hindrances. Whilst the five hindrances and the asava are not mentioned in dependent origination, these three dhammas on the side of dukkka are all part of ignorance. In AN X.61, the Buddha states the food or ahara of ignorance is the five hindrances. As long as the five hindrances remain, ignorance will continue to remain.

To understand how ignorance conditions consciousness in dependent origination is the same as understanding how the five hindrances taint or cloud the luminous mind.

In the suttas, the Buddha states:
If there is water in a pot mixed with red, yellow, blue or orange color, a man with a normal faculty of sight, looking into it, could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by sensual desire, overpowered by sensual desire, one cannot properly see the escape from sensual desire which has arisen; then one does not properly understand and see one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized.

If there is a pot of water heated on the fire, the water seething and boiling, a man with a normal faculty of sight, looking into it, could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by ill-will, overpowered by ill-will, one cannot properly see the escape from the ill-will which has arisen; then one does not properly understand and see one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized.

If there is a pot of water, covered with moss and water plants, then a man with a normal faculty of sight looking into it could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by sloth and torpor, overpowered by sloth and torpor, one cannot properly see the escape from sloth and torpor that have arisen; then one does not properly understand one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized.

Sangaravo Sutta


I would suggest this is the way to understand dependent origination. Ignorance conditions formations and formations condition consciousness, in the same manner as in the Buddha's similes above about the five hindrances.

In short, dependent origination is not about meta-physics and does not expound a 're-linking consciousness'.

With metta

Element
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Element » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:47 am

Drolma wrote:Dear Element,

Where is the implication in this sutta that the process stops after the sensual objects, material objects, and immaerial objects have been nourished by craving? In the sutta these processes do not seem to be independent of one another. Would we not be continually planting kammic seeds as afflicted consciousness arises?

Kindly,
Drolma

Hi Drolma

To me, the sutta is only about dukkha's arising and does not mention cessation. Using the metaphor found in the sutta, I would say consciousness or mind ceases to be afflicted when the seed is not planted in certain fields of kamma and is not nourished by craving.

In the Upaya Sutta, the Buddha described liberated consciousness.
When that consciousness is unestablished, not coming to growth, nongenerative, it is liberated. By being liberated, it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, he is not agitated. Being not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being'.


With metta

Element
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:10 am

Hi Element,

Element wrote:The Bhava Sutta does not explain relinking consciousness.


You are indulging in your usual penchant for moving the goalposts. What you asked Piotr to supply was not a sutta explaining relinking consciousness, but rather, one supporting his claim that "viññāṇa is a cognition but I don't think that it is correct to say that it's "merely cognition", since it's also described as a seed with other kammic factors that nourish it."

This is what we have both done.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Element » Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:32 am

Dhammanando wrote:What you asked Piotr to supply was not a sutta explaining relinking consciousness, but rather, one supporting his claim that "viññāṇa is a cognition but I don't think that it is correct to say that it's "merely cognition", since it's also described as a seed with other kammic factors that nourish it."

Piotr held 'seeds' are 'relinking' (which is the reason he raised it).

The sutta states "consciousness becomes grounded". This is delight, attachment or mental fixation.

However, it reality, it is not consciousness which is the "storehouse" of craving. The storehouse of craving is the citta or sankhara khanda.

If anything performs a function of 'relinking', it would be sanna and sankhara khandas rather than vinnana khanda.

Memories, tendencies, accumulations, etc, are stored in the citta rather than vinnana.

With metta

Element
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:42 am

Element wrote:However, it reality, it is not consciousness which is the "storehouse" of craving. The storehouse of craving is the citta or sankhara khanda.

If anything performs a function of 'relinking', it would be sanna and sankhara khandas rather than vinnana khanda.

Memories, tendencies, accumulations, etc, are stored in the citta rather than vinnana.


Citta is never defined as the aggregate of formations. It is in fact a synonym of viññāṇa.

    "But, bhikkhus, as to that which is called 'mind' (citta), that which is called 'mentality' (mano), that which is called 'consciousness' (viññāṇa), — the uninstructed worldling is unable to experience revulsion towards it, unable to become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it.

    "It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worldling to take as self this body composed of the four great elements rather than the mind (citta). For what reason? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind' (citta), that which is called 'mentality' (mano), that which is called 'consciousness' (viññāṇa) arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night."
    (Assutavā Sutta, SN.ii.94. Bodhi trans.)

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Element » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:56 am

Dhammanando wrote:
    "But, bhikkhus, as to that which is called 'mind' (citta), that which is called 'mentality' (mano), that which is called 'consciousness' (viññāṇa), — the uninstructed worldling is unable to experience revulsion towards it, unable to become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it.

    "It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worldling to take as self this body composed of the four great elements rather than the mind (citta). For what reason? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind' (citta), that which is called 'mentality' (mano), that which is called 'consciousness' (viññāṇa) arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night."
    (Assutavā Sutta, SN.ii.94. Bodhi trans.)


Dhammanando

I was hoping you would find the above quote. I advised Individual earlier the Buddha said somewhere the body was more permanent than consciousness.

As for synonymity, having different names clearly negates this. For example, vinnana does not think.

Mano vinnana knows mental objects. Mental objects are concocted and/or performed by the citta.

With metta

Element
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:12 am

Element wrote:As for synonymity, having different names clearly negates this.


What an absurd statement! Far from negating it, synonymity requires that one referent have two or more names. "Citta is citta is citta" would be tautology, not synonymity.

For example, vinnana does not think.


Correct, it cognizes an object. As does that which is called citta.

Mano vinnana knows mental objects. Mental objects are concocted and/or performed by the citta.


Mental objects (dhammā) arises from a variety of causes, but are not "concocted" by the consciousness that cognizes them any more than visual objects are concocted by eye-consciousness, sounds by ear consciousness etc.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby piotr » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:53 am

Hi,

Element wrote:Piotr held 'seeds' are 'relinking' (which is the reason he raised it).


I would love to see where I have stated thus.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby elaine » Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:31 am

Why there is no re-linking consciousness? I think there is a relinking consciousness or else "what" would "link" our past consciousness to the future consciousness during rebirth, right?


"Consciousness is like a seed (vinnanam bijam) for the growth of the relinking consciousness (patisandhi vinnana) and craving (tanha) is likened to the moisture or water element, which is an essential factor for its growth. A new conditioning consciousness (abhisankhara vinnana) that conditions new becoming takes as its object kamma, a sign of kamma, or a sign of destiny at the moment of dying. There are two causes for new life: kamma and tanha. But kamma without tanha cannot bring about new becoming. Tanha is the main cause. Therefore, it is said that tanha produces rebirth.

The consciousness that arises at the first moment of conception, is known as relinking consciousness, also takes as its object kamma, a sign of kamma, or a sign of destiny. The relinking consciousness is followed by the life continuum consciousness (bhavanga citta) which goes on continuously throughout life, even if there is no sense consciousness arising. According to the Abhidhamma, relinking consciousness, life continuum consciousness, and death consciousness within a single life are all in the same category. They arise as the result of one particular kamma in the past life that appeared at the moment of dying. Thus, tanha forms the root cause of the new existence or new becoming." - from the book, The First Discourse of the Buddha By Revatadhamma, Rewata Dhamma.


Personally, I don't believe in an immediate rebirth, I believe in Bardo, although Theravadins do not believe in a Bardo. Rebirth is supposedly immediate, right? But these assumptions are all just theoretical and speculative, obviously it cannot be proven by non-enlightened beings, right?

Edit: wait, I think I just contradicted myself. The first paragraph and the last paragraph don't match! Oh well... :embarassed:
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Element » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:07 am

Dhammanando wrote:Mental objects (dhammā) arises from a variety of causes, but are not "concocted" by the consciousness that cognizes them any more than visual objects are concocted by eye-consciousness, sounds by ear consciousness etc.

Dhammanando

Unless you have made a typing error, we are in agreement here. You have said exactly what I said. Vinnana does not concoct but citta does.

The third satipatthana is contemplation of the citta, namely, cittanupassana.
And how does a monk remain focused on the mind in & of itself? There is the case where a monk, when the mind has passion, discerns that the mind has passion. When the mind is without passion, he discerns that the mind is without passion. When the mind has aversion, he discerns that the mind has aversion. When the mind is without aversion, he discerns that the mind is without aversion. When the mind has delusion, he discerns that the mind has delusion. When the mind is without delusion, he discerns that the mind is without delusion.


E
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Element » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:18 am

Greetings Elaine

elaine wrote:...rebirth, right?

What rebirth? Can you please point this rebirth out to me or how I can discern it?

"Consciousness is like a seed (vinnanam bijam) for the growth of the relinking consciousness (patisandhi vinnana) and craving (tanha) is likened to the moisture or water element, which is an essential factor for its growth.

Can you please quote where the Buddha said this?

A new conditioning consciousness (abhisankhara vinnana) that conditions new becoming takes as its object kamma, a sign of kamma, or a sign of destiny at the moment of dying.

Can you please quote where the Buddha said this?

The consciousness that arises at the first moment of conception, is known as relinking consciousness, also takes as its object kamma, a sign of kamma, or a sign of destiny. The relinking consciousness is followed by the life continuum consciousness (bhavanga citta) which goes on continuously throughout life, even if there is no sense consciousness arising.

Can you please quote where the Buddha said this?

According to the Abhidhamma, relinking consciousness, life continuum consciousness, and death consciousness within a single life are all in the same category.

Oh! It is in the Abdhidhamma.

They arise as the result of one particular kamma in the past life that appeared at the moment of dying. Thus, tanha forms the root cause of the new existence or new becoming."

Oh! Rewata Dhamma said it.

Personally, I don't believe in an immediate rebirth, I believe in Bardo, although Theravadins do not believe in a Bardo.

Human beings, including Buddhists, have a tendency to believe in all sorts of different things.

But these assumptions are all just theoretical and speculative, obviously it cannot be proven by non-enlightened beings, right?

I must fully agree with you there. However, I doubt enlightened beings can prove them either.

Edit: wait, I think I just contradicted myself. The first paragraph and the last paragraph don't match! Oh well... :embarassed:

That's OK. The Buddha said in the Dhammapada:
The fool that realises his foolishness is wise to that extent.


Enjoy. :smile:

Kind regards

Element
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby elaine » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:35 am

Element wrote:What rebirth? Can you please point this rebirth out to me or how I can discern it?

How to discern rebirth? I can't do it!!! :spy: I think normal human beings can't, unless they have supranormal powers. I think, if you do some kind of Samatha meditation and if you get really good at it, you might be able to discern it but why waste so much time in doing these 'not so useful' meditation just to see past lives? Might as well do vipassana to gain insight for liberation. (Yea, this is all easier said than done but some things are surprising. Some people who are non-believers become really good at it in a short period of time, but some people who are believers all their life, see nothing and gain nothing from years of sittings. It's just kamma. sigh.)


Element wrote:Human beings, including Buddhists, have a tendency to believe in all sorts of different things.

You are right! There is one thing I absolutely believe in, I believe in the power of money. Almost anyone can be 'bought' for a price and No, I don't mean hiring someone to do the job. I mean, I believe that "money makes the world go round" and that can be easily proven.


:focus:
So, what's your opinion/conclusion on relinking consciousness after reading the short excerpt from Rewata's book? Probably still not convinced, eh? So, you don't believe in rebirth? (Sorry if I've made some wrong assumptions about you, I'm new to this forum).
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:42 am

Element wrote:Vinnana does not concoct but citta does.


And the suttas that shows this is so?
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: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Element » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:07 am

elaine wrote:How to discern rebirth? I can't do it!!! :spy: I think normal human beings can't, unless they have supranormal powers.

I think if one had supernormal powers, one would simply see mental formations and sense objects with those supernormal powers.

Venerable Dhammanando has just posted an extremely useful post about language on the Anatta thread.

This quote forms the basis of what we call Modern Theravada.

From the Manorathapūraṇī:
duve saccāni akkhāsi
sambuddho vadataṃ varo
sammutiṃ paramatthañca
tatiyaṃ nupalabbhati

The Awakened One, best of speakers,
Spoke two kinds of truths:
The conventional and the ultimate.
A third truth does not obtain.

tattha:
saṅketavacanaṃ saccaṃ
lokasammutikāraṇaṃ
paramatthavacanaṃ saccaṃ
dhammānaṃ tathalakkhaṇan ti

Therein:
The speech wherewith the world converses is true
On account of its being agreed upon by the world.
The speech which describes what is ultimate is also true,
Through characterizing dhammas as they really are.

tasmā vohārakusalassa
lokanāthassa satthuno
sammutiṃ voharantassa
musāvādo na jāyatī ti

Therefore, being skilled in common usage,
False speech does not arise in the Teacher,
Who is Lord of the World,
When he speaks according to conventions.
(Mn. i. 95)
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby nathan » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:20 am

Element, everyone;

You may find it challenging to consider the significant challenges to all functionalist theories of any kind for fully and accurately describing the nature of and interrelationships between what is elsewhere referred to as mentality/materiality or the mind/body.

Nama has limited usefulness.

See the two pdfs linked in the Articles section near the bottom of this page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Nagel

Articles

1998, "Conceiving the Impossible and the Mind-Body Problem", Philosophy, vol. 73, no. 285, pp. 337-352. Online PDF

2000, "The Psychophysical Nexus", in Paul Boghossian and Christopher Peacocke (eds.) New Essays on the A Priori, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 432-471. Online PDF
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:50 pm

The whole re-linking consciousness teaching comes from a misinterpretation of the the Buddhas Teaching on Dependent Origination.

Taking it as a model for rebirth it requires a re-linking consciousness but since the buddha did not teach Dependent Origination as a model of rebirth there is no re-linking consciousness in the Buddhas teachings.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:54 am

Greetings clw_uk
clw_uk wrote:The whole re-linking consciousness teaching comes from a misinterpretation of the Buddhas Teaching on Dependent Origination.

So the Abhidhamma and Commentaries are based on misinterpretations of the Buddha's teaching which have persisted for over 2000 years?

Metta
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby Element » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:10 am

mikenz66 wrote:So the Abhidhamma and Commentaries are based on misinterpretations of the Buddha's teaching which have persisted for over 2000 years?

Mike

Buddha said his teaching would last 500 years. Thus, your 2,000 year number is spot on. Fortunately, the true Dhamma rebirthed last century.
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby clw_uk » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:54 am

So the Abhidhamma and Commentaries are based on misinterpretations of the Buddha's teaching which have persisted for over 2000 years?

Metta
Mike


The commentaries are not the word of the buddha they are interpretations of his teachings by later followers. The Abhidhamma was a later addition. Remeber, dont believe something just because it is scripture, this is what Lord Buddha has advised us.

Dependent Origination is about liberation from dukkha not a model for rebirth, think about why the 4 foundations of mindfulness focus your mind on abandoning delight in feeling in reguards to the aggregates.

Feeling leads to craving, clinging, becoming, birth of the self.

What is the origin of identity?
Five aggregates affected by clinging, this is because clinging leads to becoming, birth of identity, the sense of self. This is dependent Origination.

In order to stop dukkha one needs to end identity view.
In short the five aggregates effected by clinging are dukkha



The reason dependent origination was interpreted in three lives was to try and explain rebirth with Anatta. However the buddha only said rebirth Would happen not How it would happen, he never went into detail about it and he never used dependent origination to explain rebirth, thats not its intention.

:focus:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Why there is no re-linking consciousness

Postby nathan » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:12 pm

There is a rebirth linking ignorance, find that and I believe you've got the sucker causing all the problems. :rofl:

It is said that in some kinds of divine or non-return type of births there is conscious knowledge of passing in one world and of re-arising in another which demonstrates a conscious continuity of a kind but there is still a complete release and re-arising of clinging again elsewhere. These are fairly conditionally specific conditions which we cannot demonstrate here, aren't they? Short of such noble accomplishments there would be ignorance of what occurs and of what one was and is, which pretty well describes us.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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