'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Post Reply
pegembara
Posts: 2720
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by pegembara »

Coëmgenu wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 5:11 pm Do you know what else the Pāli Canon says?

That citta arises when nāmarūpa arises.

The two are co-terminous and mutually dependent.
That is vinnana of DO. Clearly, the cessation of vinnana/namarupa is liberation. There is liberation but "what" is liberated is left unsaid. The task is done when vinnana/namarupa/world/all experience ceases.

Using the sun analogy again...when the rays fall on nothing, the view from the centre is that the lights go out. Whether the sun is still burning or has gone out is irrelevant! The experience from the centre is cessation or going out.

If the rays were to fall on something, the conditioned reappears.
"Very well then, Kotthita my friend, I will give you an analogy; for there are cases where it is through the use of an analogy that intelligent people can understand the meaning of what is being said. It is as if two sheaves of reeds were to stand leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name & form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.

"If one were to pull away one of those sheaves of reeds, the other would fall; if one were to pull away the other, the first one would fall. In the same way, from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
I stand corrected. Therein lies the confusion. Is consciousness liberated or does it cease? Where there is no confusion is that the world of the six senses/the conditioned ceases and one is liberated.
“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 unagitated, he personally attains Nibbāna. 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.’”
There is, monks, an unborn[1] — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.[2]
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 9235
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am
Contact:

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by cappuccino »

Coëmgenu wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:08 am
cappuccino wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:22 pm there is no such passage
Don't tell lies.
I have to rely on overall understanding
beingnoone
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2022 6:21 am

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by beingnoone »

jankala wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 6:12 pm Hello all.

This post is addressed to those who are familiar with the view of certain teachers, such as Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Geoff, etc. who claim that there is a class of consciousness that is outside of the 6 sense spheres, that does not 'grow cool' with the aggregates, and that is eternal/undying.
Such a view I would call eternalism, because in the suttas eternal is just synonymous with stable, permanent, and unchanging. Philosopies about it being outside of time :quote: don't apply there to "eternal", and are never made. Any consciousness that is unchanging is eternal.
Consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist. SN22.94
I know OP asked only for arguments to show that 'Consciousness without Surface' is NOT eternalism, so I apologize for the above. But there are arguments why this 'Consciousness without Surface' isn't eternalism, saying it is a type of meditation rather than nibbana:

- https://buddhistuniversity.net/content/ ... 0of%20mind.
- https://buddhistuniversity.net/content/ ... ness_sunyo
Cause_and_Effect
Posts: 825
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:39 am

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by Cause_and_Effect »

Coëmgenu wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:08 am ~
There is a Citta beyond the dependently arisen mind base and mind-objects, according to the Pali Suttas.


"Therefore, monks, that dimension should be known wherein the eye ceases and the perception of forms fades away... wherein the ear ceases and the perception of sounds fades away... the nose ceases and the perception of smell fades away... the tongue ceases and the perception of tastes fades away... the body ceases and the perception of touch fades away... the mind ceases and the perception of mind-objects fades away. That dimension should be known; that dimension should be known."

(S. IV. 98)


The All ceases - that is the six sense base and their object.
Note also that:

The Mind base ceases along with it's objects; yet

There is a knowing present still and a dimension beyond the All to be known.

Thus the Mind base and mind objects refer to the dependently arisen nama-rupa human (or other being) personality body-mind complex.
It doesn't refer to the liberated Citta that knows Nibbana , that which the Thai Ajahns describe as the Original Mind or the 'knowingness'.
"Therein monks, that Dimension should be known wherein the eye ceases and the perception of forms fades away...the ear... the nose...the tongue... the body ceases and the perception of touch fades away...

That Dimension should be known wherein the mind ceases and the perception of mind-objects fades away.
That Dimension should be known; that Dimension should be known."


(S. IV. 98) - The Dimension beyond the All
User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 18213
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Cause_and_Effect wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:15 am

Thus the Mind base and mind objects refer to the dependently arisen nama-rupa human (or other being) personality body-mind complex.
It doesn't refer to the liberated Citta that knows Nibbana , that which the Thai Ajahns describe as the Original Mind or the 'knowingness'.
The TFT uses the “one who knows” or “original mind” in different ways. For some it’s an eternal citta thingy, for others it’s just a way of talking about emptiness.
“In the same way, great king, when a bhikkhu sees that these five hindrances are unabandoned within himself, he regards that as a debt, as a sickness, as confinement in prison, as slavery, as a desert road. But when he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, he regards that as freedom from debt, as good health, as release from prison, as freedom from slavery, as a place of safety.”

Sāmaññaphala sutta
Cause_and_Effect
Posts: 825
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:39 am

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by Cause_and_Effect »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:50 am
The TFT uses the “one who knows” or “original mind” in different ways. For some it’s an eternal citta thingy, for others it’s just a way of talking about emptiness.
That may be the case, but regardless there is a sutta basis for it in the above passage I quoted.

It indicates both the dimension beyond the six sense bases and a type of knowing of this dimension after cessation of the mind base.

This is an exact parallel of 'Consciousness without surface' - the knowing of a surfaceless dimension where the six sense bases and their objects do not land.

Of course it doesn't square at all with your 'annihilationism by another name and no- self' views so I imgaine you just choose to dismiss this passage. Cut and paste dhamma though is not good practice.
"Therein monks, that Dimension should be known wherein the eye ceases and the perception of forms fades away...the ear... the nose...the tongue... the body ceases and the perception of touch fades away...

That Dimension should be known wherein the mind ceases and the perception of mind-objects fades away.
That Dimension should be known; that Dimension should be known."


(S. IV. 98) - The Dimension beyond the All
User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 18213
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Cause_and_Effect wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:00 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:50 am
The TFT uses the “one who knows” or “original mind” in different ways. For some it’s an eternal citta thingy, for others it’s just a way of talking about emptiness.
That may be the case, but regardless there is a sutta basis for it in the above passage I quoted.

It indicates both the dimension beyond the six sense bases and a type of knowing of this dimension after cessation of the mind base.

This is an exact parallel of 'Consciousness without surface' - the knowing of a surfaceless dimension where the six sense bases and their objects do not land.

Of course it doesn't square at all with your 'annihilationism by another name and no- self' views so I imgaine you just choose to dismiss this passage. Cut and paste dhamma though is not good practice.
That you think consciousness ceasing forever is annihilationism simply shows how you are clinging to it as a self, consciously or not.

“If conciosuness ceases forever, I won’t exist”

Remember the Buddha praised the annihilationists. They were closer to him than the eternalists were with their permanently existing consciousness, form, whatever. That should give you pause for thought. They were rightly disgusted with existence and were practicing to end it. They were very close to non-clinging. Their error was in thinking there is an existing self which is annihilated. In reality there is only form, feeling, consciousness. Only that ceases, and it’s total extermination is bliss.

You also earlier called me a materialist. I’d like to know how I’m such a thing, when I recognise consciousness as existing and accept kamma & rebirth?
“In the same way, great king, when a bhikkhu sees that these five hindrances are unabandoned within himself, he regards that as a debt, as a sickness, as confinement in prison, as slavery, as a desert road. But when he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, he regards that as freedom from debt, as good health, as release from prison, as freedom from slavery, as a place of safety.”

Sāmaññaphala sutta
Cause_and_Effect
Posts: 825
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:39 am

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by Cause_and_Effect »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:09 am
That you think consciousness ceasing forever is annihilationism simply shows how you are clinging to it as a self, consciously or not.

“If conciosuness ceases forever, I won’t exist”
It's seems you are the one clinging to an 'I' and a self since you equate the existance of consciousness with an 'I'.

The liberated consciousness is not-self and there is no 'I' not any identification with it.

You are a type of annihilationist because you equate liberation of citta with simply annihilation of consciousness - a position not supported in the Pali Canon. You also more or less acknoedge it in your abive post.

Typically though, your entire response was a segway to avoid answering the very clear point raises by the Pali Canon, so I will repost it for you to answer again.


".....that dimension should be known wherein the mind ceases and the perception of mind-objects fades away. That dimension should be known; that dimension should be known."

(S. IV. 98)
Cause_and_Effect wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:00 am
It indicates both the dimension beyond the six sense bases and a type of knowing of this dimension after cessation of the mind base.

This is an exact parallel of 'Consciousness without surface' - the knowing of a surfaceless dimension where the six sense bases and their objects do not land.
:buddha1:
"Therein monks, that Dimension should be known wherein the eye ceases and the perception of forms fades away...the ear... the nose...the tongue... the body ceases and the perception of touch fades away...

That Dimension should be known wherein the mind ceases and the perception of mind-objects fades away.
That Dimension should be known; that Dimension should be known."


(S. IV. 98) - The Dimension beyond the All
Cause_and_Effect
Posts: 825
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:39 am

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by Cause_and_Effect »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:09 am
Remember the Buddha praised the annihilationists. They were closer to him than the eternalists were with their permanently existing consciousness, form, whatever. That should give you pause for thought. They were rightly disgusted with existence and were practicing to end it. They were very close to non-clinging.
Your logic is deeply flawed:
"The Buddha praised annihilationists; ergo, Nibbana is a type of annihilation but without a self"

He obviously praised them because they were disgusted with all forms of life and becoming so had revulsion towards formations rather than delighting in existence.

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:09 am Their error was in thinking there.. is an existing self which is annihilated. In reality there is only form, feeling, consciousness. Only that ceases, and it’s total extermination is bliss.
No, their error was the same as yours, they overreached.

"Such that this consciousness is annihilated at death, that is peace".

Or in your words "Extermination of consciousness is bliss".

This is what makes you an annihilationist, and this is what leaves you totally befuddled and at a loss for answers when the above Pali Canon passage about the Dimension beyond the six sense bases is known.

Liberation is knowing a dimension beyond the transitory nama-rupa and beyond the touch of sense contacts.
This is the Island, this is bliss.
It's not your and the annihilationists mistaken view of 'extermination of citta'.

It's liberation of citta from the taints of re-becoming and to a refuge beyond all of the sense contacts. This is bliss. This is Nibbana.
"Therein monks, that Dimension should be known wherein the eye ceases and the perception of forms fades away...the ear... the nose...the tongue... the body ceases and the perception of touch fades away...

That Dimension should be known wherein the mind ceases and the perception of mind-objects fades away.
That Dimension should be known; that Dimension should be known."


(S. IV. 98) - The Dimension beyond the All
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 7490
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by Coëmgenu »

pegembara wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:24 am
Coëmgenu wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 5:11 pm Do you know what else the Pāli Canon says?

That citta arises when nāmarūpa arises.

The two are co-terminous and mutually dependent.
That is vinnana of DO.
Actually, it's "the citta." Buddhavacana is complicated. It can't be reduced to frivolous slogans like "Citta is forever."
This Buddha has always known what all Buddhas always realize.
Unhindered, like space, his light is unobstructed.
His light pervades the countless lokas.
He sits amidst the Saṃghas, adorning and purifying them.

This Buddha's field of merit cannot be measured.
It fills the lokas of the ten directions.
He sits under every Bodhi tree,
and all mahāsattvas surround (him) like clouds.

This Buddha has such godly powers
that he manifests infinite emanated bodies simultaneously.
The realm of the Tathāgata is limitless.
Individuals witness it according to their individuality.

(Buddhāvataṃsakasūtra)
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 9235
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am
Contact:

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by cappuccino »

Coëmgenu wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:42 pm Actually, it's "the citta."
Only if Sujato is translating
User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 18213
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by Ceisiwr »

cappuccino wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:08 pm
Coëmgenu wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:42 pm Actually, it's "the citta."
Only if Sujato is translating
It’s in the Pali. There is no eternal life in citta. Only death.
“In the same way, great king, when a bhikkhu sees that these five hindrances are unabandoned within himself, he regards that as a debt, as a sickness, as confinement in prison, as slavery, as a desert road. But when he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, he regards that as freedom from debt, as good health, as release from prison, as freedom from slavery, as a place of safety.”

Sāmaññaphala sutta
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 9235
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am
Contact:

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by cappuccino »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:22 pm
cappuccino wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:08 pm Only if Sujato is translating
It’s in the Pali
Quote someone other than Sujato
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 7490
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by Coëmgenu »

cappuccino wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:26 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:22 pm
cappuccino wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:08 pm Only if Sujato is translating
It’s in the Pali
Quote someone other than Sujato
It doesn't matter who translates it. It's in the original Pāli. Ven Sujāto doesn't translate it as "the citta" anyways. Because his translation is in English, he uses an English word for it.
This Buddha has always known what all Buddhas always realize.
Unhindered, like space, his light is unobstructed.
His light pervades the countless lokas.
He sits amidst the Saṃghas, adorning and purifying them.

This Buddha's field of merit cannot be measured.
It fills the lokas of the ten directions.
He sits under every Bodhi tree,
and all mahāsattvas surround (him) like clouds.

This Buddha has such godly powers
that he manifests infinite emanated bodies simultaneously.
The realm of the Tathāgata is limitless.
Individuals witness it according to their individuality.

(Buddhāvataṃsakasūtra)
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 9235
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am
Contact:

Re: 'Consciousness without Surface': Not Eternalism?

Post by cappuccino »

Coëmgenu wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:40 pm It doesn't matter who translates it. It's in the original Pāli.
waiting for anyone else to translate
Post Reply