Karma and Reincarnation

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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:58 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Mental objects are one class of objects, material objects are another class of objects. You are conflating the two. A mental object (part of the dharmadhātu) is an object for the mano dhātu. A material object is an object for the other five dhātus, form for eye, etc.
That is one view/theory. From my understanding Theravadins put the mind as a sense organ at the same level as the other five, yet a component in the functioning of the "material" sensory process too. So it has two roles: the sensing of mental objects and the sensing of mental objects produced by the other five sense consciousness.


The function of vijñāna is really best comprehended by understand the complete presentation of skandhas, āyatanas and dhātus. There is no significant different between how these are presented in the Vibhanga, for example, and the Koshabhasyaṃ.

In both systems, manovijn̄ānadhātu arises from the contact of the mano-indriya dhātu and the dharmadhātu.

12 āyatanas, the manoāyatana covers all sense perceptions because the emphasis is different.

In brief, the emphasis of the presentation of 5 skandhas is on the sense organs, the presentation of the 12 āyatanas emphasizes the sense objects, and the presentation of the 18 dhātus emphasizes the sense consciousnesses.

M
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:04 pm

Malcolm wrote:Formless realm beings have only a mental organ, they therefore have only one thought, which is the concept which propels their birth in the four formless āyatanas.

Bardo beings have a subtle body with a complete compliment of sense organs. It is said however in Abhidharma they do not see the sun and moon because of not being born of male a female elements.
Not wanting to be a stick in the mud, but what is your source for this? I ask this because it seems strange to me, given the presence of the alaya-vijnana, that formless beings would be limited to one thought given they have infinite mind objects at their disposal.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:47 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Formless realm beings have only a mental organ, they therefore have only one thought, which is the concept which propels their birth in the four formless āyatanas.
Not wanting to be a stick in the mud, but what is your source for this?



Abhidharmakoshabhasyam, AFAIK, there is no different explanation given in Yogacara or for that matter in the Abhidharmasammucaya. You can understand it in the following way: without physical organs, the mental organ can only have a single object present before it, the thought that propels its rebirth into that āyatana.

You see, this is why people should study Vasubandhu in detail -- then they will have less proliferation and speculation about many things.

M
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:42 am

Malcolm wrote:Abhidharmakoshabhasyam, AFAIK, there is no different explanation given in Yogacara or for that matter in the Abhidharmasammucaya. You can understand it in the following way: without physical organs, the mental organ can only have a single object present before it, the thought that propels its rebirth into that āyatana.

You see, this is why people should study Vasubandhu in detail -- then they will have less proliferation and speculation about many things.

M
Vasubandhu is merely one take on the matter. Acariya Sangaha states in the Abhidhammattha Sangaha (2000), p152 that for a mind process to occur the one needs the following conditions to be present:

1)The heart base (hadayavatthu)*
2)A mental object (dhammarammana)
3)The bhavanga
4)Attention

*"For the mind-door process, the heart-base is only required in those realms where matter is found. While
a mind-door process can also take any of the five sense data as object, mental object is listed to show its
distinctive datum."

He goes on to say that: "The six types of cognitive processes are conveniently divided into two groups —
(1) the five-door process (pañcadvāravīthi), which includes the five processes occurring
at each of the physical sense doors; and (2) the mind-door process (manodvāravīthi),
which comprises all processes that occur solely at the mind door. Since the bhavanga is
also the channel from which the five-door processes emerge, the latter is sometimes
called “mixed door processes” (missaka-dvāravīthi), inasmuch as they involve both the
mind door and a physical sense door. The processes that occur solely at the mind door
are then called “bare mind door processes” (suddha-manodvāravīthi), since they emerge
from the bhavanga alone without the instrumentality of a physical sense door. As will be
seen, the first five processes all follow a uniform pattern despite the difference in the
sense faculty through which they occur, while the sixth comprises a variety of processes
that are alike only in that they occur independently of the external sense doors."

I see your proliferation and speculation and raise you a pedantry. ;)
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:30 pm

Theravada Abhidhamma is completely irrelevant to discussions regarding Madhyamaka, Yogacara, Vajrayāna, Mahāyāna and so on.

In any case, none of what you describe demonstrates that formless realm beings are capable of more than a single cognition during their lifespans.

In fact, your citation merely supports this view, "While a mind-door process can also take any of the five sense data as object, mental object is listed to show its distinctive datum", this means that a sense organ related to the sense datum is required for the requisite cognition of that object to take place. The mind operates through any of the six indriyas, taking the name of that sense gate when it is operating through that sense gate. But the mind cannot smell a form when it is operating through the eye gateway. Since formless realm beings only have a mental indriya, they do not perceive any material objects and since they have no input, they only cognize the concept that propels their rebirth.

If you want to prove this view of the Sautrantikas incorrect, you have some work to do.

It is better to study Abhidharma if you want to understand the context of Indian Buddhism.


Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Abhidharmakoshabhasyam, AFAIK, there is no different explanation given in Yogacara or for that matter in the Abhidharmasammucaya. You can understand it in the following way: without physical organs, the mental organ can only have a single object present before it, the thought that propels its rebirth into that āyatana.

You see, this is why people should study Vasubandhu in detail -- then they will have less proliferation and speculation about many things.

M
Vasubandhu is merely one take on the matter. Acariya Sangaha states in the Abhidhammattha Sangaha (2000), p152 that for a mind process to occur the one needs the following conditions to be present:

1)The heart base (hadayavatthu)*
2)A mental object (dhammarammana)
3)The bhavanga
4)Attention

*"For the mind-door process, the heart-base is only required in those realms where matter is found. While
a mind-door process can also take any of the five sense data as object, mental object is listed to show its
distinctive datum."

He goes on to say that: "The six types of cognitive processes are conveniently divided into two groups —
(1) the five-door process (pañcadvāravīthi), which includes the five processes occurring
at each of the physical sense doors; and (2) the mind-door process (manodvāravīthi),
which comprises all processes that occur solely at the mind door. Since the bhavanga is
also the channel from which the five-door processes emerge, the latter is sometimes
called “mixed door processes” (missaka-dvāravīthi), inasmuch as they involve both the
mind door and a physical sense door. The processes that occur solely at the mind door
are then called “bare mind door processes” (suddha-manodvāravīthi), since they emerge
from the bhavanga alone without the instrumentality of a physical sense door. As will be
seen, the first five processes all follow a uniform pattern despite the difference in the
sense faculty through which they occur, while the sixth comprises a variety of processes
that are alike only in that they occur independently of the external sense doors."

I see your proliferation and speculation and raise you a pedantry. ;)
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:17 pm

Malcolm wrote:Theravada Abhidhamma is completely irrelevant to discussions regarding Madhyamaka, Yogacara, Vajrayāna, Mahāyāna and so on.
So you admit that you are also proliferating a view?
In any case, none of what you describe demonstrates that formless realm beings are capable of more than a single cognition during their lifespans.
Here is how Theravadins see a mind sense door process:
1. ...stream of bhavanga
2. atíta-bhavanga (past bhavanga).
3. bhavanga calana (vibrating bhavanga).
4. bhavangupaccheda (arrest bhavanga), the last bhavanga arising before the object is experienced through the sense-door.
5. mind-door-adverting-consciousness
6-12. seven javana-cittas ("impulsion", kusala citta or akusala citta in the case of non-arahats).
13-14. tadålambana-cittas.
15. stream of bhavanga...

The stream of bhavanga can be interrupted by a visum visum manodvara, ie a mind object independent of the five sense doors. Theoretically this means that a formless being (or a being without the five sense organs) can receive stimulis directly from the mind itself. Okay, this runs contrary to the view of Vasubandhu et al, but this hardly constitutes a basis for writing it off as speculation.
In fact, your citation merely supports this view, "While a mind-door process can also take any of the five sense data as object, mental object is listed to show its distinctive datum", this means that a sense organ related to the sense datum is required for the requisite cognition of that object to take place. The mind operates through any of the six indriyas, taking the name of that sense gate when it is operating through that sense gate. But the mind cannot smell a form when it is operating through the eye gateway. Since formless realm beings only have a mental indriya, they do not perceive any material objects and since they have no input, they only cognize the concept that propels their rebirth.
If you take it out of its context, it seems to support what you are saying. But you failed to notice that in my initial post I "speculated" that thoughts could continue to arise on the basis of seeds (past experiences).

Thing is though, if a thought arises on the basis of a past (or previous) experience and I continue to develop this thought (ie I engage in action through my mind door) then suddenly (momentarily) I have a present experience (albeit purely mental) capable of fueling the next round of the process...

Seems to me, that we are drawing lines in the water.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:27 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:So you admit that you are also proliferating a view?


We were discussing Madhyamaka, etc. Throwing Abhidhamma into the mix just makes things more complicated to discuss since its concepts are largely irrelevant to the mainstream of Indian Buddhism.

Here is how Theravadins see a mind sense door process:


You need to find the specific description in this literature for a formless realm beings cognitions, sense organs, lifespan, propelling karma, etc. That's up to you, since you brought it up.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:We were discussing Madhyamaka, etc. Throwing Abhidhamma into the mix just makes things more complicated to discuss since its concepts are largely irrelevant to the mainstream of Indian Buddhism.
What's wrong with complicated? Though I fail to see how Abhidhamma is irrelevant to...
You need to find the specific description in this literature for a formless realm beings cognitions, sense organs, lifespan, propelling karma, etc. That's up to you, since you brought it up.
I'm not saying that is how Theravadins view formless beings, nor am I interested in proving or disproving their view, I am just proliferating my speculations on the basis of my limited knowledge (ie adding another view to the discussion). :tongue:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:08 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:We were discussing Madhyamaka, etc. Throwing Abhidhamma into the mix just makes things more complicated to discuss since its concepts are largely irrelevant to the mainstream of Indian Buddhism.
What's wrong with complicated? Though I fail to see how Abhidhamma is irrelevant to...


I don't have time for it.



I'm not saying that is how Theravadins view formless beings, nor am I interested in proving or disproving their view, I am just proliferating my speculations on the basis of my limited knowledge (ie adding another view to the discussion). :tongue:


If you are not going to take the discussion seriously then I will ignore your further contributions since they only steal my time. On the other hand, if you are willing to examine what you should examine, then it is worth my time to pay attention to your contribution here.

We must always respect other people's time, since their time is their life.

Having said that, if you want to be useful, dig up what Theravadins say about formless realm beings.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:If you are not going to take the discussion seriously then I will ignore your further contributions since they only steal my time.
I am taking the discussion seriously, just not deadly seriously (ie I don't really have a horse in the race).
On the other hand, if you are willing to examine what you should examine, then it is worth my time to pay attention to your contribution here.
I do examine what I need to examine. Anyway, no need to get bent out of shape just because it doesn't accord to what you believe.
We must always respect other people's time, since their time is their life.
It took me plenty of time to dig up the info. that I presented here.
Having said that, if you want to be useful, dig up what Theravadins say about formless realm beings.
Well, gee, since you asked so nicely... :thinking:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:51 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:If you are not going to take the discussion seriously then I will ignore your further contributions since they only steal my time.
I am taking the discussion seriously, just not deadly seriously (ie I don't really have a horse in the race).
On the other hand, if you are willing to examine what you should examine, then it is worth my time to pay attention to your contribution here.
I do examine what I need to examine. Anyway, no need to get bent out of shape just because it doesn't accord to what you believe.
We must always respect other people's time, since their time is their life.
It took me plenty of time to dig up the info. that I presented here.
Having said that, if you want to be useful, dig up what Theravadins say about formless realm beings.
Well, gee, since you asked so nicely... :thinking:



Greg: you presented nothing about formless realm beings. Also, nothing you presented contradicts the basic Buddhist principle that an eye for example cannot produce the cognition of smell. Also, you seem to be under the impression that bhavanga is as fully articulated as the Yogacara ālayavijñāna, but it is not.

Also I have a mild head cold, so I am a little grumpy.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:Greg: you presented nothing about formless realm beings.
By formless realm you mean arupavacara?
Also, nothing you presented contradicts the basic Buddhist principle that an eye for example cannot produce the cognition of smell.
Either you seriously misread what I have been saying thus far, or you are waving around red herrings. Neither bodes well.
Also, you seem to be under the impression that bhavanga is as fully articulated as the Yogacara ālayavijñāna, but it is not.
It may not be as fully articulated at a theoretical/philosophical level, I agree, yet I have read accounts that conflate the bhavanga with the alayavijnana. (ie they basically stated that both terms describe the same phenomenon)
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:21 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Greg: you presented nothing about formless realm beings.
By formless realm you mean arupavacara?


The arūpadhātu with the four āyatanas.

Also, nothing you presented contradicts the basic Buddhist principle that an eye for example cannot produce the cognition of smell.
Either you seriously misread what I have been saying thus far, or you are waving around red herrings. Neither bodes well.


The point of the discussion was to demonstrate to cloudburst that one needs more than a manovijñāna indriya to account for various different kinds of sense cognitions.



Also, you seem to be under the impression that bhavanga is as fully articulated as the Yogacara ālayavijñāna, but it is not.
It may not be as fully articulated at a theoretical/philosophical level, I agree, yet I have read accounts that conflate the bhavanga with the alayavijnana. (ie they basically stated that both terms describe the same phenomenon)
[/quote]

The most the Yogacarins say about it is that it is a Nikaya doctrine which proves that ālayavijñāna is valid. Cloudburst, being some sort of strange hybrid of Sautrantika following reasoning and Yogacara rejects the ālayavijñāna.

M
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby smcj » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:The point of the discussion was to demonstrate to cloudburst that one needs more than a manovijñāna indriya to account for various different kinds of sense cognitions.

…and…
The most the Yogacarins say about it is that it is a Nikaya doctrine which proves that ālayavijñāna is valid. Cloudburst, being some sort of strange hybrid of Sautrantika following reasoning and Yogacara rejects the ālayavijñāna.

Ok, great. Thanks for that. At least now I kinda understand what you guys are talking about. Proceed... :popcorn:
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby anjali » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:...for example, cognition of smell could arise from the eye dhātu meeting the form dhātu, etc.


Oddly, something like that does happen with sensory cross-over (synesthesia). For example people seeing sound or hearing light, or seeing touch, etc. How to explain this in traditional teachings? Which makes me wonder if this phenomenon might be a general property of sense consciousness, but one unrecognized and unexplored in traditional teachings.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:48 pm

anjali wrote:
Malcolm wrote:...for example, cognition of smell could arise from the eye dhātu meeting the form dhātu, etc.


Oddly, something like that does happen with sensory cross-over (synesthesia). For example people seeing sound or hearing light, or seeing touch, etc. How to explain this in traditional teachings? Which makes me wonder if this phenomenon might be a general property of sense consciousness, but one unrecognized and unexplored in traditional teachings.
I would hazard a guess and say the mix up occurs when one of the five sense consciousness passes on the info to the mind sense consciousness.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:28 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
anjali wrote:
Malcolm wrote:...for example, cognition of smell could arise from the eye dhātu meeting the form dhātu, etc.


Oddly, something like that does happen with sensory cross-over (synesthesia). For example people seeing sound or hearing light, or seeing touch, etc. How to explain this in traditional teachings? Which makes me wonder if this phenomenon might be a general property of sense consciousness, but one unrecognized and unexplored in traditional teachings.
I would hazard a guess and say the mix up occurs when one of the five sense consciousness passes on the info to the mind sense consciousness.


It happens when one of the neural pathways in the brain floods and overloads, it is a physical issue.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:20 pm

For somebody that is not a supporter of the "brain is mind" school of thought you sure like to use materialist explanations. ;)
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby anjali » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
anjali wrote:Oddly, something like that does happen with sensory cross-over (synesthesia). For example people seeing sound or hearing light, or seeing touch, etc. How to explain this in traditional teachings? Which makes me wonder if this phenomenon might be a general property of sense consciousness, but one unrecognized and unexplored in traditional teachings.
I would hazard a guess and say the mix up occurs when one of the five sense consciousness passes on the info to the mind sense consciousness.


It happens when one of the neural pathways in the brain floods and overloads, it is a physical issue.

That is one model. Another model is neuronal/synaptic cross-wiring. Both seem to have supporting evidence. It's definitely a physical issue. But regardless of modern explanations, it's unclear how the classical model would explain the arising of sound consciousness from visual input. For example, the model for the arising of sound consciousness is:
    sound object --> sound organ --> auditory consciousness
As far as I know, the classical model would not accept the possibility of something like:
    visual object --> visual organ --> AND(visual consciousness, auditory consciousness)

This is an interesting discussion, but, unfortunately, it is taking us a bit far afield from this tread's topic. Maybe a new thread is in order...
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:03 am

anjali wrote:
Malcolm wrote:...for example, cognition of smell could arise from the eye dhātu meeting the form dhātu, etc.


Oddly, something like that does happen with sensory cross-over (synesthesia). For example people seeing sound or hearing light, or seeing touch, etc. How to explain this in traditional teachings? Which makes me wonder if this phenomenon might be a general property of sense consciousness, but one unrecognized and unexplored in traditional teachings.

And then there are certain blind people that can use echo location to see their environment. They can detect the size and shape of objects in front of them.
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