Difference between consciousness and the mind

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Aemilius » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:24 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Understanding this, Bhikkhus, a well instructed Noble Disciple experiences disgust towards form, disgust towards feeling, disgust towards perception, disgust towards mental construction, & disgust towards consciousness itself! Experiencing disgust, he becomes disillusioned! Through disillusion his mind is released. When it is released, one instantly knows: This mind is liberated, and one understands: Extinguished is birth, this Noble Life is all completed, done is what should be done, there is no state of being beyond this...

If the Tathagata perceives sand, which is an example of the first skandha material form (rupa), He should have suffering according to You.

its not according to me,the Buddha said the 5 skandhas is suffering(quote provided up above)
Tathagata has in the case of perceiving sand the other skandhas too, the skandha of feeling through eyes and other senses, the name "sand", consciousness of it as sand, and the mental factor of equanimity as samskara skandha.



The teaching about suffering is taught for a purpose of turning the mind away from samsara. It is for the purpose of attaining the dhyanas, arupa dhyanas, (and ultimately enlightenment/bodhi, liberation/vimoksha, or nirvana). It is not an absolute teaching.
There is a division of teachings into neyartha, interpretable meaning, and nitartha, non-interpretable or absolute meaning.

Even after the attainment of dhyanas etc a world manifests; stream entrants, once-returners, non-returners, arhats, bodhisattvas and buddhas perceive a world. They may not perceive the common world temporarily, when they are in the states of the dhyanas, in arupa dhyanas or in nirodha samapatti. But afterwards they will perceive a world manifested! Otherwise they could not communicate with people, if they didn't see or perceive the world and the beings inhabiting it.

Samsara has no real or absolute existence, and therefore the skandhas & suffering are not an absolute teaching/meaning.
Last edited by Aemilius on Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Aemilius » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:31 am

odysseus wrote:If consciousness is an aggregate it ceases at death. Then what will exist after death if not the mind? Therefore, consciousness and mind are not the same if the mind is uncreated and consciousness is conditioned.


If there were a beginning to consciousness it could end, but there is no beginning to consciousness. There is no beginning to samsara.
If consciousness ended at death, liberation would be automatic, which is a false view strongly criticized by Shakyamuni.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Zhen Li » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:50 pm

Actually, it is: if there is no connecting, then one would have no suffering, but since there is connecting, therefore there is suffering. There is connecting, but not transmigration. If a lamp were to be lit by another lamp, does the lamp transmigrate, or connect?
:anjali:
Image
User avatar
Zhen Li
 
Posts: 930
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:01 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:Understanding this, Bhikkhus, a well instructed Noble Disciple experiences disgust towards form, disgust towards feeling, disgust towards perception, disgust towards mental construction, & disgust towards consciousness itself! Experiencing disgust, he becomes disillusioned! Through disillusion his mind is released. When it is released, one instantly knows: This mind is liberated, and one understands: Extinguished is birth, this Noble Life is all completed, done is what should be done, there is no state of being beyond this...

If the Tathagata perceives sand, which is an example of the first skandha material form (rupa), He should have suffering according to You.

its not according to me,the Buddha said the 5 skandhas is suffering(quote provided up above)
Tathagata has in the case of perceiving sand the other skandhas too, the skandha of feeling through eyes and other senses, the name "sand", consciousness of it as sand, and the mental factor of equanimity as samskara skandha.



The teaching about suffering is taught for a purpose of turning the mind away from samsara. It is for the purpose of attaining the dhyanas, arupa dhyanas, (and ultimately enlightenment/bodhi, liberation/vimoksha, or nirvana). It is not an absolute teaching.
There is a division of teachings into neyartha, interpretable meaning, and nitartha, non-interpretable or absolute meaning.

so you don't disagree that the Buddha taught that the 5 Skandhas are suffering....... but you say it is not an absolute teaching...okay is this your opinion or do you have any scripture to support your claim.

note any scripture you provide will also be used to determine if your views or sutras you follow are either neyartha or nitartha.

Even after the attainment of dhyanas etc a world manifests; stream entrants, once-returners, non-returners, arhats, bodhisattvas and buddhas perceive a world. They may not perceive the common world temporarily, when they are in the states of the dhyanas, in arupa dhyanas or in nirodha samapatti. But afterwards they will perceive a world manifested! Otherwise they could not communicate with people, if they didn't see or perceive the world and the beings inhabiting it.

did they "see" me with physical Skandas eyes or with the minds eye?

Samsara has no real or absolute existence, and therefore the skandhas & suffering are not an absolute teaching/meaning.

I agree with the part in pink.
the part in blue i'm not sure what you are trying to get at. but concerning what is provisional and absolute teachings are you aware that the scriptures of the Third turning teachings proclaim in scripture that the first and second turning teachings are provisional and the third turning is absolute......however the first and second turning scripture hold no claims of being absolute over the third turning.

peace and love
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Aemilius » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:23 am

Son of Buddha wrote:so you don't disagree that the Buddha taught that the 5 Skandhas are suffering....... but you say it is not an absolute teaching...okay is this your opinion or do you have any scripture to support your claim.

note any scripture you provide will also be used to determine if your views or sutras you follow are either neyartha or nitartha.

did they "see" me with physical Skandas eyes or with the minds eye?

Samsara has no real or absolute existence, and therefore the skandhas & suffering are not an absolute teaching/meaning.

I agree with the part in pink.
the part in blue i'm not sure what you are trying to get at. but concerning what is provisional and absolute teachings are you aware that the scriptures of the Third turning teachings proclaim in scripture that the first and second turning teachings are provisional and the third turning is absolute......however the first and second turning scripture hold no claims of being absolute over the third turning.

peace and love


I don't think that provisional/neyartha has meaning only in terms of the Second and Third turnings of the Wheel of Dharma. It is a principle that can be applied generally to teachings.

You can find teachings that suffering has no real existence in Nagarjuna's MulaMadhyamaka Karika. There is also a whole chapter devoted to whether Tathagata is same or different as His skandhas in the mentioned work of Nagarjuna.

There certainly is a lot about the nonexistence of the five skandhas, twelve ayatanas and eighteen dhatus and so on... including the four noble truths which include the truth of suffering, in the Prajña Paramita sutras, for example in the Short Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, translated by Edward Conze.

In the Diamond Sutra there is a chapter about the five eyes, and according to Diamond sutra Tathagata has them all, including the physical eyes.

I haven't heard of a teaching that Buddha or Bodhisattavas would not have physical senses?!? In the Lotus Sutra there is a chapter about Merits of the Religious Preacher, which describes an extraordinary development of the physical senses of the holder of the Lotus Sutra, (Chapter 18. in Kern, Chapter 19. in others).
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Aemilius » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:37 am

Zhen Li wrote:Actually, it is: if there is no connecting, then one would have no suffering, but since there is connecting, therefore there is suffering. There is connecting, but not transmigration. If a lamp were to be lit by another lamp, does the lamp transmigrate, or connect?
:anjali:


If you are thinking about Nagarjuna, the connecting means connecting sense organ, consciousness and sense object. These three. (Mulamadhyamaka Karika Chapter 14. Connection)

Skandhas of the past life are not the skandhas of his life. Neither are the skandhas of the present life (entirely) different form the skandhas of the past life.

Skandhas of today are not same as skandhas of tomorrow or yesterday. The body changes everyday, and so does your mind.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:25 am

Aemilius wrote:
Skandhas of today are not same as skandhas of tomorrow or yesterday. The body changes everyday, and so does your mind.

The mind changes many times every second!
In fact, it's like a water faucet that is constantly running,
which is why practicing meditation is important.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby odysseus » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:31 pm

Consciousness is a bodily process as an aggregate. Mind penetrates matter. Mind in the intermediate state after death floats freely in space and can traverse limitless numbers of world-systems. There are uncountable minds in existence, intertwined as one but yet not "one mind". Consciousness can be detected with scientific machines but the mind is intangible.

I hold that there is a difference, but my assumption is based on logic and not pure insight. I ask for agreements and clarifications on this issue.

:buddha2:
Buddha is best on Earth!
My lord is best...
User avatar
odysseus
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Aemilius » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:42 am

That difference is a creation of your mind or your consciousness. It doesn't exist in Sutras or Abhidharma. Vasubandhu says in his Explanation of the Five Aggregates that the fifth aggregate, consciousness, is same as mind or citta, (Seven Works of Vasubandhu, Stephen Anacker).
You can find systematic buddhist definitions (of everything) in the Abhidharma.

Consciousness is not a bodily process in buddhism. Consciousness, in buddhism, is conditioned by sense organs and sense objects. But the consciousness after death is also conditioned by the sense organs and sense objects that it experienced during life. It is conditioned by the memory and habits of those objects and organs. In the same way as your dreams are dependent on your waking life experiences.
There is something about the intermediate state in Vasubandhu's Abhidharma kosha, and it doesn't says there anything like what You assume.

You are free to imagine galaxies, starclusters, clusters of galaxies etc... as much as You are able during Your life. Your consciousness is free to expand enormously. You can study astronomy and then combine it with meditation on the four limitless spheres etc..
Your dream state and your intermediate state are very much dependent on what you do in your waking life.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby odysseus » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:43 am

Aemilius wrote: Consciousness is not a bodily process


I meant connected to the body as a process, not necessarily a physical one.
Buddha is best on Earth!
My lord is best...
User avatar
odysseus
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:21 pm

Aemilius wrote: Consciousness is not a bodily process

Consciousness is partly dependent of the body,
just as a reflection requires a mirror.
Basic awareness, however, does not depend on the body
just as something which is reflected in a mirror
does not vanish
merely because the mirror is taken away.

However, we may merely be using different terms
and not be in actual disagreement.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby odysseus » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:09 pm

Aemilius wrote: You can find systematic buddhist definitions (of everything) in the Abhidharma.


OK, I shall read Abidharma.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Consciousness is partly dependent of the body,
just as a reflection requires a mirror.
... something which is reflected in a mirror
does not vanish
merely because the mirror is taken away.


Nicely put. Without bodily processes like sense-contact and perception, there is no arising of consciousness but it (consciousness) is still ever-present.
Buddha is best on Earth!
My lord is best...
User avatar
odysseus
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Aemilius » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:09 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Aemilius wrote: Consciousness is not a bodily process

Consciousness is partly dependent of the body,
just as a reflection requires a mirror.
Basic awareness, however, does not depend on the body
just as something which is reflected in a mirror
does not vanish
merely because the mirror is taken away.



To some extent this is so in buddhism, because we have the the six worlds and the three dhatus and the intermediate state, that are all different realms of conscious experience. Nevertheless even the yogacara or cittamatra, that is often accused of positing an independent and absolute mind or consciousness, doesn't really say there is an independent or absolute mind or consciousness that then creates the different realms of existence.

In the common or popular thinking awareness, that is free of, or outside of the corporeal body, is independent and even absolute. This however is not correct and is not the buddhist view. A consciousness, that is on the level of dhyana or arupya dhyana existences, is outside of the normal material consciouseness, but it is not independent or free in an absolute or a buddhist sense. It only seems free and independent for the modern & materialistic world view that is bound to the level of kama-dhatu, the realm of sense desire.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:20 pm

odysseus wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Consciousness is partly dependent of the body,
just as a reflection requires a mirror.
... something which is reflected in a mirror
does not vanish
merely because the mirror is taken away.


Nicely put. Without bodily processes like sense-contact and perception, there is no arising of consciousness but it (consciousness) is still ever-present.


I also use the analogy of a food allergy, such as an allergic reaction to strawberries.
A person my have that allergy, yet if they never see a strawberry in their whole lifetime
that allergy will never manifest as a rash or other reaction.
So, it is a latent thing, it is the potential for a reaction to occur,
but it has no characteristics of its own.

Likewise, a basic ground of awareness lies waiting within every living thing, individually
But it is not a single universal entity, like the concept of Brahma.
Sperm cells have no brains, no sense organs, yet they are attracted to an egg cell.
Plants send out roots in the direction of water.
There is a primary function of intentional (meaning not purely random) contact
with something other than itself.

When this basic ground of awareness arises, or interacts with an object,
the result is that is experienced is mind.
Being dependently arising, mind (consciousness)is a combination of awareness and an object.
mind = awareness + object of awareness (M=A+Oa).
eventually from this emerges (manifests) as the experience of a user
("me, my thoughts, my mind, my experience").
It manifests as instinct, why a kitten is born knowing where to find milk from its mother.

So, even with a body, if all the parts are not functioning, awareness will not arise as mind.
So, the body of a person whose head is cut off is still there,
but without brain function, nothing.

But, that point should be looked at a little closer.
It might be the case that the basic ground of awareness is still there
but cannot manifest in any way that we can recognize or detect.
Some teachings say that when a person dies,
the awareness is still functioning in a developed and complex way,
sees the body , and is attracted to the possessions
that belonged to the "self" which was imagined
and experienced as real for all those living years.

My understanding is that it is this basic awareness that arises with or without physical conditions
but with strong karmic imprints (more like habits, really)
that manifests as the very realistic experience of rebirth in various realms.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:26 pm

I don't think that provisional/neyartha has meaning only in terms of the Second and Third turnings of the Wheel of Dharma. It is a principle that can be applied generally to teachings.


I have shown where the Buddhas says the 5 aggregates are suffering.
You claim that the suttas that say such are provisional
I asked you for proof from the buddhists sutras/suttas/tantras that say my sutta quote is "provisional" you failed to provide a buddhist scripture that says when the Buddha taught the 5 aggregates are suffering it was really provisional"

You mentioned the Diamond Sutra.....well the Diamond sutra is provisional the third turning deems all 1st and second turning to be provisional,only glimmers of the absolute truth can be found in the provisional teachings and even then they rely on interpretation from the third turning,now if you ask me to prove that with Buddhist scriptural reference I can.......im only you to do the same with your assertions.

next you said something along the lines of you never heard that the Buddha is beyond the physical senses.

Okay the phsical senses are 5th in the 12 links of dependent origination which is the CAUSE for the whole mass of suffering,they are apart of the 5 hinderences that are temporary removed during Samadhi, and the physical senses are entirely based upon 12 links of condition which is direved tbrough ignorance.

Simply said they are a conditioned phenomena which the Buddha is beyond,Nirvana is the escape from all that is condition...ect.
Udana 80
http://ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Engli ... ggo-03.htm
“There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned. If, monks there were not that unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned, you could not know an escape here from the born, become, made, and conditioned. But because there is an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned, therefore you do know an escape from the born, become, made, and conditioned.”
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Malcolm » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:57 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:I have shown where the Buddhas says the 5 aggregates are suffering.
You claim that the suttas that say such are provisional...



I respond here: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=15837#wrap
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11731
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:28 pm

Aemilius wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Just wondering...
What do you suppose experiences those five skandhas

Five skandhas are a conceptual frame work in your mind.

Whose mind are you referring to... if the mind of the "experiencer" is a composite of the skandhas?
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Malcolm » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:18 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
When this basic ground of awareness arises, or interacts with an object,
the result is that is experienced is mind.



There is no awareness outside the mind.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11731
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:12 am

Malcolm wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
When this basic ground of awareness arises, or interacts with an object,
the result is that is experienced is mind.



There is no awareness outside the mind.


So, when a plant's roots grow specifically in the direction of a source of water,
or a sperm cell swims to an egg,
or white blood cells attack an infection,
that is mind?
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Malcolm » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:37 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
When this basic ground of awareness arises, or interacts with an object,
the result is that is experienced is mind.



There is no awareness outside the mind.


So, when a plant's roots grow specifically in the direction of a source of water,
or a sperm cell swims to an egg,
or white blood cells attack an infection,
that is mind?
.
.
.



None of these things have minds, so they do not have awareness either.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11731
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

PreviousNext

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: RedFox, Soar, supermaxv and 20 guests

>