Difference between consciousness and the mind

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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby alpha » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:25 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Yes, it does. Totally. It shows that consciousness can just as easily plop itself down into (or as you say, "appropriate") a petri dish or a test tube just as easily as a woman's abdomen.
You have suggested all sorts of reasons why consciousness is specifically this or that, or can only go here or there or arise with one kind of thing or another.
It seems that consciousness thinks otherwise.
. . .


The way i see it copulation is not a precondition for rebirth.
But there is a question i don't know the answer for .In the absence of copulation on what basis does the conciousness chooses to become a male or a female since the male and female(as a couple copulating) are absent as a basis on which to feel attraction or repulsion ?
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Sherab » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:36 am

alpha wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Yes, it does. Totally. It shows that consciousness can just as easily plop itself down into (or as you say, "appropriate") a petri dish or a test tube just as easily as a woman's abdomen.
You have suggested all sorts of reasons why consciousness is specifically this or that, or can only go here or there or arise with one kind of thing or another.
It seems that consciousness thinks otherwise.
. . .


The way i see it copulation is not a precondition for rebirth.
But there is a question i don't know the answer for .In the absence of copulation on what basis does the conciousness chooses to become a male or a female since the male and female(as a couple copulating) are absent as a basis on which to feel attraction or repulsion ?

The consciousness of a bardo being can be male or female in the standard Tibetan Buddhism explanation. If male, there will be a wish to take the place of the male in the copulating couple. If female, there will be a wish to take the place of the female in the copulating couple. Therefore the path taken to the womb is an indication of the would-be sex of the fetus. Whether the baby ended up physically as a male or female probably depends on other karmic conditions at play.
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Gwenn Dana » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:36 am

I assume the popular view upon consciousness (with-knowing) is being aware of being aware, which would be awareness reflecting upon itself as consciousness and creating an illusory ego in the process, by reflecting upon it-self.

I understood so far that some people here suggest consciousness in Buddhist terms is something prior to awareness, that transcends "being aware", which arises because our thinking facility works the way it does, which is a state that expresses itself in sentient beings. In a way that a certain "way of experiencing or conducting one-self (or not-self or whatever)" will prevail and transcend lifetimes, carried on by karmic forces, be those from what we call matter, genetics, the effect of being born into a particular society that comes with a certain way of conditoning, or available information that will set sail for a path out of it. Since the Buddha has spread the word, there was a seed, and subsequent enlightenment will happen dependently. It may also arise independently. Ooops, no. It cannot arise independently. That would be constructing a world that lives in a box which is not related in any way to the world where buddha did exist. Such a world does not exist. Since enlightenment is then only possible when all beings are already enlightened.

As I see the problem with many our "models" is that they are always incomplete. They start with zero, then build something. But the way the world is emerged out from the beginning of the world, there is no independent observer of it, the observer is part of it (relativity), and no independent model of it. The world itself expresses itself in those models of it. That world is constantly changing as new phenomena arise. So what we assume to be "things" are phenomena which to our senses "appear" to be stable (eigenvalues in terms of math). Where our ego is just such an eigenvalue that arises from a thought of being aware. Another arises from a thought of something being "straight" or "round", which is only a matter of scale, perspective, i.e. our sense organs resolution compared with the "object" that reflects in them. No matter how often we change the scale, how "deep" science drills into things, how far we "scale" out of it (beyond the big bang in a cycle of many thousand occurences of the same universe, where phenomena self-similarly arise as the baghavad gita suggests?) it will infintely appear to be different. But we will recognize the same forms in it since they are a product of our sense organs reflecting on our mind as form. There is no sameness in nature. There does only appear to be sameness in the thoughts we create on its abstractions.

With sameness being the base of identity to begin with, I would conclude that nature does not know identity, but it causes the effect of an illusion of identity. And that is the effect we have to deal with, because we are the very experience of this effect. We simply happen at that place and time of the universe. What we observe is the the world expressing itself in us. That gives way to many phenomena because of the complex nature of sentient beings. Some of which are karmic (within the realm we perceive as dual), some of which are beyond. In that context I understood "karmic" to be those observations or intentions which reflect back on our perception of ourselves as a cause.

Or am I mistaken again? It´s still a model. So there must be something missing, although I included a concept of the universe. Rats. It was only a concept of it ... So I assume the dharma to be a way of acting that will transcend models and methods, even itself at a certain point, where it is no longer needed.

Best wishes
Gwenn
Last edited by Gwenn Dana on Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby alpha » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:48 am

Sherab wrote:
alpha wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Yes, it does. Totally. It shows that consciousness can just as easily plop itself down into (or as you say, "appropriate") a petri dish or a test tube just as easily as a woman's abdomen.
You have suggested all sorts of reasons why consciousness is specifically this or that, or can only go here or there or arise with one kind of thing or another.
It seems that consciousness thinks otherwise.
. . .


The way i see it copulation is not a precondition for rebirth.
But there is a question i don't know the answer for .In the absence of copulation on what basis does the conciousness chooses to become a male or a female since the male and female(as a couple copulating) are absent as a basis on which to feel attraction or repulsion ?

The consciousness of a bardo being can be male or female in the standard Tibetan Buddhism explanation. If male, there will be a wish to take the place of the male in the copulating couple. If female, there will be a wish to take the place of the female in the copulating couple. Therefore the path taken to the womb is an indication of the would-be sex of the fetus. Whether the baby ended up physically as a male or female probably depends on other karmic conditions at play.


What if there is no copulation?
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Gwenn Dana » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:09 am

Hmmmm. I just read this:

Outside of neuroscience biologists, Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela contributed their Santiago theory of cognition in which they wrote:

Living systems are cognitive systems, and living as a process is a process of cognition. This statement is valid for all organisms, with or without a nervous system.[5]

This theory contributes a perspective that cognition is a process present at organic levels that we don't usually consider to be aware. Given the possible relationship between awareness and cognition, and consciousness, this theory contributes an interesting perspective in the philosophical and scientific dialogue of awareness and living systems theory.


It would be interesting to hear Malcolm´s thoughts on this.

Best wishes
Gwenn
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:51 am

odysseus wrote:I´ll post this recent article about a scientific theory of consciousness, since the thread is touching upon this subject too.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 085105.htm

Very interesting. Thanks for posting that.
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:05 pm

Gwenn Dana wrote:Hmmmm. I just read this:

Outside of neuroscience biologists, Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela contributed their Santiago theory of cognition in which they wrote:

Living systems are cognitive systems, and living as a process is a process of cognition. This statement is valid for all organisms, with or without a nervous system.[5]

This theory contributes a perspective that cognition is a process present at organic levels that we don't usually consider to be aware. Given the possible relationship between awareness and cognition, and consciousness, this theory contributes an interesting perspective in the philosophical and scientific dialogue of awareness and living systems theory.


It would be interesting to hear Malcolm´s thoughts on this.

Best wishes
Gwenn


The classical division in Buddhadharma is that there is sentient life and non-sentient life. In some higher Dzogchen texts, it is suggested that even a division of sentient vs. non-sentient is merely conventional and not actual, not to be believed.
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Sherab » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:13 pm

alpha wrote:
Sherab wrote:
alpha wrote:The way i see it copulation is not a precondition for rebirth.
But there is a question i don't know the answer for .In the absence of copulation on what basis does the conciousness chooses to become a male or a female since the male and female(as a couple copulating) are absent as a basis on which to feel attraction or repulsion ?

The consciousness of a bardo being can be male or female in the standard Tibetan Buddhism explanation. If male, there will be a wish to take the place of the male in the copulating couple. If female, there will be a wish to take the place of the female in the copulating couple. Therefore the path taken to the womb is an indication of the would-be sex of the fetus. Whether the baby ended up physically as a male or female probably depends on other karmic conditions at play.


What if there is no copulation?

Sorry Alpha, I misread your earlier post.
There can be the karma that ripens a being for rebirth is one that does not involve copulating couple, such as birth in the hell realm and birth in the gods realm. Other births that do not involve copulating couples are also mentioned in Buddhist text such as birth from heat and moisture but I do not know how such a birth maps to birth as understood in modern biology. But as I understand it, the karma for such a birth must ripen in a being for that being to take such a birth.
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:31 pm

alpha wrote: The way i see it copulation is not a precondition for rebirth.
But there is a question i don't know the answer for .In the absence of copulation on what basis does the conciousness chooses to become a male or a female since the male and female(as a couple copulating) are absent as a basis on which to feel attraction or repulsion ?


During one of my teacher's Q&A sessions, I once asked about the rebirth process in the context of "test tube babies". I asked , "who is the consciousness attracted to?" he replied, jokingly, "The scientist" (the one conducting the fertilization process).

(this response was a suggestion that I ought to spend more time meditating than worrying about such useless questions. Of course, I still think about these things.)
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:56 pm

alpha wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Yes, it does. Totally. It shows that consciousness can just as easily plop itself down into (or as you say, "appropriate") a petri dish or a test tube just as easily as a woman's abdomen.
You have suggested all sorts of reasons why consciousness is specifically this or that, or can only go here or there or arise with one kind of thing or another.
It seems that consciousness thinks otherwise.
. . .


The way i see it copulation is not a precondition for rebirth.
But there is a question i don't know the answer for .In the absence of copulation on what basis does the conciousness chooses to become a male or a female since the male and female(as a couple copulating) are absent as a basis on which to feel attraction or repulsion ?


As mentioned above, there are four birth types.

Karma is the primary determinant of gender. However, according to Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda, gender is not fixed until the third week after conception, and can be changed using various medicines and rites.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby alpha » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:18 pm

Sherab wrote:
Sorry Alpha, I misread your earlier post.
There can be the karma that ripens a being for rebirth is one that does not involve copulating couple, such as birth in the hell realm and birth in the gods realm. Other births that do not involve copulating couples are also mentioned in Buddhist text such as birth from heat and moisture but I do not know how such a birth maps to birth as understood in modern biology. But as I understand it, the karma for such a birth must ripen in a being for that being to take such a birth.


I meant the IVF process where in the absence of copulating couple, there is no basis on which the conciousness that takes rebirth to generate feelings of revulsion or atraction.Since the basis (the couple copulating) on which the conciousness usually generates attraction and revulsion is missing, how does the conciousness chooses if it will be a male or a female?
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:23 pm

alpha wrote:
Sherab wrote:
Sorry Alpha, I misread your earlier post.
There can be the karma that ripens a being for rebirth is one that does not involve copulating couple, such as birth in the hell realm and birth in the gods realm. Other births that do not involve copulating couples are also mentioned in Buddhist text such as birth from heat and moisture but I do not know how such a birth maps to birth as understood in modern biology. But as I understand it, the karma for such a birth must ripen in a being for that being to take such a birth.


I meant the IVF process where in the absence of copulating couple, there is no basis on which the conciousness that takes rebirth to generate feelings of revulsion or atraction.Since the basis (the couple copulating) on which the conciousness usually generates attraction and revulsion is missing, how does the conciousness chooses if it will be a male or a female?


It doesn't. Gender is determined mostly by past karma.

Bardo beings are clairvoyant. One presumes that they are aware of the intention of parents to conceive during the IVF process and take that chance.
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby alpha » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
alpha wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Yes, it does. Totally. It shows that consciousness can just as easily plop itself down into (or as you say, "appropriate") a petri dish or a test tube just as easily as a woman's abdomen.
You have suggested all sorts of reasons why consciousness is specifically this or that, or can only go here or there or arise with one kind of thing or another.
It seems that consciousness thinks otherwise.
. . .


The way i see it copulation is not a precondition for rebirth.
But there is a question i don't know the answer for .In the absence of copulation on what basis does the conciousness chooses to become a male or a female since the male and female(as a couple copulating) are absent as a basis on which to feel attraction or repulsion ?


As mentioned above, there are four birth types.

Karma is the primary determinant of gender. However, according to Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda, gender is not fixed until the third week after conception, and can be changed using various medicines and rites.



Initially i thought that there were only the emotions of attraction and revulsion wich might determine the future gender. But it looks like is a bit more complicated than that.
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby alpha » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:
alpha wrote:
Sherab wrote:
Sorry Alpha, I misread your earlier post.
There can be the karma that ripens a being for rebirth is one that does not involve copulating couple, such as birth in the hell realm and birth in the gods realm. Other births that do not involve copulating couples are also mentioned in Buddhist text such as birth from heat and moisture but I do not know how such a birth maps to birth as understood in modern biology. But as I understand it, the karma for such a birth must ripen in a being for that being to take such a birth.


I meant the IVF process where in the absence of copulating couple, there is no basis on which the conciousness that takes rebirth to generate feelings of revulsion or atraction.Since the basis (the couple copulating) on which the conciousness usually generates attraction and revulsion is missing, how does the conciousness chooses if it will be a male or a female?


It doesn't. Gender is determined mostly by past karma.

Bardo beings are clairvoyant. One presumes that they are aware of the intention of parents to conceive during the IVF process and take that chance.


Can a mother by manipulating the internal winds in the first three weeks of conception knowingly attract a particular type of conciousness ?
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:57 pm

alpha wrote:
Can a mother by manipulating the internal winds in the first three weeks of conception knowingly attract a particular type of conciousness ?


I don't think so. The moment of conception requires a viable sperm, egg and a consciousness seeking rebirth.
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby dzogchungpa » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:20 pm

Malcolm wrote:However, according to Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda, gender is not fixed until the third week after conception, and can be changed using various medicines and rites.

That's not actually true though, is it?
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:40 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:However, according to Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda, gender is not fixed until the third week after conception, and can be changed using various medicines and rites.

That's not actually true though, is it?


As far as I am concerned it is.
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:53 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:However, according to Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda, gender is not fixed until the third week after conception, and can be changed using various medicines and rites.

That's not actually true though, is it?


No, the gender is determined at conception by the sperm. All women's eggs carry the x chromosome as all women have two x's. The sperm can be either male or female (x or y). That is because men carry both the x and y chromosome. It is impossible to tell the gender until about 15 -16 weeks due to the way the baby develops. It may then be visible on the ultrasound.

The the idea that gender is determined by past karma is linked to the (cultural) notion that birth as a female is an unfortunate event somehow due to negative actions in the past. I asked my teacher about this tendency of connecting the circumstances of one's present life to actions in the past...regarding them (in hindsight) as being positive or negative. I mentioned the cultural bias against women, against people with darker skin, against the physically handicapped, "unattractive" and so son, as well as being born into a poor family. I mentioned that some of these things might seem really terrible to one person, but not so to another. What he said was that these things do not really matter. They are beside the point. merely superficial appearances. They may be karmically linked, but you can't say it was due to positive or negative actions.

rather, what matters is the karmic fruition that happens in the mind --at least that is what matters. So, for example, it is said that if one is greedy in this lifetime, that person will be born poor in the next. This doesn't necessarily mean that the person will be reborn into a poor family. The person may in fact be reborn into a very wealthy family. but because the habit of greed was built up so strongly in the previous life, even if they grow up rich, they will always think they do not have enough. they will never be satisfied, and no matter how much wealth they amass, they will always have the nagging feeling that they are deprived. They may even indulge in harmful activities, if this overriding sense of deprivation is strong enough.

Likewise, consider two people with similar physical disabilities. Their past karma will influence the way they approach dealing with these disabilities. One person may feel sorry for himself or herself, the other decides that a disability will not stop him or her from achieving whatever goals in life they want to aim for. This is because of the behavior patterns and habits that are solidified in the mind.

This is actually the same for every person. You do not need to pick out certain examples. Every person approaches this present moment based on the patterns established in the mind ("karmic imprint").

. . .
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:58 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote: That's not actually true though, is it?

As far as I am concerned it is.

Dharmaluyah! All praise Buddha!
:bow:

(sorry...that was rude of me)
. . .
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Re: Difference between consciousness and the mind

Postby Vajraprajnakhadga » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:13 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:The the idea that gender is determined by past karma is linked to the (cultural) notion that birth as a female is an unfortunate event somehow due to negative actions in the past.


That is not a universal perspective. Nyingma in particular have yogini traditions where female birth is seen as auspicious. The view that male rebirth is superior is rooted in patriarchal monasticism, nothing more.
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