mirage wrote:I feel like I almost understand you here, but in fact I probably do not. Do you mean that there is a deeper "level" beneath eight individual consciousnesses, on which mind-streams cease to be distinct?
No, there's no hidden consciousness. What I'm saying is that consciousness-only does not mean that there are only floating minds in this world without a physical realms, that's a different view, not a Buddhist one. Consciousness-only means that there is neither object nor subject.
Vasubandhu says at the end of the Trimsika (tr. KOCHUMUTTOM):"One does not abide in the realization
Of mere representations of consciousness
Just on account of the [theoretical] perception
That all this is mere representation of consciousness,
If one places [ = sees] something before oneself.
One does abide in the realization
Of mere [representation of] consciousness
When one does not perceive also a supporting
For, the graspable objects being absent,
There cannot either be the grasping o f that,
[Namely, the grasping of the supporting consciousness].
That indeed is the supramundane knowledge
When one has no mind that knows,
And no object for its support;"
And in the Lankavatara Sutra (tr. Suzuki):"The personal soul, continuity, the Skandhas, causation, atoms, the supreme spirit, the ruler, the creator, —[they are] discriminations in the Mind-only."
(XXIX)"clinging to the memory (vasana) of erroneous speculations and doctrines since beginningless time, they hold fast to ideas such as oneness and otherness, being and non-being, and their thoughts are not at all clear about what is seen of Mind-only."
"While teachers of the middle way, mind only, transcendent wisdom, mantra, and other schools may have their own assertions, the fulfillment of those intentions is the same. There is not a single thing that is not contained within mind."
(Gampopa to Düsum Khyenpa, in "The First Karmapa", KTD Pub, p254)
“If you recognize the world of appearance and existence as the mind, realize the mind itself as empty, and have no grasping at the superiority of your realizations — this is the ultimate view."
(Chegom Dzongpa, in "The Book of Kadam", Wisdom Pub, p609)