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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:42 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
catmoon wrote:
Huseng wrote:

I've heard the third link on the twelve links of dependent origination (consciousness) described as causal consciousness. What do you think about that?


There may be good reason for this. Karen Armstrong, who has a pretty strong rep for doing serious research, said that the term used does not refer to general consciousness, but to the consciousness of the last living moment. Sort of the end product of a life.


While I'm at it, she also says that "name & form" is just a Pali idiom for the term "person".

So there's some more marbles to rattle around in your gourd!


I think the problem is that while the twelve links of dependent origination were taught, a lot of the finer details were not recorded and thus Buddhist thinkers throughout the centuries have had to pin down the sequence and mechanism.

To me it doesn't make sense to think of the third link as a consciousness connected to any sensory apparatus because this is before the six sources or ṣaḍāyatana have arisen.


Strange that Karen Armstrong should call it the the consciousness of the last living moment. It is most often described as the causal phase of consciousness which carries the "traces" of the samskara/karmic formative factors of the preceding link.

The sequence of the links seems less to do with an actual sequence of events rather than a description of a set of elements that are required for the following link. So indeed, as Huseng points out, thinking of the causal consciousness as connected in a direct manner to the ayatanas doesn't make a lot of sense if indeed that is what is being stated. It's not a question of the grosser consciousnesses, the third link is directly dependent on having a formative karmic impulse. So perhaps Karen Armstrong in her thorough yet somewhat eclectic manner is referring to the last moment of this life being such a dominant factor in determining our future rebirth?

And of course there are different sequences grouped according to categories, all within the framework of the classical 12 link sequence. Such as whether they are links which project or are projected, and those that "produce (bring to fruition) or are produced". Or according to Nagarjuna's verses of dependent origination some are kleshas, others are karmas, others are suffering. But having the original sequence is still enormously helpful in understanding dependent arising.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:43 am 
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mudra wrote:
So perhaps Karen Armstrong in her thorough yet somewhat eclectic manner is referring to the last moment of this life being such a dominant factor in determining our future rebirth?



I think that is what she is saying, yes. She did mention something about the "consciousness" in this case being a subtle influence that goes forward to the next life. Something like that anyhow. And as you mentioned, there seems to be an issue in her version of D.O. having to do with awkwardly advanced things happening prior to birth. But it's a 2- life model, that much seems clear.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:53 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
Aemilius wrote:
4. You are born with latent tendencies that gradually manifest when you grow up, they certainly are there, like seeds that heve not yet sprouted.


This is very pertinent and worth thinking about for anyone. I think one can quietly verify the validity of this idea just through reflecting on your own development and how certain tendencies, habits and interests existed despite minimal environmental factors that would encourage such things.
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5. Consciousness does not exist by itself, independent of an object and body ( or a subtle body, as in the bardo state).


I've heard the third link on the twelve links of dependent origination (consciousness) described as causal consciousness. What do you think about that?


In the past I've heard many explanations of the 12 links, what I remember is another thing however, one good explanation for the third link is that it is the last moment of consciousness in the momentary consciousness series of the previous life, it is also called Rebirth linking consciousness, i.e. it links to the first moment of consciousness of this life.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:25 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
Aemilius wrote:
4. You are born with latent tendencies that gradually manifest when you grow up, they certainly are there, like seeds that heve not yet sprouted.


This is very pertinent and worth thinking about for anyone. I think one can quietly verify the validity of this idea just through reflecting on your own development and how certain tendencies, habits and interests existed despite minimal environmental factors that would encourage such things.
Quote:
5. Consciousness does not exist by itself, independent of an object and body ( or a subtle body, as in the bardo state).


I've heard the third link on the twelve links of dependent origination (consciousness) described as causal consciousness. What do you think about that?


It would be necessary to find an explanation of the 12 links that takes into consideration the arising of the object, the outer world, as a consequence of the first three links. I think it is included in it, I think it has been in it, that it describes the arising of the world and beings, object and subject.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:34 pm 
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:namaste: Question...
why do we have to understand these things, especially when they are beyond understanding? its like trying to place the mind on a slide and view it through a microscope. mind is just mind. reincarnation is just mind. everything is just mind.
if there is reincarnation its highly probable that the mind nature of that reincarnation is unique for every individual.

best wishes, White Lotus.

if you can tell me what vanilla ice cream tastes like,
i will tell you what mind tastes like.
if you understand the flavour of mind,
then you understand the flavour of nirvana, delusion, reincarnation, etc etc
since all things are just mind.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:15 pm 
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White Lotus wrote:
why do we have to understand these things, especially when they are beyond understanding? its like trying to place the mind on a slide and view it through a microscope. mind is just mind. reincarnation is just mind. everything is just mind.
if there is reincarnation its highly probable that the mind nature of that reincarnation is unique for every individual.


"Every individual" is just mind. Doesn't that answer the whole thing? :smile:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:08 am 
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White Lotus wrote:
:namaste: Question...
why do we have to understand these things, especially when they are beyond understanding? its like trying to place the mind on a slide and view it through a microscope. mind is just mind. reincarnation is just mind. everything is just mind.
if there is reincarnation its highly probable that the mind nature of that reincarnation is unique for every individual.

best wishes, White Lotus.

if you can tell me what vanilla ice cream tastes like,
i will tell you what mind tastes like.
if you understand the flavour of mind,
then you understand the flavour of nirvana, delusion, reincarnation, etc etc
since all things are just mind.


It's about perspective. Perspective affects how we act and react. Buddhism is about transformation, etc....


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:31 am 
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"I've heard the third link on the twelve links of dependent origination (consciousness) described as causal consciousness. What do you think about that?"[/quote]

It is probably referring to the Discussion of the Demonstration of Action (Karma Siddhi Prakarana) of Vasubandhu. Karma Siddhi Prakarana uses the word cause consciousness and also appropriating consciousness, when it describes rebirth taking mental event. Both words are also found in III Karmapa's Distinguishing Consciousness and Wisdom, which has been taught several times in recent decades, causal consciousness probably derives from it, it is in that form there. When I read Vasubandhu's Karma siddhi prakarana and his other short pieces, it struck me strongly that III Karmapa draws his material from Vasubandhu to a large extent.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:32 pm 
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:namaste: thank you termite and mudra... 'every individual'... every conceivable path, including no path at all. just so. so.

mind is about perspective or angle in one of its infinite permutations, one of which is 'every individual'. another of which is no individual at all.

love, White Lotus.

uniqueness of path.
originality of expression.
every individual.


sandwich and yoghurt for breakfast, topped off with a nice hot cup of tea!

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in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.


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