Questioning Alayavijnana

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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:08 am

deepbluehum wrote:
I have often felt intuitively that tantra's obsession with numerical correspondences was rather arbitrary.


In this case it is physiological.
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:24 am

Malcolm wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
I have often felt intuitively that tantra's obsession with numerical correspondences was rather arbitrary.


In this case it is physiological.


So the eight spokes actually correspond to the 8 consciousness?
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 am

deepbluehum wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
I have often felt intuitively that tantra's obsession with numerical correspondences was rather arbitrary.


In this case it is physiological.


So the eight spokes actually correspond to the 8 consciousness?


Yes.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:29 am

Malcolm wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
In this case it is physiological.


So the eight spokes actually correspond to the 8 consciousness?


Yes.


That's silly.
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:40 am

deepbluehum wrote:
That's silly.


Only if you have a sutrayāna view of things.
http://www.atikosha.org
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http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Virgo » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:59 am

Malcolm wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
That's silly.


Only if you have a sutrayāna view of things.

Malcolm these different channels have to do with different winds which relate to the different consciousnesses?

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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Jnana » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:39 am

deepbluehum wrote:
Jnana wrote:Well, I'd suggest that at some point practice becomes radically simple and these apparent discrepancies lose momentum and fall away.

Yes. That is the practice side. I thought we were talking about the explanatory side.

The two aren't unrelated. But one of the differences in this regard is that the Yogācāra treatises don't contain pith instructions.

deepbluehum wrote:I thought we were talking about the explanatory side.

If you really want a homogenous interpretation then there's Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen's Mountain Doctrine. He attempts to unite every significant Indian Mahāyāna thinker and text within his view. Of course, one of the criticisms of his interpretation, is that, in doing so, he misrepresents both the Yogācāra and the Madhyamaka traditions.
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:42 pm

Virgo wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
That's silly.


Only if you have a sutrayāna view of things.

Malcolm these different channels have to do with different winds which relate to the different consciousnesses?

Kevin



Yes.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Virgo wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Only if you have a sutrayāna view of things.

Malcolm these different channels have to do with different winds which relate to the different consciousnesses?

Kevin



Yes.


It's not that I have a sutra view. If one doesn't think the commentarial traditions have represented yogacara correctly, and the the "tantra" subscribes to the erroneous commentarial rendition of things, then one could very well believe the "tantra" is apocryphal and wrong. Generally, where ever we see endless correspondences of numbers and concepts, one can be pretty sure one is looking at made up stuff. It's poetic in a way, but in a real sense nothing in nature works like that.
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Matt J » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:51 pm

I think I'm clear on what alaya vijnana is, experientially, and I find I have come across the exact question.

From the point of view of direct experience, I come to the same problem. An unconscious mind can only exist as an inference. If so, then why would we presume many instead of one? Maybe everything is sprouting from a single unconscious source shared by all?

The other question is, maybe this is just the brain?

I wonder if Astus or anyone else has come up with more insight?

Astus wrote:Anjali,

We suppose an unconscious mind, but since we are never aware of it, it is only a supposition, an explanation without experiential basis. We could as well think that latencies abide on the other side of the universe, or whatever we like. And I'm not bringing in any Madhyamaka arguments, like from the Madhyamakavatara.
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:15 am

Matt J wrote:I think I'm clear on what alaya vijnana is, experientially, and I find I have come across the exact question.

From the point of view of direct experience, I come to the same problem. An unconscious mind can only exist as an inference. If so, then why would we presume many instead of one? Maybe everything is sprouting from a single unconscious source shared by all?

The other question is, maybe this is just the brain?

I wonder if Astus or anyone else has come up with more insight?

Astus wrote:Anjali,

We suppose an unconscious mind, but since we are never aware of it, it is only a supposition, an explanation without experiential basis. We could as well think that latencies abide on the other side of the universe, or whatever we like. And I'm not bringing in any Madhyamaka arguments, like from the Madhyamakavatara.


It's difficult to document the 'experiential' for the Academic forum... but it is there...

I cannot locate the reference at the moment but, even though HHDL uses the term 'unconscious' for Western audiences, there is a talk in which he says that, in Buddhist philosophy, there is no 'unconscious' as all levels of consciousness are accessible in deep levels of meditation. As for "why would we presume many instead of one", technically, there is only "one" consciousness with many 'aspects' that some 'rank order' as 'levels'. See the "51 mental factors" of the Abhidharma.

BTW, among the 51 you will not find one labeled 'unconscious'.

:namaste:

P.S: Here is a link where it is said that even 'sleep' is conscious: http://integral-options.blogspot.com/20 ... nical.html
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby catmoon » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:59 am

Is alayavijnana the same thing the Dalai Lama refers to as "very subtle mind?" If so, his writings are a gold mine on the subject.
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:41 am

catmoon wrote:Is alayavijnana the same thing the Dalai Lama refers to as "very subtle mind?" If so, his writings are a gold mine on the subject.


My understanding is that HHDL uses "very subtle mind" to refer to "clear light mind', i.e., Buddha-nature. Whether or not Buddha-nature = ālaya among Gelugpa, I cannot say. However, ālayavijñāna is not = Buddha-nature in any school, to my knowledge.

:namaste:
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Astus » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:41 am

Matt,

Here was my final conclusion on the matter.

viniketa,

The alayavijnana is unconscious because we are not conscious of it. Seeds are latent tendencies, and there are myriads of them.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:59 pm

Astus wrote:The alayavijnana is unconscious because we are not conscious of it. Seeds are latent tendencies, and there are myriads of them.


However, there may be another way to look at ālayavijñāna. Latent merely means underneath or hidden. Wm. Waldron refers to the ālayavijñāna as "subliminal consciousness"; meaning just below the surface (see here).

You said:
Astus wrote:The seeds are simply our unquestioned views we follow all the time. Once seen through, it's all gone.


How can one "see through" the seeds if one cannot even "see" the container of the seeds?

The point is merely that "levels of consciousness" has to do with the focus of attention; meditation (at least some forms of it) is about focusing attention.

:namaste:
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:15 pm

Of course you can "see" the seeds, they are what manifests via manas into mano vijnana, vijnana and citta. You cannot "see" your tendencies? Okay, it may take a little introspection sometimes, but some are so obvious...

"Levels" of consciousness is maybe not the best way to describe what is happening, modes of consciousness would be much more to the point.

Citta- consciousness
Vijnana - sense mind
Mano vijnana - discriminating mind
Manas - intuitive mind
Alaya vijnana - store house of mind
Alaya - enlightened nature
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:22 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Of course you can "see" the seeds, they are what manifests via manas into mano vijnana, vijnana and citta. You cannot "see" your tendencies? Okay, it may take a little introspection sometimes, but some are so obvious...


If I am not mistaken, this "internal" function of manas is specifically indentified in the Pali Abhidhamma as well at the Abhidharma.

Sorry, no references, but I will look for them...
:namaste:
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Matt J » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:25 pm

The point is, once the "seeds" manifest, they are no longer latent. They are actualizing.

"Levels" of consciousness is a strange idea to me. Consciousness is formless, so how can it have levels?

gregkavarnos wrote:Of course you can "see" the seeds, they are what manifests via manas into mano vijnana, vijnana and citta. You cannot "see" your tendencies? Okay, it may take a little introspection sometimes, but some are so obvious...

"Levels" of consciousness is maybe not the best way to describe what is happening, modes of consciousness would be much more to the point.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby Astus » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:48 pm

Regarding the hidden nature of the alayavijnana, my point was that as we are not aware of it right now, we are not conscious of it at this moment, then based on what reason can it be called a consciousness? What you don't think of is not your thought, and if you don't know you think of something it is not thought of at all. Same with a feeling that you don't feel, or a sight that you don't see. This is the same problem I have raised on the first page, and some added explanation here and even more here if it's not yet clear.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Questioning Alayavijnana

Postby anjali » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:01 pm

Matt J wrote:"Levels" of consciousness is a strange idea to me. Consciousness is formless, so how can it have levels?


I've read that some people have thought of these "levels" more as facets of consciousness. From a practitioner's point of view, I'm not sure it matters which analogy one uses.
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