Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby undefineable » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:30 pm

Aemilius wrote:Because they have become enlightened, because they have seen the world as pure, that samsara is really nonexistent, therefore i am, or we are, a pure manifestation of enlightenment.


_ _ but still, something or other doesn't quite 'give' for any of us _ _

:focus: A superficial understanding of anatman could clearly lead to conclusions that aren't plausible in the real world of cause and effect that we inhabit - 'Nonsense', if you will.

A few years ago a fashionable western philosopher (probably doing his best to convince anyone listening that he wasn't a triple oxymoron :tongue: ) made the claim that anyone who understood how a single conscious mind could literally split into several consious minds -none of them any more continuous with the original than any of the others- understood the nature of reality, and that anyone who didn't _ _ didn't. {Was it you, Aemilius? :shrug: } I felt inspired -as well as somewhat frustrated- by my own befuddlement on reading this, but it hasn't become any clearer over the years, and I wonder how much insight the writer had behind the cloak of scientifically-respectable mysticism he wore.

It's easier for me (atleast) to imagine being reborn as an entire ant colony or something, each 'new' mind-stream actually a fragment of the old one in conventional terms. Although this was apparently the OP's premise (and I don't see how the mechanics of that situation would work in any case), it was worth exploring the alternate possibility of a mind-stream that multiplies away from itself, rather than simply sub-dividing within an overall umbrella. {There's an image!} I just wonder how any of us can really grasp the corresponding reality sufficiently for this 'multiplication of mind' to be a useful concept - as well as how it can be sufficiently compatible with paticca-samuppada (and any other ways in which conventional reality can be observed to operate) to be a valid one.

The fact that no-one's presented a thorough defence of either position (for or against 'multiplication of mind') since atleast the middle of page 2 (I was put off reading up 'til there by some cranky algebra :? ) makes me wonder if this is too knotty a debate to settle either way. The idea of what we see as an instance of a fundamental level of reality (Mind) turning from singular to plural is hard to swallow, but if an advanced level of technology is needed to split sub-atomic particles, then maybe an advanced level of 'realisation' is needed to split the mind? _ _ :thinking:
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby greentara » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:47 pm

cloudrider, Perhaps.... the world is merely an expansion of the mind projected through the five senses of the body. The world-picture is projected on the screen that is the mind; it is illumined by the mind; and it is seen by the mind
....The picture of names and forms [the world], the one who sees [it], the screen on which [it] depends, and the pervading light [of consciousness that illumines it] -- all these are He (the first thing or base]
Can we say the cave dweller has to be the sage.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Cloudrider » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:00 am

greentara wrote:cloudrider, Perhaps.... the world is merely an expansion of the mind projected through the five senses of the body. The world-picture is projected on the screen that is the mind; it is illumined by the mind; and it is seen by the mind
....The picture of names and forms [the world], the one who sees [it], the screen on which [it] depends, and the pervading light [of consciousness that illumines it] -- all these are He (the first thing or base]
Can we say the cave dweller has to be the sage.


Right. The illusion, is the woman with the pin, the cave dweller (lord) is Buddha. So perhaps we are only experiencing the interaction between the two, the illusion wherein is the buddha (mind) concealed?
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby greentara » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:36 am

cloudrider, To paraphrase Nagarjuna:

Is the one who moves different from the movement?
If the mover and the movement is the same, I could not know the difference.
If the mover and the movement are different, there would be a mover without a movement.



The hermit in the cave maybe unknown to the outside world, it maybe the Buddha, it maybe the Yogi Milarepa, it maybe ....
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Aemilius » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:00 pm

undefineable wrote:
Aemilius wrote:Because they have become enlightened, because they have seen the world as pure, that samsara is really nonexistent, therefore i am, or we are, a pure manifestation of enlightenment.


_ _ but still, something or other doesn't quite 'give' for any of us _ _

:focus: A superficial understanding of anatman could clearly lead to conclusions that aren't plausible in the real world of cause and effect that we inhabit - 'Nonsense', if you will.

A few years ago a fashionable western philosopher (probably doing his best to convince anyone listening that he wasn't a triple oxymoron :tongue: ) made the claim that anyone who understood how a single conscious mind could literally split into several consious minds -none of them any more continuous with the original than any of the others- understood the nature of reality, and that anyone who didn't _ _ didn't. {Was it you, Aemilius? :shrug: } I felt inspired -as well as somewhat frustrated- by my own befuddlement on reading this, but it hasn't become any clearer over the years, and I wonder how much insight the writer had behind the cloak of scientifically-respectable mysticism he wore.

It's easier for me (atleast) to imagine being reborn as an entire ant colony or something, each 'new' mind-stream actually a fragment of the old one in conventional terms. Although this was apparently the OP's premise (and I don't see how the mechanics of that situation would work in any case), it was worth exploring the alternate possibility of a mind-stream that multiplies away from itself, rather than simply sub-dividing within an overall umbrella. {There's an image!} I just wonder how any of us can really grasp the corresponding reality sufficiently for this 'multiplication of mind' to be a useful concept - as well as how it can be sufficiently compatible with paticca-samuppada (and any other ways in which conventional reality can be observed to operate) to be a valid one.

The fact that no-one's presented a thorough defence of either position (for or against 'multiplication of mind') since atleast the middle of page 2 (I was put off reading up 'til there by some cranky algebra :? ) makes me wonder if this is too knotty a debate to settle either way. The idea of what we see as an instance of a fundamental level of reality (Mind) turning from singular to plural is hard to swallow, but if an advanced level of technology is needed to split sub-atomic particles, then maybe an advanced level of 'realisation' is needed to split the mind? _ _ :thinking:


Personally, on a theoretical level, it should be very clear that there is no single, self-sufficient "self", its absence makes everything possible.
On another level, there are the personal experiences that one might have, these might include several different ways in which the self, or soul, splits and multiplies in the course of existence in the wheel of becoming.
I see the discussion mostly leaning towards some kind of neo-pudgalavadin school, or an undivided-individualist school.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:23 pm

Aemilius wrote:I meant it the other way. I think it is in the biography and writings of the japanese pureland teacher Shinran Shonin, where he tells that Amitabha Buddha made his famous 48 vows where he promises that anyone who thinks of him even just ten moments will be enlightened. And then one day Shinran realized that because Amitabha has become enlightened, he too is enlightened, because of the vows of bodhisattva Dharmakara, (that is Amitabha as a bodhisattva).
Except that Amitabhas vow guarantees enlightenment after one is reborn in Dewachen, studies and practices, passes through all the bodhisattva levels and then achieves Buddhahood. Not quite the same as "Amitabha is enlightened thus I am enlightened".
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:27 pm

Aemilius wrote:Personally, on a theoretical level, it should be very clear that there is no single, self-sufficient "self", its absence makes everything possible.
On another level, there are the personal experiences that one might have, these might include several different ways in which the self, or soul, splits and multiplies in the course of existence in the wheel of becoming.
Nice theory, not backed by scripture. I think we established that about four pages ago.
I see the discussion mostly leaning towards some kind of neo-pudgalavadin school, or an undivided-individualist school.
Nobody here has claimed that there is an enduring person distinct from the conditioned (ie an Atman), so quit the straw man arguments.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby pueraeternus » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:04 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Aemilius wrote:I meant it the other way. I think it is in the biography and writings of the japanese pureland teacher Shinran Shonin, where he tells that Amitabha Buddha made his famous 48 vows where he promises that anyone who thinks of him even just ten moments will be enlightened. And then one day Shinran realized that because Amitabha has become enlightened, he too is enlightened, because of the vows of bodhisattva Dharmakara, (that is Amitabha as a bodhisattva).
Except that Amitabhas vow guarantees enlightenment after one is reborn in Dewachen, studies and practices, passes through all the bodhisattva levels and then achieves Buddhahood. Not quite the same as "Amitabha is enlightened thus I am enlightened".


Indeed. It is just like saying diamonds are made of carbon and so is pencil lead, so my pencil is worth thousands of dollars and I demand it be accepted as collateral for my mortgage loan! :tongue:
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby undefineable » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:57 pm

Aemilius wrote:Personally, on a theoretical level, it should be very clear that there is no single, self-sufficient "self", its absence makes everything possible.

Everything?! I wonder if you're confusing not-self -the Buddhist doctrine of anatta- with 'no self in any sense' -a non-Buddhist idea which I think was referred to by a sanskrit term resembling 'nathatta' on another thread-. Philosophically, this would be classed as nihilism in the strict sense that excludes anatman, as well as in the generic 'no substance' sense.
Aemilius wrote:On another level, there are the personal experiences that one might have, these might include several different ways in which the self, or soul, splits and multiplies in the course of existence in the wheel of becoming.

How could you have a 'personal experience' of your self splitting, unless a single train of conscious awareness were carried across the split in order to experience all the resulting 'selves' simultaneously? If a conscious awareness could experience each of the resulting selves separately and singularly as well as simultaneously in this case, I wonder how many identical copies there were (presumably in a single body!) to begin with.

If the findings of Buddhist meditation are indeed based on the nature and logic of ordinary experience rather than on metaphysical speculation, I see no need to either sub-divide or 'pull together' our individual minds in describing them conceptually.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby andyn » Wed May 15, 2013 4:07 am

Could someone give me some guidances on what I should be doing? I've been so low in spirit for the past 2 months over this issue, and it had caused me headaches, afflictions, and a lost of direction...This whole mind stream split idea injected in me a sense of nihilism. To give an example, if I reborn into multiple animals, each have its own mind stream, then in one instant time, one of these animals suffers pain while the other enjoys a certain pleasure, then the others might have different feelings altogether. How is that me? At one instant, I can only have one feeling, thus rather I can say those animals aren't me at all... So no next life... I always thought Buddhism taught no self in a sense of impermanent and interdependence, but in a sense of single mind stream...

I just wish I could see if this whole idea was a fraud made up by someone then I can get this monkey of my back, but... :(
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Astus » Wed May 15, 2013 9:43 am

andyn wrote:I just wish I could see if this whole idea was a fraud made up by someone then I can get this monkey of my back, but... :(


Hasn't it been clarified for you already in this thread that multiplication of mind-stream is impossible?
"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: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Will » Thu May 16, 2013 1:43 am

One of Master Hua's disciples gave a helpful response that remm quoted early in this thread. It seems to have been ignored.

If one goes to chapter 8 of the Shurangama Sutra Master Hua comments on the 'souls' in the Form skandha. This may have something to do with the multiplicity of little lives in that form skandha.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby LastLegend » Thu May 16, 2013 2:14 am

andyn wrote:Could someone give me some guidances on what I should be doing? I've been so low in spirit for the past 2 months over this issue, and it had caused me headaches, afflictions, and a lost of direction...This whole mind stream split idea injected in me a sense of nihilism. To give an example, if I reborn into multiple animals, each have its own mind stream, then in one instant time, one of these animals suffers pain while the other enjoys a certain pleasure, then the others might have different feelings altogether. How is that me? At one instant, I can only have one feeling, thus rather I can say those animals aren't me at all... So no next life... I always thought Buddhism taught no self in a sense of impermanent and interdependence, but in a sense of single mind stream...

I just wish I could see if this whole idea was a fraud made up by someone then I can get this monkey of my back, but... :(


I am gonna make it more confusing for you by saying those animals are not you but you are not separated from those animals and everything else.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 16, 2013 8:14 am

Will wrote:One of Master Hua's disciples gave a helpful response that remm quoted early in this thread. It seems to have been ignored.

If one goes to chapter 8 of the Shurangama Sutra Master Hua comments on the 'souls' in the Form skandha. This may have something to do with the multiplicity of little lives in that form skandha.
"Souls" in the Form skandha? "Multiplicity of little lives" in the form skandha?

I just read the message that remm posted and it says nothing even vaguely related to the Master Hua commentary.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Nikolay » Thu May 16, 2013 12:42 pm

undefineable wrote:A few years ago a fashionable western philosopher (probably doing his best to convince anyone listening that he wasn't a triple oxymoron :tongue: ) made the claim that anyone who understood how a single conscious mind could literally split into several consious minds -none of them any more continuous with the original than any of the others- understood the nature of reality, and that anyone who didn't _ _ didn't. {Was it you, Aemilius? :shrug: } I felt inspired -as well as somewhat frustrated- by my own befuddlement on reading this, but it hasn't become any clearer over the years, and I wonder how much insight the writer had behind the cloak of scientifically-respectable mysticism he wore.

Could you please name that philosopher? I am somewhat interested.

Regarding the splitting mind-streams, I think Astus pretty much nailed it earlier, showing how it is impossible from the Buddhist philosophy POV. I would add that from the plain common sense POV splitting mind-stream would seem to imply experiencing several simultaneous first-person perspectives, which seems pretty far-fetched to me.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby undefineable » Thu May 16, 2013 1:52 pm

Nikolay wrote:splitting mind-stream would seem to imply experiencing several simultaneous first-person perspectives, which seems pretty far-fetched to me.

I was arguing against the possibility that each of the first-person perspectives (resulting from the split) would be experienced separately (by now-fully-separate mind-streams) in spite of some kind of common origin. This was also the hypothesis of the philosopher whose name I still haven't managed to remind myself of via Google :emb: . {His suggestion -without sounding in any way sympathetic to what I understand of Buddhist philosophy- was roughly that it would be 'neither the same, nor different' _ } All I can offer is http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/29 ... n-of-nagel {I find it surprising, though, that a 'dualist' like Nagel argues for split consciousness.}

Buddhist texts already accept the possibility of the simultaneous experience of multiple first-person perspectives in the case of higher-level Bodhisattvas, though I can't see why this would happen to beings with just a basic level of awareness {It sounds as if it would be more confusing than painful in this case!}
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Astus » Thu May 16, 2013 2:09 pm

undefineable wrote:Buddhist texts already accept the possibility of the simultaneous experience of multiple first-person perspectives in the case of higher-level Bodhisattvas, though I can't see why this would happen to beings with just a basic level of awareness {It sounds as if it would be more confusing than painful in this case!}


There is no mention of simultaneous subjective perspective anywhere as far as I know. The multiplication of body is a basic magical power that practically any being can achieve, however, there is no discussion of the actual details of how that looks like from the personal point of view. Rather, those are all illusory bodies, tricks, not actual beings.
"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: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Nikolay » Thu May 16, 2013 2:45 pm

undefineable wrote:Buddhist texts already accept the possibility of the simultaneous experience of multiple first-person perspectives in the case of higher-level Bodhisattvas, though I can't see why this would happen to beings with just a basic level of awareness {It sounds as if it would be more confusing than painful in this case!}

I was under impression that Nirmanakayas are basically philosophical zombies. Of course I cannot even begin to imagine what the subjective experience of an enlightened being looks like, or if it may even be called subjective (or experience). This is one of the greatest mysteries of Buddhism to me.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby undefineable » Thu May 16, 2013 3:29 pm

Nikolay wrote:I was under impression that Nirmanakayas are basically philosophical zombies.

Astus wrote:There is no mention of simultaneous subjective perspective anywhere as far as I know. The multiplication of body is a basic magical power that practically any being can achieve, however, there is no discussion of the actual details of how that looks like from the personal point of view. Rather, those are all illusory bodies, tricks, not actual beings.

Interesting. I let this "remain mysterious" in any case, and would be far more :shock: than flattered if anyone believed an internet :crazy: like me.

Of course, in order for multiple simultaneous subjective experience to occur, there would need to be some kind of super-complex neural interface between the dozens of separate nervous systems involved in multiple nirmanakayas, if the current scientific understanding proves to be final :rolleye:
Nikolay wrote:Of course I cannot even begin to imagine what the subjective experience of an enlightened being looks like, or if it may even be called subjective (or experience). This is one of the greatest mysteries of Buddhism to me.

:buddha1:
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Aemilius » Thu May 16, 2013 3:38 pm

Buddhist teacher Nagarjuna says that it is an illusion that you have a "self" that it is "in control". You really are not in control, but you nevertheless maintain an illusory & unreal idea that you are in control (when you are not).

Nagarjuna illustrates this in his Sixty Stanzas on Reasoning with an example:

XL. As the Blessed One, the Tathagata, creates an illusory creation by means of illusory emanation, and that illusory creation creates another illusory creation.

XLI. Among them the illusory creation of the Tathgata is empty. What need is there to say anything about the illusory creation of an illusory creation? They are both existent in so far as anything which is mere imagination.

XLII. Similarly, the agent is like the illusory creation and actions are like the illusory creation of an illusory creation. They are empty in their intrinsic being and exist in sofar as anything which is mere imagination.

quoted from http://buddhanet.net/pdf_file/nagarjuna.pdf

The chinese Yogi Chen is reputed to have accomplished the siddhi of creating multiple bodies of himself. I have heard of persons who have met him other side of the Planet, when he should have been resident in the United States. There is a little anecdote about it in the wikipedia file of Yogi Chen, told by Daniel C. Noel http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogi_Chen
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