Mind sense power

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Mind sense power

Postby goodie » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:13 pm

I was reading Hopkins' explanation in Meditation on Emptiness about sense powers. He says that mind sense power is not physical and that former moment of any of the six consiocuesnesses can serve as a mind sense power for mental consciousness.

I can understand that in the case of for example mental consciousness perceiveng pot: eye sense power enables eye consciousness to percieve the pot and in the next moment mental consciousness uses this eye consciousness as its sense power.

But how does this work in the case of out of body perception? For example if a practitioner goes out of his body and percieves sense objects, he can use only previous moment of mental consciousness as mind sense power. So that means that mental consciousness can percieve sense objects through previous moments of sense consciousnesses and through previous moment of mental consciousnesses?
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby 5heaps » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:06 pm

yes, clairvoyance is using the mental consciousness without the aid of the much coarser sense consciousnesses to see sense objects (the lower schools predictably disagree a little bit -- different presentations of pramana)

i dont know much about out-of-body experiences as experienced by nonmeditators. it could be just that they are having invalid cognitions by a messing up of the sense organs, of external conditions, etc. for skilled meditators its a very clear, practical, methodical thing.

Extra-bodily States in Buddhism
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby goodie » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:50 pm

5heaps wrote:i dont know much about out-of-body experiences as experienced by nonmeditators. it could be just that they are having invalid cognitions by a messing up of the sense organs, of external conditions, etc. for skilled meditators its a very clear, practical, methodical thing.
What about in the cases where a nonmeditator has suffered an accident and correctly reports what was happening around him while "unconscious". I heard of some examples where they could describe the operation while under full narcosis. In such case it can not be invalid cognition, but rather mental consciousness perceiving physical objects.

Another question about cognition. Mental consciousness is aware of external reality through sense consciousness. But sometimes we are aware of sights, sometimes of sounds etc. Is it that at the moment when we are aware of sights:
a) only eye sense consciousness works
b) or is it that all five sense consciousnesses work all the time, but only one is perceived by mental consciousness
c) or is it that all five sense consciousnesses work all the time, all are percieved by mental consciousness, but only one is distinguished
d) something else :)
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby Jnana » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:52 pm

goodie wrote:Another question about cognition. Mental consciousness is aware of external reality through sense consciousness. But sometimes we are aware of sights, sometimes of sounds etc. Is it that at the moment when we are aware of sights:
a) only eye sense consciousness works
b) or is it that all five sense consciousnesses work all the time, but only one is perceived by mental consciousness
c) or is it that all five sense consciousnesses work all the time, all are percieved by mental consciousness, but only one is distinguished
d) something else

It depends on which cognitive model one is using. According to the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, the principles of the Mahāyāna necessarily include the eight consciousnesses. And so if one is engaging in Mahāyāna practice the ālayavijñāna should be accepted as conventional truth.

The Yogācārabhūmi Śāstra Viniścayasaṃgrahaṇī section on establishing the arising of ālayavijñāna by means of concurrence (sahabhāva-pravrtti-vyavasthāna) explains that any combination of sense consciousnesses can arise concurrently (i.e. together) with the ālayavijñāna, manas, and manovijñāna:

    How is it established that [ālaya-vijñāna] arises by concurrence?

    (a) Sometimes ālaya-vijñāna arises concurrently (saha pravartate) with just one of the [forms of] arising cognitive awareness, for example, with mind (manas). In this way, the mind (manas) whose mode (ākāra) is conceiving (manyanā) "I-making" (ahamkara), the conceit "I am" (asmimāna), always arises and functions simultaneously with ālaya-vijñāna in states with mental activity (sacittaka) and even in states lacking mental activity (acittaka). That [mind (manas)] has the mode of taking ālaya-vijñāna as [its] object and conceiving [it] as "I am [this]" (asmīti) and "[this is] I" (aham iti).

    (b) Sometimes [ālaya-vijñāna] arises and functions concurrently with two [other mental processes, i.e.] mind (manas) and mental-cognitive awareness (mano-vijñāna);

    (c) sometimes with three [mind and mental-cognitive awareness] and any [additional] one of the five groups of cognitive awareness;

    (d) sometimes with four, with any [additional] two of the five groups of cognitive awareness arising simultaneously;

    (e) [And so on up to]: sometimes [ālaya-vijñāna] arises and functions concurrently with up to seven, with [all] the five groups of cognitive awareness arising simultaneously.

Dignāga and Dharmakīrti, on the other hand, employed the notion of mind-stream (cittasantāna) instead of ālayavijñāna, and their cognitive model reflects this difference.
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby ground » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:01 pm

goodie wrote:But how does this work in the case of out of body perception? For example if a practitioner goes out of his body ...


Sorry, but such things do not really exist. It is just a sort of subjective experience based on the body and mind (the aggregates).


Kind regards
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby Individual » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:31 pm

5heaps wrote:yes, clairvoyance is using the mental consciousness without the aid of the much coarser sense consciousnesses to see sense objects (the lower schools predictably disagree a little bit -- different presentations of pramana)

i dont know much about out-of-body experiences as experienced by nonmeditators. it could be just that they are having invalid cognitions by a messing up of the sense organs, of external conditions, etc. for skilled meditators its a very clear, practical, methodical thing.

Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

As I see it, clairvoyance can be done with the gross mind or subtle mind. With the subtle mind, though, there is no being who can read minds; that's impossible because there is no connection.

1) Clairvoyance through gross mind:

People don't know that there are extraordinary ways in which they can be mindful of their surroundings. Like being Sherlock Holmes. You see their shoes, clothes, body language, etc., and you already know a wealth of information about them. So much so that they can be shocked by how much you know. "Cold reading" psychics and fortune-tellers often rely on this, too. It also applies to people who are proficient with understanding and training animals. This is psychic ability dependent on mind-and-body.

2) Clairvoyance through subtle mind:

In the subtle mind, there is no self-thinking, no asking and knowing, no subtle and gross, no using and not using clairvoyance. What is uttered is the clairvoyance for that moment. So it's not you who is clairvoyant; it is some other higher being or non-being that is using clairvoyance through you. You can't play with it or use it for personal gain, unless that is something that was meant to be.

An out-of-body experience is like a dream. Life itself is also like a dream. In the waking world, there is stability, but in the dream world there is less stability, because there are no rupas to hold things in place. A single thought can easily cause dramatic change. You could say therefore that the waking world is more of a dream than the dream world, because in the dream world, the impermanent and impersonal nature of things is more obvious, but in the waking world, there is more of an illusion of self in things, of objects which endure for a given interval. In the waking world too, a single thought can cause dramatic change but the change is not obvious to an ordinary mind because they see only the objects of self and not the mind. In this sense, all cognitions are invalid. Because cognition is seeing an abiding self in objects, yet they are impermanent and notself. A cognition of what is impermanent and notself is the only valid cognition.
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby goodie » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:38 pm

Yeshe D. wrote:It depends on which cognitive model one is using.
Yes. Your quotes reflect Mind Only, right? Do you know also for (possibly gelug) Sautrantika and Middle Way?
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby goodie » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:39 pm

TMingyur wrote:
goodie wrote:But how does this work in the case of out of body perception? For example if a practitioner goes out of his body ...

Sorry, but such things do not really exist. It is just a sort of subjective experience based on the body and mind (the aggregates).
Why would such a thing not be possible? Afaik even high practitioners of other traditions can achieve superpowers to go out of body and see actual things, not just subjective imagination.
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby goodie » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:47 pm

Individual wrote:1) Clairvoyance through gross mind:...You see their shoes, clothes, body language, etc., and you already know a wealth of information about them. So much so that they can be shocked by how much you know.
I was not so much interested in this type since it's not "real" clairvoyance...

Individual wrote:2) Clairvoyance through subtle mind: In the subtle mind, there is no self-thinking, no asking and knowing, no subtle and gross, no using and not using clairvoyance. What is uttered is the clairvoyance for that moment. So it's not you who is clairvoyant; it is some other higher being or non-being that is using clairvoyance through you. You can't play with it or use it for personal gain, unless that is something that was meant to be.
... but more in this one, though I would disagree that there is no knowing, or that there is necessarily some other being who is doing this. Quote from Berzin: "With absorbed concentration and advanced yogic training, it is possible to make special use of this system to gain extraphysical and extrasensory powers, such as telepathy and clairvoyance."

Individual wrote:You could say therefore that the waking world is more of a dream than the dream world, because in the dream world, the impermanent and impersonal nature of things is more obvious, but in the waking world, there is more of an illusion of self in things
I agree, it's easier to see illusion of dream in the dream than illusion of this world in this world :) At least some kind of illusions though - it might be equally difficult to percieve prasangika type of illusion in dream or in this reality.
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby Heruka » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:51 pm

formless realms?
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby 5heaps » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:17 pm

i cant recall it being explicitly addressed in a sautrantika text but i'd guess that there can only be 1 type of consciousness at a time from among the 6 types. if someone can clarify more that would be great.

as for unusual circumstances such as accidents and altering the physical body in general, its complicated to say. if the question is "is it possible" then yes, if the person has good karma lined up then they will be able to make use of subtle states of mind such as sleep, unconsciousness etc. for others it will ripen as dying etc.
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby Jnana » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:26 pm

goodie wrote:
Yeshe D. wrote:It depends on which cognitive model one is using.
Yes. Your quotes reflect Mind Only, right? Do you know also for (possibly gelug) Sautrantika and Middle Way?

According to Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche it was Ju Mipham's understanding that "After the first moment of sense perception mental perceptions arise in a series accompanying another series of sense perceptions, and that finally at the end of the last moment of sense perception there arises the last moment of mental perception."

Palden Sherab Rinpoche's commentary on Ju Mipham's Sword of Prajña elucidates further:

    FIRST, Sense perception:

    By whatever mind-events have arisen from the five senses
    Apprehension of their objects is experienced.
    Without this sense perception, objects would not be seen,
    As they are not in the case of those who are blind, and so forth.


    Depending on the dominant condition, the eye-power, and similarly the ear, nose, tongue, and body-sense, the five consciousnesses of a person experience the apprehension of their objects, form, sound, smell, taste, and touchables. This is sense perception. Without it, like those who are blind, deaf, and so forth, we could never perceive external objects.

    SECOND, Mental perception:

    Of outer and inner objects that rise from the mental sense
    Mental perception is the drawer of clear distinctions.
    Without this mental perception all the dharmas would be
    Without the knowledge of ordinary understanding.


    Arising in dependence on the mental sense as dominant condition, knowledge that understands objects clearly distinguishes experiences of outer objects, form and so on, and by knowledge of self-awareness, distinguishes the objects of inner awareness and dreams. This is mental direct perception.

    Rngog pa says:

    "Co-emergently bound up with sense perception, there is the pramana of mental direct perception.
    Without this, all external and internal dharmas would lack the understanding of ordinary knowledge."

I'm not very familiar with the Gelug teachings on this subject.
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Re: Mind sense power

Postby goodie » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:07 am

Since sense consciousnesses depend on their sense power which are the photo sensitive cells of the eye etc. then that would mean that ghosts, gods and other beings whose bodies are not made of gross matter, perceive things only through mental consciousness?
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