Astus wrote:Mind in Buddhism is defined by its object, so there are six consciousnesses: eye-, ear-, nose-, tongue-, body- and mind-consciousness. Yogacara added to this two, and in some versions three other consciousnesses but these I'd rather call possible extras and this categorisation is not in all Buddhist schools. Nevertheless, all kinds of consciousnesses are empty, without inherent existence and dependently arisen.
If mind is defined by its objects, it therefore possesses them, is aware of them, as nothing else exists to observe them. What is it then that possesses and observes mind as an object, albeit as with all, lacking in inherent existence?
If mind, and mind consciousness, is dependently arisen, it is also impossible to define a beginning and end, either at the birth of a being or at death, on the breaking up of the body.
Since we cannot define the beginning and end of mind, as mind-consciousness, how do we know that objects are required for it to arise? The six consciousnesses are means through which mind perceives both itself as an object and has awareness of other objects, also lacking inherent existence, but in turn the mind perceives those consciousnesses. Perhaps then, we should turn the telescope around and look through the other end and state that the consciousnesses arise in dependence on the mind and therefore it is not possible for them to be necessary for mind to exist.
So I come back to the position that mind is required to already be extant in order to be aware of the consciousnesses arising as objects. If only mind can be both possessor and possessed, observer and observed, it would follow that it may also arise from itself without external cause, in a continuum, or as described:
''“engaging with objects without discontinuity.''