Sooner or Later: Yogacara

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:44 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Yeshe D. wrote: Secondly, everyone who takes refuge in the Mahāyāna Dharma takes refuge in the Mahāyāna Sūtras.

I choose to not agree here in the sense of "all Mahayana sutra". Why? Because it is bodhicitta which is the characteristic mark of Mahayana and not "all Mahayana sutras".

Part of a bodhisattva's career is to develop the knowledge of all paths (mārgākārajñatā). This includes developing knowledge of śrāvakayāna and bodhisattvayāna paths. The detailed teachings on the bodhisattvayāna are contained in numerous sūtras and thoroughly explained in the commentaries on the Abhisamayālamkāra, the Mahāyānasūtrālamkāra, and the Yogācārabhūmiśāstra. In addition to these treatises on the path, the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga, the Madhyāntavibhāga, the Ratnagotravibhāga, and the Mahāyānasaṃgraha clarify difficult aspects of view as found in numerous Mahāyāna sūtras. Without understanding these treatises one isn't able to develop a fluent knowledge of Mahāyāna view and practice.


Thanks for expounding your view again.

Yeshe D. wrote:
TMingyur wrote:The Mahayana commentaries have lead to complex elaborations and a multitude of views and it is this I question here through pointing at the efficient simplicity of the Buddha's teachings in the pali suttas. These teachings of the Buddha actually reveal all those diverse discursive views as the effect of clinging aggregates.

From within a Mahāyāna context, this conclusion is simply inaccurate. It's one thing to focus on certain teachings and commentaries which one finds helpful at this time. It is quite another to assert that the Mahāyāna teachings which you don't find particularly relevant at this time are "speculation" or "mental proliferation" or "unskillful view," all of which are antithetical to Dharma. If you don't find these Yogācāra treatises helpful, that's fine. No one is forcing anything on you. But there is no need for such characterizations here in this particular Mahāyāna sub-forum.


The Buddha taught the direct way to overcome dukkha. If you find detours preferable then fine, your choice.

The title of this thread is "Sooner or Later: Yogacara" which means "Sooner or later one will (or even has to) depart from the simple way taught by the Buddha to overcome dukkha. Such a thesis is unacceptable and sectarian beyond that.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby tobes » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:50 am

Yeshe D. wrote:Already given in the analysis of causes and resultant cognitions. As you have indicated, this reasoning alone doesn't refute material causes. It has to be considered alongside the invariable sameness of appearances and mind as the nature of mere lucidity and the reasoning of neither one nor many. If you have access to Ganganatha Jha's English translation of Kamalaśīla's Tattvasaṃgrahapanjika (or better yet, if you can follow the Sanskrit or Tibetan texts), then that is really the best source for examining this particular analysis. The Dharmadharmatāvibhāgavṛtti, the Madhyamākalaṃkāra, the Madhyamālaṃkārapanjika, and Ju Mipham's commentaries on these treatises are also invaluable. From Ju Mipham's commentary on the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga:

    Those who cling compulsively to the existence of outer objects claim, “Outer objects exist, because no one can deny that anything composed of atoms, such as mountains and any other object observed in common, exists.” But that is not how it is.

    Given what appear to be outer and perceivable in common, such as mountains and so on, as the postulated subject, these are not outer referents discrete from the inner consciousness and existing with a material essence, because they are the inner perceiving awareness itself appearing as the image of this and that outer referent for those whose operative habitual tendencies correspond, just like forms in a dream.

    What are being called “outer objects observed in common” are not referents existing as something extrinsic to or other than consciousness, because they are only apparently experienced as common by a variety of beings whose mindstreams are not identical. But this is what proves that they are nothing other than differing perceptions of differing mindstreams.

    And how does it prove that? What are claimed to be “factors observed in common” are proposed as providing the proof for the existence of outer referents. But these can only be posited as “outer referents experienced in common” due to a similarity in the character of their appearance from the subjective viewpoint of distinct mindstreams. But that means these appearances are the private impressions of mindstreams which differ among themselves. And that means they could never constitute common experience.

    Thus to say, “There are outer objects which are something other than a mere appearance (or impression)” and to say, “Here is one experienced in common” could never be demonstrated logically, since, to do so, one would have to posit the existence of objects other than those which appear to a mind. But it would make no sense to posit an object that could not appear to any mind, since it could not be evaluated through valid cognition.

    On subjecting this so-called “common experience” to critical scrutiny, the reason for claiming it to be “common” turns out to be built on the similarity of appearance with respect to mindstreams which themselves differ, so it follows that, even though there is a similarity in the appearance, its underlying cause includes no necessity of a specific outer common referent literally existing, just as corresponding appearances manifest for spectators under the influence of the charms of an illusionist. Similarly, for creatures whose operative habitual tendencies correspond, not only will environments and so on have a similar appearance for as long as the energy of those habitual tendencies has not been exhausted, but, what is more, the specific cause for their appearing to be similar will not be the existence of a referent on the outside. Just as something which one type of being sees as water will be seen as existing under another appearance by others among the six types of beings whose karmic impressions differ, anything perceived should be understood to be neither more nor less than a self-manifestation of the mentality internal to a specific observer.




Okay, thanks Geoff. My Sanskrit is unfortunately very poor!

Again, this demonstrates that one cannot speak of or establish appearances as existing outside of consciousness, but it does not establish that there cannot be external phenomena.

It is a skeptical argument; the question of external phenomena has to be suspended (or bracketed to use a Husserlian method)....but such skepticism cannot then entail an ontological claim about external phenomena - that it does or does not exist. In either case, we cannot know. Therefore, I accept the claim that we need to suspend the question, but not the claim that the question is definitively answered by the Yogacaran position.

The ontological claim that external phenomena do not exist is based not on the argument that we only have appearances given to cognition, but on the further premise:

" Similarly, for creatures whose operative habitual tendencies correspond, not only will environments and so on have a similar appearance for as long as the energy of those habitual tendencies has not been exhausted, but, what is more, the specific cause for their appearing to be similar will not be the existence of a referent on the outside. "

That is, all external phenomena arise from the dispositional tendencies of the mind. The mind is thus the ontological basis for claiming the non-existence of external phenomena.

But this is a distinct argument from the argument that we only have appearances of the object, and not an object itself.

The first argument does not depend upon the second; the second seems to me to be an ontological assumption which does not correlate with the first unless it is simply asserted as an unquestionable truth. If everything hinges on this assumption, what grounds would you give me to accept it?

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby tobes » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:59 am

Yeshe D. wrote:My own opinion is that the Yogācāra teachings are asking us (challenging us!) to consider operative habitual tendencies as the source of all saṃsāric experiences. I'm not sure that Western philosophy has adequately considered karma and habitual tendencies. At any rate, the above mentioned texts all approach this from rational, phenomenolgical, and epistemological perspectives.

All the best,

Geoff


Yes, I agree with this. I think texts such as the Abhidharma-samuccaya offer exceptionally insightful analysis of internal/psychological processes, and grant an extremely efficacious phenomenology of perception, consciousness etc. A much better phenomenology than Husserl or Merleu-Ponty precisely because, as you say, it comes ready made with the theory of samskarahs.

The point of distinction, which is probably clear by my line of questioning so far, is when the claims go beyond what is given to consciousness, and into an ontology of the phenomenal world. For me that is one step too far.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:07 am

tobes wrote:The first argument does not depend upon the second; the second seems to me to be an ontological assumption which does not correlate with the first unless it is simply asserted as an unquestionable truth. If everything hinges on this assumption, what grounds would you give me to accept it?

The Mādhyamaka reasoning of neither one nor many. With Kamalaśīla's capable analysis of this reasoning forms cannot be established as consisting of material substance.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:17 am

TMingyur wrote:The title of this thread is "Sooner or Later: Yogacara" which means "Sooner or later one will (or even has to) depart from the simple way taught by the Buddha to overcome dukkha.

The bodhisattvayāna isn't just about eliminating duḥkha. It's about developing knowledge of all paths (mārgākārajñatā) and the all-gnosis (sarvajñatā) of buddhahood.

TMingyur wrote:Such a thesis is unacceptable and sectarian beyond that.

From the context of the Mahāyāna, it is completely acceptable and has nothing to do with sectarianism.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:25 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
TMingyur wrote:The title of this thread is "Sooner or Later: Yogacara" which means "Sooner or later one will (or even has to) depart from the simple way taught by the Buddha to overcome dukkha.

The bodhisattvayāna isn't just about eliminating duḥkha. It's about developing knowledge of all paths (mārgākārajñatā) and the all-gnosis (sarvajñatā) of buddhahood.


I did not say that it is just about eliminating duḥkha. what I say however is that eliminating dukkha (afflictive obscuration like attachment, aversion, indifference, pride, wrong views, doubt) is an aspect of renunciation which is a prerequisite for practice to become Mahayana practice because the development of genuine bodhicitta is dependent on that.

Yeshe D. wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Such a thesis is unacceptable and sectarian beyond that.

From the context of the Mahāyāna, it is completely acceptable and has nothing to do with sectarianism.

Okay we do not agree.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Astus » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:58 pm

Geoff,

Thanks for the quote. However, while it explains a bit of the emergence of samsara OK, it doesn't answer how a common ground can actually be established in the sense of the interaction between mind-streams. Because even if minds have common factors it doesn't explain a connection between them. In an everyday situation there are speech and other forms of expressions conveying a meaning, so there is a seemingly external space between minds to make contact. But when all external phenomena are mental factors of a single mind-stream it requires some form of connection between different minds to share a common view. Maybe it's me not understanding Mipham's explanation, so please clarify.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:06 pm

Astus wrote:Thanks for the quote. However, while it explains a bit of the emergence of samsara OK, it doesn't answer how a common ground can actually be established in the sense of the interaction between mind-streams. Because even if minds have common factors it doesn't explain a connection between them. In an everyday situation there are speech and other forms of expressions conveying a meaning, so there is a seemingly external space between minds to make contact. But when all external phenomena are mental factors of a single mind-stream it requires some form of connection between different minds to share a common view. Maybe it's me not understanding Mipham's explanation, so please clarify.

Yeah, Mipham's commentary closely follows Vasubandhu's commentary, but Scott's translation of Mipham doesn't make this section as clear as it could be. The basis of inter-subjectivity is a world realm (loka dhātu) which supports a particular realm of sentient beings (sattva dhātu). A world realm is a container world (bhājana loka) wherein cognitions of appearance (pratibhāsa-vijñāna) arise for sentient mind-streams with similar karmic dispositions (i.e. humans interact in a human realm, hungry ghosts interact in a ghost realm). Inter-subjective conditionality occurs through the combination of a primary cause deriving from one mind-stream and an intermediate condition deriving from another mind-stream. But all appearances of any object (artha) which arise in a container world of sentient beings are merely cognitive representations (vijñaptimātra), and are unreal imagination (abhūtaparikalpa).

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Astus » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:53 pm

I don't see the difference then in the common version of a world originating from the beings karma and consciousness only. But then it isn't exactly so that the world as commonly perceived is not at all external, since it can't establish connection between mind-streams directly.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:03 pm

Astus wrote:I don't see the difference then in the common version of a world originating from the beings karma and consciousness only.

The distinction between a realist interpretation of a container world and the Yogācāra understanding is that for the Yogācāra there is no need to establish a material basis.

Astus wrote:But then it isn't exactly so that the world as commonly perceived is not at all external, since it can't establish connection between mind-streams directly.

"Inter-subjective" or "common" (sādhāraṇa) is a more precise term than "external" in this context.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Astus » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:31 pm

No need to establish a material basis when: 1. in both cases the origin of the world is karmic; 2. it results in a world of four elements. The only difference I see is that Yogacara is explicit about the ultimately mental nature of the world.

Calling it either common or external makes little difference when the world is not taken to be a mental thing compared to emotions and thoughts, also there is a distinction made between the world and beings.

Looking at it this way there's little new in calling it consciousness only or realist. Or, again, it still requires an explanation for direct mental connection between beings. Such an explanation could be also good for other teachings, like certain siddhis and meditations.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:30 pm

Astus,

The only thing "external" in Yogācāra is the mind-stream of another sentient being. However, it is only directly perceived at the level of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

What ordinary beings see including the body of others, their physical expressions, speech, etc. is only a manifestation of their own consciousness, but is influenced by the other beings' consciousness. Hence why some people are very attractive while others are ugly. It is their karma that makes their appearance in your consciousness seem that way. But the actual appearance of that in your subjective consciousness has nothing to do with them. Hence when a being dies and is reborn in another realm, their corpse is still visible to you. Because from the beginning it was your consciousness that created that image. It was only their mind-stream that influenced the appearance and the movement of such a body in your consciousness.

From Vasubandhu's Twenty Verses:

    Interactions between Individuals

    Objection: If objects of perception arise within the mind's stream of consciousness and not from actually existing
    external objects [as you argued above], then how can one mind be influenced by another? How, for example, could my ideas be influenced by either good or bad friends, or by my listening to either true or false teachings? Indeed, if there are no external objects, then there cannot be either friends or teachings existing outside of one's own consciousness.

    Yogacara Reply: "The streams of consciousness in different minds do mutually influence each other." [Verse 18a]
    This is a matter of different consciousnesses (or minds) influencing the direction of one another; but this interaction of minds does not in any way show that there are [material] objects external to minds . . . .

    Objection: If reality is consciousness-only, then bodies . . . do not exist. How, then, can sheep, for example, be
    killed by butchers [if neither the butchers nor the sheep have bodies]? And how can the butchers be blamed for the offense of taking life?

    Yogacara Reply: "Killing is a disruption of one stream of consciousness by another stream of consciousness . . . .
    " [Verse 19] It is well known and attested to in many scriptural texts that the mental power of one mind can bring about changes in another mind (for example, loss of memory, demon possession, mental telepathy, the occurrence of dreams, etc.) . . . . To kill another is to fatally alter its life force and cause it to flow in a different direction . . . .

    The Problem of Other Minds

    Objection: If reality is consciousness-only, how is it possible for one mind to have knowledge of other minds [that
    is, minds other than itself]? And if there is knowledge of other minds, doesn't that refute your consciousness-only thesis?

    Yogacara Reply: "The unenlightened are not only unable to know the minds of others, but they also have no
    knowledge of the true nature of their own minds; whereas the enlightened know their own true minds and the true minds of others. Things known to enlightened ones are unknown to the unenlightened." [Verse 21] [The Twenty Verses actually contains 22 verses.]

    The unenlightened are bound by ignorance and are thus trapped in subject-object thinking. At the level of ordinary
    consciousness, we can only infer the existence of other minds on the basis of analogy with our own minds. But what is taken to be mind is not True Mind, and what they take to be self is not True Self. The enlightened have been liberated from ignorance and have transcended subject-object consciousness. They know their own minds as well as the minds of others. They have achieved true Selfhood . . . .

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Astus » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:12 pm

Dexing,

"This is a matter of different consciousnesses (or minds) influencing the direction of one another"

And my question is how exactly such an interaction can happen between one mind-stream and another, and I mean direct interaction as there are only mind-streams that do not merge. It is possible to say they're interrelated but that requires a description how they can do that without confusing up individuals mental streams.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:55 pm

Astus wrote:And my question is how exactly such an interaction can happen between one mind-stream and another, and I mean direct interaction as there are only mind-streams that do not merge. It is possible to say they're interrelated but that requires a description how they can do that without confusing up individuals mental streams.

It's explained by conditionality. Inter-subjective conditionality occurs through the combination of a primary cause deriving from one mind-stream and an intermediate condition deriving from another mind-stream.

It's also important to remember that this conditionality is phenomenal appearance (dharma) and not reality (dharmatā). Phenomenal appearance is unreal imagination (abhūtaparikalpa).

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:29 pm

Astus wrote:Dexing,

"This is a matter of different consciousnesses (or minds) influencing the direction of one another"

And my question is how exactly such an interaction can happen between one mind-stream and another, and I mean direct interaction as there are only mind-streams that do not merge. It is possible to say they're interrelated but that requires a description how they can do that without confusing up individuals mental streams.


So to clarify your question, as you said earlier:

    "In an everyday situation there are speech and other forms of expressions conveying a meaning, so there is a seemingly external space between minds to make contact. But when all external phenomena are mental factors of a single mind-stream it requires some form of connection between different minds to share a common view."

Good! Interesting and deep question. This is getting into the meat of Mahāyāna, as expressed in the sūtras, and as I understand it:

The substance of all beings is not two. But because of falseness, beings give rise to the sense organs, sense objects, make distinctions, duality, etc.. So there is speech (sound) and other forms of expressions (motion) which convey meaning. Their interaction can basically be attributed to the fact that their nature is originally not separated. Therefore there is no necessary "external space between minds to make contact".

If there were fundamentally a separateness it would perhaps require some kind of external factor to form a connection. Perhaps an external sign that says "hi", a waving hand or such. But fundamentally this separateness is the false result of conceptualization and grasping. Hence, when a being dies and is reborn in another realm, their corpse is still visible to you. If they were separate and had nothing to do with you, when they die and take birth elsewhere their bodies would vanish with them.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Astus » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:25 pm

Yes, the whole connection between mind-streams is in the realm of samvrttisatya, as obviously on a final level there is neither one nor many and even the concept of a single mind-stream is meaningless. But it is also in the realm of conventionality to say appearances are only mental and that there are individual mind-streams. Now, to say that one mind produces a cause which matches a condition in another mind-stream doesn't mean anything beyond saying that there is a causal relationship, however, that doesn't explain the actual thing of mind-streams connected to each other. I mean, on the conventional level mind-streams are separate and as Yogacara claims, on an ordinary level there is no such thing as perceiving another's mind, which would result in a contradiction of the premise of consciousness only. That's why I ask if there is any description of communication, of inter-relationship between minds.

One way out of this problem that I see is to say that the teaching of consciousness only is not meant to explain the working of the illusory world in a cittamatra way, as mind-streams and beings exist only in the form of parikalpita, consequently it goes along with the common terms of internal and external, one and many, so no need to describe the connection of mind-streams, since from the point on one contemplates how all is a creation of the mind one is moving away from the conventional view out of which no communication exists. But then we are at an almost identical view as the Madhyamaka and others except for the terminology and the approach.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:55 pm

Astus wrote:I mean, on the conventional level mind-streams are separate and as Yogacara claims, on an ordinary level there is no such thing as perceiving another's mind, which would result in a contradiction of the premise of consciousness only.


How so?

But then we are at an almost identical view as the Madhyamaka and others except for the terminology and the approach.


As I've stated many times in different threads here, I've not seen any contradiction between Mādhyamaka and Yogācāra doctrines in their core texts, that is of Nāgārjuna and Vasubandhu for example.

Of course in later centuries people came along and debated the two schools, but I see no difference in the core texts, or between any Mahāyāna Sūtra either. They all express identical views with different terminology and approaches from various angles. Those who miss the mark take these as many differing views, rather than just one with many expressions.

That is merely because ordinary beings' conceptualization and grasping is too strong. So it needs to be explained numerous times in various ways.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Astus » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:22 pm

It'd be a contradiction because if one could perceive another's mind it'd mean it is not just the creation of one's own mind that is perceived but something else too.

I find no problem with different Mahayana schools and sutras meaning the same thing, it's kind of my understanding too. Nevertheless, it's besides the point here.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:35 pm

Yes, I see what you mean. I think I misread you. Following this statement, you said:

That's why I ask if there is any description of communication, of inter-relationship between minds.


If my post previous to this was not satisfactory, I'm not sure what sort of "description" you are asking for. What are you looking for?

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:38 am

Astus wrote:One way out of this problem that I see is to say that the teaching of consciousness only is not meant to explain the working of the illusory world in a cittamatra way, as mind-streams and beings exist only in the form of parikalpita, consequently it goes along with the common terms of internal and external, one and many, so no need to describe the connection of mind-streams, since from the point on one contemplates how all is a creation of the mind one is moving away from the conventional view out of which no communication exists. But then we are at an almost identical view as the Madhyamaka and others except for the terminology and the approach.

Yes, Vasubandhu's Dharmadharmatāvibhāgavṛtti explains that appearance is only delusion (bhrāntimātra). Objects apprehended (grāhya) and the apprehender (grāhaka) have no self-nature (niḥsvabhāvatā) and the twofold selflessness of persons and phenomena (pudgalanairātmya and dharmanairātmya) is the perfected nature (pariniṣpanna-svabhāva).

Astus wrote:That's why I ask if there is any description of communication, of inter-relationship between minds.

Mere cognitive representation (vijñaptimātra) doesn't preclude inter-subjective conditionality between mind-streams. Inter-subjective phenomena are reciprocally caused (parasparā-hetu) through mutual conditioning (anyonya-adhipatitva). One doesn't have direct access to another's mind-stream, but one does have direct access to seeing objects of sight and hearing objects of sound, even though those objects are merely cognitive representations (vijñaptimātra).

All the best,

Geoff
Jnana
 
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