Simple responses to the denial of reflexive awareness and its conventional support.

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Vajrasvapna
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Simple responses to the denial of reflexive awareness and its conventional support.

Post by Vajrasvapna »

Chadrakirti Point:
Here one might say, ‘‘Even if it is not apprehended by another, nonetheless reflexive awareness exists. Therefore, since there is reflexive awareness, it is apprehended.’’
(p. 157)
Answer:
Reflexive awareness is not the apprehention in the sense of clinging. It's the emptiness of the imaginary dualist mode of clinging to a subject and object. Emptiness of samsaric mode of consciousness, when the eight consciousness are purify and transform into the five wisdom.
Gelung Points:
"Tsong khapa argues that if self-cognizing cognition is dependent only on itself, then it must be self-produced and therefore inherently existent, an obviously unacceptable tenet for any Mādhyamika. (Blumenthal 2004, p. 85)"

"(4) A nondual awareness by a Buddha of its own consciousness would be an ultimate truth, but would be a positive phenomenon. (pp. 206 ff.)"
Answer:
Yes and no. Ratnākaraśānti quote:
"But that luminosity is established as being real, because as an awareness that is free from distortion, it is a direct means of reliable knowledge.
Luminosity is the inherent self-nature which gives illumination, because it is not positioned by the contamination through which some experience would be designated as distorted.
Something is asserted to be lacking in “self” if it continuously changes by becoming something else.
This refutes phenomena which are permanent and possess parts. However, phenomena possessing the characteristic of being momentary, yet abiding uninterruptedly, cannot be refuted because they are established by a means of reliable knowledge."
from Luminosity: Reflexive Awareness in Ratnākaraśānti’s Pith Instructions for the Ornament of the Middle Way
Ratnākaraśānti's quote suggests that Lama Tsongkhapa's stance is nearly accurate, as reflexive awareness could only be ultimately existent, not conventional; the sole flaw lies in acknowledging the emptiness of inherent existence as an axiom. From this standpoint, reflexive awareness cannot be ultimately existent, as it cannot be a dharma that is not empty of inherent existence. Ratnākaraśānti addressed this point perfectly.

Source:
Jay L. Garfield's The Conventional Status of Reflexive Awareness: What’s At Stake in a Tibetan Debate?
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Aemilius
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Re: Simple responses to the denial of reflexive awareness and its conventional support.

Post by Aemilius »

Do all animals posses reflexive self-awareness? Or do you consider it to be a product of evolution? -at some higher stage in evolution ?

Some scientists say that animals have reflexive awareness, for example:

Self-awareness in animals
David DeGrazia

"1. introduction

Many animals are self-aware. At any rate, I claim, the cumulative force of
various empirical data and conceptual considerations makes it more rea-
sonable to accept than to deny this thesis. Moreover, there are importantly
different sorts of self-awareness. If my arguments are on the right track,
then scientists and philosophers have significantly underestimated the case
for animal self-awareness.

2. types of self-awareness

The most primitive type of self-awareness is bodily self-awareness, an aware-
ness of one’s own body as importantly different from the rest of the environ-
ment – as directly connected with certain feelings and subject to one’s direct
control. Because of bodily self-awareness, one does not eat oneself. And
one pursues certain goals. Bodily self-awareness includes proprioception: an
awareness of body parts, their position, their movement, and overall body
position. It also involves various sensations that are informative about what
is happening to the body: pain, itches, tickles, hunger, as well as sensations
of warmth, cold, and tactile pressure. These forms of awareness are essential
to any creature that can feel features of its body and environment, etc..."

in https://philosophy.columbian.gwu.edu/si ... nimals.pdf
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Vajrasvapna
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Re: Simple responses to the denial of reflexive awareness and its conventional support.

Post by Vajrasvapna »

Aemilius wrote: Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:31 am Do all animals posses reflexive self-awareness? Or do you consider it to be a product of evolution? -at some higher stage in evolution ?

Some scientists say that animals have reflexive awareness, for example:

Self-awareness in animals
David DeGrazia

"1. introduction

Many animals are self-aware. At any rate, I claim, the cumulative force of
various empirical data and conceptual considerations makes it more rea-
sonable to accept than to deny this thesis. Moreover, there are importantly
different sorts of self-awareness. If my arguments are on the right track,
then scientists and philosophers have significantly underestimated the case
for animal self-awareness.

2. types of self-awareness

The most primitive type of self-awareness is bodily self-awareness, an aware-
ness of one’s own body as importantly different from the rest of the environ-
ment – as directly connected with certain feelings and subject to one’s direct
control. Because of bodily self-awareness, one does not eat oneself. And
one pursues certain goals. Bodily self-awareness includes proprioception: an
awareness of body parts, their position, their movement, and overall body
position. It also involves various sensations that are informative about what
is happening to the body: pain, itches, tickles, hunger, as well as sensations
of warmth, cold, and tactile pressure. These forms of awareness are essential
to any creature that can feel features of its body and environment, etc..."

in https://philosophy.columbian.gwu.edu/si ... nimals.pdf
Mahayana reflexive awareness is not equal to self-awareness from general science. The Yogacara logicians reflexive awareness is the valid cognition of enlightened beings. The Kalachakra says that reflexive awareness is what is going from one life to another. While covered up in common beings by the defilements and imaginary dualistic clinging. It's purified in enlightened beings. Maybe science could evolve and better explain this kind of phenomenon.
I just started my Buddhist major, so you can wait me to write a lot about the topic.

Source:
Inner Kalachakra, Vesna Wallace;
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dharmakiirti/
Last edited by Vajrasvapna on Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vajrasvapna
Posts: 415
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Simple responses to the denial of reflexive awareness and its conventional support.

Post by Vajrasvapna »

Aemilius wrote: Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:31 am Do all animals posses reflexive self-awareness? Or do you consider it to be a product of evolution? -at some higher stage in evolution ?

Some scientists say that animals have reflexive awareness, for example:

Self-awareness in animals
David DeGrazia

"1. introduction

Many animals are self-aware. At any rate, I claim, the cumulative force of
various empirical data and conceptual considerations makes it more rea-
sonable to accept than to deny this thesis. Moreover, there are importantly
different sorts of self-awareness. If my arguments are on the right track,
then scientists and philosophers have significantly underestimated the case
for animal self-awareness.

2. types of self-awareness

The most primitive type of self-awareness is bodily self-awareness, an aware-
ness of one’s own body as importantly different from the rest of the environ-
ment – as directly connected with certain feelings and subject to one’s direct
control. Because of bodily self-awareness, one does not eat oneself. And
one pursues certain goals. Bodily self-awareness includes proprioception: an
awareness of body parts, their position, their movement, and overall body
position. It also involves various sensations that are informative about what
is happening to the body: pain, itches, tickles, hunger, as well as sensations
of warmth, cold, and tactile pressure. These forms of awareness are essential
to any creature that can feel features of its body and environment, etc..."

in https://philosophy.columbian.gwu.edu/si ... nimals.pdf
This research have position that are closer to Buddhism:
.
User avatar
Aemilius
Posts: 4626
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Simple responses to the denial of reflexive awareness and its conventional support.

Post by Aemilius »

Vajrasvapna wrote: Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:07 pm
Aemilius wrote: Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:31 am Do all animals posses reflexive self-awareness? Or do you consider it to be a product of evolution? -at some higher stage in evolution ?

Some scientists say that animals have reflexive awareness, for example:

Self-awareness in animals
David DeGrazia

"1. introduction

Many animals are self-aware. At any rate, I claim, the cumulative force of
various empirical data and conceptual considerations makes it more rea-
sonable to accept than to deny this thesis. Moreover, there are importantly
different sorts of self-awareness. If my arguments are on the right track,
then scientists and philosophers have significantly underestimated the case
for animal self-awareness.

2. types of self-awareness

The most primitive type of self-awareness is bodily self-awareness, an aware-
ness of one’s own body as importantly different from the rest of the environ-
ment – as directly connected with certain feelings and subject to one’s direct
control. Because of bodily self-awareness, one does not eat oneself. And
one pursues certain goals. Bodily self-awareness includes proprioception: an
awareness of body parts, their position, their movement, and overall body
position. It also involves various sensations that are informative about what
is happening to the body: pain, itches, tickles, hunger, as well as sensations
of warmth, cold, and tactile pressure. These forms of awareness are essential
to any creature that can feel features of its body and environment, etc..."

in https://philosophy.columbian.gwu.edu/si ... nimals.pdf
Mahayana reflexive awareness is not equal to self-awareness from general science. The Yogacara logicians reflexive awareness is the valid cognition of enlightened beings. The Kalachakra says that reflexive awareness is what is going from one life to another. While covered up in common beings by the defilements and imaginary dualistic clinging. It's purified in enlightened beings. Maybe science could evolve and better explain this kind of phenomenon.
I just started my Buddhist major, so you can wait me to write a lot about the topic.

Source:
Inner Kalachakra, Vesna Wallace;
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dharmakiirti/
That link takes me to an article about Dharmakirti, which is very good and informative, and I have read some of it few months ago.

Anyway, in Mahayana all beings possess buddha-nature and they transmigrate in the process of beginningless rebirth, so you can't exclude ants and the rest of the vast majority of species on planet Earth, in your topic of self-awareness.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
User avatar
Vajrasvapna
Posts: 415
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Simple responses to the denial of reflexive awareness and its conventional support.

Post by Vajrasvapna »

Aemilius wrote: Thu Feb 29, 2024 5:27 pm
Vajrasvapna wrote: Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:07 pm
Aemilius wrote: Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:31 am Do all animals posses reflexive self-awareness? Or do you consider it to be a product of evolution? -at some higher stage in evolution ?

Some scientists say that animals have reflexive awareness, for example:

Self-awareness in animals
David DeGrazia

"1. introduction

Many animals are self-aware. At any rate, I claim, the cumulative force of
various empirical data and conceptual considerations makes it more rea-
sonable to accept than to deny this thesis. Moreover, there are importantly
different sorts of self-awareness. If my arguments are on the right track,
then scientists and philosophers have significantly underestimated the case
for animal self-awareness.

2. types of self-awareness

The most primitive type of self-awareness is bodily self-awareness, an aware-
ness of one’s own body as importantly different from the rest of the environ-
ment – as directly connected with certain feelings and subject to one’s direct
control. Because of bodily self-awareness, one does not eat oneself. And
one pursues certain goals. Bodily self-awareness includes proprioception: an
awareness of body parts, their position, their movement, and overall body
position. It also involves various sensations that are informative about what
is happening to the body: pain, itches, tickles, hunger, as well as sensations
of warmth, cold, and tactile pressure. These forms of awareness are essential
to any creature that can feel features of its body and environment, etc..."

in https://philosophy.columbian.gwu.edu/si ... nimals.pdf
Mahayana reflexive awareness is not equal to self-awareness from general science. The Yogacara logicians reflexive awareness is the valid cognition of enlightened beings. The Kalachakra says that reflexive awareness is what is going from one life to another. While covered up in common beings by the defilements and imaginary dualistic clinging. It's purified in enlightened beings. Maybe science could evolve and better explain this kind of phenomenon.
I just started my Buddhist major, so you can wait me to write a lot about the topic.

Source:
Inner Kalachakra, Vesna Wallace;
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dharmakiirti/
That link takes me to an article about Dharmakirti, which is very good and informative, and I have read some of it few months ago.

Anyway, in Mahayana all beings possess buddha-nature and they transmigrate in the process of beginningless rebirth, so you can't exclude ants and the rest of the vast majority of species on planet Earth, in your topic of self-awareness.
The term I used is reflexive awareness, referring to the luminosity that transmigrates from one life to another. I also believe it is implausible for clear light or luminosity, also a concept in Vajrayana, to be considered a conventional phenomenon; it must attain an ultimate level. Otherwise, it would simply be a conditioned phenomenon, similar to the atman in Vedanta traditions. What sets it apart is its lack of a causal link, distinguishing it from monism, where one Brahman consciousness unifies all. Additionally, I've observed that instead of Brahman, Buddhism could potentially utilize the concepts of space and time to explain the causal universe.
Perhaps only scientific advancements could eventually elucidate such phenomena, as often witnessed in paranormal experiences through manifestations like light orbs.
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Vajrasvapna
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Re: Simple responses to the denial of reflexive awareness and its conventional support.

Post by Vajrasvapna »

"In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the "explicate" or "unfolded" order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders (Bohm 1980, p. xv)."
"I propose that each moment of time is a projection from the total implicate order. The term projection is a particularly happy choice here, not only because its common meaning is suitable for what is needed, but also because its mathematical meaning as a projection operation, P, is just what is required for working out these notions in terms of the quantum theory."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicate ... cate_order

David Bohm's concept of the implicate order clearly provides scientific support for reflexive awareness. While the implicate order represents non-dual, atemporal experience, the explicate order is the conventional "imagination of the unreal", devoid of non-duality. He even talks about momentariness.
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Vajrasvapna
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Re: Simple responses to the denial of reflexive awareness and its conventional support.

Post by Vajrasvapna »

Vajrasvapna wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 11:26 am
"In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the "explicate" or "unfolded" order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders (Bohm 1980, p. xv)."
"I propose that each moment of time is a projection from the total implicate order. The term projection is a particularly happy choice here, not only because its common meaning is suitable for what is needed, but also because its mathematical meaning as a projection operation, P, is just what is required for working out these notions in terms of the quantum theory."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicate ... cate_order

David Bohm's concept of the implicate order clearly provides scientific support for reflexive awareness. While the implicate order represents non-dual, atemporal experience, the explicate order is the conventional "imagination of the unreal", devoid of non-duality. He even talks about momentariness.
correct: devoid of duality.
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