Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:20 am

Malcolm wrote:In fact, space arises from consciousness, and the four elements arise from space. This is a universal explanation of the arising of matter in Dharm texts.
Did the historical Buddha teach this?
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:13 am

Andrew108 wrote:In fact there is proof that consciousness doesn't exist as an independent stream.


I am not sure that there is proof of something not happening, but this statement brings up an imprtant point, and that is, what is meant by 'consciousness' in this respect...

...because if the idea is that there is some little invisible bubble of thoughts and personality that escapes the body of a dead person, and floats around, perhaps circling like a vulture, looking for people who are copulating so it can plant itself there, as though there is a sort of condensed version of a particular person, that's off base. But I think it is what a lot of people think rebirth means.

That is part of the reason I don't like to use the word 'consciousness' , because we are not asserting some conscious thing, any more than we assert that there is a conscious thing that exists now. "Consciousness' is a term that describes uncountable streams of continuous mental events, each giving rise to the next.

If you have ever seen starlings gathering to migrate in the fall, they can form huge dark clouds of sometimes thousands of birds, all moving together, leaving one tree and landing on the next. From a distance, it looks like a large black blob:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tEFRAI9WSE
...and this is how we generally think of consciousness and ourselves as a solitary unit, rather than as a massive collection of parts. These "parts" of consciousness are what reassemble. By themselves, they are not any sort of permanent personality. That's the illusion, the one that we carry with us all the time.

The reason why it certainly appears that you or I am the same person from moment to moment, or that you are who you were 5 minutes ago, or a year ago, is not because there is any kind of permanent self (a permanent self, by definition, would never change) but rather, it is simply because the same conditions keep giving rise to pretty much the same events. Of course, when things flare up in life, this can change dramatically and very fast. And, as the causes (for the conditions which arise as phenomena) change, the results change too. So, for example, when the causes which give me dark hair begin to cease, the causes which give me grey hair come into play. So, there is gradual change occurring all the time, both physically and in the mind.

When texts describe beings being reborn into different realms, seeing visions in the bardo (the period between one life and the next) and so on, in a way that describes a kind of cognizant personality, these are manifestations of grasping, and are nothing more than a sort of snowball effect incorporating what has already been set into motion. In that respect, it is accurate to say that phenomena is a projection of mind.

So, if one asks, "well, what exactly is it that gets reborn?" , it is exactly what is reborn moment to moment in one's daily life, that is not dependent on a never-changing body. If you start a fire in the woods, and then ext moment, you die, the fire does not die. It keeps burning. Yet, a fire is not the same thing from one second to the next either. each part of the wood causes another part of the wood to ignite. This is a poor analogy to how karma works, meaning how a set of habitual actions established at one time can continue to have a reverberating effect and remanifest themselves accordingly at a later time, even after the person's body is dead.
. . .
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:16 am

Malcolm wrote: When you understand that consciousness, like matter, is a "dravya", then it all makes sense.
Or, it will dravya crazy.
:rolleye: :rolling:
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:30 am

Malcolm wrote:
jeeprs wrote: So, the sense in which mind 'creates' space is also the sense in which it 'creates' matter..
Well, no. Matter arises from consciousness directly, i.e. consciousness is the efficient cause of matter, not merely a formal cause in the sense you provide. I already demonstrated this to Andrew that this was the Buddhist view (sutra as well as tantra).

When you understand that consciousness, like matter, is a "dravya", then it all makes sense.

M
Would you mind pointing out where you demonstrated that?
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Andrew108 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:57 am

thigle wrote:Finally for today, this is maybe very important .. Don't think: "Everything is wisdom, even in the modus of knowledge like in the modus of ignorance; therefore there's nothing special to do .. one only must trust everything." .

My point was to accept everything and to trust just one thing - reality.
thigle wrote:This is just speculation and thinking about .. in the modus of ignorance. It's maybe a helpful speculation in the beginning, but it can be a trap; therefore an reified state of mind. Of course, there is something to do. The possible menngagde task "do nothing" does not mean just to think: "There's nothing do to". It's a concrete task. And there are two ways to implement this task: practiced nonpractice which is grasping, or factual nonpractice which is primordial unfabricated looseness. Hopefully you understand, why I can't answer you, if this described force in the context of the grand finale acts in the modus of ignorance.
I appreciate what you have written. I see pure vision as natural vision.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Andrew108 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:28 am

jeeprs wrote: It seems obvious to the realist viewpoint that the ‘external universe’ moves on majestically whether perceived by you or not; however the thing which this overlooks - the assumption which scientific realism has forgotten - is that this is true, from a perspective. When science looks out at the vast universe, it estimates distances in terms of light-years and time in terms of years - both of which are human measurements, based on the rotation of the earth around the sun. Without that sense of perspective, no measurement or even awareness of the phenomena would be possible.
There are two things here. One is that the observer is part of the universe. So I don't see why there needs to be a separation. We belong. Second is the false idea that observers are primary. Why are observers said to be primary? The difference between the idea that reality is how I think it to be and that reality has laws within it is huge. Science says that even without an observer the universe would still have laws. They know this because apart from just thinking about what reality might be like, they also test reality. They pull it apart and see what it is fundamentally made of. The pulling apart of reality is not the same as simply perceiving reality.

jeeprs wrote:Now I think this is one of the many recent discoveries in science that has tended to validate the idealist approach. You see, the sense in which space is ‘the product of the mind’ is not on the level of material or efficient causation. It is more that mind provides the very framework within which what we designated as ‘existence of space’ is meaningful. The mind ‘makes manifest’ the Universe, synthesizes all the sensory and scientific data and creates a world-view. And that is something more than being simply 'in the mind' in the naive sense: it underpins our entire construction of reality. And that is the point of the Vijñānavada. But as long as you persist in regarding consciousness as a phenomenon or an object, you're not going to see it.
Science wont validate an idealist approach because of it's methodology. When you are talking about mind here you are giving it a factuality that it doesn't have. No wonder it can't be found. There are evolutionary reasons for the high order of our rational thinking. I would say that mental states are brain states. I would also say that there is a base level of functionality in the brain that often goes unrecognised - coordinating movement would be one such thing. So the brain has various levels of functionality. For the record I also see Thogal lights as brain function. But that does not mean I am excluding the possibility of realization or enlightenment. Quite the reverse. I am saying that it is only through knowing our real condition in respect to reality that liberation can occur. Mind isn't a part of reality and so we can drop it - drop the concept of mind. It's not useful to us.
jeeprs wrote:That is what I mean by science ‘assuming nature’.
A fish doesn't assume that it is swimming in water. Science is part of the nature it describes. It doesn't assume an objective condition because it has proof that it is part of the objective condition. The universe being aware? Perhaps.
jeeprs wrote:So, the sense in which mind 'creates' space is also the sense in which it 'creates' matter. It builds up the world-picture (which in Buddhist terms is a vikalpa) within which all such terms are meaningful. Whenever you argue your case, you do so on the basis of the implicit meaning you attribute to particular terms, like 'objective' and 'regular' and 'matter' and so on; for this you depend on your notion of what is real. That doesn't make it wrong; but it is important to understand how that is something that is taking place in the mind which is then reified or projected onto 'the world'.
We don't really know what space is. We know that space is not empty of energy/possibility. We know that there are pervasive fields such as the electron field and quark field and Higgs field. So we know that at every point in space/time there is a value. But we can't say exactly what space is. Again it is not my perception of what is real. A bird has evolved to overcome some of the limits of gravity. They are not creating the air through which they fly or the gravity that seems to want to pull them towards earth. But this flying action is part of nature just as gravity is.

If you are unable to do experiments then you need to use logic and inference and so you might come to the conclusion that world is mind-made. But this is because you haven't been able to directly and accurately test characteristics.

Edited for a bit of clarity.
Last edited by Andrew108 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Andrew108 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:47 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote: That is part of the reason I don't like to use the word 'consciousness' , because we are not asserting some conscious thing, any more than we assert that there is a conscious thing that exists now. "Consciousness' is a term that describes uncountable streams of continuous mental events, each giving rise to the next.

If you have ever seen starlings gathering to migrate in the fall, they can form huge dark clouds of sometimes thousands of birds, all moving together, leaving one tree and landing on the next. From a distance, it looks like a large black blob:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tEFRAI9WSE
...and this is how we generally think of consciousness and ourselves as a solitary unit, rather than as a massive collection of parts. These "parts" of consciousness are what reassemble. By themselves, they are not any sort of permanent personality. That's the illusion, the one that we carry with us all the time.
Yes it appears that way. Mental events are brain events. This doesn't mean to say slow, unified events. But much like the way the starlings move as one - many interconnected events giving the perception of unity. That is the illusion. Yes. It is not a mind-made illusion but a natural illusion.
PadmaVonSamba wrote:The reason why it certainly appears that you or I am the same person from moment to moment, or that you are who you were 5 minutes ago, or a year ago, is not because there is any kind of permanent self (a permanent self, by definition, would never change) but rather, it is simply because the same conditions keep giving rise to pretty much the same events. Of course, when things flare up in life, this can change dramatically and very fast. And, as the causes (for the conditions which arise as phenomena) change, the results change too. So, for example, when the causes which give me dark hair begin to cease, the causes which give me grey hair come into play. So, there is gradual change occurring all the time, both physically and in the mind.
Again I agree. But you needn't use the term 'mind' - if you depersonalize it it's better. So I would say nature.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:When texts describe beings being reborn into different realms, seeing visions in the bardo (the period between one life and the next) and so on, in a way that describes a kind of cognizant personality, these are manifestations of grasping, and are nothing more than a sort of snowball effect incorporating what has already been set into motion. In that respect, it is accurate to say that phenomena is a projection of mind.
Again you have personalized it after setting out quite nicely that illusion of personality is a natural thing.
PadmaVonSamba wrote:So, if one asks, "well, what exactly is it that gets reborn?" , it is exactly what is reborn moment to moment in one's daily life, that is not dependent on a never-changing body. If you start a fire in the woods, and then ext moment, you die, the fire does not die. It keeps burning. Yet, a fire is not the same thing from one second to the next either. each part of the wood causes another part of the wood to ignite. This is a poor analogy to how karma works, meaning how a set of habitual actions established at one time can continue to have a reverberating effect and remanifest themselves accordingly at a later time, even after the person's body is dead.
Life ends, and with the ending of life there comes the realization of the ending of a destination. That life is naturally non-fixated means that time effects the inside and the outside. Entropic states of different orders characterize both the outside world and internal world of mental events. We are in the universe as part of it. It is no longer good enough to tell the universe what it should be - how it should be. We have to listen to it. Respect it. Why give it our rubbish? Why make it our thing? Why turn it into my mind?

Then one thing more. Most of us have low self-esteem. Really. We study and fantasize about being more than we are. Trying to please people. Trying to be meaningful. Trying to reach our potential. Trying to get likes from friends and gurus. Our self-esteem gets heavily invested in our beliefs. It's a sorry fact, but true nonetheless. I would like to say that our self-esteem and that of others should be based on life itself - that we have life. As simple as it sounds I can't think of any better basis of self-esteem. We respect others as equals because they have life too. In the end maybe this view of equality is a characteristic of nature?
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by muni » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:27 am

Then one thing more. Most of us have low self-esteem. Really. We study and fantasize about being more than we are. Trying to please people. Trying to be meaningful. Trying to reach our potential. Trying to get likes from friends and gurus.
I dreamed that I was dreaming and I had lost a paper which I had to find back to prove others that I was dreaming.
When I-thought is there, others are.
Buddha said all is empty like my brain.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Kaccāni » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:13 am

@malcolm:

would you say that consciousness is a reflection of matter? Upon observation, one end is declared as matter, one end as consciousness, yet it is the same, mutually arising "cause - effect"-pair, we're talking of, since neither matter nor consciousness "exist" apart from each other, but they arise as two sides of the same phenomenon?
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:43 am

It seems to me you're trying to have it both ways here. On the one hand, you appeal to nondualism
Andrew108 wrote:A fish doesn't assume that it is swimming in water. Science is part of the nature it describes.
and also
Andrew108 wrote:One is that the observer is part of the universe. So I don't see why there needs to be a separation.
and yet
Andrew108 wrote: What is established is that an objective condition (with universal laws) exists prior to the being that perceives it. Reality was there before me and will continue after me
The type of truth science posits concerns the truth of how the world works. In that world objects obey rules. That by itself proves to me that there is an 'objective condition'.
Science points out that there is an objective condition and to me that is more valuable than a Buddhist tradition that says it is all in the mind.
So here, there is a constant insistence that the "objective condition" which is "independent of the observer" is "what is real" and even that the knowledge of this attained by science is superior to 'the Buddhist tradition that says it is all in the mind' - which is anything but non-dualist.

You even go so far as to advocate the basic tenet of materialism:
I would say that mental states are brain states.
So, with all due respect, I think you are actually espousing two quite contradictory or conflicting positions. Perhaps your mind is telling you one thing, and your heart another. That would be my take. Probably it will become clear in time.
When you are talking about mind here you are giving it a factuality that it doesn't have.
I'm sorry but I don't think you understood the point.

Never mind - let's leave it there. One of my good dharma friends is advising me not to spend so much time on forums and reading books and instead commit more time to actual practice. I think he's right. Thanks, have enjoyed the exchange.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Andrew108 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:38 am

jeeprs wrote:It seems to me you're trying to have it both ways here. ....So, with all due respect, I think you are actually espousing two quite contradictory or conflicting positions. Perhaps your mind is telling you one thing, and your heart another. That would be my take. Probably it will become clear in time.

Never mind - let's leave it there. One of my good dharma friends is advising me not to spend so much time on forums and reading books and instead commit more time to actual practice. I think he's right. Thanks, have enjoyed the exchange.
Just to clarify. I see reality has having both non-dual and dualistic characteristics. At the same time.

I understand what you mean about practice. Best wishes.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Malcolm » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:06 pm

jeeprs wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
jeeprs wrote: So, the sense in which mind 'creates' space is also the sense in which it 'creates' matter..
Well, no. Matter arises from consciousness directly, i.e. consciousness is the efficient cause of matter, not merely a formal cause in the sense you provide. I already demonstrated this to Andrew that this was the Buddhist view (sutra as well as tantra).

When you understand that consciousness, like matter, is a "dravya", then it all makes sense.

M
Would you mind pointing out where you demonstrated that?
Some other thread.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Malcolm » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:11 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:[

...because if the idea is that there is some little invisible bubble of thoughts and personality that escapes the body of a dead person, and floats around, perhaps circling like a vulture, looking for people who are copulating so it can plant itself there, as though there is a sort of condensed version of a particular person, that's off base. But I think it is what a lot of people think rebirth means.
What continues is the stream of aggregates, consciousness being the chief of them. Consciousness is defined as a (partless) moment of clarity. These moments are serial and independent from the serial moments of the consciousness of others.

So, if one asks, "well, what exactly is it that gets reborn?" , it is exactly what is reborn moment to moment in one's daily life, that is not dependent on a never-changing body. If you start a fire in the woods, and then ext moment, you die, the fire does not die. It keeps burning. Yet, a fire is not the same thing from one second to the next either. each part of the wood causes another part of the wood to ignite. This is a poor analogy to how karma works, meaning how a set of habitual actions established at one time can continue to have a reverberating effect and remanifest themselves accordingly at a later time, even after the person's body is dead.
. . .
This sort of treatment is the post-modern version of "rebirth". It is not what the Buddha taught, however. In reality, the Buddha taught that one's five aggregates continue into the next world. It is foolish to deny that this is what the Buddha taught. You may not accept it, you may think it is nonsense, but if so, you are not really a student of the Buddha. It bears repeating that Buddha taught four kinds of liberated persons in terms of how many rebirths and in what realm (desire realm or form realm) it would take them to achieve final nirvana. Dzogchen tantras especially spend a great deal of time discussing rebirth and the bardo, and they do not mean this symbolically. To discard rebirth then is to discard the whole of the Buddha's Dharma and to replace it with some post-modern intellectualism as you have done here.

M
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by tobes » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:28 pm

jeeprs wrote:Lengthy post ahead, sorry.
Andrew108 wrote:But you (jeeprs) know that a lot of conventional Buddhism is idealism and fantasy. It is just speculation masquerading as fact.
Not with you on that. Certainly on the level of cultural belief and practice - ‘village Buddhism’ - there is superstition and ritualism - spells, charms, protections against evil spirits and the like. But the scholastic analysis of Mind in Buddhist philosophy is another matter. And there are many things in Buddhism which Western scientific rationalism simply won't or can't or is not interested in understanding.
Andrew108 wrote:In fact there is proof that consciousness doesn't exist as an independent stream.
Andrew108 wrote:you need to provide proof or evidence that matter has a basis in consciousness.
Andrew108 wrote:you need to adopt the belief of non-locality of mental consciousness in order to progress. But this is just a belief. And further more it is a belief that goes against what has been proven otherwise.
Andrew108 wrote:space is a product of consciousness. You don't see any logical difficulties with that?
I have taken these quotes because they illusrate the physicalist approach to the question, specifically, whether space is the product of consciousness and whether mind is dependent on matter.

I think you will interpret the expression that something is ‘the product of’ to mean that it ’is caused by’ in a way analoguous to two flints striking ‘causes’ a spark, or the combination of hydrogen and oxygen ‘causes’ water to form. So in your view, matter must be the ‘cause’ of consciousness in the sense that living sentient beings must evolve in form to the point where they are capable of conscious thought. That is a chain of material causation, commencing with abiogenesis. So here you're talking about what classical philosophy would refer to as 'efficient causation'.

Now I agree consciousness is not the ‘cause’ of space in that sense. But I also don’t think that is what is meant by the idea in the first place, and I think this is central to this debate. I think you are making what is called in philosophy a ‘category error’.

As you have mentioned idealism, we ought to consider it again in idealist terms.

Kant argued that space and time are ‘primary intuitions’, that is, they are actually furnished by the percieving intelligence, as the basis for the operations of reason. In other words, the ‘natural world’ (phenomena) is not simply given to the senses, but the mind itself brings to the world certain fundamental aspects, which it is not capable of directly seeing (hence, in Kant’s terminology, ‘transcendental’). In some critical sense, then, phenomena are 'dependent on the mind' - but this doesn't mean that mind is an efficient cause, in the sense of flint and fire.

It seems obvious to the realist viewpoint that the ‘external universe’ moves on majestically whether perceived by you or not; however the thing which this overlooks - the assumption which scientific realism has forgotten - is that this is true, from a perspective. When science looks out at the vast universe, it estimates distances in terms of light-years and time in terms of years - both of which are human measurements, based on the rotation of the earth around the sun. Without that sense of perspective, no measurement or even awareness of the phenomena would be possible.

Consider this passage:
The problem of including the observer in our description of physical reality arises most insistently when it comes to the subject of quantum cosmology - the application of quantum mechanics to the universe as a whole - because, by definition, 'the universe' must include any observers. Andrei Linde has given a deep reason for why observers enter into quantum cosmology in a fundamental way. It has to do with the nature of time. The passage of time is not absolute; it always involves a change of one physical system relative to another, for example, how many times the hands of the clock go around relative to the rotation of the Earth. When it comes to the Universe as a whole, time looses its meaning, for there is nothing else relative to which the universe may be said to change. This 'vanishing' of time for the entire universe becomes very explicit in quantum cosmology, where the time variable simply drops out of the quantum description. It may readily be restored by considering the Universe to be separated into two subsystems: an observer with a clock, and the rest of the Universe. So the observer plays an absolutely crucial role in this respect. Linde expresses it graphically: 'thus we see that without introducing an observer, we have a dead universe, which does not evolve in time', and, 'we are together, the Universe and us. The moment you say the Universe exists without any observers, I cannot make any sense out of that. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of everything that ignores consciousness...in the absence of observers, our universe is dead'.
(Paul Davies, The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life, p 271)

Now I think this is one of the many recent discoveries in science that has tended to validate the idealist approach. You see, the sense in which space is ‘the product of the mind’ is not on the level of material or efficient causation. It is more that mind provides the very framework within which what we designated as ‘existence of space’ is meaningful. The mind ‘makes manifest’ the Universe, synthesizes all the sensory and scientific data and creates a world-view. And that is something more than being simply 'in the mind' in the naive sense: it underpins our entire construction of reality. And that is the point of the Vijñānavada. But as long as you persist in regarding consciousness as a phenomenon or an object, you're not going to see it.

And that is the background to scientific realism. That is what I mean by science ‘assuming nature’. Your realist view of the invariance of natural law is ultimately derived from the Christian belief in physical laws as ‘God’s handiwork’. So there is some sense in which this view has now put the universe itself, or nature itself, into the position formerly occupied by Deity. Perhaps that is why your continual appeal to ‘the objective’ is a source of spiritual solace to you.

So, the sense in which mind 'creates' space is also the sense in which it 'creates' matter. It builds up the world-picture (which in Buddhist terms is a vikalpa) within which all such terms are meaningful. Whenever you argue your case, you do so on the basis of the implicit meaning you attribute to particular terms, like 'objective' and 'regular' and 'matter' and so on; for this you depend on your notion of what is real. That doesn't make it wrong; but it is important to understand how that is something that is taking place in the mind which is then reified or projected onto 'the world'.
:good:

Nailed. That's some fine work Jeeprs.

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Malcolm » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:36 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:In fact, space arises from consciousness, and the four elements arise from space. This is a universal explanation of the arising of matter in Dharm texts.
Did the historical Buddha teach this?
Indeed.
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Andrew108
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by Andrew108 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:What continues is the stream of aggregates, consciousness being the chief of them. Consciousness is defined as a (partless) moment of clarity. These moments are serial and independent from the serial moments of the consciousness of others.
You have said that space arises from consciousness. Then you have defined consciousness as a partless moment of clarity that is serial and independent. So exactly, in what way does space arise from consciousness? Does it arise serially in the same way as consciousness and is it then independent of the consciousness of others?
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:59 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:In fact, space arises from consciousness, and the four elements arise from space. This is a universal explanation of the arising of matter in Dharm texts.
Did the historical Buddha teach this?
Indeed.
Well, do you have a reference? I don't recall seeing anything about that in the early Buddhist stuff.
It takes a great being to be daring enough to cultivate a bad reputation. - Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:16 pm

Malcolm wrote:In reality, the Buddha taught that one's five aggregates continue into the next world. It is foolish to deny that this is what the Buddha taught.
Even the rupa skandha?
It takes a great being to be daring enough to cultivate a bad reputation. - Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:59 pm

Malcolm wrote: What continues is the stream of aggregates, consciousness being the chief of them. Consciousness is defined as a (partless) moment of clarity. These moments are serial and independent from the serial moments of the consciousness of others.
So, aggregates arise from partless moments of clarity.
And what exactly experiences these aggregates, these moments of clarity, this consciousness?
. . .
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:[So, if one asks, "well, what exactly is it that gets reborn?" , it is exactly what is reborn moment to moment in one's daily life, that is not dependent on a never-changing body. If you start a fire in the woods, and the next moment, you die, the fire does not die. It keeps burning. Yet, a fire is not the same thing from one second to the next either. each part of the wood causes another part of the wood to ignite. This is a poor analogy to how karma works, meaning how a set of habitual actions established at one time can continue to have a reverberating effect and remanifest themselves accordingly at a later time, even after the person's body is dead.
This sort of treatment is the post-modern version of "rebirth". It is not what the Buddha taught
Essentially, it is what the Buddha taught:

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday,
and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.

-The Dhammapada

What you propose is exactly what you refute elsewhere,
something permanent that constitutes an individual self (atman).
The aggregates are not a self.
They are more like the leaves that are on a tree in spring and summer, arranged for a lifetime,
then blow apart in the autumn, when a person dies
only to regather again in a raked up pile, which is the next rebirth.
My point was that consciousness is not a being, not a personality
merely the components from which such things arise.
. . .
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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