Soul vs Consciousness?

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smcj
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by smcj » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:14 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:09 pm
How would one argue that the subtle consciousness referred to in Vajrayana, the one experiencing the bardo state and taking rebirth, how would one argue that this isn’t just another way of asserting some concept of a soul or atman, some kind of permanent self?
What would you call something if it was continuous between lifetimes, but was capable of infinite change? Since there is nothing “changeless” about it, you would be incorrect to call it an Atman, correct? It does meet the definition.
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1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

Sentient Light
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by Sentient Light » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:27 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:09 pm
How would one argue that the subtle consciousness referred to in Vajrayana, the one experiencing the bardo state and taking rebirth, how would one argue that this isn’t just another way of asserting some concept of a soul or atman, some kind of permanent self?
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We call it a citta-santana to establish that it is not.

In relation to your earlier question, you seem to be conflating the idea of something being non-essential with being non-discrete, when these are two different things. I think this may in part be at the root of your delusion. Just becaues something has no essence does not mean it cannot be discrete; just because something is discrete does not mean it possesses any kind of essence.
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Malcolm
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:28 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:14 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:09 pm
How would one argue that the subtle consciousness referred to in Vajrayana, the one experiencing the bardo state and taking rebirth, how would one argue that this isn’t just another way of asserting some concept of a soul or atman, some kind of permanent self?
What would you call something if it was continuous between lifetimes, but was capable of infinite change?
A karmic bungee cord.

smcj
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by smcj » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:28 pm
smcj wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:14 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:09 pm
How would one argue that the subtle consciousness referred to in Vajrayana, the one experiencing the bardo state and taking rebirth, how would one argue that this isn’t just another way of asserting some concept of a soul or atman, some kind of permanent self?
What would you call something if it was continuous between lifetimes, but was capable of infinite change?
A karmic bungee cord.
Sounds about right! :twothumbsup:
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:39 am

smcj wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:14 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:09 pm
How would one argue that the subtle consciousness referred to in Vajrayana, the one experiencing the bardo state and taking rebirth, how would one argue that this isn’t just another way of asserting some concept of a soul or atman, some kind of permanent self?
What would you call something if it was continuous between lifetimes, but was capable of infinite change? Since there is nothing “changeless” about it, you would be incorrect to call it an Atman, correct? It does meet the definition.
But if you say “it” is infinitely changing, then there’s no “it”. the very fact of constant change negates anything that can be identified as an “it”
“Since there is nothing “changeless” about it, you would be incorrect to call it an Atman, correct?
Just the opposite. Atman refers to a constant essential thing, changeless in itself. A mannequin onto which different costumes are put.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:49 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:31 pm
Well, because even the subtle consciousness, the mind of clear light in Geluk jargon, is relative and compounded.
Ahh! That makes sense.
Thanks
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.
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Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

smcj
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by smcj » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:10 am

Just the opposite. Atman refers to a constant essential thing, changeless in itself. A mannequin onto which different costumes are put.
I think the objection Atman is the mannequin idea, at least as anything that manifests in the phenomenal world. It would be a restriction on how karma would be able to manifest. Think “Transformers” without any default identity, always having to transform without repeating the same appearance twice.

Like the previous Kalu R said, if a being incarnates as a mouse, then elephant, then bird, which of these is their true identity? The mouse? So when it’s an elephant you’d have to say it’s real identity is a mouse? And so on.
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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tobes
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by tobes » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:31 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:49 am
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:31 pm
Well, because even the subtle consciousness, the mind of clear light in Geluk jargon, is relative and compounded.
Ahh! That makes sense.
Thanks
If the mind of clear light neither arises nor ceases, and is not comprised of parts, then how can it be compounded?

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:08 am

tobes wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:31 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:49 am
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:31 pm
Well, because even the subtle consciousness, the mind of clear light in Geluk jargon, is relative and compounded.
Ahh! That makes sense.
Thanks
If the mind of clear light neither arises nor ceases, and is not comprised of parts, then how can it be compounded?
Oh yeah...that's a very good point.
But because, in my question, I had asked about the subtle consciousness that experiences the bardo,
perhaps Malcolm is suggesting (referring to Gelugpa teachings) that this consciousness that experiences the bardo is not
'mind of clear light neither arises nor ceases'.
If it's being by karma all over the samsaric realms, it wouldn't be very clear, would it?
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Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
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tingdzin
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by tingdzin » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:25 am

"Soul" is a mental construct, the very vagueness of which has ensured its continuance. Although the modern-day Catholics may or may not define it as consciousness, this was assuredly not the case 1000 years ago. Nor is the present understanding of the word an easy match, semantically or from a historical viewpoint, with the Greek and Latin words it was supposedly derived from and equivalent to. Cross-cultural comparisons of words that have vague meanings and wildly different histories is probably a mug's game unless one wants to get very very specific about defining terms.

The Tibetan word "la" (bla) is often translated as "soul", and, nowadays, Bonpos sometimes substitute namshe for it, but it was sufficiently different in meaning 1200 years ago for the creators of Tibetan/Sankrit translation equivalences refused to admit "la" (in the old meaning) to their lexicon at all.

Similarly, in Chinese Buddhism, the first translators used ancient Chinese concepts like hun and po (two types of "soul"), but gradually became aware that that what not what Buddhism had in mind, and weeded them out, creating new equivalences. A good book on this subject is Jungnok Park's How Buddhism acquired a Soul on its way to China>

Malcolm
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:58 pm

tobes wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:31 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:49 am
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:31 pm
Well, because even the subtle consciousness, the mind of clear light in Geluk jargon, is relative and compounded.
Ahh! That makes sense.
Thanks
If the mind of clear light neither arises nor ceases, and is not comprised of parts, then how can it be compounded?
It’s momentary.

Malcolm
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:09 pm

tingdzin wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:25 am
"Soul" is a mental construct, the very vagueness of which has ensured its continuance. Although the modern-day Catholics may or may not define it as consciousness, this was assuredly not the case 1000 years ago. Nor is the present understanding of the word an easy match, semantically or from a historical viewpoint, with the Greek and Latin words it was supposedly derived from and equivalent to. Cross-cultural comparisons of words that have vague meanings and wildly different histories is probably a mug's game unless one wants to get very very specific about defining terms.

The Tibetan word "la" (bla) is often translated as "soul", and, nowadays, Bonpos sometimes substitute namshe for it, but it was sufficiently different in meaning 1200 years ago for the creators of Tibetan/Sankrit translation equivalences refused to admit "la" (in the old meaning) to their lexicon at all.
Yes, and citing your reasoning above, soul a bad translation of bla, especially under its old meaning. In modern parlance among Buddhists, it’s usually held to a be a synonym of “tshe”, longevity. And, prebuddhist usages are evident still in certain kinds of “archaic” rituals which are practiced to summon a wandering bla.

tingdzin
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Re: Soul vs Consciousness?

Post by tingdzin » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:43 am

Yes, soul is a very bad translation of bla.

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