You are not really understanding the intent of the doctrine. The idea is that appearances of the universe are a result of karmavipaka. How does that karmavipaka ripen? The Yogacāra school theorized a process called cittasaṃtanaparinama, the transformation of the mind stream. This comes about because it is held that when we engage in an action, this creates an impression, called a vāsanā, literally, "perfume," in Tibetan, bag chags. This is also called a bija or seed. These seeds are held to be stored in a consciousness called the ālayavijñāna, which upon the elimination of all the seeds then vanishes. An impression or seed, when it meets its special condition for transformation of ripening, then gives rise to an appearance that corresponds to the action which produced it.Wayfarer wrote: ↑Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:11 amIt seems to me that this is hard to reconcile with:Malcolm wrote:My point was simply that there were, in the view of Buddhadharma, no such thing as unconscious memories, i.e. data that is storied somewhere in some medium to be called forth later.
Asanga argues that this ālayavijñāna is the same thing as the Theravada bhavanga, or linking consciousness. On the other hand, the ālaya does not have objects it does not operate through the senses. It is the object, however, of the kliṣṭamanas, the afflicted mind. The other senses consciousnesses are products of the ripening of these seeds which create the appearances of outer objects such as the universe and so on.
So, it really does not, in the Yogacāra theory, function like an unconscious mind.
But here we are talking about memory. Memories are active concepts of the seven consciousnesses. This is basic to all Buddhist thinking on the issue. The question concerned whether Buddhism acknowledged what we term unconscious mental processes. It doesn't. The distinction made in Buddhism is a distinction between nonconceptual and conceptual cognitive processes: for example direct perceptions on the one hand, and the identification of direct perceptions as objects on the other. We are not necessarily aware, in a conscious sense, of all that we directly perceive because direct perceptions are by nature nonconceptual, and to be conscious of a given thing requires us to have a concept about it. In other words, the first moment of cognition is nonconceptual; in the second moment, mental factors such as perception jump in and allow us to discriminate the blue object we are having a direct perception of as a blue cup. When we have direct perceptions of unfamiliar entities, we struggle to discriminate them, and often, we do not bother to discriminate them at all. But we cannot become conscious of a given thing of which we have not had a direct perception-- this does not bar us from having an imagination, but in reality our abstract imagination is predicated on bits and pieces of newly arranged direct perceptions. The Buddhist theory of cognition, as has been noted, is in general a) nominalist and b) resembles, somewhat, Hume's pov in the Inquiry into Human Understanding. The outlier is Yogacāra, which bears some similarities to Berkely's thought.And I think as a practical matter, any Buddhist has to acknowledge that there are 'latent tendencies' which are not always fully conscious but which manifest (or 'come to fruition') in response to circumstances or stimuli (I know I certainly do). I find it a bit hard to understand why those wouldn't be understood in terms of being un- or sub-conscious tendencies.
In general, what Buddhism considers latent are afflictions (kleṣa), termed in their latent form, anuśaya. There are 6 basic anuśaya: attachment, anger, pride, ignorance, false views, and doubt. These anuśayas are not subconscious tendencies. These six then gets further divided into a total of 98. If you want to know more about them, their number and so on, consult chapter 5 of the Koshabhasyam.
Karma can never be latent, why? Because karma is caused by afflictions. According to Madhyamaka, a karma continues without ceasing until it meets its condition for ripening; according to Yogacāra, a karma makes an impression, then ceases; and when that impression meets it special condition for ripening, it does.
If you want to understand in more detail how this all works in Yogacāra, one should consult the Mahāyāna Samgraha.