No end to samsara?

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3010
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: No end to samsara?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:39 pm

Your correction doesn't refute my post.
I didn't say that consciousness arises without an object of consciousness.
I said that the potential awareness that arises as consciousness exists prior to any contact with an object.
Otherwise, consciousness would arise without a cause.
This potential awareness is not a self, nor posited as a self.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3010
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: No end to samsara?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:55 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:23 am

Also, there are many places in the teachings of Dharma that state that there is no consciousness or awareness without an object. Consciousness arises depending on the six senses and the objects of the senses. There is no independent or separate consciousness. Claiming such would be same as grasping consciousness or awareness as the "self".

Consciousness arises with an object of consciousness. They depend on each other for their mutual occurring.
You could say that one is merely a reflection of the other.

But non-conceptual awareness is not the same as a self.
Again, many living organisms respond accordingly and intentionally to their environments although they possess none of the six senses.
White blood cells attack infectious bacteria, for example.
They could not do this without some kind of non-conceptual process that provides a cause for doing that.

Likewise, a non-conceptual process attracts a sperm to an egg.
How is this not non-conceptual awareness?

What sense objects does a buddha rely on?
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
Aemilius
Posts: 2088
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: No end to samsara?

Post by Aemilius » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:13 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:39 pm
Your correction doesn't refute my post.
I didn't say that consciousness arises without an object of consciousness.
I said that the potential awareness that arises as consciousness exists prior to any contact with an object.
Otherwise, consciousness would arise without a cause.
This potential awareness is not a self, nor posited as a self.
Why do you have to postulate the "potential awareness"? Is there something from which the "potential awareness" itself arises?
It doesn't matter whether you call it a "self" or not, you are nevertheless postulating a permanent independent "thing".
Buddhism doesn't postulate a permanent thing as the cause for the manifestation of subject and object, or for the manifestation of the world and beings.

Mula Madhyamaka Karika, Chapter 1. (tr. S. Batchelor)

1. No thing anywhere is ever born from itself, from something else, from both or without a cause.
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
Aemilius
Posts: 2088
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: No end to samsara?

Post by Aemilius » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:28 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:55 pm
Aemilius wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:23 am

Also, there are many places in the teachings of Dharma that state that there is no consciousness or awareness without an object. Consciousness arises depending on the six senses and the objects of the senses. There is no independent or separate consciousness. Claiming such would be same as grasping consciousness or awareness as the "self".

Consciousness arises with an object of consciousness. They depend on each other for their mutual occurring.
You could say that one is merely a reflection of the other.

But non-conceptual awareness is not the same as a self.
Again, many living organisms respond accordingly and intentionally to their environments although they possess none of the six senses.
White blood cells attack infectious bacteria, for example.
They could not do this without some kind of non-conceptual process that provides a cause for doing that.

Likewise, a non-conceptual process attracts a sperm to an egg.
How is this not non-conceptual awareness?
I also think there are many unexplained things in the behaviour of bacteria, as an example. How can we know they do not somehow perceive their surroundings? Bacteria have bacterial conjugation. Bacteria move from one place to another place, why would they do that? Do they have an awareness of an object, of other bacteria, of enemies and friends, of places, of themselves?
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
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3010
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: No end to samsara?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:01 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:28 am

I also think there are many unexplained things in the behaviour of bacteria, as an example. How can we know they do not somehow perceive their surroundings? Bacteria have bacterial conjugation. Bacteria move from one place to another place, why would they do that? Do they have an awareness of an object, of other bacteria, of enemies and friends, of places, of themselves?
I don't know that this is ever discussed in the Sutras, so I will have to refer to this as outside of the Buddhadharma, properly speaking:
The term I give to the observable phenomena of a basic organism's intentional interaction with its environment
is "awarity".
It isn't awarenessin the strictest sense, because there is no cognition involved, no physical sense organs, no brain. Its not conceptual as far as we can determine. There is no consciousness. But, there is subject and object. A sperm is attracted by the chemicals given off the egg, and so on.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3010
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: No end to samsara?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:14 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:13 am


Why do you have to postulate the "potential awareness"? Is there something from which the "potential awareness" itself arises?
It doesn't matter whether you call it a "self" or not, you are nevertheless postulating a permanent independent "thing".
Buddhism doesn't postulate a permanent thing as the cause for the manifestation of subject and object, or for the manifestation of the world and beings.

Mula Madhyamaka Karika, Chapter 1. (tr. S. Batchelor)

1. No thing anywhere is ever born from itself, from something else, from both or without a cause.
One can have an allergy to bee stings or strawberries, without every having come into contact with either, and without even knowing it.
An allergic reaction would be a manifestation of the contact between the subject (person with allergies) and object (bee stings or strawberries),
thus, the allergy ( which of course has causes...nobody is disputing that) is in the state of potentiality.
You could call it "causes for which there is no cause for them to manifest as results"
...like karma that hasn't ripened yet.
Likewise, the potential awareness arises from causes. There is no need to postulate a "self" for potential awareness to occur as a condition.


However, just because the sutras do not assert that a basic awareness (I call it "awarity"...see other comment) occurs as a component of quite a few living organisms doesn't mean it isn't a truly observable phenomena. It just means that the Buddha, as far as we know, never happened to mention it.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
Aemilius
Posts: 2088
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: No end to samsara?

Post by Aemilius » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:26 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:01 pm
Aemilius wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:28 am

I also think there are many unexplained things in the behaviour of bacteria, as an example. How can we know they do not somehow perceive their surroundings? Bacteria have bacterial conjugation. Bacteria move from one place to another place, why would they do that? Do they have an awareness of an object, of other bacteria, of enemies and friends, of places, of themselves?
I don't know that this is ever discussed in the Sutras, so I will have to refer to this as outside of the Buddhadharma, properly speaking:
The term I give to the observable phenomena of a basic organism's intentional interaction with its environment
is "awarity".
It isn't awarenessin the strictest sense, because there is no cognition involved, no physical sense organs, no brain. Its not conceptual as far as we can determine. There is no consciousness. But, there is subject and object. A sperm is attracted by the chemicals given off the egg, and so on.
You cannot be so sure that "there is no consciousness". Some related things exist in the Dharma, namely that there is consciousness that doesn't depend on the material body and which has perception. Like the being or consciousness of the intermediate state, which perceives its former life, its former relatives, and also its future life, its future parents, etc...
Then there are Out of the Body Experiences, Near Death Experiences, and experiences in a state of meditation where you can perceive beings and worlds independent of the physical senses. Some people have experiences where they are just a drop or bindu of consciousness, which is very small in size, and it can still perceive physical objects, which can seem huge in comparison with its own size. These things mainly belong to the oral Dharma, they are not put in the Sutras in great detail, but they certainly exist.
There is a teaching, which says that there are thousands or millions of microscopic creatures living in the body. This is even found somewhere in the Sravakayana sutras/suttas, -unfortunately I don't remember where-, but it is mentioned in the topic of Contemplation of Death in the Path of Purification, where one of the aspects of death is that "body is the abode of many", which Buddhaghosha glosses as "eighty kinds of tiny worms that live in different parts of the body".
The tiny animals living inside the body and the cells of the body are also mentioned in the Mahayana in Avalokiteshvara Fasting Practice, where it is said that the tiny creatures living inside one's body become hungry when one is doing a prolonged fast.
Modern medicine says that there live billions of bacteria in one's body. May be they are bacteria that are meant here.
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
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3010
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: No end to samsara?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:34 am

Aemilius wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:26 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:01 pm
There is no consciousness. But, there is subject and object. A sperm is attracted by the chemicals given off the egg, and so on.
You cannot be so sure that "there is no consciousness".
What I meant was cognitive awareness that depends on a physical mechanism for the processing of external data.
The Heart Sutra refers to "no eye consciousness" and so forth.
What I am suggesting is, I think, precisely the point you raise. What I'm saying is that a kind of non-conceptual awareness occurs in all manner of tiny living organisms.

.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

Post Reply

Return to “Mahāyāna Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: yan kong and 55 guests