"The essential point is this: The luminous and knowing aspect of a given state of consciousness must come from a prior moment of that consciousness. It follows, therefore, that it must also beginningless. For were a beginning to the continuum of the luminous and knowing aspect of consciousness posited, we would then have to concede that consciousness arose from a cause that is not commensurate with it, which is untenable. "
BFS wrote:His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
"... Then, on the basis of seeing the reasons, we engender a faith that is accompanied by wisdom[/i]"
Well yes, but honestly with reference to the example reasoning above it is not necessarily this reasoning which fosters faith. Why? Because this reasoning is not complete but only suggestive. The statement "that consciousness arose from a cause that is not commensurate with it, which is untenable
" begs the question "Why is what is considered to be "not commensurate" not commensurate?
His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
" Now, whenever we engage in analysis, such as on the nature of mind or reality, if we proceed from the start already convinced that "it must be so and so," then due to our biases, we will be unable to see the actual truth and will instead see only our naive projection. It is therefore essential that the analyzing mind strive to be objective and not swayed by prejudices. What we need is a skeptical curiosity, our mind moving between the possibilities, genuinely wondering whether it is thus or some other way. We need to begin our analysis as objectively as possible. "
Now this is very true. However it seems to me that the reasoning above is not less biased:
Compare the premise
"The luminous and knowing aspect of a given state of consciousness must come from a prior moment of that consciousness"
with his statement above
"if we proceed from the start already convinced that "it must be so and so," then due to our biases, we will be unable to see the actual truth and will instead see only our naive projection.".
It may appear astonishing that what may be claimed to be "objective" analysis by someone fosters reificationist view as in this example reasoning above:
The reasoning infers (invalidly, because based on an ungrounded premise):
It follows, therefore, that it must also beginningless.
And this inspires BFS to further invalidly infer (taking the prior invalid inference as fact):
BFS wrote:Consciousness is not permanent but it is eternal - beginningless and it never ceases; it continues in its momentary, ever-changing impermanent flow. It is eternal and impermanent.
And BFS' invalid inference is contradictory in itself above that
because of "not permanent but eternal and momentary, ever-changing impermanent flow". However it is contractory in itself only if
one holds the view that phenomena do not have an inherently existent essence, and if one dose not hold such a view one holds a reificationist view.
Why is such invalid and reificationist thought possible based on what may be claimed to be "objective analysis"?
Because there is no absolute "objectivity" but so called "objectivity" arises in dependence on intention. And as a prasangika His Holiness knows that there is no phenomenon that exists from its own side, independently, inherently. And that of course holds true for so called "objectivity" too.
However IMO prasangika reasoning betrays its own intention when after undermining the "ordinary" sense of reificationist "reality" it introduces "alternative" reificationist views "through the backdoor".
Now having said all this I concede that for whomever this kind of autonomous syllogistic reasoning is helpful that one should practice this kind of reasoning.
However one should beware of clinging to illusory inherent existence.