What happens with passing out?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
zenman
Posts: 377
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:24 pm

What happens with passing out?

Postby zenman » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:06 pm

Hallo

I don't if this is the correct place to discuss this but anyway.

I am sure many here have passed out, lost consciousness. I have also several times in different situations in martials arts and when sick. Do you know of any buddhist explanations about it? What happens when one passes out? Can a buddha pass out/be knocked out?

Thank you

amanitamusc
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:32 am

Re: What happens with passing out?

Postby amanitamusc » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:47 am

If it wa an MMA match I would have my money on the Buddha

User avatar
Ayu
Global Moderator
Posts: 6261
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: What happens with passing out?

Postby Ayu » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:04 am

I never heard any Buddhist explanation about it, I'm sorry.
Just the result of my own thoughts is: losing consciousness seems to be a kind of disconnection between body and mind. And it is one of the evidences that shows, also conciousness is not true or permanent. It doesn't last, however it appears. It is illusionary like all phenomena.
From Buddhist view, this is an important information, because it helps not to identify with the own conciousness. :smile:
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

muni
Posts: 4187
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: What happens with passing out?

Postby muni » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:39 am

Hello Zenman,

We are used to identify us with our thoughts, feelings, emotions and call this consciousness on which we then rely on. And when we faint we think we are gone at least for a short time. And since we do not know that 'behind' this kind of consciousness/mind there is, what H H Dalai Lama once called a subtle consciousness from which the restricted one with its thoughts, feelings “evolves” or in which it plays, we think there is nothing anymore. Of course, since our thinking cannot come to experience this vast consciousness or awareness. And this consciousness/awareness is not coming, nor going. We can experience this by for example a guided meditation or a pointing or an introduction or terma or koan whatever jewels there are in the different traditions, from which I have no any knowledge.
Our thinking consciousness knows a lot, but leaves no opportunity to come to know the consciousness/awareness 'behind' what never comes and never goes.

I would say Buddha Nature doesn’t faint away. :namaste:
http://www.tenzinzopa.com/Ebooks/Cttb_B ... mplete.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drPB75kgZ64

Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind,
Beaten helplessly by karma and neurotic thoughts
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace. — Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 476
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: What happens with passing out?

Postby PuerAzaelis » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:47 pm

zenman wrote:Hallo

I don't if this is the correct place to discuss this but anyway.

I am sure many here have passed out, lost consciousness. I have also several times in different situations in martials arts and when sick. Do you know of any buddhist explanations about it? What happens when one passes out? Can a buddha pass out/be knocked out?

Thank you

IMHO this is actually an excellent question because it forces us to narrow down our definition of consciousness.

In the west, the simple phenomenon of sleep proved to be a big philosophical problem. Since Descartes made thought the essence of soul, this ruled out a state of non-thought for the mind, i.e. sleep or unconsciousness.

John Locke noticed this when he said: "'Tis doubted whether I thought all last night, or no ..."

Only Kant's theory, of active synthesis, solved this problem. Consciousness was described as an activity that may or make not take up certain sensations, or anything, into awareness. It is an activity that can simply shut down, thereby producing unconsciousness either in sleep or as the result of trauma or pathology.

I'd be interested to hear if the abhidharma considered this.
To understand everything except one’s own self is very comical. Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript

muni
Posts: 4187
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: What happens with passing out?

Postby muni » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:00 pm

it forces us to narrow down our definition of consciousness.


Consciousness will always be present, though a particular consciousness may cease. For example, the particular tactile
consciousness that is present within this human body will cease when the body comes to an end. Likewise, consciousnesses that are influenced by ignorance, by anger or by attachment, these too will cease. But the basic, ultimate, innermost subtle consciousness will always remain. It has no beginning, and it will have not end. H H Dalai Lama


Perhaps we can see the one passing out as a fading - completely or partially of the skandas for a while? When complete there are for example no form, no perceptions or formations, no feelings about like it could be for example when “the skanda consciousness” is absent/dormant during narcosis or deep sleep.

During meditation we can be aware as meditation is not just sitting there peacefully but may be a journey inside by full consciousness. And when all ‘what moves inside’ -thoughts, feelings, perceptions, formations... is seen, it cannot be ‘what we merely are’, I suppose? (aggregates-skandas identification) By that we can learn how not to be conditioned by such?

Thanks for this topic anyway!

In any case should say, careful with those martial arts.
http://www.tenzinzopa.com/Ebooks/Cttb_B ... mplete.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drPB75kgZ64

Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind,
Beaten helplessly by karma and neurotic thoughts
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace. — Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 476
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: What happens with passing out?

Postby PuerAzaelis » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:00 pm

Ty muni. Does this mean that the aggregate of consciousness is permanent?
To understand everything except one’s own self is very comical. Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript

muni
Posts: 4187
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: What happens with passing out?

Postby muni » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:10 pm

PuerAzaelis wrote:Ty muni. Does this mean that the aggregate of consciousness is permanent?


No, not the aggregate.
I was using different definitions of consciousness. The one known as aggregate, which is resulting in personal experiences together with the other aggregates (as a subject with perceived/experienced objects) is ceasing, or it temporary can cease by fainting.
This consciousness is ‘arising’ from basic subtle consciousness. It is not arising from the brain even it is dependent on it.

H H Dalai Lama explains this same by the word awareness ( since this was used in the question) in an interview, not about passing out but it may make it clear in another way:
Patricia Churchland: But do you think that there is something, I am not sure what to call it -- a kind of awareness that can exist independently of the brain? For example, something that survives death?

Dalai Lama: Generally speaking, awareness, in the sense of our familiar, day-to-day mental processes, does not exist apart from or independent of the brain, according to the Buddhist view. But Buddhism holds that the cause of this awareness is to be found in a preceding continuum of awareness, and that is why one speaks of a stream of awareness from one life to another. Whence does this awareness arise initially? It must arise fundamentally not from a physical base but from a preceding continuum of awareness.
The continuum of awareness that conjoins with the fetus does not depend upon the brain. There are some documented cases of advanced practitioners whose bodies, after death, escape what happens to everyone else and do not decompose for some time -- for two or three weeks or even longer. The awareness that finally leaves their body is a primordial awareness that is not dependent upon the body. There have been many accounts in the past of advanced practitioners remaining in meditation in this subtle state of consciousness when they died, and decomposition of their body was postponed although the body remained at room temperature.
http://www.tenzinzopa.com/Ebooks/Cttb_B ... mplete.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drPB75kgZ64

Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind,
Beaten helplessly by karma and neurotic thoughts
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace. — Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

Anonymous X
Posts: 449
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:43 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: What happens with passing out?

Postby Anonymous X » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:20 am

Zenman,

As a bit of cautionary advice, you might want to consult with a neurologist if passing out is something that happens to you with some frequency. It could be a sign of a medical problem.

On the other aspect of losing consciousness, often there is confusion about what we call consciousness. If it is just our subjective experience, knower and known, then passing into sleep would be the absence of knower and known, vis a vis, experience. Personally, I think what people describe as consciousness is really awareness. Awareness is both with objects and without objects. In the waking state, it is all about 'with objects'. When you pass out, this awareness is still there, but there is no re-cognition because you are used to identifying intrinsic awareness with 'things'. Your basic state is this awareness, no matter what occurrences are taking place.

Two unusual things happened to me at different times of my life. When I was a young man, I was asleep and dreaming. In an instant, I became aware within the dream that I was dreaming. This awareness became all there was. There were no movements of thought or any subjectivity. There was only this knowingness that had no object. In the next moment, I watched the world/myself appear with a rush of energy that jolted me into a sitting position. I felt my chest was going to explode and then it passed as quickly as it had come.

A couple of years ago, I returned from a trip to Japan. I was having some tea when I felt I would be sick. In the next moment, I passed out. It was as if a black curtain had been pulled over my eyes and there was just this awareness of emptiness/space. I felt this curtain lift again and found myself face down in a puddle of blood as my head had bounced on the floor. That awareness was still present as I cleaned myself and headed for the hospital to get stitched up.

I mention these incidents to illustrate the presence of our intrinsic awareness no matter the circumstance. In my case, both incidents were unprovoked by any volitional action on my part.

Kuluru
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:41 am
Location: Germany

Re: What happens with passing out?

Postby Kuluru » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:28 pm

Hello,

zenman wrote:Do you know of any buddhist explanations about it?

Impermanence. Dependent origination.

zenman wrote:What happens when one passes out?

Our experience is based on senses ("mind" is also a sense). If their functionality is impaired, the experience changes/ceases accordingly.

zenman wrote:Can a buddha pass out/be knocked out?

I don't know, but even if not, impermanence as such still applies to the body/mind. But it cannot make him suffer.


Return to “Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: topazdreamz and 6 guests