Mindstream and duality

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Sko
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Mindstream and duality

Post by Sko » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:21 pm

Hey! I've been reading about stream of consciousness/mindstream and duality vs. nonduality and I have a question that isn't answered by the sources I've been reading. My question is: Does the concept of nonduality and mindstream imply an absolute, universal connectedness between all living creatures?

xabir
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by xabir » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:34 pm

Sko wrote:Hey! I've been reading about stream of consciousness/mindstream and duality vs. nonduality and I have a question that isn't answered by the sources I've been reading. My question is: Does the concept of nonduality and mindstream imply an absolute, universal connectedness between all living creatures?
First of all, there are many different understandings of non-duality.

What do you mean by non-duality? Do you mean no subject-object duality? Do you mean no existence/non-existence duality?

Secondly, no Buddhist teachings accept an overarching, universal consciousness, that would be a Hindu teaching. Consciousness is always unique and perculiar to the individual's mindstream, conventionally speaking.

All mindstreams, the whole universe, are seamlessly interdependent like the net of indra*. However interdependence/interconnectedness does not imply a universal consciousness or soul.

*See: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com. ... indra.html

hop.pala
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by hop.pala » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:51 pm

Sko wrote:Hey! I've been reading about stream of consciousness/mindstream and duality vs. nonduality and I have a question that isn't answered by the sources I've been reading. My question is: Does the concept of nonduality and mindstream imply an absolute, universal connectedness between all living creatures?
Yes, the unenlightened realize it too as karma,obviously not in detail but in" trends".

Punya
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by Punya » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:19 pm

Xabir : Consciousness is always unique and perculiar to the individual's mindstream, conventionally speaking.

This is something I have been pondering. Could someone explain a bit further about how this works and/or suggest links to detailed explanations.
Just as the trunk of an ordinary tree
Lying in the forests of the Malaya mountains
Absorbs the perfume of sandal from the moist leaves and branches
So you come to resemble who whomever you follow.

~Words of My Perfect Teacher

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flowerbudh
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by flowerbudh » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:32 am

I've been pondering this question a lot, too, and while I can't say I have the "right" answer (I don't know if there even is one, to be honest,) I have come to a few conclusions that seem to make sense. Ultimately, everything co-exists. So duality cannot exist without unity and vice versa. For example, If we accept the current scientific theory of how the Universe was created, aka the Big Bang, then "everything" (these are not necessarily absolute terms) literally came out of "nothing". From a single concentrated point in space, all that constitutes the cosmos flew out into being. Can you see how coexistence applies here with the seemingly separate (but not realistically so) ideas of "one" and "all"? Now to more directly address your question, the mind-stream is both individualized & localized while also being non-individualized & non-localized. It fits in with the five aggregates: material form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. We all share these things, but have different "kinds" of each. So, we all have material bodies which are composed of the same elements, and yet they look different. We all have feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and yet they are unique to each of us for many different reasons, the main one being we are different people with different life experiences (on a conventional level). Each of these five aggregates is inherent to this realm of samsara, and as such are impermanent. Because our consciousness is constantly in flux, it cannot be said that there is one, pervasive consciousness amongst everything because that would suggest no change and no difference in conscious states. Because there is no self, when you die "your" consciousness is not reborn, just as "your" body, feelings, perceptions, and thoughts are not reborn (at least holistically, but that's worthy of another posting) but consciousness (and each of the other aggregates) in and of itself is. I really hope this makes sense, hehe.
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha

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lobster
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by lobster » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:08 am

I would go with karma or ripples in a web of samsara.

What you are really getting at is the existence of 'spooky stuff'?

No need for that, we are reflections in a hall of mirrors
or mirrors in a whole reflection.

Just words from the beginning of silence . . .

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LastLegend
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by LastLegend » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:28 pm

Sko wrote:Hey! I've been reading about stream of consciousness/mindstream and duality vs. nonduality and I have a question that isn't answered by the sources I've been reading. My question is: Does the concept of nonduality and mindstream imply an absolute, universal connectedness between all living creatures?
The connection is we are here together. But to make a concept of anything is not absolute because how can a concept be absolute? So there is no absolute of anything...but the mind is beyond words and is what in "front" of us everyday. We can say mind is the connection. But mind is not a concept, imagination is no good.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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oushi
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by oushi » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:55 pm

All living creatures arise in the mind. All connection arise in the mind. In one mind, so no duality. Like waves on the ocean.
Say what you think about me here.

Simon E.
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by Simon E. » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:57 pm

A very neat summation.....of the Vedantic position.
"Any major dude with half a heart
Will surely tell you my friend,
Any minor world that breaks apart
Can fall together again.
Any major dude will tell you."

Steely Dan.

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oushi
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by oushi » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:08 pm

You failed once more.
Padmasambhava wrote:appearances arise from the mind; they arise from the mind and are liberated into the mind.
Know this guy?
Say what you think about me here.

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Jesse
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by Jesse » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:34 pm

I think it depends how you think about it, since we are all essential empty, we could be said to be made up of the same 'stuff'. Nothing particularly exists, yet the world is filled with illusions, and these illusions have one thing in common....

the fact that they originated in emptiness no?

So even the notion of separateness, or oneness is just an idea. But on the experiential level I think many people find we are not as 'separate' as we may seem at times.

Here is also an interesting read, that might tie into your original question:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatamsaka_Sutra
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

greentara
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by greentara » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:47 am

Oushi, 'All living creatures arise in the mind. All connection arise in the mind. In one mind, so no duality. Like waves on the ocean" Sounds good to me.
In addition I'd say we have no individual, separate consciousness....it's possible that we are all within consciousness itself.

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oushi
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Re: Mindstream and duality

Post by oushi » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:19 am

greentara wrote:Oushi, 'All living creatures arise in the mind. All connection arise in the mind. In one mind, so no duality. Like waves on the ocean" Sounds good to me.
In addition I'd say we have no individual, separate consciousness....it's possible that we are all within consciousness itself.
We/Self/I arises in the same way, from the mind, and into the mind. Still, mind is nothing fixed, just a label.
Say what you think about me here.

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