Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

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Queequeg
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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:24 pm

Can you do a tl;dr? It looks like a soft focus, self-help, feel good manual. What's the general thesis?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Grigoris » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:27 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:29 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:55 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:18 pm


From a Vajrayāna point of view, when one is in a state of deep sleep, one is completely unconscious because the mind (manas), which rides upon vāyu in the body, has withdrawn into the center of the heart cakra. When one begins to wake, the mind (citta) moves out through the channels of the heart cakra, activating the eight consciousnesses channels which including the six sense consciousness. This is what is responsible for dreaming. When one is fully awake, the mind (vijñāna) not only functions through the eight channels of the heart cakra, but moves through the five physical sense organs as well.
Sorry, i should have been clearer: I meant during dreaming. The mind functions independently of the other sense organs during dreaming.
As above, when dreaming, the mind moves through the channels of the heart activating the sense consciousnesses in absence of actual contact with sense objects. Since it also moves through the ālayavijñāna's channel, bijas are activated giving rise to dream appearances.
I am not disagreeing with this, but it seems to contradict this idea that anesthesia is merely the shutting down of the five sense organs, since the sense organ of mind can act independently of the other five. Unless you are saying that it shouts down the specific sense organ too.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:31 pm
Ok, a sense organ, in Sanskrit, is referred to as an indriya (but this term indriya covers more than that, faith, for example, is also an indriya). The six āyatanas you are referring to is another name for the six sense organs in the scheme of the twelve āyatanas.

Of the six indriyas (there are twenty-two, in fact), a number are physical, including the sense organs. These five physical sense organs consist of patches of atoms on the sense structure where they are located. For example, the eye sense organ is a patch of atoms shaped like a flower located at the rear of the eyeball. The mental organ is not material.

When the mental organ operates through the physical senses, it takes the name of the sense organ through which it operates. If that operation is disrupted, that sense organ is not active, and there will be no corresponding sense consciousness. So from a Buddhist point of view, anesthesia, literally "without sensation," shuts down the ability of the mind to function through the sense organs, placing one is an an unconscious state.
When you say the mental organ operates through the physical senses, how is this different than the sense base giving rise to consciousness on contact with the sense object (in the ayatana sense)?

The mental organ, not being material, sounds like a secondary effect of the material sense organs.

Its easy to make the connection between a sense organ (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body) and consciousness of such organ because if you cover your eye, or hold your nose, there is no discernible sensation (roughly speaking). Remove the obstruction and there is discernible sensation, which I guess is what is called consciousness.

To suggest the mental organ is immaterial, sounds like the proposition of someone who's inquiry is limited. Its like scientists calling this mysterious mass in the universe, "dark matter". Its dark because they have no idea what it is, but it seems to be there. Similarly, the mental organ seems to be there, but without sophisticated equipment, its hard to detect where that activity is. The information we have now suggests what sounds like the mental organ is a function in the organ we call the brain.

Am I missing something?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by WeiHan » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:40 pm

By the way, Malcolm mentioned samadhi. Some time ago, I have searched high and low for objective evidence for samadhi. A laboratory test of some unusual mental state is best qualified as evidence. Any meditators who have sitted still for 3 or more days, 7 days, best is one month, without leaving his seat in the eyes of many people, especially the media will also qualify as evidence. discouraged so far, i only managed to find some chinese mahayana monks who claimed by some people who were able to sit for months due to some anecdotal stories. Some other stories are highly suspected to be hoax.
Last edited by WeiHan on Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Grigoris » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:44 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:39 pm
The mental organ, not being material, sounds like a secondary effect of the material sense organs.
There are six sense organs. Mind is one of them. Mind can act independently of the other five sense organs. It is it's own sense consciousness.

Mental Objects (dharma-āyatana) -> Mental Faculty (mano-indriya-āyatana) -> Mental Consciousness (mano-vijñāna)
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:46 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:27 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:29 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:55 pm
Sorry, i should have been clearer: I meant during dreaming. The mind functions independently of the other sense organs during dreaming.
As above, when dreaming, the mind moves through the channels of the heart activating the sense consciousnesses in absence of actual contact with sense objects. Since it also moves through the ālayavijñāna's channel, bijas are activated giving rise to dream appearances.
I am not disagreeing with this, but it seems to contradict this idea that anesthesia is merely the shutting down of the four sense organs, since the sense organ of mind can act independently of the other four. Unless you are saying that it shouts down the specific sense organ too.
I suggest listening to the Radiolab video I linked.

What seems to be happening when anesthesia is administered is that the sense organs are still conducting information to the brain. However, the anesthesia imposes an order on the brain function that disrupts communication. The information is coming to the brain - its just the receptivity of the brain is disrupted.

Disrupting that communication causes consciousness to cease. So, if you've ever had general anesthesia, its that disorienting feeling of being conscious one moment, and then the next moment the surgery is over. Its a material experience - its breathing in a gas, or getting a little liquid dropped into your IV and then... pfft. Now the surgeon looks like he's cleaning up?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:48 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:44 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:39 pm
The mental organ, not being material, sounds like a secondary effect of the material sense organs.
There are six sense organs. Mind is one of them. Mind can act independently of the other five sense organs. It is it's own sense consciousness.

Mental Objects (dharma-āyatana) -> Mental Faculty (mano-indriya-āyatana) -> Mental Consciousness (mano-vijñāna)
Right - I'm asking about this immaterial nature of the mental faculty. This would seem to be a denial that its a function of the brain.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Grigoris
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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Grigoris » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:49 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:48 pm
Right - I'm asking about this immaterial nature of the mental faculty. This would seem to be a denial that its a function of the brain.
Mind AND Form. Remember?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Queequeg
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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:49 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:49 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:48 pm
Right - I'm asking about this immaterial nature of the mental faculty. This would seem to be a denial that its a function of the brain.
Mind AND Form. Remember?
I get that. But Malcolm above said the mental indirya is not material. See above.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Grigoris
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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Grigoris » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:53 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:49 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:49 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:48 pm
Right - I'm asking about this immaterial nature of the mental faculty. This would seem to be a denial that its a function of the brain.
Mind AND Form. Remember?
I get that. But Malcolm above said the mental indirya is not material. See above.
Consciusness resides in the brain.
Consciouness does not reside in the brain.
Consciousness both does and does not reside in the brain.
Consciousness neither resides nor does not reside in the brain.

Take a pick, every one is guaranteed to lose! :smile:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Aryjna » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:10 pm

WeiHan wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:40 pm
By the way, Malcolm mentioned samadhi. Some time ago, I have searched high and low for objective evidence for samadhi. A laboratory test of some unusual mental state is best qualified as evidence. Any meditators who have sitted still for 3 or more days, 7 days, best is one month, without leaving his seat in the eyes of many people, especially the media will also qualify as evidence. discouraged so far, i only managed to find some chinese mahayana monks who claimed by some people who were able to sit for months due to some anecdotal stories. Some other stories are highly suspected to be hoax.
What does sitting still for 7 days have to do with samadhi?

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by WeiHan » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:14 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:10 pm
WeiHan wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:40 pm
By the way, Malcolm mentioned samadhi. Some time ago, I have searched high and low for objective evidence for samadhi. A laboratory test of some unusual mental state is best qualified as evidence. Any meditators who have sitted still for 3 or more days, 7 days, best is one month, without leaving his seat in the eyes of many people, especially the media will also qualify as evidence. discouraged so far, i only managed to find some chinese mahayana monks who claimed by some people who were able to sit for months due to some anecdotal stories. Some other stories are highly suspected to be hoax.
What does sitting still for 7 days have to do with samadhi?
When in deep concentration, yogis are usually in sitting posture.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Aryjna » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:16 pm

WeiHan wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:14 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:10 pm
WeiHan wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:40 pm
By the way, Malcolm mentioned samadhi. Some time ago, I have searched high and low for objective evidence for samadhi. A laboratory test of some unusual mental state is best qualified as evidence. Any meditators who have sitted still for 3 or more days, 7 days, best is one month, without leaving his seat in the eyes of many people, especially the media will also qualify as evidence. discouraged so far, i only managed to find some chinese mahayana monks who claimed by some people who were able to sit for months due to some anecdotal stories. Some other stories are highly suspected to be hoax.
What does sitting still for 7 days have to do with samadhi?
When in deep concentration, yogis are usually in sitting posture.
Any particular sources on the idea that several days of being still is necessary or related to samadhi, and if yes to what kind of samadhi? Because this is not the case in Mahayana as far as I know.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:17 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:53 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:49 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:49 pm
Mind AND Form. Remember?
I get that. But Malcolm above said the mental indirya is not material. See above.
Consciusness resides in the brain.
Consciouness does not reside in the brain.
Consciousness both does and does not reside in the brain.
Consciousness neither resides nor does not reside in the brain.

Take a pick, every one is guaranteed to lose! :smile:
Well, he picked one ... the second. I am interested in fleshing this out (no pun intended).
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

WeiHan
Posts: 567
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by WeiHan » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:25 pm

How many type of samadhis, i do not know. But there are many references in sutras of arahats and practitioners entering "deep samadhi" for which they can stayed in deep concentration without any food or moving around for prolonged period of time. Mahakashyapa is said to have entered such kind of deep samadhi and will come out of it when Maitreya arrived in the future.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:36 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:39 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:31 pm
Ok, a sense organ, in Sanskrit, is referred to as an indriya (but this term indriya covers more than that, faith, for example, is also an indriya). The six āyatanas you are referring to is another name for the six sense organs in the scheme of the twelve āyatanas.

Of the six indriyas (there are twenty-two, in fact), a number are physical, including the sense organs. These five physical sense organs consist of patches of atoms on the sense structure where they are located. For example, the eye sense organ is a patch of atoms shaped like a flower located at the rear of the eyeball. The mental organ is not material.

When the mental organ operates through the physical senses, it takes the name of the sense organ through which it operates. If that operation is disrupted, that sense organ is not active, and there will be no corresponding sense consciousness. So from a Buddhist point of view, anesthesia, literally "without sensation," shuts down the ability of the mind to function through the sense organs, placing one is an an unconscious state.
When you say the mental organ operates through the physical senses, how is this different than the sense base giving rise to consciousness on contact with the sense object (in the ayatana sense)?
Because the sense organ does not give rise to consciousness per se, is the base upon which consciousness receives the sense impression of an object. Consciousness cannot act through more than one sense organ at a time, because it is momentary, serial, and single.
The mental organ, not being material, sounds like a secondary effect of the material sense organs.
No, it is primary. The mana-indriya is vijñānaskandha.
To suggest the mental organ is immaterial, sounds like the proposition of someone who's inquiry is limited.
If consciousness, aka, the mana-indriya, aka the vijñāna skandha, is not immaterial, it is material. In Buddhadharma, there are uncompounded and compounded phenomena, and with respect to the latter, either physical or mental phenomena. There is no third kind of phenomena. It is also a basic tenet of Buddhadharma, from Abhidharma on up, that mind generates matter, not the other way around.
Am I missing something?
Yes.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:38 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:48 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:44 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:39 pm
The mental organ, not being material, sounds like a secondary effect of the material sense organs.
There are six sense organs. Mind is one of them. Mind can act independently of the other five sense organs. It is it's own sense consciousness.

Mental Objects (dharma-āyatana) -> Mental Faculty (mano-indriya-āyatana) -> Mental Consciousness (mano-vijñāna)
Right - I'm asking about this immaterial nature of the mental faculty. This would seem to be a denial that its a function of the brain.
Correct, in Buddhadharma, it is denied that the mind is a function of the brain.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:36 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:39 pm
When you say the mental organ operates through the physical senses, how is this different than the sense base giving rise to consciousness on contact with the sense object (in the ayatana sense)?
Because the sense organ does not give rise to consciousness per se, is the base upon which consciousness receives the sense impression of an object. Consciousness cannot act through more than one sense organ at a time, because it is momentary, serial, and single.
How is it possible to walk and chew gum at the same time, then? I can't do it, but I've seen others do it.

Joke aside... how do Buddhists explain blood flow and electrical patterns in the brain that seem to coincide with sensory stimulation? What relation do these things have to consciousness?

If consciousness, aka, the mana-indriya, aka the vijñāna skandha, is not immaterial, it is material.
It is or it is not material?
It is also a basic tenet of Buddhadharma, from Abhidharma on up, that mind generates matter, not the other way around.
Is there a proof for this, or is it a matter of faith?
Am I missing something?
Yes.
Please elaborate.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Malcolm
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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:56 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:05 pm

Joke aside... how do Buddhists explain blood flow and electrical patterns in the brain that seem to coincide with sensory stimulation? What relation do these things have to consciousness?
Ancient Buddhists don't explain such things at all, apart from observing that the function of the physical organs are governed by the brain.

If consciousness, aka, the mana-indriya, aka the vijñāna skandha, is not immaterial, it is material.
It is or it is not material?
Consciousness defined as a nonmaterial substance in Buddhadharma.
It is also a basic tenet of Buddhadharma, from Abhidharma on up, that mind generates matter, not the other way around.
Is there a proof for this, or is it a matter of faith?
Do you mean, a proof accessible to those who have not developed the five abhijñās, no. One can develop that capacity and ascertain it for oneself. Like the sciences, it requires training and education.
Please elaborate.
Theses are very basic issues that one would normally learn in a class on Abhidharma.

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Queequeg
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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:56 pm
Theses are very basic issues that one would normally learn in a class on Abhidharma.
Gonna work on getting that on the local school district curriculum. Give the atheists something to howl about.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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