"The Buddha taught to abandon it all. Initially, however, you have to familiarize yourself with the theory in order that you’ll be able to abandon it all at the later stage. This is a natural process. The mind is just this way. Psychological factors are just this way.
"Take the Noble Eightfold Path, for example. When wisdom (paññā) views things correctly with insight, this right view then leads to right intention, right speech, right action, and so on. This all involves psychological conditions that have arisen from that pure knowing awareness. This knowing is like a lantern shedding light on the path ahead on a dark night. If the knowing is right, is in accordance with truth, it will pervade and illuminate each of the other steps on the path in turn.
"Whatever we experience, it all arises from within this knowing. If this mind did not exist, the knowing would not exist either. All this is phenomena of the mind. As the Buddha said, the mind is merely the mind. It’s not a being, a person, a self, or yourself. It’s neither us nor them. The Dhamma is simply the Dhamma. It is a natural, selfless process. It does not belong to us or anyone else. It’s not any thing. Whatever an individual experiences, it all falls within five fundamental categories (khandhas): body, feeling, memory/ perception, thoughts and consciousness. The Buddha said to let it all go. "
I don’t recall any suttas stating exactly this… although I suppose none of these propositions are contradicted by the suttas.
I would say this not consistent with EBT for people who experience Nibanna, but maybe yes for all the other people… But I don’t recall any sutta that state that proposition exactly like that (it made me think about the Sabba/All Sutta, but it is more about the 6 senses, not the five aggregates)
I think this is consistent with EBT. E.g. SN22.12 for the letting go of the five aggregates subject to clinging.
I understand this as the non-rupa khandas. We see this over and over again. First expounded in anattalakhana sutta.
For it to be experienced it falls into the khandas. I am of the understanding that the deeper meditation states have conciousness arise after and that is when it is cognised. Maybe I’ve understood this wrong though?
The last bit about letting it all go… there are ascetics who clung to the immaterial states and therefore didn’t realise Nibanna. The buddha did advise against this. So this could also be agreeable to the EBTs.
Please pardon my lazy sutta references
In ‘normal’ unminduful day to day life, the khandas experience ‘themselves’ (saying ‘we’ experience the khandas would be inaccurate). However they do not experience themselves as khandas, but as a 3-dimensional world with its ‘devas and maras’, which is an experience of delusion (avijja). When the appropriate samadhi is developed, the mind becomes like a magnifying glass, to see past into the workings of the mind (and how it creates ‘reality’)- it becomes able to see the khandas, at work.
This is the sticking point. What sees the khandas at work -is it an ‘Overmind’?
The true vipassana of the EBT type would understand this by the faculty of inference, after watching the arising and passing away as well as the functioning of the khandas in a cause and effect manner (idapaccayata). This faculty of inference is known as anvaya, and arises in the progress of insight into phenomena (or khandas, if you like), as there are some outlier aspects that cannot be seen in the here and now which is crucial for breaking through into Nibbana- that is whether the khandas were always tilakkana (and includes idapaccayata) in the past, future, gross, subtle, near, far etc. So this means the ability to become conscious of the khandas (‘subtle’) is in itself a hard phenomena to examine - but not impossible, as is whether past life recall (‘previous’) is just made up of khandas; but these are just made up of khandas and nothing else, especially if we subsume contact phassa under one or more of the aggregates- this has no real impact on the outcome of the practice, in any case). If one is unable to see how the mind can be aware of the khandhas, all it requires is anvaya, inference to see it to be made up of khandas; it can done through EBT vipassana (direct experience, that is) as well, but is harder. It’s like the ability of a portion of software to correct itself. This does not mean the software has gained a self.
As to why consciousness is placed last in the last of khandas my theory is that vocally, it makes the greatest impact when said out loud in pali or magadhi as the khandas were widely known among the lay population of the time and not just among Buddhists, and spiritual ‘technical’ knowledge was a source of power and legitimacy among the Brahmins (we don’t come across many suttas where the Buddha explains what the khandas are- he assumed the audience knew it- or so it seems as perhaps it was widely known and it seems hardly likely for the redactors to leave it out of the texts if he did).
The naturally occurring sequence is: six sense bases and their stimuli (form+ thought)–>consciousness --> contact–> feelings, identification, mental fabrications. Here consciousness arises early on in the sequence.