Sense-consciousness

I don’t think it is simultaneous. The mind is simply very quick in attending to one sense-consciousness then another. It is our mind that makes sense of the film by “putting it together.” We each piece the forms together with our feelings, perceptions, sankharas, etc. into a story. That’s why every time you re-watch a movie, you notice details you didn’t notice before. Your body and nervous system “saw” or “heard” them, but your mind didn’t because it was attending to other details in that moment. There was no contact and thus no feeling, perception, etc. So your mind is actually seeing or hearing those new details for the first time and “updating” its story accordingly.

At least that’s how I see it. We might have to agree to disagree on this.

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I still don’t understand the objection to simultaneity, and I can’t think of anything in the EBTs that insists we can only notice one object at a time.

Sure. The question is how the mind processes the various inputs, from eye and ear in the film example, and what the mind notices. If we are conscious simultaneously of input via two sense bases, then there would be simultaneous contact, feeling, etc -again, I don’t see anything in the EBTs that would prevent this simultaneity.

@Martin

What about thoughts. You are thinking some thing right now. Out of innumerable number of possible thoughts. Are you aware of multiple thoughts at one time out of which you choose which one you pay attention to?

I think we must kindly agree to disagree on this. :slightly_smiling_face:

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In my experience during vipassana [sense doors+sense stimuli] arise and pass away, one experience at a time.

What I do know is that I can be walking and thinking at the same time, and be aware of both activities.
I still can’t think of anything in the EBTs that prevents being aware of two things at the same time.

It’s samadhi or a unification of awareness.
It reduces distraction.

Sure, but focusing attention on one object as a practice doesn’t mean that this is the natural state of affairs.

Its the natural state of affairs which got us into this trouble in the first place! But if you want to see more details you need a microscope.

well, the suttas are pretty clear. There are six classes of consciousness. What you are saying is two or more consciousnesses can occur at one time. So then, what is aware that these consciousnesses are occurring at the same time?

I think this thread might not lead to a mutually satisfactory ending.

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This is a useful thread to read Whose consciousness is invisible, infinite, and all-radiant?

to shorten it :grin::

if any ascetic or brahmin should say this: ‘Apart from form, feeling, perception, and choices, I will describe the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and reappearing, its growth, increase, and maturity.’ That is not possible. ‘All that is conditioned and coarse. But there is the cessation of conditions— that is real.’ Understanding this and seeing the escape from it, the Realized One has gone beyond all that. SuttaCentral

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Yes - why not? IMO all six types of consciousnesses are occurring simultaneously. What changes is where we place our attention at any one time. I still can’t think of anything in the EBTs that would contradict this view.

No problem. :yum:

How would you define contact(passa) in this model ?

ie:
What is eye-contact ?
What is ear-contact ?
etc.

At Savatthi. "Monks, eye-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable. Ear-consciousness… Nose-consciousness… Tongue-consciousness… Body-consciousness… Intellect-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"One who has conviction and belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

“One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening.” Viññana Sutta: Consciousness

In the usual way, which is the “meeting of the three” ( sense-base, sense-object and sense-consciousness ). So with simultaneous sense-consciousness there would also be simultaneous phassa, and presumably simultaneous vedana.
Again, I can’t think of anything in the EBTs which would prevent this kind of simultaneity.

It partly depends on how you think about phassa - is it “contact”, or is it “sense-impression”? I would suggest that we are being continually bombarded with sense-impressions, and that our attention is continually shifting between them.

Well, consciousness is clearly described as arising and ceasing. In your model i am guessing consciousnesses are impermanent in the sense of variation only.

But you didn’t answer one of my earlier questions how is one aware all six consciousnesses are occurring at the same time. This suggests a seventh type of global awareness or consciousness. which is of course not described in the suttas.

And what about attention in your model where does that arise ?

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I would relate this to the torch beam analogy I used earlier. Paying attention is like pointing the torch beam in a particular direction - the light is focused on one area, but there is light scatter which illuminates a wider area. So you can pay attention to particular sense-impressions, but there is also a peripheral awareness of other sense-impressions.
So for example I might be walking through town thinking about something. In this case attention is focused on mind-objects, but there is also a peripheral awareness of sights and sounds, which prevents me bumping into people of being run over by a car when crossing a road.

As explained, I’ve been working with the sense-bases in the context of satipatthana for some time, and this is what I have found. It doesn’t really match the model of consciousness described in the EBTs.

No problem we are all seeking the truth. But may i just say a model very much same to yours is described in a translation of yogasutras. The simile of the magic mirror.

We think of ourselves as living a purely physical life, in these material bodies of ours. In reality, we have gone far indeed from pure physical life; for ages, our life has been psychical, we have been centred and immersed in the psychic nature. Some of the schools of India say that the psychic nature is, as it were, a looking-glass, wherein are mirrored the things seen by the physical eyes, and heard by the physical ears. But this is a magic mirror; the images remain, and take a certain life of their own. Thus within the psychic realm of our life there grows up an imaged world wherein we dwell; a world of the images of things seen and heard, and therefore a world of memories; a world also of hopes and desires, of fears and regrets. Mental life grows up among these images, built on a measuring and comparing, on the massing of images together into general ideas; on the abstraction of new notions and images from these; till a new world is built up within, full of desires and hates, ambition, envy, longing, speculation, curiosity, self-will, self-interest.

PS: Just like white light can be split in to seven colors using a prism. Conscious experience can be split using the prism of dependant origination. Dependant on eye and forms there arise eye consciousness. Dependant on ear and sounds there arise ear consciousness and so on.