I still could not comprehend what Sati’s wrong view was.
My understanding about Bava consciousness is that it is a continuum. (like a wave)
It appears consciousness can be seen as, with each contact, that is a new consciousness. (not a continuum)
Argument here is that the Blessed One has stated consciousness to be dependently arisen, since without a condition there is no origination of consciousness.
My understanding has always been that Ven. Arittha thought a monk can have sexual relations or engage in other forms of sexual activity. I don’t really think the Buddha would have given him such a stern rebuke for enjoying the beauty of the nature or how his food tasted.
As for the consciousness, an interesting idea. Sometimes, the world seems to me to be much more discrete (in the sense of having parts) than we are comfortable to think. It has ruptures and voids here and there, and even a wave-like electron finally becomes a particle. So why can’t consciousness be like that?
I quoted the wrong sutta and wrong name.
Now it is corrected. (from Arittha to Sati)
The above is the correct understanding of consciousness but Sati was of the view that consciousness is a unitary whole similar to the view of an atman or soul and that monolithic whole transmigrates into a new body when a person dies. This is a pernicious view since it implies an everlasting soul which the Buddha disproved with his explanation of how the consciousness arises dependently and NOT independently. As further proof the Buddha showed six types of consciousnesses which are all dependently arisen.
One of the question I have is whether these six type consciousness are six separate thing or the same consciousness is given a different name on the basis (eye , ear etc.) which it arise.
In other words is it a continuum or a completely new consciousness?
It is a completely new consciousness. The term continuum is used to explain the relationship between these separate consciousnesses. It is like the relationship between a father and a son because father is not the son and son is not the father but there is a relationship between the two. Similarly each consciousness arises dependently yet a relationship exists with the prior ones which I think is called bhavanga. This is the continuum.
If it is dependently arisen how can we say it is completely new?
It is not the same and not something else.
If it’s not the same contact, it’s not the same consciousness within that contact. And, contacts arise and cease, different contacts. So, different consciousness in each case of contact.
The nutriment is different, so the nutrified is different. Different conditions, different results.
Different consciousness. Not the same.
But that which is called ‘mind’ and ‘mentality’ and ‘consciousness’ arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night.
I agree but new consciousness is conditioned by the old Sankhara. So it is some what a mixture of old and new.
I have no disagreement about this.
What is the nutriment of consciousness & contact? Could you possibly provide a sutta reference explaining it?
You could say that the consciousness is in some respect old because it is caused by an old sankhara if you think that the process of causality or conditionality implies there is something transmitted between the cause and effect: force, energy, qualities, causational factors, or something else, it doesn’t matter. Important is that an object may be called ‘partially old’ if there is a continuity between it and its cause or condition.
Alternative model of causality / conditionality would imply that there is nothing whatsoever transmitted between a cause and ist effect. In this case, an effect is always completely new. It emerges as it were out of nowhere, not taking over anything from its cause. The classical Abhidhammic philosophy with the theory of mind and matter moments and sabhava pretty much subscribes to this point of view.
Finally, another possibility is that what we think to be causation is merely an inductive fallacy confusing correlations of two events with causation(cf. the position of David Hume on causality). So, we think that we cannot go through a wall because it is solid. In reality the quantum physics says it is perfectly possible for a person to accidentally go through a solid wall, even though this event is so unlikely that it almost certainly hasn’t happened since the Big Bang. Importantly, this theory doesn’t say there is no causation whatsoever, it merely claims we cannot establish it with our own minds, ergo any speculations about whether an effect is ‘old’ or ‘new’ doesn’t make any sense.
I think it would help if you describe your position within this framework in several steps:
- Is it possible to rationally establish causation?
- Is there a continuity between a cause and its effect?
- If there is continuity, what does it consist in, what is transmitted between a cause / condition and their effect?
For the sake of clarity: as far as I know the Buddha did not make any Statement on the nature of the causation, so the choice is yours
For the first, there is a feedback relationship:
vinnana <–> namarupa
For the second:
external sense base + internal sense base + vinnana = contact
So, with any of the six senses, the sense that operates has a vinnana (let’s say eye-vinnana) that differs from any other, such as the ear. Furthermore, when the eye moves over a scene, or blinks, this is change-while-standing, and so too a given vinnana - arising & ceasing, changing in flowing ways (very quickly of course) - differs from previous occasions in each instance.
I will try to explain this using an example I have heard from somewhere.
Take the case of someone watching his favorite match on TV. The match lasts half an hour. He sits comfortably in his sofa. He has a bucket of pop corns to munch on. He has a cigarette which he pulls from time to time.
In this scenario he has his eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind engaged with form (TV), sound(TV), smell (cigarette), taste(pop corn), contact(sofa) and sense. In other words visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile and mental consciousnesses are in operation. The question now is whether all these six consciousnesses are occurring at the same time that is simultaneously. The answer is no. Because they occur momentarily but the ordinary person due to delusion does not know that each consciousness is a discreet moment.
So during the half an hour he watched the match six types of consciousnesses arose and vanished but they are still connected forming what is called continuum.
If I may take this example a little further, this is what happens throughout our life span and only by taking the way shown by the Buddha one can understand the real nature of what we call “I”. That is by applying yoniso manasikara that we can extricate ourselves from the journey in samsara. Because then we understand that there is no real monolithic “I” or soul but it is just a cause and effect relationship constantly arising and dissolving -samudaya vaya . Knowing this and taking necessary actions according to the way shown by the Buddha is eradicating ignorance which is the route cause of our suffering.
[quote=“daverupa, post:14, topic:3081”]
SN 12.65…MN 148[/quote]
It appears the words ‘nutriment’ & ‘nutrified’ are not found in the above sutta. The Pali words ‘ahara’ (nutriment), ‘paccaya’ (condition), ‘hetu’ (cause) and ‘samudhaya’ (arising, origin, origination) may not necessarily be synonymous & interchangeable.
After the introduction in MN 38, where it states: “Bhikkhus, do you see: ‘This has come to be’…”, the word ‘this’ may not necessary refer to the previous subject matter, namely, consciousness.
Looks like we’ll need to audit the Pali - which I cannot do.
Otherwise, if I change the word ‘nutriment’, I think the point is still made.
I like your example. Actually I was thinking about the same with a different example. That is a man going to a movie with his girl friend.
By the way can someone explain this by using re-birth.
What is happening in re-birth.
Is re-birth a complete new consciousness?
According to Buddhist teaching when a father and mother get together a Gandhabba descend to the mother’s womb.
A reel of movie film is comprised of many single frames, thus the movie film is a ‘continuum’. Are you saying there is a continuum like a movie film somewhere that can be replayed frame by frame? Thanks
My understanding is pretty much so but this is a question to be better answered by scholars. However this is my understanding. Though it may not be identical in verbatim it must be something pretty similar because if such a continuum does not exist we are unable to remember our past like what we did or eat this morning, yesterday and so on. This is exactly why those who develop jhana are able to go back to previous lives ie retro-cognition.
As I said earlier a Venerable Bhante will be able to better clarify this.