Author Topic: What is consciousness?  (Read 13288 times)

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5087
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #45 on: December 18, 2011, 06:53:32 am »
So, is non-local consciousness, but an endless sea of consciousness? And, is our individual "share" of consciousness dependently arisen, or but a small part of the sea with a delusion that it is somehow become isolated between me and thee?

Perhaps consciousness is like electricity, which would make us like long-life light-bulbs. :wink1:

Spiny

Offline Hanzze

  • Member
  • Posts: 2077
  • (Johann)
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #46 on: December 18, 2011, 09:17:58 am »
Another thought just arose regarding consciousness, especially with regard to non-local consciousness or non-local mind, which I would like to put out for discussion:

If the senses were not associated with the brain, then why would five of them:

Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell, Mental Processing be located on the head?  Seems like that would be a perfect place from an evolutionary strategy to locate them?

Again, if you support the notion of non-local consciousness, or non-local mind please cut off your head and tell us what happened.
Does the head continue to live and only the torsos breaks apart? Thinking on the body (physical touch) it's maybe for quite more dukkha responsible as the other five sense organs could "produce". Why do you like to get the consciousness located and maybe even "real" (eternal/nihilistic)? *smile*
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 09:24:43 am by Hanzze »

Offline Ron-the-Elder

  • Member
  • Posts: 4485
  • May all beings live rightly and harmoniously.
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #47 on: December 18, 2011, 01:16:34 pm »
Another thought just arose regarding consciousness, especially with regard to non-local consciousness or non-local mind, which I would like to put out for discussion:

If the senses were not associated with the brain, then why would five of them:

Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell, Mental Processing be located on / in the head?  Seems like that would be a perfect place from an evolutionary strategy to locate them?

Again, if you support the notion of non-local consciousness, or non-local mind please cut off your head and tell us what happened.

Does the head continue to live and only the torsos breaks apart? Thinking on the body (physical touch) it's maybe for quite more dukkha responsible as the other five sense organs could "produce". Why do you like to get the consciousness located and maybe even "real" (eternal/nihilistic)? *smile*


The question my dear friend is:  " Is consciousness local, dependent upon brain, and therefore impermanent?", or, Is consciousness non-local and "eternal"?

My guess is that it is local, dependent upon brain, and impermanent.  I guess this based on my experience with folks who have died.

Although I cannot "disprove" that a non-local consciousness is out there, none of the folks with whom I was closest (so far) ever came back to me to say hello or to tell me where they hid their money. 

According to Buddha's teachings, only advanced practitioners are capable of non-local mind:  http://what-buddha-said.net/library/DPPN/wtb/g_m/iddhi.htm

However, HHDL has noted that during an experiment with an advanced practitioner, another monk, his body remained fresh for over sixteen days, and when they checked his brain activity, they found electrical activity, which HHDL associated with what he called a most subtle, purified mind.

He did not name names, but he discusses it in his "The Nature of Mind" talk.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 12:40:16 pm by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Hanzze

  • Member
  • Posts: 2077
  • (Johann)
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #48 on: December 18, 2011, 06:36:50 pm »
Quote
The question my dear friend is:  " Is consciousness local, dependent upon brain, and therefore impermanent?", or, Is consciousness non-local and "eternal"?

I would say that the consciousness is very flexible. Sometimes it appears very local and sometimes nearly eternal. Sometimes it's part of somebody outside, sometimes its in your little toe when you have pushed a stone. Sometimes it's in the sky and sometimes it seems to hide and often is far away, especially regarding time. *smile* Sometimes it's strong and potent, sometimes small, smaller then an end, sometimes it gets hurt and sometimes you can not break it down. It seems to be dependent on so many things, like dust in the wind forming a cloud.

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5087
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #49 on: December 19, 2011, 07:23:59 am »
According to Buddha's teachings, only advanced practitioners are capable of non-local mind:  http://what-buddha-said.net/library/DPPN/wtb/g_m/iddhi.htm


In the suttas there are references to the formless realms, which presumably is consciousness only.

From Wiki:

The Formless Realm or Ārūpyadhātu (Sanskrit) or Arūpaloka (Pāli) (Tib: gzugs med pa'i khams) is a realm in Buddhist cosmology.[1] It would have no place in a purely physical cosmology, as none of the beings inhabiting it has either shape or location; and correspondingly, the realm has no location either. This realm belongs to those devas who attained and remained in the Four Formless Absorptions (catuḥ-samāpatti) of the arūpadhyānas in a previous life, and now enjoys the fruits (vipāka) of the good karma of that accomplishment. Bodhisattvas, however, are never born in the Ārūpyadhātu even when they have attained the arūpadhyānas.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

  • Member
  • Posts: 4485
  • May all beings live rightly and harmoniously.
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #50 on: December 31, 2011, 02:30:58 am »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Lobster

  • Member
  • Posts: 1335
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2012, 06:10:43 am »
The sense of consciousness from my experience is dependent on conditions.
Being awake for example.
Also any sense of the unformed, eternal requires human (or similar) consciousness for its arising.
Would a synthetic human produce the sense of consciousness? I should imagine so. Would the cyborg be easy to tweak for a sense of the Clear Light?

Enlightened operating system reboot . . .  :D
http://tmxxine.com/yy/teaching.html

Offline Ron-the-Elder

  • Member
  • Posts: 4485
  • May all beings live rightly and harmoniously.
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2012, 05:36:31 pm »
From this evenings readings:

The Magic of the Mind
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5087
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2012, 06:21:18 am »
I've pinned this thread, thanks to Bodhisatta2011 for suggesting it.

Spiny

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5087
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2012, 06:24:05 am »
The question my dear friend is:  " Is consciousness local, dependent upon brain, and therefore impermanent?", or, Is consciousness non-local and "eternal"?


I recall watching a TV documentary on consciousness, where there was a suggestion that according to quantum mechanics consciousness isn't necessarily local - something to do with probability waves I think.

Spiny

Offline Ron-the-Elder

  • Member
  • Posts: 4485
  • May all beings live rightly and harmoniously.
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2012, 11:17:27 am »
The question my dear friend is:  " Is consciousness local, dependent upon brain, and therefore impermanent?", or, Is consciousness non-local and "eternal"?



I recall watching a TV documentary on consciousness, where there was a suggestion that according to quantum mechanics consciousness isn't necessarily local - something to do with probability waves I think.

Spiny


Yeah!  I've read that too, but the problem is that "spooky action at a distance" as Einstein called it has to do with pairing of electrons, which somehow get separated from their initially paired orbitals.  This is called "quantum entanglement".  Scientists have been experimenting to see if this principle could be used to produce communications perturbations, such as that found with Morse Code, across vast distances.  Here we are talking galaxial distances.  This is what would be required if mind was somehow made non-local.

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080813/full/news.2008.1038.html

« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 12:39:06 pm by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5087
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2012, 02:45:03 am »
I've read that too, but the problem is that "spooky action at a distance" as Einstein called it has to do with pairing of electrons, which somehow get separated from their initially paired orbitals.  This is called "quantum entanglement".  Scientists have been experimenting to see if this principle could be used to produce communications perturbations, such as that found with Morse Code, across vast distances.  Here we are talking galaxial distances.  This is what would be required if mind was somehow made non-local.

I think in the TV programme they were only talking about short distances.  And I don't think it was to do with quantum entanglement but with probability, a fuzziness of location.  That thing where at the quantum level particles only "make up their mind" where they are when they are actually observed...observed by consciousness... :wacky:

Spiny

Offline anata123

  • Member
  • Posts: 43
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #57 on: July 18, 2012, 04:32:38 pm »
From the SURANGAMA SUTRA:

Let me ask you, is this consciousness that is dependent on the eyes, developed solely by means of the eyes and limited by the eyes, or is it developed solely by means of sight and bounded by sight?

If the consciousness of sight is developed by means of the eyes only, then as it is independent of sight and space, it cannot make any discrimination and thus, in spite of your consciousness, of what use (avail) will it be?
Moreover, as the perception of sight does not belong to colors-green, yellow, red, and white-it cannot manifest any appearance and, thus, what shall be its boundary lines?

Or if the perception of sight is developed by means of sight then, as there is only space and sight, your consciousness of it will be annihilated and how can you know anything of the nature of space?

And if, when the sight changes, you are consciousness of the change, it would mean that the sight itself is changing, but as your consciousness does not change, what will be the line between it and your perception of sight?
Or if your consciousness is subject to change along with the change of sight, then any phenomena of differences will disappear.
Or, if your consciousness is permanent and unchangeable, then, as it developed from sight, it should not recognize any location of space.
Or, if consciousness is developed by both eyes and sight, then one part of your consciousness, the part developed from the eyes will be sensitive, and the other part developed from the sight will be sensitive. So when the sense of your eyes and the sight are contact, one part of your consciousness will be perceptive and one part unperceptive, it would mean that if these two parts of consciousness become separated from each other, then they must both be independent of the mind.

And when the sense of your eyes and the sight are in separation, one part of your consciousness will return to your eyes and one part will return to the sight. That would mean that these two parts of your consciousness are in separate contacts with your eyes and the sight. Thus, the body and its attribute are confusingly mixed and what shall be their boundary lines?

Therefore, Ananda, you should know that these three localities where the perception of sight is under the condition of the sense of the eyes and the sight, and where the perception of sight arises from your consciousness dependent upon the eyes are all devoid of any substantial existence, so these three phenomena of the perception of sight, the sight itself, and the sphere of mentation about sight are neither manifested by cause and conditions, nor spontaneously by their own nature.

Again Ananda, you have understood that the perception of the thinking mind are under the condition of the thinking mind and of its conception of phenomena, and that it is manifested from the consciousness dependent upon the thinking mind.
Is this consciousness that is dependent upon the thinking mind developed by means of the thinking mind and bounded by the thinking mind? Or is it developed by means of its conceptions of phenomena and bounded by its conception of phenomena?

If consciousness is developed by means of the thinking mind, then within your thinking mind, there must be some consciousness that discovers your thinking mind.
Should there be no such kind of thoughts, the thinking mind would not have been developed.
Should consciousness then be independent of any such conditions, it would have no appearance of thinking and what, then, would be the use of consciousness?

Moreover, in referring to your conscious mind and to all its attributes of the thinking and discriminating are they in unity, or are they different things?

If your conscious mind and all its attributes of the thinking and discriminating are in unity with the thinking mind, then they are no different from the thinking mind and how could they have any other manifestation?

If your conscious mind and all its attributes of the thinking and discriminating are not in unity with the thinking mind, then they are different things and separated from one another, in which case the thinking mind would be unconscious of them.

Should the thinking mind be unconscious of your conscious mind and all its attributes of the thinking and discriminating, then how could the thinking mind be developed?

If the thinking mind is conscious of your conscious mind and all its attributes of the thinking and discriminating, then what is it that is conscious of the thinking mind?

Thus, whether consciousness and its attributes are in unity with the thinking mind or in separation from it, there is no such kind of existence and how can consciousness then be bounded by spheres?

If this consciousness that is dependent upon the thinking mind is developed by means of thoughts about phenomena, then all the phenomena of the world belong to the five sense objects.

For instance, supposing you are attending to the five phenomena of sight, sound, odour, taste, and touch, which are very distinctive in their manifestations, and if these five kinds of phenomena go with their respective sense organs, it shows that they are not managed by the thinking mind.

If it is asserted that consciousness must be developed by conception of phenomena, then please concentrate your reflections and tell me what is the appearance in your thinking mind of these conception of phenomena.

If you set aside all such phenomena as sight, space, motion, silence, transmissibility, non- transmissibility, combination, separation, death, rebirth, then you will never be able to think out the appearance of consciousness.

As soon as consciousness appears, then all such phenomena as sight, space, motion, silence, transmissibility, non- transmissibility, combination, separation, death, rebirth, will be manifested also; and as soon as consciousness disappears, all such phenomena as sight, space, motion, silence, transmissibility, non- transmissibility, combination, separation, death, rebirth, will disappear too.
As there is thus, no substantial existence of the object of the phenomena of conception, which we are regarding as the cause of consciousness, it shows clearly that there is also no substantial nature and manifestation for the consciousness that is manifested by means of the objects of the phenomena of conception.

Since consciousness possesses no substantial nature, manifestation, nor existence, how can its sphere be revealed? Therefore, Ananda, you should know that these three localities where the perception of thinking mind, as being under the condition of the sense of the thinking mind and of its conceptions of phenomena, developed its thinking process, the thinking process, the consciousness, and its sphere, are all devoided of any substantial existence.

So these three phenomena, the perception of the thinking mind, its conceptions about them, and its sphere of thinking, are neither manifested by cause and conditions, nor spontaneously by its own nature.
Ananda! Consciousness has no originality of its own.



Consciousness is an illusive manifestation developed by means of the six objects of sense.



Suppose you were looking over this assembly, without making any particular distinctions, letting the different persons present be reflected in your mind as in a looking glass. Your consciousness would, nevertheless, make acknowledgement of the different ones, saying in orderly succession:-This is brother Manjusri, this is brother Purna, this is brother Maudgalyayana, this is brother Subhuti, this is brother Sariputra, etc.
What think you, Ananda? Is this discriminating consciousness manifested from the phenomena, or is it manifested from space, or is it manifested spontaneously without any cause?
If the nature of your consciousness is manifested from the perception of eyes, let us suppose there is no brightness, no darkness, no sight and no space. If these are not existent then, naturally, there will be no perception of sight, and if there is no perception of sight by your eyes, how can any consciousness arise?
Or, if the nature of your consciousness is manifested from phenomena, but not from the perception of your eyes, then as there can be no perception of brightness, there can be no perception of darkness, either.
If there is no perception of either brightness or darkness, there can be no sight and no space. If there is no phenomena of either sight or space, from what can consciousness be manifested?
Or, if the nature of your consciousness is manifested from the emptiness of space, then, as there is no phenomena, so there can be no perception of eyes and nothing to distinguish, and of course, consciousness could not say, this is brightness, this is darkness, this sight or this space.
If consciousness belongs to non-phenomena, then there will be no condition in its presence and, thus, all perceptions of sight, hearing, understanding, feeling, will be devoid of location and therefore devoid of all existence.
If there can be no existence under these two conditions of no phenomena and no perception of sight, is it possible to have existence under any other condition?
If it is possible, then the conditions must be different in nature from the phenomena of sight, or the phenomena of space and resulting consciousness will be something different from consciousness based upon distinctions of sight, hearing, understanding, feeling.
Or if the nature of your consciousness is manifested spontaneously without any particular cause, why do you not see the bright moon in some abnormal way?
Ananda! You should ponder upon this question very carefully, concentrate your attraction, make use of your profound insight, scrutinizing such details of conditions as the teaching that perception of seeing is dependent upon eyes, perception of phenomena is derived from conditions within one’s presence, that existence means describable forms and that non-existence means the absence of phenomena.
These conditions of consciousness:-from what cause are they developed? It cannot be that they come from nowhere. As those disciples who have not yet attained to the state of absorption into the Womb of Tathagata, their consciousness belongs to activity and the perception of sight to tranquility. So accordingly, perception of sight and consciousness dependent upon it are neither manifested by means of conformity to something, nor by combination with something; and it is just the same with the other perception of hearing, understanding, and feeling and with their corresponding consciousness.
 Ananda! If your conscious mind is not manifested from any source, then you should know that both discriminative consciousness and the different perceptions of seeing, hearing, understanding, feeling are all existing in perfection and tranquility the nature of which is unmanifested from any outer source, and that all of them-perceptions, consciousness, together with earth, water, air, fire and space-are to be regarded as the Seven Great Elements. Their essential nature is perfect and in unity within the Womb of Tathagata and, therefore, they are free from deaths and rebirth.

Offline J. McKenna

  • Member
  • Posts: 1502
  • X X o o X X 137 45' 32" 67 33' 41"
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #58 on: July 18, 2012, 05:12:05 pm »
life    love     the universe   
...i found there was no "i" anywhere.....

Offline FallingLeaf

  • Member
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: What is consciousness?
« Reply #59 on: September 14, 2012, 10:25:00 am »
I think it was David Chalmers who suggested consciousness should just be accepted as something fundamental to the Universe, like gravity or electromagnetism, since as noted above, there is a point at which the question 'What is it?' becomes unanswerable. Then we can at least move on and ask the not so hard secondary questions such as how and why do we have (access to) it?

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal