Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sound And The Bahiya Sutta

Jackson Peterson:
Soh, your comments would be appreciated regarding:

Sounds come from outside the body and brain. The ear drum may vibrate due to a sound wave making contact, but if the nerve connecting the ear drum to the rest of the brain is severed no sound is known in awareness or consciousness. The ear drum can't "hear" a sound, it can only vibrate. The "vibration" which causes an electro-chemical stimulation that travels through the nerve cells has to be processed in the brain and turned into what we call a sound. 

So in this case of the severed nerve, the "sound" as a physical element of vibrating air exists, but not its appearance as a sound in consciousness. If the sound is "consciousness" itself, then it would be known regardless of whether the ear drum is functioning or not. So there is an awareness or consciousness within the brain that perceives or notices sensory perceptions that are processed first within the brain and only then become part of conscious experience. 

How does this fit in with "in the seeing, there is just the seeing, in the hearing there is just the hearing" [Referencing Bahiya Sutta]. A quality of consciousness is always present with any sensory experience. So then, what is this "consciousness"? Its not the nerve signal carrying the "sound" information as those nerves are not "conscious".
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Soh: Nerve signal carrying sound information is not experience of sound. Experience of sound is auditory consciousness. Consciousness is just that experience without experiencer.


"Good, bhikkhus! Good that you know the Dhamma taught by me. In various ways I have taught that consciousness arises dependently. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness. Yet, this bhikkhu Sati, son of a fisherman, by holding to this wrong view, misrepresents us and destroys himself and accumulates much demerit, and it will be for his suffering for a long time." 

"Bhikkhus, consciousness is reckoned by the condition dependent upon which it arises. If consciousness arises on account of eye and forms, it is reckoned as eye consciousness. If on account of ear and sounds it arises, it is reckoned as ear consciousness. If on account of nose and smells it arises, it is reckoned as nose consciousness. If on account of tongue and tastes it arises, it is reckoned as tongue consciousness. If on account of body and touch it arises, it is reckoned as body consciousness. If on account of mind and mind-objects it arises, it is reckoned as mind consciousness. Bhikkhus, just as a fire is reckoned based on whatever that fire burns - fire ablaze on sticks is a stick fire, fire ablaze on twigs is a twig fire, fire ablaze on grass is a grass fire, fire ablaze on cowdung is a cowdung fire, fire ablaze on grain thrash is a grain thrash fire, fire ablaze on rubbish is a rubbish fire - so too is consciousness reckoned by the condition dependent upon which it arises. In the same manner consciousness arisen on account is eye and forms is eye consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of ear and sounds is ear consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of nose and smells is nose consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of tongue and tastes is taste consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of body and touch is body consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of mind and mind-objects is mind consciousness."
Sunday at 5:58am · Edited · Like · 1

Soh: I understand clearly what you are trying to say. However direct experience and realization of consciousness is not the same as using certain deduction/reduction/induction way of analysis. My way of analysis does not lead to an assumption of something existing nor non-existing. Not relying faulty methods of analysis, I reject such ways to establish the existence or non-existence of consciousness. Through wrong mode of inquiry however people have induced that 'because of this and that, therefore consciousness is eternal'. That would be flawed and based on false assumptions. I just don't understand spiritual matters this way.

Bahiya Sutta leads to direct realization.
Sunday at 6:05am · Edited · Unlike · 2

Jackson Peterson: Thanks Soh! But I am saying there is no such thing as "auditory" or "visual consciousness". Neuro-science cannot find any such thing. The Buddha erred in this analysis I am afraid. The Dalai Lama acknowledged in a brain conference that neuro -science has proven the Abidharma explanation of the Buddha is incorrect. He said "we must accept scientific understandings when they are conclusive, as the Buddha would."
Sunday at 7:40am via mobile · Like

Soh: Visual consciousness is just the undeniable experience of sight. It is irrefutable and undeniable. Nobody reading this can deny visual consciousness.
Sunday at 7:43am · Edited · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: We think seeing is occurring because the eye is "seeing". Signals are processed in the brain and the brain creates a 3D image of what it thinks is "out there" being seen. Nothing has ever been seen, unless you think you are actually "seeing" with functional eyes when you dream. Our eyes cannot "see". They are passive receptors of photons that trigger electo-chemical signals that are processed and the brain creates an imaginary movie made of dream stuff. No one has ever seen anything.
Sunday at 7:50am via mobile · Like

Mr. J.C.: We could posit that consciousness is simply what nerves do. A severed, yet healthy nerve may still generate conscious experience but it would travel nowhere.
Sunday at 7:57am via mobile · Like

Jackson Peterson: I postulate two types of consciousness: one is purely a brain consciousness grounded in quantum level micro-processes most likely driven by micro-tubular action within the neurons as opposed to axion/dendrite systems. Secondly, there is a purely Quantum consciousness that I call Quantum Intelligence. It functions through the chakras and through the chakras, downloads "wisdom" into the system. Its completely independent, outside of time and space with its potentials residing in quantum super-position until invoked by the necessity for compassionate action. This second one is called "rigpa".
Sunday at 8:08am via mobile · Like · 1

Soh: Jackson, what you said is dependent origination and does not contradict what Buddha said. Consciousness is dependent arising as well.
Sunday at 8:09am · Like

Adrian Wight: is that 'imaginary movie made of dream stuff' not exactly what soh is referring to as visual consciousness?
Sunday at 8:17am · Like

Jackson Peterson: That's right, but rigpa is not dependently originated, like "space".
Sunday at 8:28am via mobile · Like

Mr. J.C.: Your statement makes it sound like Rigpa is not like everything else. This seems false to me. While it may seem a special "thing" all "things" are still empty. Why confuse things?
Sunday at 9:08am via mobile · Like

Mr. J.C.: Nothing is actually dependently arisen, there just IS. DO is just a conceptual tool.
Sunday at 9:10am via mobile · Like · 1

Mr. J.C.: I think if a person only understands emptiness through logical inference of dependent origination, then they are missing something and will tend to view dependent origination as special and existent.
Sunday at 9:12am via mobile · Like · 1

Robert Dominik: "space" <- Which "space" are you referring to? I hope that not the physical space. // I'd agree with Soh . People researching neurons, nerves, receptors do not contradict Bahiya Sutta. Things in a conventional way of course just aren't completely random but dependently originated. For example seeing (eye concsciousness) might involve an image of what we call an apple. But also smelling involves at the same time the smell of an apple. But there might be a case when we see an apple but are not capable of smelling it. Sometimes in a situation like this body consciousness involves feeling something blocking our nostrils or having a runny nose. Much in the same way the fact that we cannot hear might have a corelation with seeing with eye consciousness a document showing the results of a medical test which shows that the nerves going from our ears to the brain are damaged. Everything can be a result of the multitude of empty causes. So people being deaf or diseased with: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton%E2%80%93Babinski_syndrome do not contradict Bahiya Sutta. Anyway from how I understand it eye consciousness, ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness and mental consciousness are still sort of pointers used in the sutta to direct Bahiya (and the reader) to drop false views and projections about what is seen or what is heard when in fact there is simply only what is seen and what is heard - nothing more, nothing less. But I suspect that some people might have a problem with this viewing these types of consciousness as existing things where in fact they are simply empty (some people even cling to thinking that there is something existing in the seen to be seen). Every one of these consciousnesses is empty - much like skandhas and the emptiness itself. But people stick to viewing for example the eye consciousness as something solid and cannot fully benefit from the Bahiya Sutta. At least that's my limited understanding  // Anyway Jackson Peterson thanks for bringing this topic up.

Anton–Babinski syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anton–Babinski syndrome is a rare symptom of brain damage occurring in the occip...
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Sunday at 9:42am · Like · 3 · Remove Preview

Kyle Dixon: Jax is talking about transcendental idealism... Or even subjective idealism.
Sunday at 10:02am via mobile · Like

Jackson Peterson: Actually I am not talking about any form of "idealism" as that would be a mental construction. How we can describe the "view" in experience ipso facto, is always problematic.
Sunday at 10:19am via mobile · Like

Soh: Hi Robert Dominik, what Thusness wrote here recently might be of relevance:

The knowing is precisely the known and vice versa.
Only in ignorance does the knowing appear to co-locate with the known.
If both are realized as mere conventions that arise in dependence of the other,
Then the middle way that severs the extremes can be understood.
Sunday at 10:39am · Edited · Like · 2

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: I think this is a great question.

This seems quite clear-cut to me. Just read these words afresh, no prior conceptualizarion allowed:

> In seeing, just the seen.

The answer to the question(s) posed in the OP is right in that short sentence. Not in a fancy, mystical kind-of-way, but in a straight forward language kind-of-way.

I'm sorry if this comment seems too obscure. If it's not understood, I'll just state it plainly – it's just that grokking that plain meaning by one's own machine is so much more powerful.
Sunday at 2:55pm via mobile · Edited · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: What is lacking in all these models is the spiritual dimension, that aspect that connects all events and meanings in an overall gestalt of interdependency as the Net of Indra. Here we discover the basis of synchronicity on a scale that defies comprehension. Clairvoyance, telepathy and other ESP phenomena develop naturally as one's wisdom expands more in the direction of omniscience, the Mind of a Buddha. As this wisdom develops so does natural compassion and unconditional love. The focus on purely the non-duality of "seer and seen" etc. limits the vision to the localized dimension of time and space, where the gnosis of divine nature as universal perfection is missed completely. That's why deep samadhi is so necessary as a tool to open up inner dimensions that are rarely even imagined.
Sunday at 3:20pm via mobile · Like · 1

Robert Dominik: From my point of view connections between events and synchronicity would require events/things to be something that might exist in an independent way (not to mention that such connections would be arising dependently of things which would supposedly be connected). People see links and correlation between things because they view them as being existent in a self-contained way. Of course it may be beneficial at some point in the practice to keep in mind that objects and events are binded but I think we should not be attached to such a concept. Afterall if the things are empty where are those selves that are connected? Still I fear that some people might have a wrong interpretation of emptiness and drift towards nihilism. It is true that gravity, falling, movement and objects are empty but we cannot deny that if we jump out of the window we will surely hit the ground (and yes I am aware that there are many stories about enlightened beings who could deny so called laws of physics - all I am saying is that without proper insight there is constant danger of being too nihilistic). Having said that I'll agree that Indra's Net is a beautiful metaphor. Welll but it's only my understanding.
Sunday at 4:21pm · Edited · Like

Mr. J.C.: Sorry, I am not interested in seeking your indra's net. I have everything I am ever going to have right here.
Sunday at 4:17pm via mobile · Like

Mr. J.C.: Why is everyone so afraid of nihilism? Have you actually met a lot of people who can maintain that attitude on an ongoing basis?
Sunday at 5:04pm · Like · 1

Robert Dominik: I was something of a existential nihilist during high school ;P // By the way what's funny is that nihilism negates itself and creates a lot of paradoxes ^^ For example stating that life has no meaning is another way of saying that life has a meaning of no-meaning. Saying that nothing exists would also lead to a conclusion that nothingness and nonexisting do not exist.
Sunday at 6:06pm · Edited · Like

Joel Rosenblum: Yes. Nihilism is a real danger.
Sunday at 5:55pm · Unlike · 4

Greg Goode: Have I met a lot of nihilists? Certainly, especially nihilists in the name of nonduality. I have seen people who sincerely believe that they do not have to pay for a meal or tip the waiter, because "there is no one here to do the paying." I am not joking. I could give you hundreds of similar examples.
Sunday at 7:34pm · Edited · Like · 1

Mr. J.C.: Greg Goode - Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I believe you. I haven't met many (any) and I'm guessing its due to participating in practice communities that will quickly call someone on their bullshit.
Sunday at 7:58pm · Like

Greg Goode: In the communities I'm referring to, they are about half a generation earlier. Back then, this "no one home" talk was considered the height of oracular wisdom. Everyone wanted to channel their personal Ramesh or Nisargadatta.
Sunday at 8:29pm · Like · 3

Kyle Dixon: Jackson, At any rate, what you're proposing is nothing new (regarding the senses), the Heart Sutra beat you to it by hundreds of years:

"All things are empty: 
Nothing is born, nothing dies, 
nothing is pure, nothing is stained, 
nothing increases and nothing decreases.

So, in emptiness, there is no body, 
no feeling, no thought, 
no will, no consciousness. 
There are no eyes, no ears, 
no nose, no tongue, 
no body, no mind. 
There is no seeing, no hearing, 
no smelling, no tasting, 
no touching, no imagining. 
There is nothing seen, nor heard, 
nor smelled, nor tasted, 
nor touched, nor imagined."
Yesterday at 12:26am via mobile · Edited · Like

Soh: 2500 years ago, Buddha said it: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.095.than.html

Phena Sutta: Foam
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Yesterday at 12:37am · Unlike · 1 · Remove Preview

Logan Truthe: "Why is everyone so afraid of nihilism? Have you actually met a lot of people who can maintain that attitude on an ongoing basis?" Justin, until we have the right view, we are all nihilists or eternalists in some sense
Yesterday at 12:39am · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: Jackson, Moreover, if experience is a 3D representation created in the brain, meaning that 'seeing', 'hearing', 'tactile sensation' etc., are only imaginary movies made of dream stuff, how do you get around the fact that the brain itself is likewise only apprehended via those very same faculties? Following your logic your logic would cancel itself out... 'no one has ever seen anything' ergo no brain has ever been seen which can contain the alleged 'seeing'. Experience goes on inside the brain, the brain goes on inside experience. Since your premise contradicts itself, establishing an ontological hierarchy which maintains that experience occurs in a brain is impossible.
Yesterday at 1:11am via mobile · Like · 4

Kyle Dixon: It's like saying 'the chicken is a 3D hologram which only ever occurs inside the egg' ...but the egg was laid by a chicken, which itself hatched from an egg... which was laid by a chicken.
Yesterday at 1:22am via mobile · Like · 2

Piotr Ludwiński: Conceiving changeless independent awareness-true existence as nirvana is papanca. Conceiving nothingness/annihilation as nirvana is papanca. Conceiving them as papanca is itself papanca... // http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.018.than.html http://www.theravada-dhamma.org/blog/?p=9567 about what is meant by papanca

Madhupindika Sutta: The Ball of Honey
This discourse plays a central role in the early Buddhist analysis of conflict. ...
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Yesterday at 1:34am · Like · Remove Preview

Jackson Peterson: What differentiates Dzogchen from all these philosophical speculations, is the phasing or appearencing of the luminous nature of Knowing itself. In Dzogchen the "Buddha Being" that we each are, is a divine being of Light. We are a sphere of pure awareness surrounded by a field of five bands of light. The center of this sphere is a pure empty space of absolute awareness. That center is at a location near the human heart. There is a direct channel from that pure heart Light to the eyes. That heart center is the seat of Rigpa or Primordial Awareness. The entire body is a field of rigpa that circulates through subtle light channels. Rigpa also appears as small holographic spheres that we can see when the inner light illuminates the outer dimension. When the power of the Heart Light, rigpa, expands to its maximum the physical elements of the body revert into their essence as pure light, and the physical body may disappear. When the body dies normally we all leave the body and experience ourselves as spheres of awareness surrounded by five rings of Light. Our pure rigpa awareness is at the center. We may then reincarnate or realize the nature of awareness and luminosity and develop further into Buddhas that reincarnate to awaken others. As a Being of Light, we may recognize our nature as empty awareness and our five-colored light display as self-arising. Our nature is empty yet always presenting in a subtle Light Body as the Sambhogakaya. This description conforms with all Dzogchen teachings both from Longchenpa, the 17 Tantras, and Bon traditions. Hence, this view is far from nihilism, and yet equally far from eternalism. When one's thogal practice develops, this description becomes known directly by each practitioner. Most people don't know this profound aspect of Dzogchen teachings.
Yesterday at 6:10am via mobile · Like

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: I don't mean to be rude, Jackson, but what has that got to do with the OP or discussion at hand?

How do you go from this quote (which I'm quite sure is presented out of context):

> The Dalai Lama acknowledged in a brain conference that neuro -science has proven the Abidharma explanation of the Buddha is incorrect

... to this:

> We are a sphere of pure awareness surrounded by a field of five bands of light.
> Most people don't know this

It seems curious at best, schizophrenic at worst; Not just with regards to the theme, but also the tone, feel and type of expression.

It blows my mind that you want to cut down other people's conceptualizations, yet you produced this text.

Do you know of any of what you wrote? I mean, have you died and seen for yourself?

My mind is still open to hear about this, I'm not out to judge. But you might agree that you are expressing a rather inconsistent message at the moment?
Yesterday at 9:22am · Edited · Like · 1

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: I think Kyle and Piotr (and Justin and Robert) are making some very good points and I'm curious as to what your response to them might be, Jackson.

I'm really sorry if this seems like hounding, or whatever. Your reply re: the spiritual dimension and the five lights seems like evasion. I'm prodding to see if that has some truth to it, if you don't mind 
Yesterday at 9:28am · Like

Jackson Peterson: Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, it was time swing back to the deeper truths. I I have been out of my body and that was my experience. I also remember dying in my last past life and the immediate events afterwards. All the esoteric traditions state the same.
Yesterday at 10:38am via mobile · Like

Mr. J.C.: I remember all sorts of stuff happen to me every night when I'm dreaming, does it make any of it true? When meditating I will also find myself in hypnogogic states, does it make those remembered insights true? I saw a ghost in my room a couple of months ago, but for some reason it was there both with my eyes open and closed.

The nervous system has the capability of generating every experience you have ever experienced in totally realistic fidelity. This is a tautology.
Yesterday at 11:26am · Like

Joel Rosenblum: The mind is capable of knowing the entire universe. I have had this experience. I don't know how this can be the nervous system, but perhaps it is. Who cares?
Yesterday at 10:55pm · Like

Kyle Dixon: I wouldn't attribute it to the nervous system, a little too substantialist/materialist for me.. But I do agree our capacities can produce some interesting experiences.

I too had a full anatomically (and locomotionally) correct apparition of a giant black spider crawl across my ceiling not too long ago. It was bigger than my hand and the movement was incredible. The fact that I wouldn't be able to sit down and consciously re-create that image, but the potent uncontrived creativity of my consciousness was able to produce that, really speaks to the incredible dynamic intelligence of our capacities. I was lying in bed watching this thing like 'you can't be serious right now'...it was so large I knew it had to be an apparition, but it made it across the whole ceiling and then dissipated in the corner... Bizarre stuff. 

I did some research and giant spiders is apparently a pretty common hallucination. Some people actually have them crawl on them and the experience is accompanied by an accurate tactile sensation... sounds terrifying ha.
Yesterday at 11:20pm via mobile · Like · 1

Soh: As I wrote before, in a state of hypnogogic semi-dream-like state one can consciously experience thoughts as visions and sounds that is as real as waking. You can experience being at a place as if physically present. I've experienced them too

When you 'wake up' you wonder how the hell can you experience that when you can't recall it in waking. Some times you can even hear, say, an entire song in crystal clear clarity (auditorily with no vagueness) and when you wake up you wonder how come you experienced that so clearly as an 'auditory experience' in that hypnogogic state when you can't even remember the lyrics or tunes clearly in waking

Thusness once suggested that this hypnogogic state is being 'accessed' in order for visualization practice to become successful.
23 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1

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