Originally posted by Canute
You might like this, which lies behind what you said so clearly.

Great quote, canute. How about this one:

" . . . All the teaching of cosmic and cyclic evolution is designed to help the individual to insert himself or herself into the larger perspective. When more and more individuals come to see that they cannot separate their own individual growth from universal enlightenment, they will become more and more selfless and relaxed, cheerfully shedding the unnecessary weight of excessive concern for the personality. In the archetypal instruction of The Voice of the Silence:

Thou shalt not separate thy being from BEING, and the rest, but merge the Ocean in the drop, the drop within the Ocean. So shalt thou be in full accord with all that lives; bear love to men as though they were thy brother-pupils, disciples of one Teacher, the sons of one sweet mother. Of teachers there are many; the MASTER-SOUL is one, Alaya, the Universal Soul. Live in that MASTER as ITS ray in thee. Live in thy fellows as they live in IT."


Good luck to all of you and thanks for the discussion!
yogacara - alaya

In Yogacara theory everything is "mind only" and this consciousness is divided into eight sections. The principal part of consciousness is the alaya or "storehouse consciousness" which is the basis of the seven other consciousnesses. All eight comprise the mind dharmas and the fifty dharmas that interact with the mind.

The alaya consciousness is also known as the "repository of impressions." From the alaya arise all of our ideas of self, ego, and their respective functions in the external world. If the alaya is imagined as a vast ocean, then the seven other consciousness are waves on its surface. The seven are not separate from the eighth, nor do they disturb the stillness of its depths; all eight are essentially one.

The eighth consciousness is "beyond the dualisms of subject and object, or existence and non-existence," so it does not have any purposive activity and is unaware of objects. Since it does not make distinctions, and is neither good or bad, the eighth consciousness is said to have the state of equanimity.

The alaya consciousness is the "karmic" storehouse which contains seeds generated by our unenlightened actions. Although it does not create karma, the alaya functions as the subject of retribution for past intentional activities. The process of ripening of seeds, thinking, and perception of objects is all subjective and "neither the process nor its results have any real existence." Because of the "...karmic activity of the seven consciousnesses" the alaya continues developing karmic seeds which, in their fruition, influence future attachments and activities via the three realms and the nine grounds .

Final freedom from the samsaric process occurs when all "the defiled seeds are replaced by pure seeds created by pure deeds." The alaya also contains "intrinsically pure seeds" which are the source of our motivation towards enlightenment. Upon enlightenment the eighth consciousness becomes empty of ripening seeds and is transformed into the Great Mirror wisdom.

The alaya has two divisions; the perceiving (the subject) and the perceived (the object). The former is linked to the seventh consciousness , while the latter is linked to the sixth consciousness and the five perceptual consciousnesses. When the perceived division is transformed during enlightenment it becomes subsequently-attained wisdom
Wow. Thanks for that, and the link. It's a beautifully organised system of explanation. Isn't the language great.

Always enjoy your posts. ;)
Canute said:
Wow. Thanks for that, and the link. It's a beautifully organised system of explanation. Isn't the language great.

Always enjoy your posts. ;)

Spookz, thanks for the above.

Canute, Mojo, when discussing Budhism and metaphysics, we need to remember the connections between hinduism and buddism. Just as Christ, the center of christiandom, grew up Jewish, The man who has become known as Buddha grew up Hindu. Much of the metaphysical sections of modern buddhism are of a Hindu source. This includes karma, dharma, shamadhi, reincarnation, self-study, enlightenment, seperation from self, etc.

When you argue anything outside of the middle path, you are most likely no longer arguing Buddhism, but hinduism. What Spookz posted above is technically Hindu, though it could be from a Buddist source/perspective.

Buddha himself, before his death told his followers to specifically mind not only what he had told them, but also what he had not told them. One of the items he references as something he had not told them was what happens after death of the body. The buddist ideals of re-incarnation do not come from Buddha himself, but from his hindu background. In effect, that section of the "buddist" metaphysics actually did come from "books" (I'm using the word books here to mean any method of transfering information between people - in this case the books are a metaphore for verbal and non-verbal communication). It came from people before Buddha, and not from Buddha himself.

All of the above is from my readings and my self-study over the past years. I could be wrong. This is what I have seen and understood.

te Jen, thank you also for your additions to this topic. :)
You're probably right about most of that. But, speaking personally, I regard such ideas as useful or not, consistent or not, in accord with my experience or not, and so on. Where or when they came from doesn't concern me much.

I felt that the 'eight consciousnesses' were eight useful aspects of consciousness to consider. Whether there actually are eight, (or nine and three-quarters come to that) I have no idea, but I suspect not.

However that doesn't mean that there is no truth in the idea, or nothing useful to be learnt from it. (Like thinking of an atom as a solar system for instance).

I do agree that separating out all the different doctrines that overlap in content or in historical sequence from Buddhism is impossible. Nearly all mystical traditions seem to agree about the basics, and most of those basic ideas seem to predate recorded history.

In fact I've spent a few years of spare time looking for any fact or logical deduction that contradicts Buddhist metaphysical principles, whether from the religions, the sciences or philosophy. As far as I can tell they all agree.

Sorry, just waffling.
I didn't read this thread completely but I would like to sound off a little. I did read that there is thought about oneness. Here is a theory.....God is. Now you can substitute your title, name, or whatever for God. I just use the name God for simplicities sake. God is....That is all there is. "We" each are a bit and piece of what is, yet we are all of what is God. There is no me and you in truth because all that is, is God. The major problem in our conciousness arises when we are in such a state that we don't realize who and what we really are. Do the animals, trees, rocks, stars and planets ever worry about who they are or where they are going after they "die"? No. Heaven, hell, reincarnation or even death; what's the difference? We are all one and the one is God. When we can realize who and what we are, we will have self-realization, nirvana, heaven or whatever else you want to call it. Because truth is we already have it but are ignorant of what "IT" is.
Back in October I advanced the conjecture that billions of human minds interacting with each other could produce a "meta-consciousness" analogous to the consciousness that unaruguably (I hope) is produced by the interaction of billions of brain cells. Any reaction to this?

I think such speculation is fruitless, however, without a strategy for detecting such metaconsciousness in the laboratory, so to speak. Can anyone think of one?
Why do you restrict your 'meta-consciousness' to human consciousness? And how could you possibly prove it exists except outside the laboratory? Who would do the experiment? Consciousness cannot be detected outside of oneself, so inside of oneself is where such experiments have to be conducted.