The Buddhist Unconscious: The Alaya-vij˝ana in the Context of Indian Buddhist Thought
This is the story of fifth century CE India, when the Yogacarin Buddhists tested the awareness of unawareness, and became aware of human unawareness to an extraordinary degree. They not only explicitly differentiated this dimension of mental processes from conscious cognitive processes, but also offered reasoned arguments on behalf of this dimension of mind. This is the concept of the 'Buddhist unconscious', which arose just as philosophical discourse in other circles was fiercely debating the limits of conscious awareness, and these ideas in turn had developed as a systematisation of teachings from the Buddha himself. For us in the twenty-first century, these teachings connect in fascinating ways to the Western conceptions of the 'cognitive unconscious' which have been elaborated in the work of Jung and Freud.
This important study reveals how the Buddhist unconscious illuminates and draws out aspects of current western thinking on the unconscious mind. One of the most intriguing connections is the idea that there is in fact no substantial 'self' underlying all mental activity; 'the thoughts themselves are the thinker'. William S. Waldron considers the implications of this radical notion, which, despite only recently gaining plausibility, was in fact first posited 2,500 years ago.
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The Buddhist Unconscious: The Alaya-Vij˝ana in the Context of Indian ...
William S. Waldron
No preview available - 2006
Abhidharma Abhidharma Problematic Abhidharma-koka accumulated actions afflictive mentation AKBh alaya alaya-vij˝ana analysis anukaya apperception appropriation arising cognitive awareness bhavamga-citta Buddha Buddhist Buddhist thought causal cause cessation cognitive processes commentary concept condition consciousness continuity craving cyclic existence dang defilements dependent arising dharmas dharmic diachronic distinct doctrine experience form of mind forms of cognitive forms of manifest grasping impressions infused karma karmic activities karmic formations karmic potential Kathavatthu latent afflictions latent dispositions ma yin manas manifest cognitive awareness mental cognitive awareness mental factors mental processes mental stream mentation model of mind momentary name-and-form Nivgtti nyon objective support occur one’s pa’i passage perception persistence Poussin Pravgtti Portion pravgtti-vij˝ana processes of mind Proof Portion rebirth Saddhinirmocana Sjtra sadskara samsaric existence sankhara sa˝˝a Sanskrit Sarvastivadins Sautrantikas Schmithausen 1987 seeds sense sense-faculties Shastri simultaneously subliminal supraliminal supramundane synchronic Theravadins tion traditional underlying tendencies upadana vasana Vasubandhu vedana vij˝ana vi˝˝an.a vipaka Visuddhimagga Yogacara Yogacarins