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I read the following on the internet:

Thus we can say that consciousness is a result of contact.

It looks like ocean waves: there is something beneath (water, an organ of perception) and something above (wind, perceived object).

We can say that consciousness doesn't exist if there is no contact of organ of perception and object of perception.

Is consciousness a result of contact?

Or contact a result of consciousness?

What did the Lord Buddha, the Master, have to say about this?

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From the Madhupindika Sutta (MN18):

"Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future forms cognizable via the eye.

"Dependent on ear & sounds, ear-consciousness arises...

"Dependent on nose & aromas, nose-consciousness arises...

"Dependent on tongue & flavors, tongue-consciousness arises...

"Dependent on body & tactile sensations, body-consciousness arises...

"Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future ideas cognizable via the intellect.

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    So this appears to say contact is a result of consciousness, namely, dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. – Dhammadhatu Aug 16 '17 at 2:18
  • No eye-dhātu, on color-dhātu and no consciousness-dhātu are no contact, also no contact of those 3 dhātu is no consciousness-dhātu, too. Sahajāta-paccaya. – Bonn Aug 16 '17 at 2:23
  • This answer from Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu is also helpful. – ruben2020 Aug 16 '17 at 3:29
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Buddha never talked about the beginning of the original consciousness (the first cause). Vinnana and Nama-rupa are dependently originated.

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Personally consiousness and the physical are inseparable the intangible and tangeble are as just as a necessity of everything else that's diametrically opposed. The physical does not exist without the spiritual to concieve of it and vice versa as far I can percieve. That thought though negates a ultimate source of consience ie god etc because that sentience would be incorporeal and be independent of the material. I actually believe that realty is a product of every possibility and is without boundary a whole has limitless division similarly how we perceive the infinite of space our perception of it is limited by the scale of it ,a measurement we have like a Meter or inch is simply relative to our scale and the number it throws back is of no degree of the whole because of limitless division and no precise measurement. The whole exists and the path to knowledge is not in reduction of it but by studying it as it is. Grasshopper lol

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consciousness is a result of contact.

Of course not! That would be a totally materialistic explanation. Instead,

consciousness, or rather, experience (vijnana) arises when enough samskaras have been accumulated to allow for recognition of patterns. Recognition leads to arising of objects (nama-rupa) and experience of the world where objects exist (vijnana). Then based on experience of the world and objects, there comes experience of contact, from which comes the notion of outer and inner, which eventually matures into a self once the experience of contact is projected in future.

In other words, contact should be understood in terms of developmental phenomenology, not physics.

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Consciousness is not a result of contact.

In conditional relation, consciousness and contact (mental formation) arise together by sahajata paccaya.

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Western philosophy observes the object surrounds the subject and it cannot observe itself which is fundamental to there definition. But this definition is limited and is a consequence of a sequence of subjective observation and that subjects interpreting it's observation. Observing the subject is recognising and interpreting other object you consider to contain a subject but is a consequence of that sequence . To change the definition of subject or what appears to be would be that the subject never experience the object it's definition of its observations would not be able to be determined through a language which we use to describe the subjects observation and be uncommunicable since it would experience nothing. The language we use is a consequence of the sequence. A subject surrounding the object is a negation of language and a consequence of our natural emergence and it's sequence into the object from within. To observe the subject surrounding the object by negation would be to emerge not from within the object but without it and create the object within it, but all that reasoning is a consequence of sequence which is a product of time and being a prisoner off. I'll stop rambling now.

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This is a specific case. Looking only at conciousness arising from contact. So what is this saying? Let me use an example

Lets say that there was a new material that was invented. Nobody had ever touched it before. Would you know what it feels like? No Not until you touch it would you be concious of what it feels like. There would be no way to be concious of what the material feels like until you touch it.

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Upasaka Sarath told:

Buddha never talked about the beginning of the original consciousness (the first cause). Vinnana and Nama-rupa are dependently originated.

Which is not/only right in regard of the 1. Noble Truth (e.g. Samasara, 5 khandhās)

In the secound Noble truth the Buddha explains the root cause: avijja (not-knowing, delusion) and the third Noble Truth (Nibbana), shows the cessation of phassa and it's effect.

It's because avijja is touched (avijjāsamphasso), that suffering arises, not because of eye, ear,... intelect faculty on it's own. It's because there is avijja AND the certain sense, that depending co-arising goes on it's way.

That means, it would not help if one would "cut" of the possibility of touch of the sense in another way then the cessation of avijja

A good work on the topic has been written by Ven. Ariyavamsa here: "Phassa*. How ever, keep in mind, that there is much intelectualisation over there as well, an approach that aside of actually practicing, would only increase ones suffering if not just taken as a means to increase faith (Saddha) and then do the job.

When the uninstructed ordinary person is contacted by a feeling born of ignorance-contact, craving arises: that determination is born from this.

So don't be touched on common ground when "I have seen on internet" might call into quest. It' not yours.

From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabrications, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released. Thirty.

[Note: this is a gift of Dhamma, not meant for commercial purpose or other low wordily gains by trade and exchange]

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