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Does Viññāṇa generate Nāmarūpa in the sense that would make "uploading concsciousness" to a computer impossible?

I was reading this question on philosophy.stack

I'd suspect that it's impossible to make sense of momentary rebirth / causal continuity in terms of computer data. Wouldn't every Buddhist say that pots and trees are mental constructions, so that, even if granted concrete reality, as in the Sarvastavadin school, they don't exist from moment to moment? A chariot's axle, for them, does not generate visual consciousness, only colour and shape do that. And so the same for computers.

But should the Buddhist claim it's not merely opaque but impossible, especially due to mind-body dualism? Does rebirth consciousness actually form the new body (and mind), in the 12 links of dependent origination? Because if it does, unless I've misunderstood 'consciousness', perhaps due to its coupling with 'rebirth', I don't see how anyone can claim that there is genuine continuity.

As surely my consciousness does not form the physical body of a computer: it's already been designed etc..

  • It is important to note that "Vinnana paccya Namarupa" and "Namarupa paccaya Vinnana". In other words Vinnana and Namarupa dependent on each other. – SarathW Feb 17 at 23:11
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I don't understand the question. I just try to help. I write this answer by my guess the question's meaning.

The past (vanished) moment does not "upload" anything to the moment which it affects. It just causes its effect to arise. However, the effects are able to arise as the same habit, e.g. same object and same feeling, because of Upanissaya Paccaya.

The vanished moment is hypochondria. It cannot pass or upload anything to the future, although it still is able to cause new moment effects.

For example, I can smile when I thinking of my dead sister however she vanished and doesn't upload anything to me, she just causes me to smile.

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  • don't want to sound like a git, bonn, but i can't parse some of your sentences... so i can't tell if i agree with what you mean – sorta_buddhist Feb 19 at 17:00
  • Please help me to improve my english by asking me a question, etc. Thank you. – Bonn Feb 20 at 0:00
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    @user3293056 I think I could maybe parse the sentences, I edited. I think the answer is saying it wouldn't be the same consciousness uploaded. At best you'd have old (consciousness in a body), present (some computer system), and some kind of relationship (e.g. "effect" but not "identity") between them -- but the answer doesn't mention identity, it talks about the relationship between past and present moment -- that relationship is described as upanissaya paccayo which the chart in that YouTube video suggests to me is Abhidhamma ... i.e. – ChrisW Feb 20 at 7:51
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    doctrine like this. – ChrisW Feb 20 at 7:57
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    @user3293056 I suppose Bonn is trying to emphasize that there's only causal relationship between two consciousness. Nothing left in present consciousness from the previous consciousness. In Abhidhamma, it's clearly mentioned that two consciousness does not appear at the same time in a stream of consciousness. So there cannot be two consciousness in two different places at the same time which belongs to the same stream. This affirm that uploading of consciousness impossible. Why? You cannot capture consciousness and copy it to a computer. – Damith Feb 20 at 9:38
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OP: Does Viññāṇa generate Nāmarūpa in the sense that would make "uploading concsciousness" impossible?

Yes, as mentioned in dependent origination Viññāṇa (consciousness) is the main cause for Nāmarūpa (name and form) to be arisen. (Note: there are many causes other than Viññāṇa which help Nāmarūpa to be arisen. Viññāṇa is also be the cause in different ways/conditions. So each of these can be considered as a different cause.)

Computer programs are dependent on computer hardware but computer hardware are not dependent on computer programs. There's no mutual causal relationship between hardware and software. But as mentioned in many suttas, there's a mutual causal relationship between Viññāṇa and Nāmarūpa. (SN 12.65 - Nagara Sutta, SN 12.67 - Nalakalapiyo Sutta)

Yes, it's impossible to upload consciousness into a computer. How could we make something to arise in an entirely different environment (without all the required conditions) which it supposed to be.

OP: Wouldn't every Buddhist say that pots and trees are mental constructions, so that, even if granted concrete reality, as in the Sarvastavadin school, they don't exist from moment to moment?

According to Teravadins, all conditioned things exist in this very moment. But not in the past (already decayed) not in the future (yet to be arisen). All the conditioned things exist as a stream subjected to momentary uppada (arise), thiti (exist), and bhanga (cease).

Sarvastivadins have a different idea on this. They believe all exists (sarvām asti) and holds the idea every dhamma exist independent of time (past, present, and future). Suppose you cut down a tree and made a table out of it. According to Sarvastivadins both tree and table exist.

OP: But should the Buddhist claim it's not merely opaque but impossible, especially due to mind-body dualism?

I have already discussed this in the answer to your first question.

OP: Does rebirth consciousness actually form the new body (and mind), in the 12 links of dependent origination?

Yes, according to Abhidhamma, the re-linking consciousness causes name and form at the reappearing in the following way.

Re-linking consciousness be the cause for vattu-rupa with 9 conditions.

  1. Co-nascence condition (Sahajāta paccayo)
  2. Mutuality condition (Aññamañña paccayo)
  3. Dependence condition (Nissaya paccayo)
  4. Kamma-result condition (Vipāka paccayo)
  5. Nutriment condition (Āhara paccayo)
  6. Faculty condition (Indriya paccayo)
  7. Dissociation condition (Vippayutta paccayo)
  8. Presence condition (Atthi paccayo)
  9. Non-disappearance condition (Avigata paccayo)

Re-linking consciousness be the cause for remaining rupa-kalapa (bundles of form) present at the reappearing moment with 8 conditions.

  1. Co-nascence condition (Sahajāta paccayo)
  2. Dependence condition (Nissaya paccayo)
  3. Kamma-result condition (Vipāka paccayo)
  4. Nutriment condition (Āhara paccayo)
  5. Faculty condition (Indriya paccayo)
  6. Dissociation condition (Vippayutta paccayo)
  7. Presence condition (Atthi paccayo)
  8. Non-disappearance condition (Avigata paccayo)

Note: This is what I understood. I may be wrong but not Dhamma.

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If using the word "knowing", "recognize", classical words for vi (seeing) - ñāṇa (knowing), "knowing by sense", its possible all easier. Close the eye and open it. New "body", kaya, rūpa?

Maybe Why beings take birth, even in most worse existences and circumstances? is of help to understand inclination to food of what viññāṇaṃ is one sort.

  • sorry, i don't understand your answer – sorta_buddhist Feb 18 at 0:33
  • No problem, it give less food for birth, of cause, and actually no lose for my person, so possible no need for pardon. In the case Nyom @user3293056 wanted to ask further, may he let it be known. – Samana Johann Feb 18 at 4:07

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