2 Answers

  1. In the theory of Buddhism (I am writing about Theravada, because in it the most developed and free from mysticism of concepts apparatus) consciousness (Vijnana) is considered one of the five khandhas (“piles”, collections of objects of attachment).

    Accordingly, for traditional Buddhism, consciousness in this sense is the same structure as material forms, except that it is of a slightly different nature. In the cycle of co-dependent origination, consciousness immediately follows the sankhara constructions that follow from ignorance.

    In short, Buddhism does not see consciousness as a variant of the “eternal soul” (permanent and indivisible, as you have pointed out), but only as one of the possible objects for clinging and dependence, subject to change and cessation, and thus potentially harmful and leading to suffering.

  2. The contradiction is already in the question itself. If something exists as a process, if something changes somehow, changes the shell, then it is already impermanent, not equal to itself in the past, it is not indivisible, because it has separated from the shell… That is, it cannot be said that the person who died and the person who was born as a result of the reincarnation of consciousness are one and the same person. These are two different stages of the existence of the stream of consciousness, connected with karmic consequences. If a person has a desire to mentally transfer some fixed Self into a new body and so deceive death, then Buddhism will not help.

    What you are describing is similar to the Alaya-vijnana concept of the vijnanavada or yogacara tradition. This consciousness is a treasure trove. The basis of consciousness, which is the only reality. This later teaching was developed by Asanga in the fourth century AD. Alaya-vijnana should not be confused with the concept of atman, which is clearly denied in Buddhism. The atman in Vedic religions is the same soul traveling from body to body. And the alaya-vijnana in yogacara is like a bag of seeds that a dying person passes to a person being born. Then one of these seeds grows perception, mind, ego, collects fruits, pours new and old seeds into his bag and passes them on, as in a relay race. If a person realizes the awakening, it is as if he roasts these seeds, so nothing can grow out of them in the future, there are no consequences, so the relay race is interrupted.

    In other schools, this teaching is criticized in the sense that only nirvana is recognized as reality. That is, consciousness is made up of conditioned dharmas (only in samsara), and therefore illusory. The unconditioned dharma (immobile, dimensionless, non-pervading, non-vanishing, impersonal) is only one — nirvana.

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