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Thread: How Do We Create Mental Images In Our Minds

  1. #1
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    Does anybody here have familiarity with the 8 collections of consciousnesses which form our experience of duality? These are the 5 sense consciousnesses, the 6th or mind consciousness and the 7th (ego) and 8th (storehouse). Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche has written about them.

    Somewhere (cannot remember where now) I read we create mental images in our minds through our 5 sense faculties, 5 sense consciousnesses, mind consciousness (the 6th consciousness) and our collective karmic imprints. A given sense faculty picks up vibrations, transmits these in the form of color and light to the respective sense consciousness. This gets relayed to the 6th consciousness which decodes or translates these impressions of color and light through our collective karmic imprints in the 8th consciousness. A mental image of visual form, smell, taste, sound or feeling is then created in the mind and the mind projects this mental image as inherently existing in the external world.

    Can anybody tell me if this is correct or direct me as to where I can read more on how we create these mental images in our mind?

  2. #2


    Hi followingthepath,


    Here is a booklet by Thrangu Rinpoche called 'The Five Buddha Families and the Eight Consciousnesses' which might have some of the information you require. Its also available in pdf format. (click on plain html when it says its redirecting)

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...ies.pdf+thrang


    An investigation of Dependent Origination and also of the Skandhas might be helpful.

    With kind wishes,

    Aloka-D








  3. #3
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Hi FTP

    For me, your description was clearly explained and sounded correct.

    Kind regards

    E


  4. #4
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    How Do We Create Mental Images In Our Minds?

    Apart from seeking Mahayana/Vajrayana resources, this is a very good topic for general discussion.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka-D
    Here is a booklet by Thrangu Rinpoche called 'The Five Buddha Families and the Eight Consciousnesses' which might have some of the information you require. Its also available in pdf format. (click on plain html when it says its redirecting)

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...ies.pdf+thrang

    An investigation of Dependent Origination and also of the Skandhas might be helpful.
    Thank you, Aloka-D, for your kind and helpful reply. I have Rinpoche's transcribed teachings on the Eight Collections of Consciousness published in book form. However, the description I gave of how we form these mental images is not the way Rinpoche expressed it in his teachings. His was in more traditional in expression and not quite as detailed. So he did not talk about subtle vibrations and light and color. As I wanted to make sure I had it correct the way I expressed it, I sought verification.

    I will keep in mind the other suggestions you made. These days, much on everyone's plate so life is your practice and you make as much time as possible for the formal practice.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Element

    For me, your description was clearly explained and sounded correct.
    Thank you, Element, for your input. I am glad to hear I did not botch up the understanding of how we create these mental images of what we think inherently exist outside ourselves.

    I would welcome more input from others in a general discussion.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by followingthepath
    A mental image of visual form, smell, taste, sound or feeling is then created in the mind and the mind projects this mental image as inherently existing in the external world.

    I'm not at all clear about what this means. Could someone give an example of how the mind projects a created mental image as inherently existing in the external world ?

    One may have a memory of a smell -but how does one create a mental image of smell and then project it as inherently existing ? I'm not actually sure what that means.

  8. #8
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka-D
    I'm not at all clear about what this means. Could someone give an example of how the mind projects a created mental image as inherently existing in the external world ?

    One may have a memory of a smell -but how does one create a mental image of smell and then project it as inherently existing ? I'm not actually sure what that means.
    I suppose mere thoughts or labels are in themselves mental images. If the mind stops 'labelling' sense objects, the sense of inherent existence can lessen or cease.

    Also, where there is no discerning of impermanence, the 'solidity' of those mind created images can become stronger. Or when we (the mind) impose value judgments, associated with craving, such as 'like' and 'dislike', 'favouring' and 'opposing', the images can become more solid or stronger. Or greater still, when "self-identification" or 'self-cherishing" arises in association with sense objects, the objects can acquire a strong sense of existence.

    That's what I think.


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Element
    That's what I think.

    That's helpful, thanks Element.

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