Thread: Dependent Origination: where does intention arise?

  1. #1
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Dear forum

    What is intention? Where and when does intention arise?

    For example, if the thought formation arises: "I would like a piece of chocolate!", when and where is the intention?

    Is the intention found within the thought: "I would like a piece of chocolate!"?

    Or is the thought: ""I would like a piece of chocolate!" simply a mere thought, that is, simply a mere mind object?

    In other words, does the intention occur after the arising of the thought: "I would like a piece of chocolate!", that is, when the mind makes the definite decision to follow the thought and obtain a piece of chocolate?

    Similarly, does intention occur after the arising of the thought: "I would like a piece of chocolate!", that is, when the mind makes the definite decision to not follow the thought and to not pursue the obtaining of a piece of chocolate?



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    "Philosophical perplexity about intention begins with its appearance in three guises: intention for the future, as when I intend to complete this entry by the end of the month; the intention with which someone acts, as I am typing with the further intention of writing an introductory sentence; and intentional action, as in the fact that I am typing these words intentionally. As Elizabeth Anscombe wrote in a similar context, ‘it is implausible to say that the word is equivocal as it occurs in these different cases’ and from the fact that ‘we are tempted to speak of “different senses” of a word which is clearly not equivocal, we may infer that we are pretty much in the dark about the character of the concept which it represents’." (Anscombe, G. E. M. Intention, 2nd edition; Oxford: Blackwell, 1963; p. 1)

    continued...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Element
    For example, if the thought formation arises: "I would like a piece of chocolate!", when and where is the intention?
    Hmmm, Pretty interesting question Element.

    For this particular example, the memory of some past dwelling (vedana) may trigger lustful thoughts towards chocolate.

    Feelings -> Craving -> Clinging

    You remember its taste (memory of a pleasant feeling) so you crave for that pleasant feeling again as "I would like a piece of chocolate!". So is it fine to say that, in this particular example that intention is a mental object (a thought) triggered by feelings?

    You are sitting on a chair for some time and suddenly you intend to get up and walk around. The intention maybe triggered by feeling uncomfortable and bored. Once again, the intention is a mental object (a thought) triggered by an unpleasant feeling.

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    Hi Element

    A very thought provoking string, my take on intention is that it belongs in the mental formation camp, it forms new formations, is based on old formations and is a mental formation

  5. #5
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deshy
    the intention is a mental object (a thought) triggered by an unpleasant feeling.
    As far as my understanding can go, I agree with this.


  6. #6
    Forums Member clw_uk's Avatar
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    Thanks for starting up this thread. Its something I have just began to think about myself



    It is said that Kamma is intention. The Buddha then says that intention arises at contact


    "'Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play should be known. The diversity in kamma should be known. The result of kamma should be known. The cessation of kamma should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

    "Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.

    "And what is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit...an.html#part-5



    So I would say that when there is ignorance then there is ignorant contact. This then leads to intention in line with the birth of ego


    There is a sutta (i think) where the Buddha does say this. Will have a dig around for it



    metta

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    thought of 'chocolate' is the mind object

    mind + mind object + mind consciousness = (contact/passa) - 'thought of chocolate' which has all the historical stories related to chocolate in 'my' mind brings the pleasure (feeling/vedana) of 'thought of chocolate'

    the 'pleasure' brings the thought (sankhara/intention) 'I would like to have a chocolate'

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