Dogen Sangha Blog


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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yogacara and David Hume

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

I am new to Buddhism and I am trying to understand it. I am referencing your last insight from "David Hume and Buddhism."

Yogacara refers to container consciousness. Could action be explained by planting seeds in your container consciousness, causing you to act in a certain way? By becoming aware of container consciousness we can plant seeds for more enlightened action. To David Hume cause and effect is an illusion whereas with Yogacara, cause and effect happens, but we do have free will and we can direct our container consciousness. David Hume seems to deny cause and effect, with the result being to deny the effect from the cause. This is a desirable result, we don't want to always be locked into the ways of the past. Yogacara and Buddhism in general seem to accomplish this but in a different way. Yogacara says yes there is cause and effect but it can be controlled by becoming aware of container consciousness. Is this understanding correct?

When you write about the materialistic phase of Buddhism, which phase is this and when did it occur?

Thank you.

Dear Happy Programmer San,

Thank you very much for your question about Yogacara, but unfortunately, I haven't studied Yogacara at all. Therefore I can not say anything about Yogacara, and I do not know anything about container consciousness. I am very sorry being impossible for me to answer your question completely at all.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima


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