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Dec 12, 1996 08:52 AM
by Tom Robertson

In a TS meeting last night, we discussed the skandhas.  The 5 skandhas were
said to be:

1) form
2) feelings
3) perceptions
4) volitions or impulses
5) consciousness

These 5, according to Buddhist tradition, are "real," and the individual is
regarded as "unreal."
There is not an individual that is conscious.  There is only consciousness.

This makes little sense to me.  I can understand how anything that changes
is not real, but I do not see how the processes which are known as skandhas
do not also change.  When I hear the words "illusory" or "unreal," I tend to
think it means "imaginary."  But just because objective reality changes does
not mean that it does not exist.  Consciousness requires there to be a
subject to be conscious and an object of which to be conscious.

Free will was also discussed.  If there is no individual, there is no free
will, which I also find hard to swallow, since, if there is no free will,
there is no relevance.  If alternatives were not valued uniquely, so that
the best alternative could be chosen, action would be impossible, since
action is based on a perception of gain.

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