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52 Craving and Salvation response of mano to sense impressions, dictating mental attitude and the physical response of conduct. Its most potent and damaging consequence, however, lies in its effect on the individual will. To some extent vinnana, citta, and mano are agencies of willing, since they contribute to purposiveness, direction, and intention. Craving (tanha) conditions the will at each stage of consciousness, and is even able to cripple the only faculty (oitta) which has potential to neutralize it. The psychological or spiritual import of this schema cannot be underestimated, but of still greater importance is the religious dimension which it brings forward. The etiology of craving as part of the conscious process has now been reviewed and the psychological basis for the Buddhist "theology of intention" established . It is this "theology of intention," to coin a phrase, which underlies craving's critical position as the central emphasis in Buddhist soteriology. This will become increasingly evident in the next chapter, when we come to discuss craving and meditation. For the present, there remains only one major responsibility, to investigate the evidence which reveals a remarkably perceptive psychology of the unconscious. 10. The Unconscious and Tanha In an article on early Buddhist psychology written in 1924, J. T. Sun observed: "The Buddhist knows that by living a life governed by conscious wisdom and not by unconscious craving there will result a personality but little affected by sorrow." Perhaps without full awareness , Sun was the first modern scholar to touch upon an issue of great importance, the matter of the unconscious in Buddhism. To come at this topic in a methodical way, we need first to review what scholarship has contributed to this subject, define the limitations of these attainments , and then set about to examine for ourselves the evidence of the Sutta Pitaka. The inquiry will concen33 Mind and Craving 53 trate on the concept of sankhara, one of the most complex and vital terms in Buddhist psychology. Other concepts, such as the latent dispositions (anusaya, akusala mula) and the cankers (asava), all indicate an unconscious state. As in our study of the Buddhist understanding of consciousness, we aim for a total psychological picture. Once this has been worked out, a clearer idea about the relationship between unconscious states, consciousness, and craving should be evident. 11. Previous Scholarship The idea of unconscious activity has only recently become a topic of interest to Buddhist students of the - 34 Pali scriptures. Apart from J. T. Sun (whose essay provides us only with general observations but no direct textual references), a mere handful of scholars have made serious attempts to investigate the issue as it appears in the Sutta Pitaka. Of these, W. F. Jayasuriya, K. N. Jayatilleke, and M. W. P. de Silva are notable, particularly de Silva, whose arguments are the most carefully and extensively developed. Jayatilleke makes no mention of a Buddhist concept of the unconscious in his principal work, Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge (1963), but in several other essays he refers to the likelihood of such a perspective in the Sutta Pitaka. Thus, in "Buddhism and the Scientific Revolution" he writes: In psychology we find early Buddhism regarding man as a psychophysical unit whose "psyche" is not a changeless soul but a dynamic continuum composed of a conscious mind as well as an unconscious in which is stored the residue of emotionally charged memories going back _j. to childhood as well as into past lives. In another essay, "Some Problems of Translation and Interpretation," Jayatilleke investigates the exegesis of the noun sankhara and points out that it must have a conative meaning, with an unconscious as well as conscious dimension. But Jayatilleke's study does not go far enough. There is, for instance, no mention of the 36 ...


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